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Is practicing exercises necessary to overcome pain and illness?

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  • Is practicing exercises necessary to overcome pain and illness?

    At a certain point of one’s progress, students can enter chi flow directly without having to practice an exercise first. (Nowadays even fresh beginners get this skill transmitted in Sifu’s Generating Energy Flow courses…)

    We in Shaolin Wahnam know that it’s not the exercise, but the chi flow that clears blockages and therefore overcomes away and illness.

    So, in theory, there is no more need of exercising. Just entering chi flow regularly should be sufficient.

    BUT:
    It is still more effective to practice an exercise before entering chi flow! Even for masters who can tap energy from the cosmos and have the skill of directing chi to wherever they like.

    Why?

    Sifu had some fun with letting us guess the answer at the courses in Austria this year. Now it’s your turn to guess!

    I’m looking forward to your answers!

    Best wishes,
    o\

    Leo
    Sifu Leonard Lackinger

    Shaolin Treasure House

    Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House

  • #2
    Is it because the techniques themselves give benefits by affecting certain aspects of our energy systems?
    Shaolin Wahnam USA

    "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

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    • #3
      Maybe it works similarly to irrigation/water control. A river can be allowed to flow freely and provide water, but with tools like canals, dams and pumps it can be manipulated as necessary. A practitioner can allow their chi to flow freely and receive benefit, but with certain exercises it can be greatly enhanced as needed.

      Aqueously,

      Andrew
      Love, and do what you will.

      - St. Augustine

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      • #4
        My guess is that any high level Art like genuine Chi Kung has both internal and external aspects.

        If someone enters a hightened state of mind, or what we call, enters the Chi Kung state of mind he generates a chi flow. In our school it's quite common that students generate a chi flow just by that. I would say this generating is more an internal process, where by relaxation on all levels and a focussed mind the chi is circulating better.

        The other aspect is the external aspect or the physical appereance of form, like a chi kung technique for example like Lifting Sky. The external movements will lead into an enhanced flow of energy, cause movement activates the circulation.

        So an exercise which has an external appereance or technique helps the energy flowing better.

        Another aspect could be that the quality of chi flow is based on factors like the level of relaxation and mental focus one attains. An exercise like Lifting The Sky as an example may help a practitioner to loosen and open the muscles, tendons, joint and meridians more and more which will result into a enhanced chi flow. An external movement like our Chi Kung exercises may provide a great tool to focus the mind more and more. The better the mind is focussed and clear the better it affects the chi flow.
        "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

        Website: www.enerqi.ch

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        • #5
          The external forms give different kinds of chi flow which can then set a precedent as to how one would practice.

          Lifting the Sky can be practiced to induce a vigorous chi flow to eliminate illness and pain. At the mind level, it can also be practiced at a higher level to induce Cosmic Shower. The physical nature of the exercise gently opens the body and Baihui to the cosmic energy from above.

          Flicking Fingers can be practiced to induce a very vigorous chi flow to eliminate illness and pain. At the mind level, practicing Flicking Fingers to induce Cosmic Shower may not be wise since the energy generated is too powerful. The nature of the external movement may also not be conducive to generating a shower of energy from above.

          Best regards,
          Stephen

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          • #6
            It’s time to solve the riddle.

            Thanks to everyone for participating!


            Talking about a regular practitioner the cost-effectiveness is greatly enhanced by choosing an appropriate exercise for his current needs and aspirations.

            In this respect Andrew’s and Stephen’s answers are correct:

            A river can be allowed to flow freely and provide water, but with tools like canals, dams and pumps it can be manipulated as necessary. A practitioner can allow their chi to flow freely and receive benefit, but with certain exercises it can be greatly enhanced as needed.
            The external forms give different kinds of chi flow which can then set a precedent as to how one would practice.

            But a master with highly developed skills is able to generate a small universal flow or bone marrow cleansing, tap energy from the cosmos, have a cosmic shower or massage internal organs without practicing any exercise first. So, in theory, he could just tap the needed amount of energy and send it to his blockage.

            The question was why it is even better to practice an exercise for masters with these skills to overcome pain and illness. Overcoming illnesses is more of a theoretical subject for these masters as they should rarely occur, but for speeding up the curing of injuries, practice of lower level exercises like from the 18 Jewels followed by self-manifested chi-movement is still the best choice.

            Although being the least important factor, the physical movement is still an essential part of medical Chi Kung practice.

            David’s answer
            Is it because the techniques themselves give benefits by affecting certain aspects of our energy systems?
            is not very precise, but yes, they are affecting a certain aspect of our energy systems.

            Roland Siheng hit the nail on the head!
            An exercise like Lifting The Sky as an example may help a practitioner to loosen and open the muscles, tendons, joint and meridians more and more which will result into a enhanced chi flow.
            Often energy gets blocked in the muscles and joints. Especially at the knees it is often not the meridians being blocked, but the energy being stuck in the flesh around, that is causing pain. The physical movement of the exercises helps to release the blockage on this level.

