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Cultivating Spirit, Training Energy: Embodying the Wisdom of Zhang San Feng

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  • Cultivating Spirit, Training Energy: Embodying the Wisdom of Zhang San Feng

    Dear Family,

    We’ve now completed day 3 of the Cultivating Spirit, Training Energy course in Penang, and I wanted to post something about it here.

    For some time now, the Fully Alive team of Sifu Tim and Sifu Barry have been following in the footsteps of Zhang San Feng, with Sifu’s support and guidance. Along the way they have been asking questions about the great Zhang San Feng, his arts and training methods, and the nature of his achievement.

    This course is the culmination of those efforts and addresses how to develop cosmic awareness, using not just the arts historically associated with Zhang San Feng but whatever arts Sifu believes are the most suitable—including arts already within our Shaolin Wahnam curriculum and those not previously introduced.

    What would you need to attain cosmic awareness and to integrate that awareness into your daily life in a practical way? The elements, as I’ve absorbed them so far, are powerful internal force to break through our limited perception, the ability to remain grounded in our lives as we proceed on this journey, and a strong Zen attainment to help us navigate any challenges that come up.

    Sifu has taught elements of spiritual cultivation in many different courses, but as far as I know, this is the first time he has drawn together those different strands, and in the process he’s offering us a new perspective and some exciting new tools to work with.

    There's lots more to say, but I'll leave you with that for now.

    Thanks to Tim and Barry for their extensive preparation for this course, to the other participants for asking awesome questions, and to Sifu for sharing these extraordinary arts.

    All best,

  • #2
    Dear all,

    this course is wonderful! I will post more after having digested it for a bit.

    Thank you very much to all involved, especially Sitaigung and Sisookgungs Tim and Barry.

    With love,
    May all beings be happy

    Thank you.


    • #3
      Embodying The Wisdom of Zhang San Feng ...
      regardless of race , culture , gender or religion .

      Zhang San Feng was a Taoist priest , who later graduated from the Buddhistic Shaolin Temple in China , having embodied the Shaolin Arts which originated from a former Indian Prince-turned-monk Bodidharma .

      Enjoying the christian spirit of Christmas with our dear Grandmaster at Copthorne Hotel , Penang ( the course venue )
      Damian Kissey
      Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .


      • #4
        During the course we learn to cultivate spirit and train energy ( or chi ) :

        To train-build chi , we need heaven chi ( cosmic energy from breathing ) plus grain chi ( energy from food & drinks) which is then transformed into usable energy in our body with the help of Fire chi ( from Heart energy system ) and Water chi ( Kidney energy system ) .

        Our dear Grandmaster and course organisers ( Sifus Barry & Tim ) foraging grain chi while continuosly imbibing heaven chi with presence of mind (or spirit) somewhere in the Cosmos in the phenomenal realm called Penang
        Damian Kissey
        Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .


        • #5
          Sifu touched on the topic of training energy and someone also asked about absorbing ground energy during this course ..

          Quoted from

          " It is better to wear shoes when practicing chi kung. Ground energy is not good for human, and if you don't wear shoes and practice on the floor or open ground, ground energy may seep into you and this can be harmful.

          But if you practice above the ground, or with carpet covering the ground, you may practice bare-footed if you find it more comfortable.

          This philosophy is different from New Age philosophy which recommends going about bare-footed so as to absorb earth energy. They call this being rooted.

          In chi kung, being rooted is the reverse. It is energy flowing from a practitioner's body down into the ground. Energy flowing upward is floating.

          It is unfortunate that many people in the West regard chi kung, or debased chi kung gymnastics, as New Age. Genuine chi kung is not New Age, it is very ancient.

          Ground energy is not suitable for humans, who are built for cosmic energy. You feel pleasant when going up a mountain where cosmic energy is abundant. Going underground where ground energy is plentiful is unpleasant. Ground energy is suitable for other beings like ants, bats, snakes, ghosts and lower spirits.

          In chi kung philosophy, ground energy is different from grain energy, which may be translated as earth energy in Western culture. We obtain grain energy from food. Plants change ground energy into grain energy which is good for us.

          With good functioning of our heart and kidneys we use cosmic energy from heaven and grain energy from earth in the ratio of 80 : 20 % to make vital energy. In chi kung terminology, this process is described in an arcane manner as using fire and water, we transform heaven energy and earth energy into vital energy. "

          Last edited by Damian Kissey; 6 December 2018, 01:12 AM.
          Damian Kissey
          Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .


          • #6
            I feel so blessed to be involved in this course. Really enjoying the company of all of the wonderful people here and Sifu's marvellous teaching. Currently difficult to explain in words but gradually forming provisionally
            Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
            Chi Kung & Tai Chi Chuan in the UK Fully Alive
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            • #7
              Feeling blessed to be on this course.

              I booked the course, hotel and flights back in March and have been super excited ever since. The course is already over delivering.

              The highlight for me so far is using abdominal breathing and heel/toe breathing (which was new to me) in 5 Dan Tien training to generate enormous and grounded, yet expansive energy.

              Thank you Sifu for this beautiful course.

              Thank you Sihengs Barry and Tim for preparing us so well over the last 18 months.

              Thank you brothers and sisters for your friendship, questions and stimulating conversation.

              ... and still 2 days yet to come... !
              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.


              • #8
                This really has been a wonderful course so far. Sifu is teaching, what for many is incomprehensible poetry, and Sifu is doing it in the most simplest and direct way.

                For a long time I read books and articles on spiritual teachings, but I was unable to grasp or put into practice, on an everyday level, what was being passed on by these great teachers.

