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INTRODUCTION TO FALUN GONG & FALUN DAFA

Its terminology, symbol, texts, beliefs, web sites, & books

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Terminology:

The movement is named: Falun Dafa. Elements of the name mean:

bullet"Fa" means the law and principles of the universe.
bullet"Lun" means wheel.
bullet"Da" means great.

Falun Dafa may be translated as "the great law wheel."

"Gong" is an abbreviation of "Qigong" which means "cultivation and practice." So Falun Gong may be translated as "cultivation and practice of the great law wheel." 1

The practice of Falun Gong is composed of two components:

bulletA moral philosophy for self-improvement, and
bulletFive sets of "qi" exercises, done to Chinese music and involving lotus postures and hand movements. Qi "refers to the most fundamental concept of the Chinese cosmology and has been interpreted as 'steam' or 'breath,' the life-force, the fundamental element of the Creation and the energy of every form of existence, including human bodies."

Falun Dafa is the spiritual movement that practices Falun Gong. Increasingly, the movement itself is being called Falun Gong.

Some terms used by the Falun Dafa:

bullet"Cultivation," as used in Falun Dafa, is an Eastern concept. It involves the development and transformation of one's entire being -- body, mind and spirit. "One literally 'cultivates' their qualities like a garden, planting seeds of goodness and not letting that goodness be damaged by circumstances or events." 4Dafa means Great Law or universal principles.   
bulletDharma was originally a Sanskrit word. It is commonly used by Buddhists. It can refer to:
bullet"...the impermanent and interdependent nature of all life." 2 
bulletThe teachings of the Buddha. 3
bulletThe workings of natural law -- the way that life works. 3 
bulletFa: The law.
bulletFalun means law wheel
bulletGong means the cultivation of energy and capabilities
bulletQi: The body's vital energy
bulletQigong: a set of Chinese breathing exercises.

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Symbol:

The Falun Dafa symbol is circular and is composed of a central, counterclockwise-pointing srivatsa symbol, a symbol of the Buddha School which means to be fortunate. It has also been used in Jainism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and by the ancient Greeks, Germanic tribes, and Native Americans. 15[The Nazi party in the 1930s adopted the symbol, distorted it, and called it a swastika; this is a German translation of the original sanskrit word "srivatsa."]

The srivatsa is surrounded by:

bulletfour smaller srivatsas
bullettwo red/blue Yin-Yang symbols
bullettwo red/black Yin-Yang symbols.

It is viewed as a miniature model of the universe. Some advanced practitioners are believed to see the symbol revolving. "When Falun rotates clockwise, it can automatically absorb energy from the universe. While rotating counter clockwise, it can give off energy. An internal clockwise rotation offers salvation to oneself while an external rotation offers salvation to others." 5  

This essay continues below.

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Sponsored link:

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Important texts:

bulletLi Hongzhi, "Zhuan Falun (Revolving the Law Wheel)." (1994) An English translation is available online at: http://www.falundafa.org/book/eng/zflus.html 
bulletLi Hongzhi, "China Falun Gong." An English translation is available online at: http://www.falundafa.org/book/eng/flg.htm 

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Main beliefs and practices:

According to spokesperson Caroline Lam in Sydney Australia: "Falun Dafa is not a cult and not a religion and not a sect. There is no leader, there is no form of worship or rituals. Falun Dafa is not involved with politics or against any government." 6

