sept. 18 falun dafa

September 15, 2000

Falun Dafa

By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

For information

Although a date has not been set, another workshop in Hagerstown is planned for October.

For information, call Hong Wang at 1-301-987-0618 or send e-mail to

For information about Falun Dafa, go to on the Web.

The movements are slow and graceful. The mood is peaceful and quiet.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a method of Chinese meditation. A group of people from the Washington, D.C., area recently traveled to Hagerstown to demonstrate and offer instruction on the discipline.


Falun Gong was founded in China in 1992 by Master Li Hongzhi. The system has five sets of "cultivation" exercises based on the principles of truth, compassion and forbearance. The word "cultivation" is used to describe the improvement of mind, body and spirit.


Four of the exercises are done standing. The fifth, a tranquility exercise, is done sitting cross-legged, double cross-legged if possible.

Tao Wang, who lives in Germantown, Md., has been practicing Falun Gong for more than three years. He became acquainted with it on the University of Michigan campus when he saw a flyer announcing a free workshop on a "new qigong."

Qigong - pronounced chee-gong - an ancient Chinese discipline, seeks to stimulate the flow of qi, which Wang describes as the universal life force, along channels that are thought to run throughout the body.

The exercises promote harmony for your body, mind and health, says Pei Wang, of Gaithersburg, Md., who helped to lead the Hagerstown session.

Norma Adams drove to Hagerstown for the workshop from Arlington, Va. She learned about Falun Gong when visiting Chinese friends in Seattle a couple of years ago. She meditates by herself on weekdays, but enjoys the collective energy of meditating in a group setting. She joins about 40 to 50 people doing Falun Gong exercises together Saturdays and Sundays on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Falun Gong is controversial. Its practice is banned in China, and the Chinese government's official newspaper has called it an "evil, cultist organization."

United States Congress passed a resolution last November urging China to stop its "persecution of Falun Gong." Earlier this month at the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York, Falun Gong supporters demonstrated against China's policies.

Falun Dafa is not a cult or religion, according to the practitioners who came to Hagerstown. There are no dues, said Hong Wang, who also lives in Gaithersburg.

"At every point, we are making our own decisions," said Mike Kang, of Germantown.

"We benefit from the exercise," said Zongy Hu, a medical researcher from Potomac, Md.

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