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  • The Ten Shaolin Laws

    Dear Guests and Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    It is my pleasure to open this thread on one of our most fundamental and cherished aspects of the Shaolin Teachings: the Ten Shaolin Laws. I would like to invite each and everyone of you to peruse the passage below and then to consider the following questions.

    For Shaolin Wahnam Family Members:

    How do these laws resonate for you, specifically in your shaolin training, and in your daily lives?

    For our Guests:

    Do you have a set of laws/code of conduct/set of ethics that you live by? If so, would you care to share them with us and how they have enhanced your quality of life?




    Preamble to the Ten Shaolin Laws

    The Ten Shaolin Laws are non-religious, and transcend all cultures and races, i.e. people of any culture and race would agree that they promote values that are worthy and desirable. Laws, in the Shaolin tradition, are not meant to be punitive or restrictive, but as practical means to help followers achieve set aims and objectives; in this case to help them attain the best possible results in practising Shaolin Kungfu for combat efficiency, joyful living, mind expansion, and spiriitual fulfilment.

    There is no legal biding on the Ten Shaolin Laws; one cannot be prosecuted in a law court if he breaks these laws. The binding is moral. But they are not forced upon the follower; the follower accepts them because he chooses to, because he believes they are helpful to him in his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual cultivation. If he breaks the laws, despite sufficient warnings, he may be asked to leave the Shaolin training, not as a punishment, but because the training is not suitable for him.



    THE TEN SHAOLIN LAWS



    1. Required to respect the master, honour the Moral Way and love fellow disciples as brothers and sisters.

    2. Required to train the Shaolin arts diligently, and as a pre-requisite, to be physically and mentally healthy.

    3. Required to be filial to parents, be respectful to the elderly, and protective of the young.

    4. Required to uphold righteousness, and to be both wise and courageous.

    5. Forbidden to be ungrateful and unscrupulous, ignoring the Laws of man and heaven.

    6. Forbidden to rape, molest, do evil, steal, rob, abduct or cheat.

    7. Forbidden to associate with wicked people; forbidden to do any sorts of wickedness.

    8. Forbidden to abuse power, be it official or physical; forbidden to oppress the good and bully the kind.

    9. Obliged to be humane, compassionate and spread love, and to realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people.

    10. Obliged to be chivalrous and generous, to nurture talents and pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples.

    Whether you are an instructor or a beginning student, whether you are a family member or a guest from another tradition, this invitation is extended out to all the members of this forum.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts and perspectives.


    Best wishes,


    Emiko Hsuen
    Emiko Hsuen
    www.shaolinwahnam.jp
    www.shaolinwahnam.ca

    INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
    Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
    4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
    Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
    Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
    Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
    Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
    To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org


  • #2
    true respect

    Thanks for getting this started, Si Je Emiko.

    Regarding the first of the Ten Shaolin Laws, I didn't fully understand the purpose of showing respect to the master until the recent Intensive Kungfu course that completed earlier this month in Sungai Petani. In the online Question and Answer, Sifu had repeatedly explained in some detail the reason for respecting the master is for the student's benefit, not the teachers. Although I understood when reading, I didn't fully get the knowledge until I met Sifu.

    In chi-kung, the physical posture of the practitioner affects the flow of chi both inside the body and between the two polarities of heaven and earth. When the physical posture is correct, the circuit between heaven and earth is completed and the chi will flow into and through the practitioner, thereby increasing his chi level.

    Similar to a physical posture, a mental attitude of respect allows for the knowledge to pass from the master to the student. Having the right attitude, having respect for your master, is necessary to understand the higher levels of learning your master can give to you. Without the right attitude, the circuit is broken, and the knowledge cannot flow to the student.

    My experience at the Intensive Kungfu Course on the very first day was remarkable. Sifu taught at the highest level I have ever experienced, and he did so with very little information. He said very little, in fact I can not recall what he said during the first session, but I felt that he was elevating my spirit, an effect that lasted all week. Without having respect for Sifu, I could not have received such high level teaching. Having such an experience of high level teaching, and feeling my spirit become elevated, made the entire course worthwhile. I would not have wanted to miss the experience because of the wrong kind of attitude.

    During the graduation dinner, Charles (Cha Muir) asked if any of Sifu's kungfu brothers from Sigung Ho's classes were still teaching, and Sifu said most people are not keen to teach. Charles knew the Ten Shaolin Laws and asked if they weren't obligated to teach. Sifu explained that it was he who codified the laws during his career as a teacher following an incident where one of his students broke what was the generally accepted code of conduct. It was a very interesting martial arts story that Sifu said he intended to write down and publish one day. The story showed what a generous man Sifu is, a quality that is obvious when you spend time with him.

