It has been 29 years since the Falun Dafa spiritual movement began to spread across the world, and there is no sign the gentle exercises and meditation “phenomenom” will slow down anytime soon.
Five standing and sitting exercises continue to be extremely popular after being taught for nearly three decades.
Up to 100 million people were practicing Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) in Mainland China alone, according to official data from China’s National Sports Commission in 1999.
The practice has spread quickly as a testament to its effectiveness in changing people’s lives for the better. Adherents participate in the United States, Canada, European Union, and more than 90 countries worldwide. According to the Falun Dafa Information Center website, the Falun Dafa books have also been translated into 40 languages.
Falun Dafa is an ancient system that was secretly passed on from teacher to disciple for generations until Mr. Li Hongzhi made it public on May 13, 1992.
On this date, Mr. Li gave his first lecture to an audience of about 180 in Changchun city, and ever since then, May 13 has been declared World Falun Dafa Day. People worldwide celebrate the anniversary by introducing the beauty of the practice and sharing the immense impact the practice has had on more than 100 million lives.
It has become a life-changing practice for thousands, and spiritual growth is attained by letting go of unhealthy habits (attachments) while aspiring to live life according to truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Those who take up the practice have reported many health improvements, sometimes very dramatic. A feeling of wellbeing, mental clarity, and stress relief are everyday occurrences. Many people experience newfound energy never felt before after learning the practice.
Falun Dafa has attracted worldwide recognition for its contribution to holistic wellbeing in society.
Mr. Li is a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and was nominated by the European Parliament for the Sakharov Prize For Freedom of Thought. He is also the recipient of Freedom House’s International Religious Freedom Award.
In 1993, the People’s Public Security News—the official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Public Security—praised Mr. Li for his contributions “in promoting the traditional crime-fighting virtues of the Chinese people, in safeguarding social order and security, and in promoting rectitude in society,” according to the Falun Dafa Information Center’s website.
Many countries celebrate Falun Dafa Day this year, despite social restrictions due to the CCP Virus.
On May 1, 2021, Falun Gong practitioners gathered in a colorful spectacle in Flushing, New York, to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of their practice, and wish Master Li a “Happy Birthday.”
A huge sign that read, “May 13 World Falun Dafa Day,” was flanked by two banners on either side with the words, “Wishing Master Happy Birthday on World Falun Dafa Day,” and “Falun Dafa is Good, Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is Good.” Practitioners of different ethnicities, men and women, young and old, and neatly dressed, called out together: “Wishing Master Happy Birthday! Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good,” reports Minghui.
Yi Rong, president of the Falun Dafa Association, said, “Over the past 29 years, Falun Dafa has brought the people of the world healthy minds and bodies. The practice has also contributed to the stability of society and brought tremendous benefits. We celebrate World Falun Dafa Day and hope the practice will shine a light in every corner in the world, bringing beauty and peace.”
“We hope everyone can embrace ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance’. We also hope that the persecution in China will end soon, and that practitioners in China can practice cultivation freely. Amid the pandemic, we hope that people can remember ‘Falun Dafa is wonderful, Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is wonderful’ and avert calamity,” Yi Rong said.
On May 1, in Taipei, a dazzling scene appeared, as 5,200 Dafa practitioners gathered in Liberty Square to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day and send heartfelt birthday greetings to the esteemed Master Li Hongzhi, who celebrates his birthday on May 13.
In Taiwan, Huang Chun-mei, Vice President of the Falun Dafa Association, considers Taiwan one of the lucky countries to hold such a large-scale event while the CCP Virus pandemic is decimating populations across the globe. Freedom of belief is cherished by the people of Taiwan, in contrast to China, where Falun Gong first was introduced to the public. The Chinese Communist Party has constantly persecuted Dafa practitioners in China since July 1999, as to follow an ancient Buddhist practice such as Falun Gong is forbidden.
It is said jealousy played a big part in the attempt to destroy anyone following the practice by the then Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. The number of people out in public doing the gentle but powerful set of exercises had swelled to 100 million—that’s more than the number of members in the CCP and its related organizations. Even very high members of the politburo and their family members were known to follow the practice.
Falun Dafa Day is a celebration of this fantastic system that has brought health and spiritual growth to millions worldwide. It also reminds us of those in China who have suffered terrible abuse, even lost their lives for refusing to give up their beliefs.
Minghui.org reports the Pennsylvania House of Representatives issued an Honorable Mention for the anniversary of Falun Gong. Introduced by State Representative Mary Isaacson, the honor read, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania joins and recognizes the celebration of freedom-loving patriots in the Commonwealth and around the world. May the practice of Falun Dafa continue to bring fulfillment and peace to you all forever.”
The award says: “May 13th, 2021 will be celebrated as World Falun Dafa Day. A ceremony will be held on the lawn in front of the Liberty Bell on May 8, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the day. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: Justice will only be served when those who are not affected are as outraged as those who are affected.“
The commitment of Falun Dafa practitioners to residents has not gone unnoticed: “Falun Dafa practitioners touched the lives of the residents of Pennsylvania during these difficult times. They provide exercise guidance and health information through free online seminars, cultural programs on cable television, outdoor exercise areas, and various personal reports. And many Americans have found that it has changed their lives for the better and is even lifesaving.“
Falun Dafa practitioners wish to continue to share the beauty of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance with the entire world.