A Brief Introduction to
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a form of what the Chinese call Qigong (pronounced "chee-gong"), a system of exercises and teachings that profoundly transform the mind and body. The exercises of Falun Dafa are similar to other oriental exercises familiar to Westerners, such as Tai Chi and Yoga. Qigong is a vital part of many people's lives in Asia. Chinese parks are typically brimming at the break of dawn with people from all walks of life practicing these arts.
Falun Gong differentiates itself from other Qigong practices in that, beyond the pursuit of health and fitness, it goes to the goal of greater wisdom and enlightenment. A central component in Falun Dafa teaching is studying the higher principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Also, Falun Gong, unlike some other Qigong practices, does not make use of so-called "breathing exercises," as is frequently characterized in articles by the media.
Since being introduced to the general public in 1992 by its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong has attracted more than 100 million people from all walks of life in 40 nations. It has proven to be a powerful mechanism for stress relief and health improvement. Because of the positive effects of its profound principles in helping practitioners to improve their health, purify their minds, uplift their spirit, and deepen their understanding of life and the universe, Falun Dafa has become very popular throughout the world. The practice and its teacher, Master Li, have quickly earned international acclaim. Many states, including Illinois and New Jersey, and major U.S. cities, such as Washington D.C., Houston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, have proclaimed a Falun Gong Day/Week, and some have honored Mr. Li as an "Honorary Citizen" or "Good Will Ambassador."
Falun Gong has five sets of exercises, including meditation. Three of the exercises involve physical movements while the other two require remaining still for extended periods of time. These exercises have a dramatic and positive effect on mental and physical well-being and are designed to fit into the schedules of busy lifestyles. The movements are effective and beneficial for all ages, even though they are simple, gentle, and very easy to learn.
Falun Dafa practitioners strive to become better people in all environments and under all conditions. They try hard to gradually give up various bad habits and attachments like anger, alcohol and smoking, anxiety, fear, jealousy, and the desire for personal fame and advantage. Mr. Li encourages normal family life and advises that releasing attachments does not necessarily mean the loss of material wealth or status, but only achieving a properly balanced relationship to those things. As a result, the spread of Falun Dafa has helped to improve family harmony, co-operation at work, neighborhood safety, care for the environment, and social stability. Through learning and practising "Dafa," practitioners have improved their health, relieved their stress, and upgraded their moral nature. Falun Dafa involves no worship, rituals, membership, or formal organization.
Falun Gong uses one main book of teachings, Zhuan Falun ("Revolving Law Wheel"). Another book, Falun Gong, is introductory and includes illustrations of the exercises. The books, as well as audiotapes and videotapes, can be viewed or downloaded free of charge from many web sites (e.g. http://www.falundafa.org) or ordered from Internet bookstores (e.g., www.universepublishing.com or www.amazon.com). They have been translated into some 18 languages, including English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean.
Start to Learn
Everyone is welcome to learn Falun Gong. No prior Qigong or meditation experience is required. To get started, you may contact Falun Gong practitioners, visit Falun Gong web pages, or call 1-877-FALUN-99 to obtain information about local practice sites, free workshops, and activities in your area. All Falun Dafa activities are free of charge. No fees are collected. No donations are accepted.