Above and beyond the simple practice of the exercises, Master Li has emphasized the "cultivation of the XinXing," a path of life emphasizing the key virtues of truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance. Practicing cultivation leads to enlightenment, a concept tied to the teachings of the Buddha. Followers believe strongly in reincarnation and karma, and Master Li teaches that passing through tribulations are a necessary part of relieving oneself of past karmic debts. He also teaches the existence of a pantheon of deities and spirit entities including demonic ones that interfere with life and history on Earth.
Possibly most offensive to other qigong practitioners and the Chinese government, Master Li suggested that he was the only person who could lay out the exact course for the practice of the exercises and demanded that all of the secrets of the tradition be made available to the public. The basic concepts are laid out in a book, China Falun Gong, authored by Li.
Falun Gong also emphasizes the concept of the Falun, part of the invisible human anatomy assumed to exist in traditional Chinese teachings. The Falun is a center of energy located in the region of the lower abdomen. It is believed to be a microcosm of the universe and contain all of its secrets. The practice of qigong awakens the qi energy to flow more freely through the body, bringing good health and well-being. Falun Gong spread quickly through China and Hong Kong , and then through the Chinese communities in diaspora worldwide. With almost no attention from the press, strong centers developed in Singapore , Taiwan , and throughout southeast Asia.
Practitioners soon created centers across North America and Europe. In , China began a new campaign against unofficial religious movements that included Falun Gong prominently among its targets. The movement has millions of followers in China, though in spite of the spiritual aspect to the teachings concerning "cultivation" and the recognition of supernatural entities, the Falun Gong membership insists that it is not a religion. Nevertheless, the Chinese government has moved against it, arresting several hundred of its leaders, at least four of whom have died while in custody.
The government has also insisted on the extradition of Li back to China to stand trial, but the United States government has responded by condemning the persecution of the group. In the meantime, Chinese government officials have enlisted the aid of Western anticultists, including the magician James Randi , known for his hostility to occult and minority religious practices, to assist them in developing a publicity campaign to justify their actions to Western nations. In facing the authority of the Chinese government, Falun Gong leaders have shown remarkable commitment to their movement and insisted that it is not a challenge to the reigning authority.
Outside of China, the massive coverage of the movement has led to its further growth, including the attraction of many non-Chinese. The Chinese government and the movement have also waged a war of words on the Internet. Falun Gong has no official headquarters in the United States. It operates through a set of volunteer contacts whose names and phone numbers are posted on the Inter-net sites.
Falun Gong: The Real Story. Pamphlet informally published by American Falun Gong practitioners, Li Hongzi. China Falun Gong. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. September 22, Retrieved September 22, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Falun Gong Wheel of Dharma. A Chinese movement founded by Li Hongzhi in Drawing on ancient practices in the Chinese tradition, mainly Taoist and Buddhist, Falun Gong secured many adherents in the s, perhaps as many as 2 million in China including members of the Communist party and more overseas.
It draws particularly on meditation and breathing ch'i techniques to offer its adherents control over life and its vicissitudes, including illness and death. Following a demonstration of 10, members in Beijing in , it was condemned and attacked by the Chinsese authorities, who identified it as the latest in the many Chinese religious societies that have combined religious assurance with political dissent see, e.
Falun Gong claimed not to be an organization, despite a closely connected membership, achieved not least through the internet. Founded in by Li Hongzhi ? Falun Gong's practices derive from qigong, traditional physical exercises related to tai chi, and from Buddhist and Taoist meditation techniques and spiritual elements. Practitioners cultivate moral precepts that stress zhen truthfulness , shan compassion , and ren forbearance.
Falun Gong, which spread rapidly throughout China in the last decade of the 20th cent. In , Li fled to the United States. His movement, however, remained strong in China and gained adherents through proselytization in the United States and other nations.