            Sifu also explained that often pain is overcome by everyday tasks and gentle movements like walking, cleaning or washing the dishes, especially for non-practitioners. So every single movement one makes (without tension) results in an energy flow. The energy flow from everyday movements takes a lot of time and might not be strong enough to push through a bigger blockage, so practicing Chi Kung will greatly enhance the speed and power of the recovery.

            As a side note this also explains why Rotating Knees is helpful to people suffering from knee pain even when practiced on the level of form and why we are allowed to show it to them. Of course they would not gain the benefits of strengthening their kidney system and the holistic benefits of Chi Kung, but they have a good chance to overcome their knee pain.

            I raised the question here, because interestingly most initiated practitioners (including myself at the mentioned course) tend to think of highly sophisticated answers.

            But the answer is so simple: “It is the physical movement.”

            Best wishes,
            o\

            Leo
            Sifu Leonard Lackinger

            Shaolin Treasure House

            Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House

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            • #7
              But the answer is so simple: “It is the physical movement.”
              Haha Thx for sharing this.

              I usually start my morning practise with Lifting the Sky, but now I'm practising Old Monk Takes off Shoes from the 18 Lohan Arts.

              My chi flow is very much similar, although more vigorous at the start, but the exercise makes my legs feel great. And it works on my flexibility aswell.

              Best regards,
              Tim

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              • #8
                In his book "Chi Kung for Health and Vitality" Sifu mentions horizontal and vertical Chi flow induced by certain exercises (a selection of Lohan Hands introduced), and that it would be a good idea to here and there change the direction of Chi flow by choosing other exercises than those normally chosen. He also mentions that Chi sometimes doesn't follow the direction stimulated by an exercise ... which I am experiencing quite often.
                ... alles, alles, alles ist doch auf Liebe aufgebaut ..." (Ellen Auerbach, 1997)

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                • #9
                  Thanks for sharing this, solid, practical information that can be applied to improve one's daily practice.

                  Best wishes,
                  Nick

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                  • #10
                    This also explains for non practitioners why doing sports/fitness is healthy (or at least healthier than not doing anything). It allows the chi to flow (of course much less than in Chi Kung but still more than when you don't do anything). But of course if you over-excert or if you tense too much, sports/fitness has an adverse effect.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for sharing your thoughtful conclusion, Ronny!
                      Sifu Leonard Lackinger

                      Shaolin Treasure House

                      Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House

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                      • #12
                        Some time ago I was cotemplating about the intriguing question, what's the need of training Shaolin Kung Fu (or Tai Chi Chuan) for someone who's not interested in self-defence/the fighting aspect if he/she just can practise Chi Kung? I mean honestly, with our Chi Kung you have covered everything: radiant health, energy for daily activities, vitality, longevity, mental and spiritual development and a deep inner peace as well as other benefits. So, is there a reason to train Shaolin Kung Fu or Tai Chi Chuan if he/she has already everything he/she needs?

                        There are at least two main reasons Shaolin Kung Fu / Tai Chi Chuan can give you:

                        1. A very strong character which let you overcome ANY kind of obstacle and harship
                        2. More in line with this thread: The physical movements (in line with the energy flow) of Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan gives you vitality beyond imagination! You literarily feel you can rip out trees! You will feel yourself VERY youthful and reckless like a child. Try it, if you haven't, you will feel the difference!

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for revealing the answers!

                          I also recall another benefit that I think Sifu has mentioned somewhere about starting a practice session with physical movements first as a way to then entering chi flow/the silence. Namely, that this way of going about things actually helps to practitioner to make more timely progress in terms of experiencing direct chi flow and achieving fulfilling spiritual development, in a far more reliable way than some other approaches.

                          For example, a completely contrasting approach is where for each practice session the practitioner sits relatively still and attempts to "meditate" from the very start of their journey. While of course it is certainly possible to make progress in this way, all too often people can go for years in this manner and still not achieve any great results from their practice :-(

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ronny View Post
                            Some time ago I was contemplating about the intriguing question, what's the need of training Shaolin Kung Fu (or Tai Chi Chuan) for someone who's not interested in self-defence/the fighting aspect if he/she just can practise Chi Kung? I mean honestly, with our Chi Kung you have covered everything: radiant health, energy for daily activities, vitality, longevity, mental and spiritual development and a deep inner peace as well as other benefits. So, is there a reason to train Shaolin Kung Fu or Tai Chi Chuan if he/she has already everything he/she needs?

                            There are at least two main reasons Shaolin Kung Fu / Tai Chi Chuan can give you:

                            1. A very strong character which let you overcome ANY kind of obstacle and harship
                            2. More in line with this thread: The physical movements (in line with the energy flow) of Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan gives you vitality beyond imagination! You literarily feel you can rip out trees! You will feel yourself VERY youthful and reckless like a child. Try it, if you haven't, you will feel the difference!
                            I recall another comment by Sifu in a thread somewhere not too long ago. He was basically making the point that you could, if you liked, also perform any of the chi kung exercises purely as a physical exercise from time to time if you wanted to - just for fun!

                            And therein lies a possible third answer to your original question... :-)

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                            • #15
                              I do external kung fu sometime just for fun and it really gives some deeper insights but only if your usual training is internal like ours.

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