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March 2021 Personal Progress

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  • March 2021 Personal Progress

    Dear family,

    Please take a moment to reflect on your practice and share whatever you like about it how it's going. Here are some questions to consider:

    * How do you currently feel about your practice?
    * What progress have you noticed recently?
    * Has your practice caused any notable recent changes to your daily life?
    * Has your practice brought you any notable insights recently?
    * What are your current objectives/goals? How is your progress going on them?
    * What have you been practicing?
    Chris Didyk
    Shaolin Wahnam USA


    Thank You.

  • #2
    Dear family,

    My practice has changed recently. I have had some cleansing through my neck and shoulders, so I adjusted my practice to be mostly chi kung and gentle flowing force training. It is getting better all the time, and I am gently and gradually starting to ramp my practice back up, making sure to stay well within my means (i.e. raising the floor rather than the ceiling). My current primary objective is to help this cleansing pass. I will re-evaluate my objectives when I am ready to resume full training.

    Before that, I started to work on the plum flower sabre. It has been some time since I did weapon practice, and, other than learning and practicing the set itself, I haven't done much with the plum flower sabre. So I started re-claiming the first half of the set, and have been tinkering with one-step applications to form a sort of "8 basic sabre patterns" like how we have the 8 basic hand patterns in Shaolin Kungfu. For fun and balance (and because I'm left-handed), I've been practicing the sabre on both sides

    I have also learned that 15 minutes of One Finger Shooting Zen everyday is too much for me right now. After maybe three days in a row, I consistently start to feel uncomfortably charged up, and my intuition and body tell me I should back off. Managing my force-training with a balance of flowing and consolidated methods has worked well, though, as I've been able to practice consistently without over-training.

    I have found it helpful to think in terms of low-speed, half-speed, and full-speed rather than threat levels 1, 2, and 3. Especially when doing flowing force training or applying the flow method. If I always build up to flowing as fast as I can, it is easy to over-train. But by regulating the amount of flow by setting my intention to low-speed, half-speed, or full-speed, I can practice within what I can handle. I use this when doing sets like the Wudang Three Harmony set or sequences. While the over-training by doing everything full-speed might be obvious, I have also noticed that doing too much low-speed training and not enough at full-speed sometimes leads to my general chi flow becoming a little sluggish/stagnant. Doing a little bit of full-speed training then really gets it flowing nicely

    In terms of what I have been practicing leading up to this cleansing episode, it has mostly been:
    - 16 basic Shaolin sequences
    - 12 basic Taijiquan sequences
    - Cloud Hands + Grasping Sparrow's Tail (and the Cloud Hands set)
    - One Finger Shooting Zen a couple of times a week
    - Zhan Zhuang cycle once a week
    - Baguazhang Circle-walking/8 Mother Palms
    - the first parts of some of the Four Gates sequences
    - Wudang Three Harmony set
    - Plum Flower Sabre
    - Small Universe
    - Green Dragon Shoots Pearl and Fierce Dragon Across Stream many times in-place and/or while moving around
    - Walking forwards and backwards in 4-6 with Single Palm Changes/Four Fingers to Sky
    - Chi Kung/Standing Zen


    Everyday, my kungfu feels a little bit more alive, a little bit more fluid and powerful, and a little better, so regardless of my progress on individual objectives, I am happy with my progress.
    Chris Didyk
    Shaolin Wahnam USA


    Thank You.

    Comment


    • #3
      Dear Sisookgung, dear family,

      than you very much for persistently sharing your insights and giving us the opportunity to share. I always learn from reading your posts and often find interesting similarities to my own experiences.

      My current practise has remained Dragon Strength with added staff training a couple of times a week. I am very happy with my progress. What is most noticable for me is a greater ease, flow and enjoyment of daily life. Of course, during formal practise my form, flow, force and speed get better. I also notice that my footwork has improved and I am more flexible (both physically and mentally).

      But even more importantly, I begin to have an idea of Sitaigung's comment that "Dragon Strength is very useful not just for kungfu but for daily life." (https://shaolin.org/general-2/dragon...trength08.html). Where I tended to get stuck - mostly mentally - in the past, I now find it easier to let go and flow. Smiling from the heart feels even more relaxed and natural. In dealing with others, I now prefer to softly flow along rather than being confrontational. This makes things easier for both myself and others and is especially useful with our two year old toddler. Last but not least, my speed at work and the results have improved.

