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Intensive Zen Course, Umbrella, and Space Sheeps

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  • Intensive Zen Course, Umbrella, and Space Sheeps

    Dear Shaolin Family and Friends,

    I just came back from a memorable and wonderful time in Hawaii, having participated in the intensive Zen course as well as the Shaolin Umbrella course.

    I guess it is not quite unsual to come back from a course with Sifu in total awe and with (quite literally) exploded expectations. Well, this was no exception - I certainly had no idea I would end up talking about space sheeps in front of an audience in the middle of the Zen course - As this course had never been offered before I came with a shiny empty cup, which is now overflowing with wonderful experiences and happy memories!

    The course was a summation of everything I have learned so far with Sifu, and then taking it further with a simple and clear map - all the way through to the highest goal. What was remarkable for me is that Sifu's simple, systematic, and direct instructions made everything feel achievable. Not only achievable in the distant future, but right now!

    During the course, Sifu mentioned that the original title for "The Complete Book Of Zen" (to this day my favorite book of his) was "Understanding and Experiencing Zen". That would also have been a suitable title for the course (along with "Learning how to flow in daily life, turning any problem in an opportunity in under a minute, public speaking on the spot, going through life with no thoughts, expanding in the cosmos at will (or no-will), how to never get stuck, creating your reality, and making your and other people's life a joy" - which granted, might not have been as elegant).

    It also happened to be one of the most fun courses I have experienced. At some point Sifu taught us how to pick a subject and talk about it on the spot in front of an audience, letting ideas coming spontaneously, and refining as we went. This led to the most hilarious and yet amazingly cohesive speeches I had heard for a while! (That's when the "space sheeps" came into action). Not only that, but I experienced such joy in going through the experience that it reminded me how much joy is an integral part of our training. Not just a by-product, but a fundamental component!

    True to form, Sifu never held back and transmitted countless tools, methods, and skills to apply Zen in any situation, at any level, and for all sorts of mindsets. I think there was something for everyone, and it was very inspiring to be in a room full of non-blockage (it's like no-thought and non-thought. "non-blockage" is when there is so much flow that the notion of blockage doesn't even exist )

    The umbrella course was equally as wonderful, and actually served as the perfect follow up to the Zen course. Learning to flow with whatever is coming, with no thoughts, no resistance, and "harmonizing" with the opponent (even when he is charging with a gigantic Guandao) was exactly what we learned during the Zen course, and we were able to learn to manifest it in a martial context. Who knew so much could be done with an umbrella! (I confess I didn't )

    As always, it is of course up to us to now apply what we've learned, and to nurture the many gifts we've received. That's another thing I was reminded of: that Sifu is always transmitting and sharing countless ways to change our own life, and no matter how many times we don't get it, he keeps going until we eventually click onto something.

    From my heart, thank you Sifu for your example, generosity, patience, and abundance. It is an honour to learn from you, and I am deeply inspired to keep striving to follow your example. Thank you also to Simu for her generosity in giving so much of Sifu's time for his students!

    Thank you to Anthony Siheng, Chris, and Christina for the amazing organisation and the huge work that went into making the course a reality. The setting for the course was nothing short of breathtaking!

    Last but not least, thank you also to all my wonderful Shaolin brothers and sisters who made the trip so much fun and meaningful. Here is to next time!

    With love and respect,
    Last edited by Hubert; 16 July 2014, 05:21 AM.
    Hubert Razack

  • #2
    Wonderful account brother. We are truly blessed to receive such teaching on applying the arts to everyday life. Whilst the Kung Fu/Taijiquan is fun (and it is most fun), it is daily living that becomes more fun.

    The realisations that come from no mind and good chi flow are amazing, and it sounds like you had them by the bucket load. Congratulations.

    Love your description of the "space sheeps", unusual but very visual!

    space sheep.jpg
    Tim Franklin
    A story of finding Courage and Wisdom Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

    Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

    UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit



    • #3
      Dear Hubert Siheng,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences of the Hawaii courses. They come across as been absolutely amazing to say the least.
      The space sheep instantly made me smile and as Tim Siheng said very visual. His picture very near perfect to the one I had in mind
      Thank you to Sifu for sharing so much of these great Arts.

      Thanks again,

      Shaolin Salute,


      • #4
        Does a space sheep have a buddha-nature?

        Congratulations to the hosts and all who attended -- it sounds out of this world!

