Falun Gong group in Winnipeg
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The Tradition of Cultivation Practice

The ancients believed that through disciplined spiritual practice, a human being is capable of transcending ordinary existence. They sought a higher state of being, free from the suffering and illusions of the ordinary world.

Attaining this state required moral rectitude, the severing of desires, and the use of special meditative techniques to renew both mind and body.

These traditions were quietly passed down over the ages from masters to disciples.

Falun Gong is one such upright cultivation practice.

Unlike monastic paths of cultivation, Falun Gong is practiced in society, with students marrying, raising children, and pursuing a wide variety of careers. As such, while Falun Gong aspires to inner transformation of the self, it nevertheless typically translates outwardly into positive change in the world, insofar as the practitioner becomes a more patient family member, a more conscientious employee, or a more active member of society.
What is cultivation practice? 

Practicing Falun Gong
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PRACTICE FALUN GONG?

Looking within and finding answers
Practice Falun Gong means striving to improve oneself and living one's life in ever-closer harmony with the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Each person's understanding of the principles is unique and continues to evolve with study and practice. There is no set of "standard beliefs" that one must adapt. Each person assimilates and applies the principles in his and her own way.

Cultivating oneself
Falun Gong is cultivation practice—a spiritual practice of both mind and body. Yet unlike many other spiritual practices, it does not have temples or churches, memberships or fees. It is instead a deeply personal practice—one that freely chosen, freely practiced, and understood by the individual him or herself. To cultivate the mind, we study universal principles and aim to improve ourselves, to become more truthful, compassionate and forbearing in our thoughts, words, and actions, to put others before ourselves, to turn the other cheek in conflicts, to take responsibility for all that life bring us.

Meditation and exercise
Falun Gong includes five sets of gentle exercises. Some rise at dawn to sit in solitary meditation, while others carve out time during the day or get together in parks to practice with a group. The exercises cultivate the body.

Path to enlightenment
Through the Falun Gong teachings, we find insight into many of life's mysteries. New understandings of the universe come to light. Life takes on new meaning. We discover new wisdom and strength to carry us further on our paths. We find purpose and the means to fulfill.  

The Origins of Falun Dafa

Although Falun Dafa is deeply rooted in ancient Chinese culture, it was first introduced to the public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the practice's founder and teacher. Now, over 100 million people worldwide practice the simple, graceful exercises while striving to conduct their lives according to Falun Dafa's fundamental guiding principles: Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Li Hongzhi gave over 50 lecture series on the practice, typically consisting of a 2-hour class every day for 9 days. During the classes, generally, 1 1/2 hours were used to lecture on the principles of Falun Dafa, and the last half hour was used to teach the five exercises. By the end of a lecture series, attendees would have received the essential teachings and learned all of the exercises.

In December 1994, the main text of Falun Dafa, Zhuan Falun, was published. At this time the lecture series in China came to an end, as the book was a compilation of These lectures. This provided newcomers who had not attended the lecture series the opportunity to learn the practice on their own. Veteran practitioners benefited as well, as this book became the cornerstone text for continuous improvement, providing practitioners with guidance at every stage of their cultivation.

Because of its tremendous power to improve health, Falun Dafa stood out from the myriad of other qigong systems being taught and practiced in China at that time. Before July 1999, by early dawn, almost every Chinese park would be brimming with people practicing the exercises, which were always taught free of charge by volunteers in each city. Spread primarily by word of mouth, Falun Dafa grew very quickly. The practitioners came from different geographic regions and spanned all ages, social strata 
and walks of life. Many government agencies and mainstream media acknowledged and supported Falun Dafa.

Falun Gong is based upon three principles:

TRUTHFULNESS
ZHEN

COMPASSION
SHAN

FORBEARANCE
REN

Cultivation of Character

Though Falun Dafa has physical exercises, they are supplementary to the cultivation of one's character. In general, this is done by studying Zhuan Falun, the core ext containing the teachings of Falun Dafa, and by living according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. The effort to elevate one's character separates Falun Dafa from most other qigong practices popularized n China over the past several decades, as other practices focus primarily on physical exercise.

As a practitioner cultivates character, he or she treats everything that happens in daily life as a test and an opportunity to improve. For example, if someone yells at you, you would see it as an opportunity to put Truthfulness 
Compassion and Forbearance into practice. Rather than getting upset and responding in kind, perhaps you would understand that it would be best to just let it go, or calmly and kindly explain the situation that brought about the conflict. There are no formulas providing specific ways to act in every situation, but by reading Zhuan Falun, practitioners gain their own understanding of how to cultivate character, and how to take these tribulations that all of us meet in our lives as opportunities to improve.

Practitioners find that as they cultivate, they are frequently gaining new understandings of how to live according to Truthfulness 
Compassion and Forbearance. Perhaps at the beginning of cultivation, if someone yelled automatically absorbs a great amount of energy from the at a practitioner he would respond one way, but after cultivating for a while and gaining a better understanding of the principles, he may treat it quite differently.

The relationship between mental and physical health is extremely important. By cultivating character, practitioners are directly and positively affecting their physical health. This is thought to be one reason why the practice of Falun Dafa has such outstanding results.
The book Zhuan Falun by Mr. Li Hongzhi is the most comprehensive and essential set of teachings in the practice.

Falun Gong is an introductory book recommended for beginners.

These and Mr. Li's other teachings have been translated into 38 languages. They can be read free online at FalunDafa.org, and hard copies can be purchased at TiantiBooks.org

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Exercises

Practice individual or group.
Anyone. Anytime. Anywhere.

Many of the essential truths of Falun Dafa were taught in private for thousands of years. It was common in China's history to teach this way, as these timeless principles were often passed from a teacher to a single student. In the 1960's and 1970's, many of these practices were introduced to the public. At that time, mostly just the exercises and some basic principles were taught, and by doing these qigong exercises, people were able to improve their health.

Since Falun Dafa is a cultivation practice for both the mind and body, a practitioner not only does the exercises to transform the energy of his body for increased health, but also strives to elevate his character by following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. The five exercises themselves are easy to learn and practice.

Mr. Li Hongzhi gives explanations of each of the exercises in Falun Gong, and they are quoted here .
Frequently asked questions
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