History

Who: Falun Dafa, or Falun Gong, as most people know it, was made public by Li Hongzhi in 1992. It is considered an ancient form of qigong (energy working), a Chinese practice of refining the physical and intellectual natures through special exercises and meditation.

What: Falun Gong is a method to refine one’s mind and body through exercises and meditation. Falun Gong means the practice of the wheel of dharma. It is based on the ancient Chinese principle of qigong, which is similar to Tai Chi and Taoism. The physical and intellectual natures are of equal importance. The teachings of Li Hongzhi are thought to bring enlightenment to the mind, as the physical exercises bring health to the body. There are five sets of exercises which improve the circulation in the body, thus improving health.

When: Falun Gong was introduced in 1992, but its principles and methods trace back thousands of years. It has strong ties to both Buddhism and Taoism, which are seen as the only two major religious systems (other religions fall under the categories of Buddhism or Taoism). As such, it is an older tradition, but it did not appear as it is until it was introduced by Li Hongzhi

Where: Falun Gong began in China, where it is now (as of 2001) considered a dangerous cult. It was outlawed by the Chinese government as a possible subversive group in 1999. There are people who follow Falun Gong around the world.