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Zen: 10 questions to the Grandmaster

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  • Zen: 10 questions to the Grandmaster

    Dear family,

    Zen is as all great Arts a training of spirit and energy, so that's why I decided to open this thread under the Chi Kung section, though it can be also placed under the Kung Fu section.

    The time has come now to continue the incredible offer of Sifu to put personal questions about Zen into space, which will be gradually answered.

    The first Ten questions will be answered, so take your chance.

    Best regards,

    "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


  • #2
    Question(s) for Sifu on Zen

    Zen is described as Simple, Direct and Effective. When people are in a Zen state of mind it can be described as an elevated or higher level state of consciousness or, rather, awareness.

    Tai Chi Chuan is often described and practiced as circular, indirect, following the flow and patiently waiting for an opening, among other descriptions. Typically not simple nor direct yet highly effective in many circumstances. Interestingly, when one practices Tai Chi Chuan they attain a similar result of higher awareness. I’m not mentioning Wuji here which we know is remarkably simple, direct and effective.

    How do we explain the Zen state of mind achieved in Tai Chi Chuan practice when one doesn’t seem to be doing something simple, nor direct? Is it simply that our mind is immersed in our practice, with no mental distractions and thus we achieve the Zen state of mind? Is it related to the harmonious energy flow? Also, if Sifu would like to further comment or elaborate on the relationship, or lack thereof, between Zen practice and Tai Chi Chuan practice it would be appreciated.

    Thank you Sifu for taking the time to answer our questions.
    Anthony S

    Western USA

    Visit Anthony Spinicchia’s web site with information on qigong healing.

    His book, The Wonders of Chi Kung:Unlocking Glowing Health and Vitality, 3rd Edition, can be found by clicking here

    The e-book edition can be found at kindle store


    • #3
      Thank you Roland for the opportunity.

      LOL, for me often the funnest part of Sifu's answers are when we are made aware of some faulty assumption on our part, or simply when he remarkably expands our perspective. It makes one humbly smile from the heart.
      Anthony S

      Western USA

      Visit Anthony Spinicchia’s web site with information on qigong healing.

      His book, The Wonders of Chi Kung:Unlocking Glowing Health and Vitality, 3rd Edition, can be found by clicking here

      The e-book edition can be found at kindle store


      • #4
        Zen Buddhism (and I think Buddhism in general) is offered up as A way whereas most world religions popularly consider themselves THE way.

        What are your ideas on this?

        I think saying that your way is the "one and only" just serves your own ego (I am right and you are wrong) and would increase attachment.

        Of course most religions do respect the others, and I'm not implying they are boastful.

        By the way, am I correct in using the English word "religion" for Zen? I believe it is much more than that.
        Last edited by Jimbeaux; 14th June 2012, 11:33 AM.
        Sigung: This is a great exercise for women, because it makes them beautiful and radiant.
        Student: And what does it do for men?
        Sigung: It makes women beautiful!
        Smile from the heart!


        • #5
          Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi

          Dear all,

          Question for Sifu:

          The ultimate goal in Zen buddhism is to attain the supreme perfect enlightenment (anuttara samyak sambodhi) and the path to this may be gradual or sudden. At times in the past I recall you mentioned that most people are not ready for the ultimate goal and so the aims may be more mundane. Despite more mundane objectives do the training methods we use in our school actually represent the gradual path and are there specific sign posts or milestones that can be used to verify ones progress towards the ultimate goal.

          Thank you Sifu for taking the time to consider my question and thank you Siheng Roland for creating the opportunity.

          Best wishes

          Once you know the map all routes become clear.

          — Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit


          • #6
            Question for Sigung (Kung-Fu)

            Dear Sigung,
            We in Shaolin Wahnam are lucky and have the possibility to learn differnt sets from competent masters.
            Question: which Set from KungFu/Taijiquan represent the highest Zen aspect and what's the reason?
            I myself presume it's praying mantis because the set goes in one direction and back and includes the Zen aspect simple, direct and effectiv...
            Thank you Sigung that you take the time to answear us this important questions and thank you to my Sifu Roland for starting this tread.
            My respect, Roger


            • #7
              Good karma by asking for help?

