May 13: A Day for the Celebration of Faith

May 12, 2021 Updated: May 19, 2021

Commentary

As Australians continue to face the outcomes of the COVID-crisis, expanding the national debt, and a belligerent Chinese regime, there is a celebration happening in Australia and around the world that may fly under the radar.

On May 13, 1992, Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, was introduced to the public in China. It is also the birthday of the founder of Falun Dafa, Mr Li Hongzhi, respectfully referred to as Master Li, and known as World Falun Dafa Day.

Falun Dafa is a spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition based on the universal principles of Truth, Compassion, Forbearance (Zhen 真, Shan 善, Ren 忍 in Chinese). It includes the study of teachings, yoga-like exercises, and meditation.

“Falun Dafa” translates to English as “Law Wheel of the Great Law.” The “Tao” in Taoist teachings and “Dharma” in Buddhist teachings also refer to the Great Law.

Falun Dafa Is an Ancient Cultivation Practice, Not a ‘New Religion’

As the teachings of Falun Dafa were originally handed down through the years to a select number of students, it was unknown to the public before 1992, which has meant that it is sometimes referred to as a “new religion,” even though it is deeply rooted in Buddhist traditions dating back thousands of years.

Cultivation practice (cultivating one’s mind and body through disciplined practice) is a feature of Asian spiritual traditions that have been passed down from teachers to students for millennia.

Epoch Times Photo
Group practice sites such as this, with one in Guangzhou, China, with thousands of Falun Gong adherents performing the exercises in public, were a common scene in the 1990s. (Handout)

When Li Hongzhi began teaching to the public, he registered Falun Gong with the Chinese regime’s China Qigong Research Association. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Beijing supported the practice of traditional qigong (energy practice) to improve people’s health and save public spending on health services. At the 1993 Asian Health Expo in Beijing, Li was awarded the title of the “Most Acclaimed Qigong Master.”

By 1998 the State Sports Commission estimated that over 70 million people across China were practising Falun Gong.

Its popularity spread by word-of-mouth as people shared their improved health experiences and became kinder and better people.

Persecution in China—Misunderstanding in the West

However, it was the spiritual aspect of Falun Gong that led to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) hostility, for all matters of the soul, spirit, or faith are deemed superstitious because they lie outside the Party’s control and its Marxist ideologies of materialism and atheism.

Since July 1999, the CCP has waged a propaganda war to demonise Falun Dafa, not only in China but also in the West. This had led to misunderstandings.

Various Western media have used secular ways to scrutinise this traditional spiritual practice and published sensationalised stories.

Other commentators have mirrored the CCP’s vilification of Falun Dafa, as though it is okay to lampoon a spiritual practice from China and downplay truly shocking human rights atrocities. It smacks of racism—or communism.

Why Is Falun Dafa Good?

Why do Falun Dafa practitioners display banners which say “Falun Dafa Hao” (Falun Dafa is Good)?

These words were shouted in Tiananmen Square throughout 2000-2001 as tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners came to tell the Chinese regime that Falun Dafa is good and that it was wrong to ban a practice that improves people’s health and morality.

The Chinese regime’s response was to beat and capture all those who came to appeal. It has maintained a brutal campaign to eradicate Falun Dafa in China by incarcerating, torturing, and killing people who refuse to abandon their faith.

Falun Gong practitioners in Sydney
In Sydney, Australia, Falun Gong practitioners mark 20 years of brutal persecution of their faith by the communist Chinese regime on July 19, 2019. (The Epoch Times)

Practitioners in China draw strength from the principles of Falun Dafa to peacefully resist the persecution and endure all manner of hardships to let fellow Chinese know why Falun Dafa is good. They know it is harmful to a person to be deceived and believe that something good is evil.

Traditional Chinese wisdom refers to the harmony of heaven and earth and that the universe is itself inherently good, and as particles of the universe, human beings also carry this “goodness” nature within them.

By saying “Falun Dafa is good,” practitioners in China and worldwide are also expressing their gratitude for improved health and a deeper understanding of life through the practice.

When people who do not practice Falun Dafa say “Falun Dafa is good,” they have taken a stand in favour of a beneficial practice and against the criminal persecution by the CCP.

Anything That Is Truly Good Should Be Available to Anyone

Falun Dafa is truly good.

It is available free of charge and open to all who want to learn the practice. It does not matter whether you are young or old, female or male, rich or poor, what language you speak or what culture you come from—you can practise Falun Dafa if you want to.

Practising Falun Dafa does not rely on one’s belief.

The teachings and meditation simply allow one to enter a journey of discovery and experience it for oneself.

Nowadays, the complexity of life can lead to mental anguish and stress with little time to pause and reflect inwardly.

Epoch Times Photo
In New York, United States, Falun Dafa practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day with exercises through Times Square. (Dai Bing/The Epoch Times)

Falun Dafa is a practice of body–mind–spirit. Through meditation, one can consciously let go of the mind’s continuous thinking process and enter the space of conscious awareness, connecting to a higher realm within.

Despite the Chinese regime’s criminal human rights abuses and corrupting influence worldwide, Falun Dafa is still practised by millions in China and is now practised in over 80 countries, with its teachings translated into more than 40 languages.

As Australia learns to uphold our values while dealing with the Chinese Communist Party, it is good to also reflect on the positive aspects of traditional Chinese culture.

The world is turning towards goodness and that is something worth celebrating.

John A. Deller is a committee member of the Falun Dafa Association of Australia. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the teachings of Falun Dafa, nor the views of the association.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

John A. Deller
John A. Deller
John A. Deller is a committee member of the Falun Dafa Association of Australia.