What is Falun Dafa?
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a traditional Chinese qi gong practice designed to enhance the health of the mind and body through exercises and meditation. It is known as a cultivation practice, with cultivation referring to the improvement of ones heart and mind through the study of universal principles based on truthfulness, benevolence and forbearance.
The practice consists of five gentle exercises, including a sitting meditation. There is no fee to learn these exercises and volunteers run classes worldwide. Falun Dafa is not aligned to any political group or religion. In fact, there is no membership list and no donations are accepted.
Mr Li Hongzhi first introduced Falun Dafa to the general public in 1992 in China. Until 1999, the Chinese government had praised the practice of Falun Dafa for improving the health and morality of many Chinese people. However, as Falun Dafa increased in popularity, the Chinese government began discouraging the practice because they considered that its spiritual nature was not in keeping with Communist ideology.
On 25 April 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners held a legal, peaceful gathering in Beijing. The gathering was prompted by reports of violence and harassment inflicted by Chinese police on Falun Dafa practitioners, as well as an unjustified ban on the publication of Falun Dafa material.
The gathering caused concern among China’s leaders. Not since the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 had so many people gathered to make an appeal to the government. The government’s reaction was swift and brutal. On the night of 19 July 1999, police raided the homes of hundreds of practitioners and placed them in prison. The next day Falun Dafa was officially declared illegal in China. A government campaign was then implemented to suppress and destroy Falun Dafa.
The state-controlled media in China began spreading false information to the public and through the Chinese embassies around the world. The purpose was to mislead the public by covering up the severe human rights abuses committed against the thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners held in detention and subjected to interrogation. Senator Vicki Bourne, Australian Democrats spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, states, "The arrest of Falun Dafa practitioners is in contravention of basic human rights such as the freedom of belief, assembly and expression."
Millions of Falun Dafa books and tapes have been publicly destroyed. Access to all Internet websites regarding Falun Dafa has been blocked in China, and those who send out accounts of the beatings and abuse experienced by Falun Dafa supporters while in detention are arrested and jailed for leaking state secrets. Practitioners have been denied legal representation and have received sentences of up to 18 years in prison. Thousands of others have been denied trial and sent to forced labour camps, including the Masanjia labour camp. Other Falun Dafa practitioners have been committed to psychiatric wards and medicated.
To date, there are more than 40 documented cases of otherwise healthy practitioners being beaten to death while in detention. During such times of violence, Falun Dafa practitioners have used only non-violent, peaceful and legal means to appeal.
In May 2001, more than 70 Falun Dafa practitioners, including those from the USA, Australia and the UK, were detained at Hong Kong airport and made to return home. Most of them had been to Hong Kong in the past and had experienced no difficulties. Many of these people are listed as volunteers on Falun Dafa websites worldwide.
Alexander Downer, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs (as at time of publication in 2002), stated, "The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy in Beijing have registered, on numerous occasions and at senior levels, the Government’s concern about the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. This treatment is in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which China has signed. We have informed the Chinese of our views in this regard on many occasions and will continue to do so."
1. Buddha Showing a Thousand Hands
At the core of Buddha Showing a Thousand Hands is the stretching of the body. This stretching unblocks areas where energy is congested, allowing all the meridians in the body to open.
2. Falun Standing Stance
The Falun Standing Stance is a tranquil standing meditation. Frequent performance of this stance will facilitate the complete opening of the entire body.
3. Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes
This exercise mixes the cosmos energy with the energy inside ones body. A great amount of energy is expelled and taken in during the exercise, enabling purification of the body. Simultaneously, the exercise opens the meridians on top of the head and unblocks the passages underneath the feet.
4. Great Heavenly Circuit
The Great Heavenly Circuit enables the energy of the human body to circulate over large areas. Using the previous three exercises as a base, performing this exercise allows the meridians of the entire body to be opened and connected. This enables the body a small universe to return to its original state and allows all the meridians inside the body to be unblocked.
5. Strengthening Divine Powers
This is a multi-purpose, tranquil cultivation exercise intended to strengthen divine powers and gong potency through using Buddha hand signs. Strengthening Divine Powers is an exercise above intermediate level and was originally secret. The exercise requires sitting with both legs crossed and having a clear mind. During the exercise the flow of energy is strong and the energy field around the body is quite large.
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