Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Chinese tradition of meditation and body movement set to music that has attracted adherents for its spiritual meaning and healing power.

So much so that in 1999 the Chinese government declared that Falun Gong which means ``the practice of the wheel of dharma'' was considered heresy and a ``[Chinese government's slanderous words].''

The government banned Falun Gong and has cracked down on thousands of its practitioners. Amnesty International has called on the government to stop its reported tortures and imprisonments.

Meanwhile, to further discredit the group, Beijing is using recent television images of what it says were members of Falun Gong setting themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square. One woman died and four others, including a 12-year-old girl, were hospitalized in critical condition after the Jan. 23 incident.

Still, followers of Falun Gong say there are more adherents to the tradition than there are members of the Chinese Communist Party.

Today, Lexingtonians will be exposed to the meditative practice of Falun Gong at a free workshop.

Yaqiong Feng and her husband, Peijin Xie, a corporate marketing researcher, will be in Lexington with a small group of others to lead the workshop. The couple live in Fort Thomas and are part of a Greater Cincinnati group that practices Falun Gong.

``It's very good for health,'' Feng said. ``My husband has been a practitioner since 1994, and I have since 1996. I used to get headaches and have insomnia, but I don't any more.''

Feng said there are about 50 Falun Gong groups around the country, including one in Louisville.

Lexington Mayor Pam Miller has proclaimed this week ``Falun Dafa Week'' in honor of the ancient practice's commitment to truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.

Falun Gong sources say there are more than 100 million practitioners in more than 30 countries.

Falun Dafa is the spiritual movement that practices Falun Gong, but increasingly the practice is more commonly known as Falun Gong.

For more information about Falun Gong, check out the Web site www.falundafa.org.