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The 18 Lohan Hands

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  • The 18 Lohan Hands

    The 18 Lohan Hands
    Description: This is a continuing thread. Everyone can share their experiences, ask questions, paste in links, benefits, quotes, success stories and further information on this set of exercises
    May all beings be happy!

  • #2
    This is a summary illustration of the 18 Lohan Hands. It is the version (yes, there are different versions) taught in Shaolin Wahnam. Listing them:
    Lifting the Sky
    Shooting Arrows
    Plucking Stars
    Rotating (or turning) Head
    Punching with Angry (or Fierce) Eyes (aka Thrust Punch)
    Carrying the Moon
    Nourishing Kidneys
    Three Levels to the Ground
    Dancing Crane
    Carrying Mountains
    Drawing Knife
    Presenting Claws
    Pushing Mountain(s)
    Separating Water
    Big Windmill
    Deep Knee Bending (or Deep Squatting)
    Rotating (or Turning) Knees

    There are more poetic (or complete) names of some of the exercises, too.
    Sifu Andrew Barnett
    Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland -

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    • #3
      Dear family,

      I especially enjoy exercises from the 18 Lohan Hands for my daily practise. We learn the best right at the start: Entering Zen, Smiling from the Heart and Lifting The Sky to generate an energy flow. Over the years, this has remained my absolute favorite exercise despite a wide range of others I have learned.

      It continues to amaze me how many things this exercise can be used for with appropriate skills.

      Do you have any interesting stories that stuck in your memory with Lifting The Sky?

      All the best and a big smile,
      May all beings be happy

      Thank you.


      • #4
        Dear Steffen,

        Lifting the Sky is a wonderful technique, even at the physical level. Correcting posture and overall energy flow are some of the wonderful benefits it brings us.

        One story comes to my mind.

        Some years ago i used to enjoy long walks. During some of this hikes, and for fun, after walking for a while i stopped and performed a few repetitions of Lifting the Sky at a physical level. The result was amazing, after perform the exercise and restart the walk i felt inmediately aligned and coordinated, my vitality refreshed and a very confortable sensation of lightness and ease in my legs. The best part was that every single time i repeated the procedure i got the benefits.

        Best regards,



        • #5
          Dear Ángel Sisookgung,

          thank you very much for your reply! Just reading it reminds me of wonderful times on long walks which I also enjoy thoroughly.

          I shall continue with a story of myself with Lifting The Sky. When I took my medical exams a couple of years ago, my whole being was in a state of relative exhaustion and confusion. I vividly remember that I came home after the final oral examination not knowing what to do with myself. Then I remembered the treasure: Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung with my favorite pattern! Just 10-15 minutes of Lifting The Sky followed by a Chi Flow left me feeling relaxed, contented and focused so I could enjoy the celebratory dinner with my friends.


          With gratitude and wonder,
          May all beings be happy

          Thank you.


          • #6
            Lifting The Sky (LTS)was the first ( and favoured) of The 18 Lohan Hands (18LH )that i learned in 1997 .Since then , daily (only about 10 minutes !)practise is as taught by Sifu ( Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit ) , mainly for the need to maintain good health to support a professional and private way of life .

            LTS is a versatile dynamic chi kung (CK) pattern , not only for ones health needs but also for ones aspirations or whims & fancies !Sharing my experiences , experiments and opinions on LTS.

            LTS is favorite because it's Form (Technique) can be used to operate various Skills (Force) to gain many Benefits .

            Benefits : maintaining health & increasing vitality for work & play , self healing , flushing out negative chi backflow from clinic patients , protective chi shield against negative energy from environment & diseased beings,improved mental clarity for problem solving , better kung fu (KF)for combat efficiency ,improved will power to walk the morality talk , better relaxation & mental focus to support sitting meditation for spiritual cultivation ,etc...and with God’s Grace achieving the absolute equanimity of Zen

            Skills(Force)… may be general or specialised . LTS form is mainly to generate a genealised energy flow ( GEF ).The LTS form can also be used to attain the general skills of one-pointed mind , to relax , to send chi to various parts of body , to massage internal organs ,to increase internal force at dantian . LTS form can also be used to operate the specialised skills of bone marrow cleansing (BMC), dantian breathing , reversed breathing , small universal flow , 5 dantian breathing , medical big universe flow , spiritual big universe flow , expanding into the Cosmos , merging into the Cosmos .