      Another interesting insight has been a deeper understanding of inter-being. It used to be an abstract concept for me which I supposed to be true but found it hard to understand by experience. As my mind becomes a bit more calm, I realize how much my own happiness and wellbeing depends on the happiness and wellbeing of those around me. This is something very concrete and a useful guideline for choices in daily life.

      As for my current objectives and goals, I aim to smile more and follow the Three Golden Rules as best as I can. As someone who used to be quite goal driven in the past, this is a wonderful remedy for traits of bull headedness I tend to exhibit.

      How about others? Please also share and don't be shy. We can all learn from each other!

      With a big smile,
      Steffen
      May all beings be happy

      Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,


        Thanks for sharing your Personal Progress. It serves as great inspiration. :-)

        * How do you currently feel about your practice?

        I feel much more balanced in comparison with previous years. I reduced significantly the intensity of my training and I feel much better. I found to be useful the advice of "Less is more".

        * What progress have you noticed recently?

        The progress I feel more significant I attribute to my weekly Cosmic Shower practice. I notice that I am more connected with the Cosmos and my intuitive mind feels more alive. Because of that, I also feel more connected with my heart.

        Another aspect that I feel significant is my mental clarity. I can see things of myself that I could not see before. For example, areas that I need to work on and also the good things in me.

        * Has your practice caused any notable recent changes to your daily life?

        Because of those significant changes, I have noticed that the way I interact with others and the world has changed. I feel that my righteousness is more alive. Meaning that I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Even if that means that some people around me might not agree with what I do. I have more courage to follow what my conscience dictates.

        * Has your practice brought you any notable insights recently?

        In Sifus's words: "When one is accomplished in the genuine Shaolin arts, it is better than changing stones to gold by touch".

        * What are your current objectives/goals? How is your progress going on them?

        Become very confident with the 12 combat sequences. Meaning that I want to know them very well so I can start some training practice doing variations (Like adding patterns, subtracting patterns, ...)

        Training Form-Flow-Force. I notice that my movements are still a bit clumsy and are not following the 6 harmonies.

        * What have you been practicing?

        Regarding my practice. It hasn't changed much in the past 3 months.

        I practice Chi Kung every day in the evening. Usually 18 Lohan Hands and then vigorous Chi Flow. On Sundays, I practice Cosmic Shower and Saturdays sometimes I train Mental Clarity.

        Regarding Tai Chi Chuan, I practice 2-3 times per week and I focus on Grasping Sparrow and the 12 Combat Sequences. I practice once or twice a week the art of flexibility in order to keep more agile and flexible.


        With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

        Santi

        Comment


        • #5
          Dear Family,

          My usual pracitse of the 12 Tai Chi Chuan sequences and five elemental fists Xingyiquan for the moment has been put on hold.
          Due to an accident I had with my bike and an injury I got from it.

          So for now I am only practising Self Manifested Chi Flow.
          To which I can happily report a very speedily recovery. So will be back to my usual practise in the coming days.

          Thanks to everyone who has shared what they're are practising. It's always lovely to read other peoples experiences here on the forum.

          Happy training,

          Shaolin Salute,
          Brendan

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear Brendan Sisookgung,

            all the best and a speedy recovery for you! I am sure everything will be fine again very soon.


            Dear Santi Sisookgung,

            thank you for sharing your insights. I especially enjoy your nice instagram-Account https://www.instagram.com/sifu_santi/ and the wonderful reminders for us to smile from the heart.


            Kindest rergards from Germany,
            Steffen
            May all beings be happy

            Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dear all,

              Thank you brothers for sharing your inspiring posts, it is great to know about you and your training. My best thoughts to your fast recovery Brendan.

              My practice of Cotton Palm has continued along these months in relation with Dragon Strength and Small Universe which was my main practice before i started Cotton Palm Training last August. Every training day is different and the arts are very versatile so i can adjust different approaches and enjoy different benefits in relation to daily, monthly and yearly needs.

              Some months ago i re-started the practice of Iron Plank Bridge. Even at the first stages it feels very powerful so I'm taking this training gradually to avoid overtraining.