        Sifu Andy Cusick

        Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
        Shaolin Qigong


        Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

        "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
        - ancient wisdom


        • #5
          Thank you, Sigung

          Dear Shaolin Family,

          I just wanted to share my deep gratitude towards Sigung's tremendous generosity in offering these courses and for lifting us up in just a few short days to levels that would have taken years to reach on our own.

          I participated in the Chi Kung and Zen Intensive courses, both of which were nothing short of utterly amazing. In less than a week, my confidence increased exponentially and with the help of Sigung's powerful heart-to-heart transmission, all or perhaps nearly all of the participants were able to feel connected with the Universe. For me, this has translated into a rapidly deepening trust in and surrender to God.

          On my way home after the courses, I strongly felt that it was up to me to put into practice all the precious skills that Sigung so generously transmitted to us. I noticed old habits arising as I returned to my regular schedule, and have been repeatedly returning again and again to the techniques of flowing, 1-thought and no-thought to let go of old habits.

          5 days have passed since the end of the Zen Intensive and I can hardly believe how vastly different my life is now. There is always a "high" after coming off a course with Sigung, but instead of just riding off of Sigung's chi I see that my own choices are actually changing and that I am not just flowing on Sigung's transmissions but also from new choices to flow, have only 1 thought or no-thought. From my heart, I thank Sigung for teaching us how to apply Zen to our daily lives and for giving us chances to practice Zen "on our own" during the course (i.e. non-guided chi kung/meditation done during the course), which gave me confidence that I could actually do the training on my own.

          Practicing Zen in daily life has shot my energy quite literally through the roof! I had no idea how much thought was dragging energy out of me until learning how to let it go.

          The investment in this trip was worth many, many times more than what was paid. I cannot believe how different my life is now. From the heart, thank you Sigung. And thank you Anthony Sipak for kindly organizing the courses.

          With love and gratitude,


          • #6
            Fantastic accounts! Thank you for sharing some other Zen moments!
            "From formless to form, from form to formless"

            26.08.17-28.08.17: Qi Gong Festival with 6 courses in Bern:
            Qiflow-Triple Stretch Method-12 Sinewmetamorphisis-Bone Marrow Cleansing-Zen Mind in Qi Gong



            • #7
              Thanks for starting this thread, Hubert, and thank you Erica for jumping in to share your experiences, too. It's a testament to how happily we were living in the moment and enjoying Hawaii that we didn't comment on the courses as they occurred

              As part organizer, I took it all: Intensive Chi Kung course, Intensive Zen course, and Umbrella set. While it is difficult for me to talk about the effects of each course individually, I can say that each played a huge part in the overall experience and benefits I derived from my time in Hawaii.

              Without meaning to sound dramatic, I walk away from the courses having undergone a spiritual transformation.

              For the past several months, I became aware that I was blocking myself from excelling as much as I could because, for some unknown reason, I didn't want to draw attention to myself publicly. Excelling within small communities like school, family, and my immediate work colleagues was one thing, but I have always been strangely guarded with the world at-large. As you might imagine, this has affected all areas of my life, including building up my local kung fu classes, contributing to my professional industry, and helping to build and improve my local community.

              Even though I gained awareness of this blockage, I had no concrete steps to clear it other than to just keep practicing and have faith that it would clear over time. The answer came to me sometime during the last day of the Chi Kung Intensive or the first days of the Zen Intensive, when I realized that I had been unnecessarily locking down my spirit, and that I just needed to let it free and I would no longer have this problem. Similar to how chi goes where it's needed most if you trust it enough to let it do its thing, letting your spirit free will always guide you in the right direction.

              The courses also helped me let go of another aspect of this problem, which was false humility. We often think of false humility as arising from arrogance, but it can also arise from the opposite: denying your right to claim what you truly deserve. During the Chi Kung Intensive, someone asked Sigung why, if God loves everyone, does suffering exist in the world? His response was that God is continually showering all of us in blessings, but some of us unknowingly block his love. (The same applies to receiving Sigung's transmissions on courses, where you only pick up on the ones you don't block yourself from. I think this is part of why seniors often repeat courses and gain more benefits from them than their juniors.)

              Sigung's answer came at the right time for me. Whereas I previously understood that God loves everyone in an intellectual sense, I see now that I never believed it was something to be felt tangibly, let alone experienced it. As a result of the courses in Hawaii, I now feel a deep, full love for God, and I also feel that love returned. It's amazing how simple it really is!