              Dear Sifu,

              I am used to do as much as possible myself without asking for help. Not because of, but like stated in the quote of Confucius:

              “Expect much from yourself and little from others and you will avoid incurring resentments.”

              Although it is not as effective as good thoughts and good words, helping others is a good deed and creates good karma for the person that is providing help.

              But what about the person who asks for help?

              If I ask someone for help, I am providing this person with an opportunity to increase his good karma. Isn’t this a good deed too?

              As I dislocated my thumb in training recently, I had my right hand plastered for two weeks and still wanted to do everything possible myself. Suddenly this question came through my mind.

              I would highly respect your opinion on this. Thank you very much and thanks to Roland Siheng for opening this thread.



              PS: The thumb should be alright before the beginning of the Intensive Courses in Malaysia to which I am very looking forward.
              Sifu Leonard Lackinger

              Wahnam Wien Logo

              Shaolin Wahnam Wien
              Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung
              Southern Shaolin Kung Fu
              Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan

              Shaolin Wahnam Wien on facebook
              Shaolin Wahnam Wien on YouTube


              • #8
                How would you define/describe a Zen Master?
                Sifu Andrew Barnett
                Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland -

                Flowing Health GmbH (Facebook:
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                Chi Kung Courses: May 2019 in Landquart CH
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                • #9
                  Dear Sigung,

                  what is the difference between our Horse-Stance, Wuji Stance, standing Zen and Sitting Zen?

                  Which ancient Zen Master is your biggest inspiration?

                  Thank you very much for this opportunity Sigung and Sisook Roland.
                  Kindest regards, Anton.
                  Engage and maintain joyful practice!

                  May all of you get the best benefits from what you do.

                  Anton Schmick
                  Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord



                  • #10
                    Thank you Sigung for this opportunity.
                    Is the Zen state manifested differently when a practitioner is doing a vigorous activity such as kung fu or sports, vs. the state of zen you might have when performing a Japanese tea ceremony, or Chinese calligraphy? What are the similarities and differences, if any?



                    • #11
                      Dear Shaolin Wahnam family,

                      I allow myself to write down two questions as I am not sure if I can put my first question in clear English:

                      - Often Mental Clarity and Internal Force is highlighted with the Zen courses which give us indeed beautiful gifts. Less I seem to read about Opening the Heart. My Sifu explained to me the Internal Force aspect is connected with Opening the Heart (if I understood it right). Is there anything we can do to "assist" our Internal Force in Opening our Hearts? What is an Open Heart in Zen?

                      - How can we reassure that we have a good balance between learning/knowing and practicing/experiencing Zen?

                      Thank you to my Sigung and to my Sifu for their time and their open hearts

                      Kind Regards, Binia
                      Last edited by Binia; 15th June 2012, 04:27 PM.


                      • #12
                        Dear Sigung,

                        What is the difference from a zen perspective between "Thinking nothing and doing nothing," and Smiling from the heart?

                        Thank you,
                        Adam Bailey
                        Shaolin WahNam USA


                        • #13
                          Dear Sifu

                          I understand that some spiritual paths purpote that one must spend many life times to attain complete Enlightenment.
                          In practicing Zen is it possible for anyone to attain this in one lifetime? Is it a reasonable/practical expectation? If so what conditions are required?

                          Thank you & best wishes


                          • #14
                            dear Sifu,
                            1) In our daily practice, Shaolin Cosmos Qigong focus on standing meditation to experience Zen.
                            Where (and when) do sitting meditation come into the practice?

                            HB Yeang


                            • #15
                              Dear Sipak Roland,

                              thanks for the opportunity to post this question.

                              Dear Sigung,

                              During the wonderful Zen course you trained us to enter Zen in a seated position and you emphasized quality over quantity, suggesting 5 minutes quality daily practice is sufficient.

                              Please could you discuss how a Zen practice might develop as a student's attainment develops, from the perspective of physical position, duration or other relevant factors? Please could you highlight any indicators or milestones that can verify progress and provide reassurance that the student is practicing correctly?

                              With deepest gratitude,
                              With love and Shaolin salute /o

                              "Your purpose in life is to find your purpose & give your whole heart and soul to it." - Buddha

                              Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.