bulletPractices:
bulletFalun Gong consists of a set of five exercises that promote one's cultivation. "Three of the exercises involve physical movements and maneuvers while the other two exercises require remaining still for extended periods of time." 4
bulletPolicies:
bulletMembership is open to all. People are free to affiliate and to leave the group.
bulletThere are no prerequisites to learning Falun Dafa; there are no dues.
bulletInformation is freely available on the Internet, without charge.
bulletThere is no paid staff or clergy. All work is done by volunteers.
bulletThey do not maintain a list of members' names and other data.
bulletRacism:
bulletAccording to the New York Times, Li Hongzhi said that: "...interracial children are the spawn of the 'Dharma Ending Period,' a Buddhist phrase that refers to an era of moral degeneration. In an interview last year, he said each race has its own paradise, and he later told followers in Australia that, 'The yellow people, the white people, and the black people have corresponding races in heaven.' As a result, he said, interracial children have no place in heaven without his intervention."
bulletBeliefs:
bulletAs noted below, homosexuality is degenerate behavior, on a par with sexual promiscuity.
bulletAs noted below, illness is caused by the indwelling of "an intelligent entity that exists in another dimension."
bulletThe body's vital energy, Qi, can be focused to improve one's health and sense of well being.  But it can also "be used to develop the ability to fly, to move objects by telekinesis, and to heal diseases." 12
bullet"...the Falun, or Dharma Wheel, and is described by Mr. Li as a miniature of the cosmos that he says he installs telekinetically in the abdomens of all his followers, where it rotates in alternating directions, throwing off bad karma and gathering qi. Many Falun Gong adherents say they can feel the wheel turning in their bellies." 13
bulletEighty-one previous human civilizations had achieved a higher level of scientific achievement than we enjoy at the present time. However, they were all "left in complete destruction." 12
bulletA person with qigong training can walk through solid objects, like a wall.
bulletA qigong master emits "gong:" a "high-energy substance that manifests in the form of light."
bulletIndividuals with some qigong training can exhibit super-human abilities: clairaudience, telepathy, precognition, etc. But it takes a qigong master to achieve certain functionality, like alchemy -- the ability to transform one type of substance to another. The latter could tear down a large building using mental power only. They would never do this in practice, because it is forbidden for them to demonstrate their powers. Also, such destruction would cause harm. 10
bulletKarma is a type of black material that encompasses each person's body. It has a physical existence "in another dimension and can transform into sickness or misfortune."
bulletQigong practitioners can open their "tianmu" -- third eye. When the passage between their third eye and pineal gland can take many shapes: "oval, to round, rhombic to triangular."  A practitioner can see things beyond this world. However, the functioning of the third eye is inhibited at certain practical levels. For example, they are unable to see through walls or clothes, because such a talent would be disruptive to society.
bulletNormal people are aware of only three dimensional existence -- four if you include time. However, a qigong master can see "dozens of levels of dimensions." Time shifting is also possible. 10
bulletThere are many living entities on earth that appear to be humans, but in fact are aliens.

How to make a million dollars: The James Randi Educational Foundation, a Florida-based group, offers a prize in excess of one million dollars in U.S. funds for anyone who can prove that they have certain super-normal abilities. Some of the above talents may qualify. Opening one's third eye would almost certainly be eligible for a try at the prize. The Foundation evaluated a person with who had claimed this precise functionality. The individual failed. 11

As noted above, FalunGong, teaches that the operation of the third eye is inhibited at certain levels. This would make it difficult for a practitioner to prove their ability during a scientifically designed study.

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Beliefs about homosexuality:

The Falun Gong movement appears to treat homosexuality -- presumably homosexual behavior not homosexual orientation -- as a degenerate behavior, on a par with sexual promiscuity:

bulletFounder and current leader Li Hongzhi delivered a lecture in Sydney, Australia in 1996. 7 In it, he made a passing reference to homosexuality:

"...the morality of human society has altogether declined. The moral values in people’s hearts have been corrupted. When there is no righteous mind, it means that the Fa [law, principle, way] is no longer effectual. When the Fa is no longer effectual in human society, mankind will decline. ...The change in human society has been quite frightening! People would stop at nothing in doing evil things such as drug abuse and drug dealing. A lot of people have done many bad deeds. Things such as organized crime, homosexuality, and promiscuous sex, etc., none are the standards of being human." (Emphasis ours).

bulletIn New York City during 1997, he said during a lecture:

"I often say that humankind has gone through different historical periods before arriving at this day. In other words, many, many times humankind was wiped out after experiencing catastrophes at different points in history. ...Some people talk about how great Greek culture was, but where did those people go? Today something from Greek culture can be found: The elements of Greek culture that have been left are definitely from the final period of Greek civilization’s development, and we’ve found that there was homosexuality in it as well, along with promiscuous sex, and in addition, life was really extravagant and wasteful, corrupt, and terribly degenerate; we can see that humankind had already deteriorated terribly....Aren’t humans in a dangerous state? Your government permits something, your country permits it, your nation permits it, and even you approve it in your thinking, but it isn’t necessarily good. That’s why if you look at today’s society you can see that drug use, drug trafficking, drug making, sex changes, homosexuality, sexual freedom, organized crime, etc., emerge in an endless stream. Selfishness and desires have made people enemies of one another and without any righteous thoughts. All kinds of phenomena of a degenerate human society abound." (Emphasis ours). 8