            ..even to Qing-gong ( Art of Lightness) : during breathing in arm up-swing , chi rises to the chest to levitate , especially with ad-hoc lifting of heels. Also when arm down-swing when breathing out , chi propels forwards and upwards jet propulsion or phoenix flapping wings to fly !

            Form (Jing):It is not accidental that the LTS form is similar in parts to the other 18LH , eg Carrying The Moon ,Separating Water ,Big Windmill ,Turning Head etc. LTS form also overlap with some Sinew Metamorphosis (SM)pattern ( eg Flicking Fingers ) , some special internal force training pattern ( eg Forceful Big Windmill), the bird pattern of Hua Tuo’s 5 Animal Play , Big Boss Lifts Bronze
            Vessel of 18 Lohan Art and some KF techniques( eg lift hand , side jab with tip of palm , press down with hand )! The number of deliberate ways to move our body ( axis of torso-neck-head with 4 limbs ) is finite , hence no surprise that there is form-overlap among the various CK arts .

            The Generator or Dynamo Analogy ( remember the olden day bicycle ..where rotating wheel moves the dynamo to generate electric power for light ? ) :
            Past masters discovered that moving the human physical form affects internal human chi and external cosmic chi ( ie jing affects chi and vice versa ).Various specific deliberate physical motions generate specific energy flux ( in meridian lines and dantian/energy fields ) , hence the plethora of CK and KF forms serving various energy needs . On the other hand , various internal energy flux ( through various breathing skills and breathing structures and sounds ) generate visible physical movement , variously from subtle to vigorous ( ie chi affects jing and vice versa ). And in the hands of a master , the mind ( shen) is the ochestra maestro of jing and chi symphony .

            Now the LTS-Dynamo analogy : Repetetively moving limbs is akin to the rotating wire-coil . The external cosmic chi is akin to stator magnet-magnetic field complex . When a conductor cuts through a magnetic field ( or vice versa , when a moving magnetic field moves across a static conductor ), an electrical flow is induced . The generated current in conducting wire is analagous to generated energy flow in the body . The lighted bicycle bulb is the benefit just as GEF brings you many benefits .The CK practitioner who has mastered the Art of CK is somewhat like a technologist who utilizes electromagnetic science for everyday benefits .

            LTS is wonderful …it can in fact be used to operate all the skills contained in the legacy of our Shaolin Patriarch , The Venerable Bodhidharma , namely 18 LH , BMC , SM & Zen !

            Damian Kissey
            Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .


            • #7
              Generator Dynamo.png
              Damian Kissey
              Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .


              • #8
                Dear Sisookgung,

                this is marvellous. Thank you very much for your profound and inspiring insights! Mind blown

                Best regards from Germany,
                May all beings be happy

                Thank you.


                • #9
                  As of this Saturday, I am teaching a 12-hr Eighteen Lohan Hands course. One of the wonderful benefits I have found through teaching these set of 18 exercises is the opportunity to revisit them as a beginner, intermediate and advanced level of practice.

                  As Sifu has written, the order starts with general chi flow and activates meridians for subsequent chi flow to specific parts of the body, working from the head, down the body, to the legs. Every part of the body is involved.

                  At the level of form, they are a wonderful set of physical exercises, helping to release held tensions, increase strength, balance and flexibility.
                  At the level of mind, they improve clarity, focus and mental stamina.
                  At the level of energy, they can be used for cleansing, building and nourishing.
                  And, they can also be used for the highest spiritual attainment.

                  They can also be used as an entry point and bridge to more advanced energy practices and are suitable for all level practitioners.

                  Within the exercises is already methods for Sinew Metamorphosis, and Bone Marrow Cleansing, as well as helping break through the small universe flow.

                  Take the first movement in Lifting the Sky, where the palms gently press to the ground, fingers pointing towards each other. Do this at the relaxed level, then release on the out-breath without going to the rest of the form, and you would have generated a lot of energy, like in Sinew Metamorphosis.

                  There are many energy secrets hidden within the forms.

                  These are just a few reasons I still love the Eighteen Lohan Hands.

                  With kindness

                  Tim Franklin

                  A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

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