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Origins[ edit ] Falun Gong is most frequently identified with the qigong movement in China. Qigong is a modern term that refers to a variety of practices involving slow movement, meditation, and regulated breathing. Qigong-like exercises have historically been practiced by Buddhist monks, Daoist martial artists, and Confucian scholars as a means of spiritual, moral, and physical refinement.
In the late s, Chinese scientists purported to have discovered the material existence of the qi energy that qigong seeks to harness. At one time, over 2, disciplines of qigong were being taught.
In his hagiographic spiritual biography, Li Hongzhi is said to have been taught ways of "cultivation practice" by several masters of the Buddhist and Daoist traditions, including Quan Jue, the 10th Heir to the Great Law of the Buddha School, and a master of the Great Way School with the Taoist alias of True Taoist from the Changbai Mountains.
Falun Dafa is said to be the result of his reorganizing and writing down the teachings that were passed to him. David Palmer writes that Li "redefined his method as having entirely different objectives from qigong: So to be a cultivator you have to take the nature of the cosmos as your guide for improving yourself.
While virtue engenders good fortune and enables spiritual transformation, an accumulation of karma results in suffering, illness, and alienation from the nature of the universe. Falun Gong echoes traditional Chinese beliefs that humans are connected to the universe through mind and body, and Li seeks to challenge "conventional mentalities", concerning the nature and genesis of the universe, time-space, and the human body.
The exercises are regarded as secondary to moral elevation, though is still an essential component of Falun Gong cultivation practice. The second exercise, "Falun Standing Stance", involves holding four static poses—each of which resembles holding a wheel—for an extended period.
The third, "Penetrating the Cosmic Extremes", involves three sets of movements, which aim to enable the expulsion of bad energy e. Through practice of this exercise, the practitioner aspires to cleanse and purify the body.
The fourth exercise, "Falun Cosmic Orbit", seeks to circulate energy freely throughout the body. Unlike the first through fourth exercises, the fifth exercise is performed in the seated lotus position.
Called "Reinforcing Supernatural Powers", it is a meditation intended to be maintained as long as possible. These include—but are not limited to—precognition, clairaudience, telepathy, and divine sight via the opening of the third eye or celestial eye.
However, Falun Gong stresses that these powers can be developed only as a result of moral practice, and should not be pursued or casually displayed.
Falun Gong differentiates itself from Buddhist monastic traditions in that it places great importance on participation in the secular world. Falun Gong practitioners are required to maintain regular jobs and family lives, to observe the laws of their respective governments, and are instructed not to distance themselves from society.
An exception is made for Buddhist monks and nuns, who are permitted to continue a monastic lifestyle while practicing Falun Gong. They are expected to act truthfully, do good deeds, and conduct themselves with patience and forbearance when encountering difficulties. For instance, Li stipulates that a practitioner of Falun Gong must "not hit back when attacked, not talk back when insulted.
According to Hu Ping, "Falun Gong deals only with purifying the individual through exercise, and does not touch on social or national concerns.
It has not suggested or even intimated a model for social change. The book also provides illustrations and explanations of the exercises and meditation. The book is divided into nine "lectures", and was based on edited transcriptions of the talks Li gave throughout China in the preceding three years.
In Buddhism, the Dharmacakra represents the completeness of the doctrine. In the cultural context of China, Falun Gong is generally described either as a system of qigong, or a type of "cultivation practice" xiulian.
Cultivation is a Chinese term that describes the process by which an individual seeks spiritual perfection, often through both physical and moral conditioning.power distribution bibliography.
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