                Then Sifu kindly taught the Legacy of Zhang San Feng at the UK Summer Camp. It was at this point something woke up, and things became more obvious. Barry and I continued to discuss the teachings of Zhang San Feng and how the ‘extraordinary’ could be received as the ‘ordinary’.

                At this point I think it worth saying that even the things that appear to be ordinary for us now are actually extraordinary. The simplest things can bring extraordinary joy. Like meeting and talking to others, taking a cup of coffee with our friends in Coffee Lane, or a simple nod of appreciation to another.

                Sifu really is making this so simple…Take for instance this morning’s lesson. Sifu taught us to train Lifting the Sky to achieve a ‘one pointed mind’ and ‘no mind’. Simple!

                We have been practicing how to remain grounded, and expanded at the same time. Something very useful when it is so easy to just disappear with these arts.

                Sifu has also been teaching how to experience and benefit from these arts ‘Here and Now’. Something very important in living an enriching and meaningful life ‘Here and Now’.

                Thank you Sifu.
                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

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                • #9
                  Thank you Sifu Micheal Simon for opening this conversation,

                  I am new to this forum, hence a short introduction about myself;

                  My shaolin cosmos Chi Kung training started roughly a year ago with Sifu Tim Franklin and Sifu Barry Smale. Since I have been enjoying my practice on a daily basis and with great benifit.

                  I have recieved great direction from both my Sifu’s to participate in this weeks course, enabling a smooth and enjoyable experience.

                  This course for me confirms a clear pathway to being and ejoying daily living, navigating through different realities and experiencing them sometimes simultaneously.

                  I feel very welcomed by the Wanham family and I want to express my graditute to the openess and kindness of each individual, as it is such an enjoyable space to be in and it gives me great joy to be alive. I am looking forward spending the time, continuing with the Shaolin Chi Kung and to start with Kung Fu and Taijiquan.

                  Special thanks to Sigung for having laid a solid foundation. The place we can grow from, enjoy Chi flow and eventually merge with the cosmos - and come back ofcourse, hehe!




                  • #10
                    Thank you for this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to Sigung for the great gift of his extraordinary teachings, and the huge impact they have had on my life, and to Sifu Tim and Sifu Barry for so skilfully and gently opening the golden door. I strive to put my increasing capacities to good use. Every good wish, Katherine


                    • #11
                      Dear all,

                      A truly wonderful course and I consider myself very blessed to be here receiving the transmission from Sifu.

                      We are now halfway through day 4 and have covered so much material in a very short space of time.

                      3/5 Dan Tien, Abdominal & Heel breathing, Cotton Palm and Dragon force training are some of the methods used so far. Attaining a one-pointed and no-mind, expanding beyond the physical body to merge with cosmos are some of the results.

                      Each training session has been powerful and so direct and effective that to avoid over training they are usually finishing within half the time, even with all the helpful questions and words of wisdom from Sifu.

                      Thanks also for the compassion and words of support to Parveen and myself from our brothers and sisters.

                      With immense gratitude,

                      Once you know the map all routes become clear.

                      — Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit


                      • #12
                        This is my 22nd (and last) course with Sifu for 2018 and, by far, it is the most immediately powerful. Sure, things are cumulative, so that is going to have something to do with my experience, but the material is incredibly personal for me. The material from Dragon Strength is so natural for me that is feels much more like a "remembering" than a "learning." It shall undoubtedly become a steady part of my force training for the time being. Yet, in spite of the immense power that these skills hold, the course is presented in a very relaxed manner, giving us tremendous time in the day to enjoy Penang and live in constant reminder that EVERY DAY is a beautiful day!!! My first introduction to Tai Ch Chuan was at the Practitioner's Course; so, the expanse of Zhang San Feng's teachings are timely for me, as I am on the eve of Reading The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan and learning Flowing Water Floating Clouds at Sifu's recommendation.

                        Thus, I would like to thank Siheng Tim & Siheng Barry for their efforts in making this possible and for allowing me to attend, even when I required special accommodation and registered rather last-minute.

                        Much love to all and I can't wait for the evening session in a few hours!



                        • #13
                          Engage and maintain joyful practice!

                          May all of you get the best benefits from what you do.

                          Anton Schmick
                          Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord



                          • #14
                            Dear all,

                            I'd like to express my gratitude to Sifu for helping us to very simply and efficiently improve our skills in important things like being able to forgive, have a clear or 1 pointed mind, ability to generate flowing or consolidated force, Being powerful and emotionally stable with 5 dantien training.

                            I love how the improvement is great in such short sessions. It makes the teaching very simple and clear.
                            It reminds me of 2 things: 1) the transmission is akin to an instant enlightenment experience of zen 2) preferring a dentist to take 5 minutes to remove a tooth rather than an hour for the same fee!

                            This has been leading to 30 hour days making full use of our strong currency "wholesomely?" and unnecessarily feasting on buffets, steamed paos, tambun biscuits and fruit juices etc. buying shining clothes which I may never wear and wandering around aimlessly filling my lungs and pores with exhaust fumes and cooking gases. ( I'm betting no one will read this in the mass of posts. Hahaha.)

                            ​​​​​Well we just expanded into the Cosmos, let's see what the last 3 sessions have for us!

                            Thank you again Sifu, and to Sihengs Tim and Barry for organising and the wahnam family for being there.

                            Best regards

                            Last edited by JasD; 6 December 2018, 09:13 AM.


                            • #15
                              the course is simply marvelous

                              Best regards