    Michael
    Take kindness and benevolence as basis.
    Take frankness and friendliness to heart.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have been amazed recently how the 10 Shaolin Laws begin to resonate more deeply within you as your training develops.

      When I first started my Shaolin training I read the laws and understood them intelectually and thought 'now thats a way to live your life'. As my training has developed I have felt the essence of the laws to become more intuative and a feeling of them beginning to shine through more and more in every action in life. For example the way one stands, sits, eats and communicates with other people becomes for example more righteous, wise and courageous.

      I have deeply enjoyed the feeling of the laws being expressed through the heart and look forward to exploring how this develops. I have also found it very useful to take time to read them and let them sink in reguarly.

      Best wishes

      Comment


      • #4
        Greetings Si Jie Emiko

        I will try to answer as best I can, being a recent newcomer to Shaolin Wahnam Kung Fu.

        I believe that as one progresses further into Shaolin Wahnam training, he will gradually and inevitably come to embody the Ten Shaolin Laws. This is because, in my belief, our training opens up a person's heart and spirit, and as a result the person will become wiser and more compassionate. I myself have already felt some of the changes; I am more courageous and compassionate than before.

        In my daily life, I am more humble, appreciateve of others, and outgoing. I realize that there is still a long way for me to go, but at least I have taken the first step.

        In my Shaolin Kung Fu training, I realize that I must be gradual in my progress. Before, I would train to push my limits, focusing on time and achievement instead. However, now I realize that training diligently doesn't mean quantity, it means training according to your abilities, and improving gradually over time. A correct state of mind, free of pressure, is very important.

        Guan Yin's blessings.
        http://shaolinwahnammalaysia.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Emiko Sije,

          Thanks for the opportunity to think about this

          I was lucky. "Respecting the Master" was an attitude I made a decision to adopt before my first course with Sifu. When he walked in and said "Smile from the heart" it was easy at the time to be clear I had made a good decision. However, I also have a Tai Chi Chuan instructor who teaches Chi Kung. I began to worry about how I would follow both of their instructions. At times I felt guilty that I might not be doing "it"/this part of my life right. To complicate things I also met another master practising locally who practices healing chi kung. I went to see him for some specific ailments and found out he also taught another form of Chi Kung. For some time I went through doubts about what I should do. I now respect Sifu, Harry and Sifu Alex Wong. All of them have spent many years on a path of spiritual cultivation. I have made my decision to follow Sifu and learn from Harry and Sifu Alex Wong where it doesn't conflict with Sifu. I am clear with myself and other people about the decision I have made.

          I honour the Moral Way to the best of my ability and learn where I can. Step 10 of the AA program suggests "Continuing to take personal inventory and where wrong promptly admitting it". Recognising my struggles and difficulties as a normal human being in following the path I have chosen makes it easy to love people on the same path.

          Again, practising diligently was easy when I started with Sifu. I had both made a decision and heard him say this was the best approach. I also heard him say to follow his instructions to the best of my ability - which I do.

          I won't go through them all as it would end up in far too long a post. Looking at them now however, it seems to me that one way of looking at things is that 1-2 are the ways of stepping onto/being on the path.

          3-8 are the ways for me of clearing out unhelpful ways of being. I know they are unhelpful ways of being because I have done the opposite and also had the opposite done to me at times. I don't just do these things because they are written down but because they make sense in my life. I think for me it also clears blockages of guilt and fear - things that have plagued me for a long time. As I continue in the process of "letting go" having less in the closet helps me to do that.

          9-10 for me are the opportunities/rewards of stepping onto the path. Step 12 of the AA program explains the founders experience "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to other alcoholics and to practise these principles in all our affairs". Another saying in AA is that "in order to keep it you have to give it away".

          Thanks again Emiko,

          Barry
          Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
          Chi Kung & Tai Chi Chuan in the UK Fully Alive
          Fully Alive on Facebook Fully Alive
          UK Summer Camp 2017 Click here for details
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear friends,
            The first time I saw these laws my mind said initially: "No problem!" It is later on as I reached more subtle levels of my spiritual training that I realized how powerful and difficult these laws really are. First of all, I also want to point out that despite the fact that I have never met Sifu Wong if all I had were these laws than I would already know that he is a profound and loving person.
            I vowed to follow all the laws because I felt a great obligation to, in other words, if I did not have the moral and spiritual foundation to follow these laws I did not deserve to practice Shaolin Kungfu.
            The third law was especially difficult for me, given that I had always had a little trouble getting along with my mother. It was this third law that inspired me to concoct my plan to help her as well as steel my nerve to really put in enough effort to get along with her. It is still difficult but I keep taking strides forward.
            These laws combined with the "vows" I made from the Yoga Sutra are how I live my life. This along with Sifu Stier's recent "big test" post on the Shen men tao thread show for me how difficult the path of a true spiritual warrior (er "wuxia" is a better term for me) can be but I know that this really is my destiny and that there is no more rewarding and truer path in life than the one I'm walking. If I don't reach full buddhahood in this lifetime, I can console myself with the fact that I left this world with my feet in the right direction