As I noted, this came as a surprise and it is the fact that it somehow slipped under the official radar which points to another important reason for real government concern. WALK into Chinatown in any big Western city, and on the main street you are likely to find a row of seated meditators, their legs crossed and backs straight. Also notable was the group known as Zhonggong, which was banned in January , with a leader, Zhang Hongbao, who currently resides on Guam. You win—he loses. Volume 35 , Issue 2 June Pages It's not so much a matter of political agitation as they are just advertising their commodity to consumers and the potential to sell services to wholesalers UN,NGOs,Politicians.
Chinese members staged protests against government persecution, and in Apr. Now regarding the movement as threat to party rule, China outlawed it and arrested and imprisoned members. There also were and continue to be reports of the torture and killing of adherents; some 2, persons are believed to have died as a result of the persecution of the group. The systematic suppression of the Falun Gong in China remains a government policy. See Li Hongzhi, Zhuan Falun tr. Adams et al. Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China Although most Western scholars would classify it as a "new religious movement," Li and his followers understand Falun Gong not as a religion but as a "cultivation system," based on principles of qigong that are widely accepted in China.
Falun Gong rapidly became very popular in China, attracting millions of followers in the years immediately after its founding. For complex reasons, Falun Gong soon ran afoul of the Chinese state, and a massive protest in Beijing by Falun Gong practitioners against media censure at the end of April led to a harsh crackdown by the Chinese government on the grounds that Falun Gong was a dangerous "heterodox sect. To understand the rise and popularity of Falun Gong, it is essential to understand the rise and popularity of qigong. In Chinese, qi means "vital breath" or "energy" and refers to a force existing in nature that can be harnessed for a variety of purposes.
Gong means "skill" or "technique," and the two characters together mean "the cultivation of qi energy. The goal of practice is self-healing, stress reduction, and the cultivation of supernormal powers. The practices and principles of qigong are drawn from traditional Chinese medicine, folk healing, martial arts , and popular religion, many varieties of which have claimed magical healing powers.
David Ownby. It is argued that Falun Gong, and the larger qigong movement out of which Falun Gong emerged, should be understood as part of reform era China's religious revival and that the historical "The Falun Gong" inControversial New Religions(). Falun Gong and the Future of China [David Ownby] on ecmerweaha.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. On April 25, , ten thousand Falun Gong.
Falun Gong began as a form of qigong, a general name describing physical and mental disciplines based loosely on traditional Chinese medical and spiritual practices. Qigong was "invented"in the s by members of the Chinese medical establishment worried that China's traditional healing arts would be lost as China modeled its new socialist health care system on Western biomedicine. In the late s, Chinese scientists "discovered" that qi possessed genuine scientific qualities,which allowed qigong to become part of China's drive for modernization.
With the support of China's leadership, qigong became hugely popular in the s and s, as charismatic qigong masters attracted millions of enthusiastic practitioners in what was known as the qigong boom, the first genuinemass movement in the history of the People's Republic. Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi founded his own school of qigong in , claiming that the larger movement had become corrupted by money and magic tricks; Li wanted to refocus attention on genuine "cultivation" and preached a fundamentalistmessage of morality and mastery of Li's teachings.
Li was welcomed into the qigong world and quickly built a nationwide following of several million practitioners, but ran afoul of China's authorities and relocated to the United States in In his absence, followers in China began toorganize peaceful protests of perceived media slights of Falun Gong, which increased from the mids onward as China's leaders began to realize that they had created, in the qigong boom, a mass movement with religious and nationalistic undertones, a potential threat to their legitimacy and control. Based on fieldwork among Chinese Falun Gong practitioners in North America and on extensive readings of Li Hongzhi's writings, this volume offers a depiction of Falun Gong from the inside, at the same time offering a narrative depiction of Falun Gong and its origins in the history of Chinese popularreligion.
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If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Religious Studies Review Volume 35, Issue 2. Randall Nadeau Trinity University Search for more papers by this author.
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