Falun Dafa is the belief that by assuming certain postures and holding them for a certain amount of time, that one embraces the Buddha-field and becomes Buddha. The 5 postures taught by Falun Dafa are considered to be the totality of Buddhism itself.
The postures taught are from the Zhong-gong school (now defunct) where originally it was 7 postures, but Mr. Li (The Supreme Master) lopped off two of the postures and called his New school Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, now called Falun Dafa, uses Buddhist symbology and speaks of Buddha in the books and other written material, as a means to promote itself to the Chinese who are aware of the Spiritual nature of Buddha, though has admitted that the school and teacher are not Buddhist.
Falun Gong simply is a Performance Art, much like the Zazen of Japanese Dogenism (the type of sitting done in Zen centers), and its this Performance Art that the practitioner calls (Practice) to demonstrate to others their devotion to the school and the teacher.
The more one does the 5 postures, attending what is termed as ‘Practice sessions’ the more one climbs the ranks within the organization. Thus, one is ranked on one’s devotion to the postures rather than one spiritual understanding or attainments.
The 12th-century Japanese Tandai monk Dogen, like the Falun Gong Master Li Hongzhi, flips the entire bodhisattva path into an objectified performance art in saying that “To sit like a buddha, is to be a buddha”(sic) and Dogen stresses that sitting is the way to enlightenment, as how Mr. Li stresses that his 5 practices are the way to enlightenment.
What is the difference between Dogen’s Zazen and Falun Dafa’s 5 postures? Nothing!
Both are teaching delusion, spiritual materialization and objectification, and false Buddhism.
Like Dogen, Mr. Li also stresses to let your mind fall away, to detach, to just become the posture. They focus on the posture and the continual holding and returning to the posture as essential to Buddhahood.
Is anything that these two say is True? Does Buddhism support it?
Sadly no. Nothing in the Mahayana sutras suggests that any Performance Art is a path to enlightenment. The practice in the Mahayana sutras is often relinquishment of attachments to self, abandonment of those ideas and thoughts of mind that create the self, in where suffering is generated for oneself and all beings. Do not think this is easy, this is the TRUE PRACTICE and is very difficult and very hard.
So why does Dogen and Mr. Li teach and promote this False Buddhism of their creation?
Because it is easy, and anyone can do it. It attracts the lazy, the insincere, the spiritual dullards, and those who are just gaming the system for rank, position, and status.
In my research of Buddhist history, there seems to always be some sort of Performance Art that has come and gone, and it seems that those who enter the Fake Buddhism, the Fake Spiritual Path often come to realize that after a time and leave it, disillusioned.
Just as how many leave Dogen’s Zazen unfulfilled and disillusioned, many leave Falun Dafa in the same way.
Buddha seems to acknowledge Fake Paths in the Paṭhamanānātitthiyasutta in where those who are not capable of understanding his teachings will often need to go through fake teachings first to know what is NOT THE PATH.
This is why we preach the Dharma even to those who think they are learning the Dharma in these False Buddhist Schools. We preach so that when they awaken to the fact that they are in a FALSE PATH, that they can turn to the TRUE PATH and we will welcome them.