              Since February Paz and i are training together a selection of the 16 Shaolin Combat Sequences and 12 Taijiquan Combat Sequences. Some days we include in our practice a combat sequence from other set or style like Wuzuquan. Again, it is very interesting to see how everyday is different and offer different ways to improve and enjoy the practice. It's really a blessing, i can feel how our practice protect and enrich us in multiple ways.

              My current goals are to continue deepening in the selected arts via daily practice and to enrich daily personal, profesional and social life.

              Warmest regards,

              Ángel




              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Steffen View Post
                Dear Brendan Sisookgung,

                all the best and a speedy recovery for you! I am sure everything will be fine again very soon.


                Dear Santi Sisookgung,

                thank you for sharing your insights. I especially enjoy your nice instagram-Account https://www.instagram.com/sifu_santi/ and the wonderful reminders for us to smile from the heart.


                Kindest rergards from Germany,
                Steffen
                Thank you Sijatsoon for your kind words. I am glad that you like the posts reminders of Smiling from the Heart :-)

                With Shaolin Salute,

                Santi

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Chris,

                  You have a great routine, very inspiring!
                  I have been feeling unproductive and lacking focus , the last few day. So, I have been practising the Dragon Strength Set each morning. The turn around was immediate, from the first day, I rolled through the day getting through things i need to get done, one after the other in a relaxed focused manner. Of course still energised at the end of the day. I have recently stopped my nightly Chi Kung practise as I find it hard to get to sleep.
                  It is such an incredible set!

                  Blue Skies,
                  Steve.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Steffen,

                    I totally relate to softly flowing being gentler on those around us, especially toddlers! For some reason yelling direct, logical solutions at them doesn't work so well!

                    We've probably all noticed that we have to control our force when dealing with others. When I use too much force, I find that it often comes across as abrasive. It usually results in me getting "my way", but it comes at the cost of leaving others feeling resentful, as though I have forced them into it. This is especially problematic when what I really want is to collaborate on the best solution we can find, which certainly isn't always the one I initially suggest. If I lower my force to an appropriate level (usually "gently flowing"), I find it becomes a more collaborative "we're all on the same side" approach resulting in better outcomes that all parties support and are invested in.

                    Who knew that people naturally respond better to a Taijiquan approach than a Triple Stretch one?

                    --

                    Hi Santi,

                    That Cosmic Shower practice sounds awesome! I don't often practice Cosmic Shower intentionally, but I find it naturally happens in my practice quite regularly where my chi flow is more flowingly still and my body is completely filled with what feels like a gentle drizzle of chi. So nice! With your skill level and experience (and from your description), I'm sure your Cosmic Shower is incredibly powerful!

                    I would love to hear how you like to practice the 12 basic Taijiquan sequences. Would you mind sharing?

                    --

                    Hi Brendan,

                    How is your healing going? Have you been able to resume your regular training?

                    --

                    Hi Angel,

                    Cotton Palm plus Dragon Strength, Small Universe, and Iron Plank sounds really powerful! It's great that you have found ways to focus your training on a handful of things while still finding ways to keep it fresh and alive. Would you mind sharing a couple of examples of the ways you change up your training?

                    --

                    Hi Steve,

                    I have also had to reduce my practice to one session a day or it gets to be too much. Interestingly, it doesn't much matter whether that session is morning or evening, but when it's in the evening, I naturally tend to keep my session smaller than in the morning.

                    How do you like to practice the Dragon Strength set? Do you just do the set once or are there other ways you like to train it?

                    --

                    Isn't it interesting how all of us report significant spiritual progress? I have noticed this in my students, too. I have a hypothesis that in our school, progress in the Shaolin Arts requires that we also progress as people. Maybe it is because triple cultivation is so ingrained in how we practice or maybe there's another reason. But I have observed many instances in myself and others where hitting a plateau in training is only bypassed after making a deep change as a person (i.e. making progress on a spiritual blockage).

                    One of the many beautiful aspects of the Shaolin Arts is that it gives us both the force and the tools to make such changes in the first place. Another is that we can make the change in our daily lives and let it affect our kung fu or we can make the change in our kung fu and let it affect our daily lives.


                    Chris Didyk
                    Shaolin Wahnam USA


                    Thank You.

                    Comment

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