Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to eliminate attachments, and ultimately to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Falun Gong as a potential threat due to its size, independence from the state, and spiritual teachings. By 1999, government estimates placed the number of Falun Gong practitioners at 70 million. During that time, negative coverage of Falun Gong began to appear, and practitioners usually responded global perspective third edition pdf picketing the source involved.
As everything in China is under governmental scrutiny, the practitioners viewed the unfavorable comments as state interference in religion, while the government viewed the protests as unlawful. Most of the time, the practitioners succeeded, but controversy and tension continued to build. The scale of protests grew until April 1999, when over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered near the central government compound in Beijing to request legal recognition and freedom from state interference. This demonstration is widely seen as catalyzing the persecution that followed. Internet access to websites that mention Falun Gong, and in October 1999 it declared Falun Gong a “heretical organization” that threatened social stability. As of 2009, human rights groups estimated that at least 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners had died as a result of abuse in custody. In the years since the persecution began, Falun Gong practitioners have become active in advocating for greater human rights in China.
Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi has lived in the United States since 1996, and Falun Gong has a sizable global constituency. Inside China, estimates suggest that tens of millions continued to practice Falun Gong in spite of the persecution. Hundreds of thousands are estimated to practice Falun Gong outside China in over 70 countries worldwide. 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. Early adopters of qigong eschewed its religious overtones and regarded qigong principally as a branch of Chinese medicine. At one time, over 2,000 disciplines of qigong were being taught. 1985 to oversee and administer the movement.
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: the purpose of practice should neither be physical health nor the development of extraordinary powers, but to purify one’s heart and attain spiritual salvation. Falun Gong is distinct from other qigong schools in that its teachings cover a wide range of spiritual and metaphysical topics, placing emphasis on morality and virtue and elaborating a complete cosmology. Falun Gong aspires to enable the practitioner to ascend spiritually through moral rectitude and the practice of a set of exercises and meditation. Adherence to and cultivation of these virtues is regarded as a fundamental part of Falun Gong practice. 1995, Li Hongzhi writes “It doesn’t matter how mankind’s moral standard changes The nature of the cosmos doesn’t change, and it is the only standard for determining who’s good and who’s bad.
So to be a cultivator you have to take the nature of the cosmos as your guide for improving yourself. The former is generated through doing good deeds and suffering, while the latter is accumulated through doing wrong deeds. A person’s ratio of karma to virtue is said to determine his or her fortunes in this life or the next. 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. Spiritual elevation is achieved through the elimination of negative karma and the accumulation of virtue. Falun Gong’s teachings posit that human beings are originally and innately good—even divine—but that they descended into a realm of delusion and suffering after developing selfishness and accruing karma. To re-ascend and return to the “original, true self,” Falun Gong practitioners are supposed to assimilate themselves to the qualities of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance, let go of “attachments and desires” and suffer to repay karma.