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Cosmos Palm - additional techniques?

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  • Cosmos Palm - additional techniques?

    Sifu has a number of variations of how to generate the Cosmos Palm in his books. From what I understand from the Q&A in this forum, during the dedicated course a combination of Forceful Big Windmill and Pushing Mountains was used. For people who did the course, is it also worth subsequently adding the additional forms as described in "The Complete Book of Shaolin" which are (a) holding the arms straight out in front, palms facing forwards, for an extended period, then (b) turning the arms over and holding them in the "Carrying Sun and Moon" position, also for an extended period and then (c) bringing the upright palms to the side of your body and holding them there for an extended period, before then (d) standing in the Cosmos Stance and meditating, feeling the force accumulating in the palms?
    Last edited by RDBoucher; 16th June 2020, 01:01 PM.
    Kind regards,
    David

  • #2
    Disclaimer: I attended the Cosmos Palm course, but only practice it occasionally. Hopefully, others who have made it a focus in their training will also chime in.

    It's worth keeping in mind that, as a general rule:

    1) Sifu's most recent instructions trump older instructions
    2) Sifu's in-person instructions trump instructions in his books

    I'm not trying to dismiss your questions -they are good ones-, just setting the context.
    The video of the Cosmos Palm set shows the force-training routine Sifu taught at the course. Here's a link to the page: https://www.shaolin.org/shaolin/kung...alm/video.html. I've (hopefully) embedded the video below.

    I remember doing the things that you describe on the course, but they weren't as important as other aspects of the Cosmos Palm training. I don't want to go into too much detail since the full method isn't meant to be public. My experience so far is that the Cosmos Palm training generates so much internal force in the palms and throughout the body that doing things to further consolidate the force in the palms often feels ridiculous/unnecessary. That might be a result of improved and in-person teaching vs. book instructions. It might also be due to my current level, and my experience might change if I train it consistently over time.

    Chris Didyk
    Shaolin Wahnam USA


    Thank You.

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    • #3
      Hi David!

      Great timing! I asked Sifu the same questions, and his answers are currently posted on the Q&A for May and June 2020.

      My own, personal takeaway is that skills are the goal. For Cosmos Palm the skills needed are flowing force in the arms and the ability to consolidate force in the palms. The techniques help take the general chi kung skills of flowing and consolidating and apply them to the arms and hands. The techniques and sequence of practice are not set in stone.

      In the story, as I recall it, of Sifu learning Cosmos Palm, he started with Pushing Mountains for some time, and then added Forceful Big Windmill. But I do not know if Sifu learned the static postures from Sigung, or developed them on his own.

      -Matt

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      • #4
        https://www.shaolin.org/answers/ans20a/may20-3.html

        https://www.shaolin.org/answers/ans20a/jun20-1.html

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        • #5
          Thanks for the great advice, Chris and Matt. I look forward to (hopefully) more answers in the Q&A too.
          Kind regards,
          David

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          • #6
            I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank my siheng Matt again for his stellar efforts in convincing Sifu to teach the Cosmos Palm course and to reiterate what my other siheng, Chris, mentioned regarding the hierarchy of instruction. Cosmos Palm is an amazing art; I've not fully succeeded at the skills, but it is absolutely something I'll be carrying to my grave.

            As an interesting aside, you can see how Sifu's teaching and description of Cosmos Palm training has changed over the years.
            • Sifu's description of how he was taught Cosmos Palm by Sigung Ho involved spending some time on Pushing Mountains, followed by Forceful Big Windmill.
            • In one book, The Art of Chi Kung: Making the Most of your Vital Energy, describes the use of Abdominal Breathing, Pushing Mountains, and static postures. This book explicitly states that it is only a part of the training methods. As an aside, this is probably my favorite book on chi kung ever written.
            • Sifu's other book on chi kung, Chi Kung For Health and Vitality, describes a variety of arts used in chi kung and kung fu to enhance power, including Pushing Mountains.
            • In another book, The Complete Book of Shaolin, an important point is made regarding how Small Universe is the foundation of Cosmos Palm, as well as the use of Abdominal Breathing. Interestingly, the book talks about training Forceful Big Windmill first, followed by Pushing Mountains as well as static postures.
            • There is a very fun video from the 1980s showing some of Sifu's students demonstrating their Cosmos Palm force. You can see them generating an energy flow and focusing their power to achieve feats such as slashing bamboo balanced atop tofu blocks without pulverizing the tofu as well as grinding bricks to dust with their hands.
            • For the Cosmos Palm course in 2016, Sifu crystallized the essence of his Cosmos Palm force and combat application knowledge and skills into the Cosmos Palm set; when I practice Cosmos Palm, I practice the way I was taught at the course. At the course, I was able to replicate the feat of slashing a sugar cane balanced on top of eggs (though not perfectly; one of the eggshells got a little cracked). I was not able to successfully break a brick like some others.
            Sifu and all other great masters give us students the best answers for our needs, means, and aspirations, which is even more important for advanced training like Cosmos Palm, hence why different folks might have learnt different things at different times. Enjoy your training!
            I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.

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