              As if that wasn't enough, several problems I had in my daily life before Hawaii magically solved themselves while I was there. I'll give one as an example: a threat that I would have to pay an additional $2500 for Flood Insurance for my new house somehow turned into a $200 rebate!

              I could write at length about the courses themselves, but as I've already written quite a bit, I'll just mention the umbrella set course. I'm ashamed to say I initially thought of it as an "at least we get to do *some* kung fu with Sigung in Hawaii" course, but it turned out to be absolutely incredible! Not only did we learn the fine points of the set and applications, we also spent some time picking good patterns to use to counter characteristic attacks of the spear and guan dao, and then taking 10-15 minutes to develop the skills in applying them. I went from feeling like I had no chance to being surprised at how easily it felt to handle these attacks at near full speed. So often, my problem was trying to apply the counter too quickly! The umbrella itself is a fine example of spread and depth, and by practicing it, you will be surprised at how much you improve your jian and sabre.

              And so now, despite some mild cleansing as my body catches up with the rest of me, I can't imagine being happier.

              Thank you to Sigung for so generously agreeing to teach such amazing courses. It was an incredible privilege to spend so much time with you, Sipo, Anthony, and Damian and Rosaline, who I hadn't previously had the privilege to spend much time with. A special thank you to Anthony for coming up huge in helping to organize the courses while Christina and I cared for our newborn baby, and thank you to all of the attendees for sharing in a beautiful experience. It was a joy to watch everyone transform before my eyes, and I look forward to getting together with you all soon.
              Chris Didyk
              Shaolin Wahnam USA

              Thank You.


              • #8
                Very nice and thank you.

                Best wishes


                • #9

                  Wow! What an unforgettable experience. What a blessing for those that attended and what a blessing that we have Sigung to guide us.
                  With love and Shaolin salute /o

                  "Your purpose in life is to find your purpose & give your whole heart and soul to it." - Buddha

                  Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.


                  • #10
                    Sifu Andy Cusick

                    Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
                    Shaolin Qigong


                    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

                    "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
                    - ancient wisdom


                    • #11
                      Life changing, spiritually enhancing, inner clarity and much more.
                      Sounds Amazing, whens the next one?

                      Best Wishes to All



                      • #12
                        Thank you for sharing your experiences!

                        With Shaolin Salute,
                        Lee Wei Joo


                        • #13

                          Sounds like the Hawaii fantasy came true. Congratulations to Sifu, the organizers and the participants!

                          I learned a lot even from only reading your experiences. How great must it have been at the courses then!?

                          Thanks to everyone for sharing!

                          Best wishes,

                          Sifu Leonard Lackinger

                          Shaolin Treasure House

                          Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House


                          • #14
                            Dear Shaolin Family and Friends,

                            I wish to express my gratitude to Sigung for the Heart to Heart transmissions during the courses in Hawaii. I learned so much to grasp what is “practical”, “direct” and “cost effective”. These are only words expressing how to flow in life in a way that transformations are possible. Thank you for the beyond thought transmission. I am truly amazed that what Sigung shared and showed is very high level teachings. The highlight for me is the speed of zen and how essential it is to stay aware and present to what will be effective to the point and to “zero”. From my heart, thank you, Sigung for making me aware of the essential vitality in the flow and how it can increase the flow. Thank you for the “zero” and how generous and forgiving True Zen is. Everything is changing with the perceptions I received during these courses. It is truly amazing and magical how quickly the transformations manifested.

                            I wish to thank all the attendees in the courses for making this trip extra special. I am truly amazed at the creativity and flowing zen of the speeches. I feel inspired by the glowing confidence and trust coming from resources within from those who participated.

                            The Umbrella course was a “hidden” treasure! I so enjoyed the course and found the skills and application of techniques an opportunity to take my skills to the next level.

                            I wish to thank Anthony Sipak and Chris for organizing and planning the Hawaii Fantasy of Zen. Thank you for the opportunity to see Hawaii in a way that would never be possible without the Shaolin Family. It went from Cosmic Showers to gifts of Umbrella!

                            With Gratitude and Respect,



                            • #15
                              Thank you for sharing your experiences, the courses sound absolutely amazing.
                              This always makes one wish to be able to attend all of Sifu's courses, but luckily, they are all always amazing!

                              Thank you for the inspiration. Especially the"going through life without thoughts" sound like something I'd love to master.

                              Best wishes,

                              Nessa Kahila
                              Shaolin Nordic Finland