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Beliefs about illness and healing:

In a book, founder and current leader, Li Hongzhi, contrasts qigong healing treatments with those found in conventional hospitals:

bulletHospital tests and examinations cannot detect the fundamental cause of an illness. This is because medical tests can only function in "this dimension and cannot see fundamental causes that exist in other dimensions."
bulletThe actual cause of illness is not a virus or bacterial, or some other pathogen. It is karma.
bullet"The root cause of the patient’s illness is an intelligent entity that exists in another dimension."
bulletQigong masters are able to use their super-human vision to see the internal functioning of their client's body, much like a CAT scan. 9

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Falun Dafa information sources on the Internet:

bulletFalun Dafa at: http://www.falundafa.org/ 
bulletFalun Dafa: Cultivation of the essential nature of the universe, at: http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~dayong/pgcks.html This is a New England group.
bulletA Canadian Falun Dafa group is at: http://www.falundafa.ca/ 
bulletA list of worldwide contact groups is maintained at: http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~dayong/pgcks.html
bulletFalun Dafa in North America maintains an large Falun Dafa information package at: http://www.minghui.ca/eng/info_pak/info_index.html 
bulletThe China Internet Information Center maintains a list that is critical of the Falun Dafa. It is titled "Safeguard the well-being of the people: Further expose and criticize the cult - Falun Gong" See: http://ppflg.china.com.cn/indexE.html 

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Books on Falun Dafa:

bulletLi Hongzhi, "China Faun Gong, Revised edition," (2000). Read dozens of reviews or order this book
bulletDanny Schechter, Ed., "Falun Gong's challenge to China: Spiritual practice or 'Evil Cult'?," Akashic Books, (2000-SEP) Read reviews (when they become available) or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
bulletJohn Wong, William Liu, "The mystery of China's Falun Gong: Its rise and its sociological implications," World Scientific Publ. (1999). A scholarly book on Falun Gong. Read reviews or order this book.

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References used:

  1. "What is Falun Gong / Falun Dafa: Frequently Asked Questions," Friends of Falun Gong Ontario," at: http://dawn.thot.net/
  2. "The living Darmah: website of West Covina Buddhist temple," at: http://www.livingdharma.org/ 
  3. "Dharma the cat," at http://www.dharmathecat.org 
  4. "Introduction of Falun Dafa," at: http://www.falundafa.org/
  5. "The Falun (Law Wheel): The Falun Emblem," at: http://www.mindspring.com/
  6. "Falun Dafa followers reject cult status," Agence france-Presse, 1999-MAY-3.
  7. Li Hongzhi, "Falun Dafa: Lecture in Sydney," at: http://www.falundafa.org/
  8. Li Hongzhi, "Teaching the Fa in New York City," at: http://faluncanada.net/library/english/usa/usa_e.doc
  9. Li Hongzhi, "Falun Gong: Qigong Treatments and Hospital Treatments," at: http://www.falundafa.org/
  10. Li Hongzhi, "Gong potency and supernormal abilities," at: http://falundafa.org/
  11. The James Randi Educational Foundation has a home page at: http://www.randi.org
  12. Craig Smith, "China cracks down on mysticism," The New York Times, 2000-APR-30, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
  13. Craig Smith, "Sect Clings to the Web in the Face of Beijing's Ban," The New York Times, 2001-JUL-5, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
  14. "Introduction: 'Totally Expunge Evil, Pursue it to the End.' Explaining the Crackdown on the Falun Gong," Leiden University, at: http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/bth/aalderink/introduction.html
  15. "Historical note on the Swastika," Falun Dafa, at: http://www.falundafa.org.il/

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Site navigation: Home page > Faith groups > Falun Gong > here

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Copyright © 1999to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1999-NOV-26
Latest update: 2005-JAN-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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