            Divineshadow
            "Om"

            I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

            Comment


            • #7
              When i first read the the ten shaolin laws my first impression
              was that any of these values would do the upholder great benefits in their training,but as
              I progressed the laws had more and more weight in my mind.I realised that
              these laws were not confined to your training,example.If you take the first law
              and apply that to your work,you would be able to work freely without
              getting caught up in being frustrated with your work mates.Just one reason
              why these laws will benefit your life,training and best of all everyone who is connected to you will benefit also.
              ".....Irrespective of race culture and religion." Sifu.

              Love to All.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wisdom

                Dear Si Je Emiko,

                Thank you for starting this thread.

                Dear Friends and Family,

                Prior to my training with Sifu, I had done many unwise things in my life.
                Therefore, the law that I tend to consider most often these days is "Required to be wise".

                I think to the uninitiated this might not make sense--wisdom is something that is accumulated and which builds up over time, they might think. In fact, being wise is a matter of choice. We can choose to be foolish or to be wise.

                Therefore I am very pleased to be living my life wisely, consciously and by choice?






                Question: Can the same can be said of the rest of the Laws? For example, "Obliged to...Realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people". "How in the world am I supposed to do that?" one might say. Well, what do you think? Can we, in the same manner, simply decide that we are going to realize this everlasting peace and happiness and then "so it is"?
                In other words: Have YOU Realized this peace? Can it be done, just so, with your conscious will and choice?
                Charles David Chalmers
                Brunei Darussalam

                Comment


                • #9
                  Greetings Si Je Emiko

                  Thanks for this interesting thread which allows me to express something that I've picked up from the Shaolin Intensive Course.

                  At a glance, the Ten Shaolin laws are not difficult for me .. for I believe in what goes around, comes around .. having learnt from the school of hard knocks.

                  The amazing thing is that, the values which supports these laws are personified by Sifu's air of uprightness, confidence, and benevolence..
                  Even in the 1st few moments, 1 can't help but be compelled by his righteous and loving aura.

                  Like kids, where lectures are only effective to a certain level - as compared to imitating adult behaviour - Sifu is certainly a powerful and authoritative role model which inspires us to replicate.

                  If we had more of such role models, this World wld certainly be a more caring one.
                  Calvin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cha muir
                    Can we, in the same manner, simply decide that we are going to realize this everlasting peace and happiness and then "so it is"?
                    In other words: Have YOU Realized this peace? Can it be done, just so, with your conscious will and choice?
                    Dear friends,

                    My answer is yes, since we are linked in infinitely beautiful and subtle ways. I really feel this within me, this peace and vast joy. By conscious will, choice, dedication and perseverance I believe it can be done and I believe that as we continue to develop we will be lifting each other up at the same time.

                    Interconnected and smiling,

                    Divineshadow
                    "Om"

                    I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dear Friends and Family, (in particular, Michael, Jonny, LeeWeiJoo, Barry, Divineshadow, Jez, Charles, and dra9on,)


                      Thank you all for reading this thread thus far, and for sharing your life experiences and perspectives.


                      I would like share something that I recall being told as a child.

                      One of my past masters always used to say, "There is a great difference between a principle and its standard." I think I was about eleven when I was first taught this, but it has remained with me to this day.
                      I learnt to understand that standards must change to suit whatever current trends and circumstances one is surrounded by, whereas I came to see that principles are timeless. I also learnt that the two are not separate, that in fact, a standard is an expression of its principle.

                      I would like to offer a simple example:

                      Principle: Safety First

                      Scenario: travelling on foot

                      Standard - before Tokugawa era (in Japan): in case of road bandits, always carry a weapon of some kind.

                      Standard - today: Look at both sides of oncoming traffic before crossing the street.

                      In this way, the standard has changed to suit its times, though the value of the principle has not.

                      Invitation: It is interesting for me how the Ten Shaolin Laws can be perceived by some to be a set of standards, while to others they appear to be a set of principles. I would be very interested to hear what your thoughts are on this.




