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In the Darkness, the Light of Dawn: How China May be Moving toward a New Spiritual Age

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Uploaded on Jul 2, 2012

Narrator: The founder of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, was born on May 13, 1951 in northeast China's Gongzhuling City. He came of age during the Cultural Revolution, and in 1984, when qigong was becoming popular; he decided to create Falun Gong, a qigong practice based on the cultivation system he'd studied as a child. Five years later, in 1989, Li began teaching Falun Gong to a few students in private. Three years later in 1992, Li gave his first public seminar, introducing the practice to the public. The seminar was held on Li's birthday, May 13, at this school in the city of Changchun. Over the next two years, Li would travel to almost every major city in China teaching the practice. Although he lectured before crowds of thousands of people, the practice was mainly spread by word of mouth.

Narrator: In 1994, Li stopped giving seminars in China, but he continued to write and lecture. He also traveled abroad and lectured in many other countries, eventually settling in New York in 1996, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Two years later, Li's most popular book, Zhuan Falun, was translated into English. Since then, Falun Gong has spread to around 80 countries, and Li's writings have been translated into over 40 languages. Fueling the spread was Falun Gong's use of the internet. to promote itself All the Falun Gong books, in all available languages, as well as exercise instructions and music are available for free online.

Zenon Dolnyckyj/Falun Gong Practitioner: I read some Chinese philosophy, did some Chinese practices. I came across the term celestial cultivation. I decided to go on the internet and do a search on celestial cultivation; to my surprise, two things came up. One of them was Falun Gong, and one of them was a phone number (to) somewhere. I called that phone number and got nothing. And when I went back to the Falun Gong website I was shocked because everything was free. I just started clicking the print button over and over and over again, because I thought "tomorrow, the promotion's going to be over and this is going to cost money."

Li Weixun/Falun Gong Practitioner: I bought a copy of Zhuan Falun, and I read it all the way home from the park, my hands just holding it up in front of me. When I read the preface, in the opening part of the book, it was a shock, something life changing—like an earthquake. I knew this was exactly what I was looking for.

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