Falun Gong - Falun Gong for Holistic Health
by Dr Torsten Trey
Falun Gong is a Buddhist Qigong (energy-based) practice, which has become popular through the entire world since its first introduction to the public in China in 1992. By 1999, at a rough estimate, 100 million people practised this combination of five physical exercises and three universal principles-truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. Falun Gong is now practised in more than 60 countries.
Originally, Qigong was founded by Gautam Buddha; Buddhism in the early days taught people the practice of how to cultivate essential human virtues within oneself.
In modern times, the system of Falun Gong was developed by Master Li Hongzhi. It teaches how to integrate pure virtues into daily living. It is not theory, nor philosophy, nor religion; it teaches how to attune one's mind and behavior to the daily life in keeping with eternal cosmic principles.
Cultivate the Benevolent Spirit
In our modern living, to apply the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance creates benefits on several levels. The cultivation of Falun Gong makes the mind more benevolent. It purifies the physical body and creates a better and more prosperous society. Moreover, it helps one attain their highest destiny and reach wholeness of being.
One of the specific characteristics of Falun Gong is the cultivation of the main spirit - one's authentic essence - through developing awareness and clear consciousness about one's own conduct. This is one of the greatest advantages of Falun Gong as compared to other forms of meditation.
Its practice is focused on cultivating one's own heart, the benefit of which will in turn enrich the main spirit. The process of cultivating the heart involves letting go of attachments. This is described in the book Zhuan Falun (the book can be located from the website mentioned at the end).
There are no forms to be filled, no membership, no fees or donations. Falun Gong is meant to be available for all those who want to evolve to a higher level, be they rich or poor.
By letting go of negative emotional attachments manifesting as jealousy, anger and fear, the heart becomes benevolent and compassionate. The process of letting go passes through many levels and is a journey of steady learning.
Tending the Garden of your Heart
Cultivating one's heart can be compared to cultivating a garden. The gardener has to tear out the weeds and regularly prune the trees so that flowers can blossom and the garden becomes a beautiful place. After practising Falun Gong over a period of time, one becomes calm and peaceful within and also in one's relationships.
While functioning as a part of society and fulfilling the requirements of daily life too, one experiences unfoldment as a part of a whole new cosmos. One's interactions in society with neighbors, colleagues and family members provide the practitioner with situations where one can learn to let go of attachments and to think less in purely selfish terms. Along the way, the body becomes like a peaceful temple and one shifts to a higher dimension of consciousness in a natural and effortless manner.
Five Exercises of Falun Gong
In addition to meditation on truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, one learns five physical exercises, which are very powerful in energizing the physical body. The exercises complement each other with their gentle movements and are very easy to learn. Within one hour one can learn the basic movements of all five exercises.
While the first exercise breaks through energy blockages and opens the meridians in the body, the second exercise fills the body with cosmic energy. The third exercise is for cleansing of the body and the fourth exercise makes the energy in all meridians flow by activating the Great Heavenly Circuit, which is the main meridian. After these four exercises in a standing position, the fifth exercise is a sitting meditation, which enhances the transformation of one's karma and strengthens one's divine powers.
All five exercises let the body feel very well and relaxed. The effect is so refreshing that some people even say that they are more relaxed after practicing the exercises than after sleeping for some hours. If one practices in the morning one feels fresh and light for the whole day.
Experience the Lightness of Being
The effects of the exercises are different and depend on the individual needs. After some time of practising some people need less sleep, some people feel less hungry and eat less than before, some people can work longer than before, and others are more concentrated and efficient in their work. This happens because the energy in the body becomes more balanced and there is a free flow of energy inside the body.
Once people learn to make light of their sentiments and attachments, everything in life grows lighter. That is the reason why, after introducing these exercises to the public, people in great numbers recognised the strong positive effects of this practice. Another reason is the effect on the body. In the eastern theory of diseases an illness appears if the meridians (the energy channels) are blocked and the energy cannot flow. Stress and hardships that we encounter in the normal course of living, contribute to disease. Sometimes, it is a challenge for a medical doctor to find out how to cure an illness and how to bring back the balance of energy to the body.
If the doctor locates appropriate treatment measures by prescribing the right pharmaceutical or homeopathic remedy or through acupuncture, the symptoms disappear and the body recovers. But if he doesn't find the right treatment, he cannot stop the disease. On the other hand, these five exercises of Falun Gong generate harmony within the mind and body so that internal blockages disappear and a harmonious balance of energy resides in the body.
As a Buddhist spiritual practice, Falun Gong provides teaching and instruction for enlightenment; but as a side effect, the body will become purified and healthy.
Energy Cures in Flow
In 1998, the results of five independent health surveys conducted in China involving 35,000 practitioners of Falun Gong showed that there was an average cure rate of 60 per cent, an improvement rate of 80 per cent in physical health and 95 per cent in mental health. Therefore the surveys indicate that Falun Gong has a clear and significant effect in disease healing and health promotion. An official of the sports ministry in China has mentioned in 1999 that the practice of Falun Gong saves the Chinese government millions of dollars in medical expenses.
This author personally interviewed dozens of practitioners of Falun Gong who had ailments that have disappeared after genuine practice of the technique. One woman had asthma for more than 20 years, being forced to take strong remedies. After six months of practicing Falun Gong the symptoms of her asthma improved dramatically and after six more months she didn't need to take any remedies whatsoever.
Another practitioner in her 60s had hip arthirosis and her doctor suggested surgery and an artificial joint. But after practicing the exercises for some months, the woman could sit in the lotus position without pain, to the great surprise of her doctor.
Also, people with high blood pressure, gall stones, diabetes, mental depression and even cancers were cured. Individual doctors have borne testimony to this fact. Thus the impact of the Falun Gong exercises on such a variety of diseases shows that a genuine form of cultivation is able to solve different kinds of blockages independent of the type of disease.
Although the effect of Falun Gong is not yet fully understood and scientific research has just begun, there are already some significant findings. Prof. Feng Lili from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston could prove that the longevity and bactericidal activity of white blood cells (part of the immune system) had improved in Falun Gong practitioners, as compared to a control group (people who did not follow any particular regimen). This indicates enhanced immunity and health benefits for certain diseases.
Prof Feng Lili could also find evidence that there are changes on the molecular level and genetic predisposition in practitioners of Falun Gong.
In another experiment Dr Guohua Liu, a biophysicist from California, reported that the contraction force of cultured cardiac cells was increased to 175 per cent after several minutes' exposure to the energy field generated by Falun Gong practitioners while they were practicing the exercises.
Modern scientific investigation is yet to explore the complex ramifications of the body-mind-spirit continuum, and these studies do indicate that such an enterprise is now imminent on a major scale.
Mahatma Gandhi established by his conduct that a high moral standard and an uncorrupted mindset can change the world. The strong effect of Falun Gong is based on a complete cultivation system guiding people to improve upon their virtues. It affects not only mind and body, but also the spirit, through the transformation of karma.
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