                      I would also like to make a response to Charles' question:

                      Question: Can the same can be said of the rest of the Laws? For example, "Obliged to...Realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people". "How in the world am I supposed to do that?" one might say. Well, what do you think? Can we, in the same manner, simply decide that we are going to realize this everlasting peace and happiness and then "so it is"?
                      In my opinion and simple experience (which must be taken as just that, since I am not enlightened ), my current understanding is that the first step is to allow ourselves the gift of personal peace and happiness. This is possible through practising Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung while Smiling from the Heart. As our joy grows, so it naturally comes to infect others, i.e. if one is laughing all the time, it is difficult for someone else to remain angry or fearful. So, realising 'everlasting peace and happiness for all people' starts with simply focusing on surrendering oneself to the experience of complete peace and happiness right now. If one is wholly comfortable and at peace with where he/she is at in his/her life, then the very presence of this peace and happiness will be extended to all those people who are nearby.

                      'Realising everlasting peace and happiness for all people' does not come from self-sacrifice, nor does it come from just engaging in charitable works. If one's cup is empty, one has nothing to offer the world. Therefore, one must first fill one's cup with peace and happiness (through chi kung).

                      Sifu is an excellent example: he has taken care of himself well, and this has enabled him to after his family well. His understanding of joy is so deep that it overflows and reaches out to those who are not even of his immediate family. There are so many of us, all over the world, who are benefitting from his personal attainment of peace and happiness. In this way, I feel that Sifu is indeed "realising everlasting peace and happiness for all people". His way of life is an inspiration for us to really enjoy "Smiling from the Heart" everyday, so that we too can also arrive at personal everlasting peace and happiness, thereby letting it grow and extend to those others about us.

                      Invitation: Would anybody else care to add or make comment?

                      Please do not hesitate to jump in!


                      I look forward to reading more of your insightful posts.


                      Peace and blessings,

                      Emiko
                      Emiko Hsuen
                      www.shaolinwahnam.jp
                      www.shaolinwahnam.ca

                      INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
                      Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
                      4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
                      Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
                      Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
                      Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
                      Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
                      To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Laws of Heaven

                        The ten Shaolin laws appear to me as clear and effective sentences.
                        However, I am not sure about the meaning of "the Laws of Heaven", mentioned in Law nr.5. I would be interested to discuss this with somebody who has clear ideas about this.

                        Riccardo
                        Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan instructor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dear friends,
                          My interpretation of the Shaolin Laws are as principles since the laws are timeless and should not be changed due to circumstance. The laws are made not just for the protection of others but mainly for the spiritual training of the Shaolin practitioner. One cannot achieve a high level of spiritual "attainment" if one abuses power, does not respect the Master (actually he / she should respect all beings even his "enemy") etc.

                          Regarding "Laws of Heaven"
                          I understand how vague of a term that is. (In fact, you might be interested to know that the "Laws of Heaven" are even referred to in Shang Dynasty Oracle Bones) My interpretation is that the Laws of Heaven refer to universal, natural laws that correspond with following the Moral Way. Since these laws are situational and follow a set of "principles" that I don't really know how to put into words (nor do I fully comprehend) I cannot offer more than this as of right now.

                          Best,

                          Divineshadow
                          "Om"

                          I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Emiko H
                            So, realising 'everlasting peace and happiness for all people' starts with simply focusing on surrendering oneself to the experience of complete peace and happiness right now. If one is wholly comfortable and at peace with where he/she is at in his/her life, then the very presence of this peace and happiness will be extended to all those people who are nearby.
                            This is what I mean by 'for me now means living in the present' in my other posting at "when is now" thread in Miscellaneous Section.

                            Thanks, Emiko-san Sijie
                            开心 好运气
                            kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
                            open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
                            ------------------------------------------------------------
                            Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
                            ------------------------------------------------------------
                            Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Emiko H
                              I also learnt that the two are not separate, that in fact, a standard is an expression of its principle.
                              Beautifully expressed!

                              Law no.10: Obliged to be chivalrous and generous, to nurture talents and pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples.

                              This is of course principle. I was wondering how to apply the last part: pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples; as I am still a novice student of Sifu Wong.

                              Then it dawned on me that Shaolin arts do not mean only Shaolin Chikung, Kung Fu and Zen, but include other principles and good things as well. So I started with my own family: I began talking and discussing with my children about their responsibilities, their role in society etc, without explicitly mentioning the Ten Shaolin Laws. Most important is not only do the talking, I have to give examples with my daily activities that they witness.

                              Upon reflection, at the office I regard my subordinates as my disciples in applying Law no 8: Forbidden to abuse power, be it official or physical. In fact I had applied this principle long before I came across the websites of Sifu Wong, may be since the time I was given some power as a consequence of my given responsibility at duty.
                              Last edited by joko; 30th May 2005, 08:17 PM.
                              开心 好运气
                              kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
                              open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
                              ------------------------------------------------------------
                              Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
                              ------------------------------------------------------------
                              Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

                              Comment

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