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Zen: 10 questions to the Grandmaster

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  • #31
    Yes, most people, including ourselves in Shaolin Wahnam, are not ready to this ultimate goal of attaining perfect Enlightenment. We are not interested in the mundane aims of attaining good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness, spiritual joys and combat efficiency.
    Dear readers,
    A slight error occored which I wanna correct to avoid misunderstandings:

    Yes, most people, including ourselves in Shaolin Wahnam, are not ready to this ultimate goal of attaining perfect Enlightenment. We are more interested in the mundane aims of attaining good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness, spiritual joys and combat efficiency.
    Best regards,

    Roland
    "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

    Website: www.enerqi.ch

    Comment


    • #32
      A wonderfull thread !
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      He who knows much about others may be learned, but he who understands himself is more intelligent. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

      Comment


      • #33
        What an Amazing Thread

        Sifu and Sifu Roland,

        Thanks so much for providing us such an amazing thread.

        It is amazing to see how much time, passion and dedication has been practiced along the school.

        I am really excited about the ZEN course. Can't wait indeed. I hope I can do it really really soon. :-)

        Shaolin Salute,

        Santiago

        Comment


        • #34
          Answer 4

          We shall continue with another very interesting point of view on Zen related to Kung Fu/Taijiquan:

          Question 4:

          We in Shaolin Wahnam are lucky and have the possibility to learn different sets from competent masters.
          Which set from KungFu/Taijiquan represents 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 aspects simple, direct and effective.

          Roger


          Answer:

          We are indeed very lucky. Our opportunity to learn a great range of kungfu sets as well as internal force training methods and chi kung exercises is unprecedented in kungfu history. In other words, never before had any kungfu or chi kung practitioners in the whole history of kungfu and chi kung the same opportunity as we in learning kungfu sets, force training methods and chi kung exercises.

          Our repertoire of kungfu sets ranges from Tiger-Crane of Shaolin to Wudang Taijiquan and Swimming Dragon of Baguazhang. Our force training methods range from Siu Lin Tou of Wing Choon to Cloud Hands of Taijiquan to Baguazhang stance training. Our chi kung exercises range from Eighteen Lohan Hands to Cosmic Shower to Small Universe.

          The choice of the kungfu set that represents the highest Zen aspect depends on what we interpret the Zen aspect to be.

          If we interpret the Zen aspect as being simple, direct and effective, I would choose “Cross-Roads at Four Gates” to be the most representative set. It was the fundamental set practiced at the south Shaolin Monastery at Quanzhou. It was the set that our Patriarch, the Venerable Jiang Nan, brought out from the Shaolin Monastery and passed on to us.

          If we interpret the Zen aspect as the highest chance to attain a satori or spiritual awakening, I would choose the Wudang Taijiquan Set. It represents the highest point in the development of Shaolin Kungfu where kungfu, chi kung and meditation were integrated into one set. At the time the great Zhang San Feng practiced it, it was called Wudang Shaolin Kungfu.

          If we interpret the Zen aspect as meditation, I would choose the 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan Set. The whole set is performed like a long continuous flowing meditation without beginning and without end.

          Praying Mantis Kungfu has numerous sets, and all of them are quite complex and sophisticated. They are neither simple nor direct, though they are very effective.

          Going in one direction and back does not represent the Zen aspect. Most kungfu sets of Northern Shaolin styles have this characteristic. Some examples are Eighteen-Collection of Praying Mantis, 50 Sequences of Eagle Claw, 12 Sequences of Tan Tui, and Five-Element Set of Xingyi Kungfu.
          "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

          Website: www.enerqi.ch

          Comment


          • #35
            These answers are coming so fast I didn't get the opportunity to say thank you after my question.

            Thank you so much Sigung for your very thoughtful, generous and enlightening answer, and your answers to all the questions.

            We have said it so many times, but we are all very indebted to your generosity, and that of our sifus.

            I would also like to thank you for writing your books on Zen and Amitabha and the Pure Land. They are the first spiritual texts that I have read since reading the bible as child, and have returned to me something that I didn't even know was missing.

            Jim Peterson
            Last edited by Jimbeaux; 20 July 2012, 02:11 PM. Reason: typo
            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!

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            • #36
              Thank you, Sifu

              Thank you, Roland Siheng

              With Shaolin Salute,
              Lee Wei Joo
              http://shaolinwahnammalaysia.com/

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              • #37
                Thank you Sifu, and thank you Roland Sihing! These series are simply amazing.
                www.shaolinwahnam.nl
                www.shaolinholland.com

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                • #38
                  Answer 5

                  Answer 5:

                  Question 5:

                  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.

                  Sifu Leonard Lackinger


                  Answer:

                  What is good, and what is evil?

                  Whatever that brings benefit to oneself and others is good, whatever that brings harm is evil.

                  Helping others brings benefit to oneself and others. Thus it is a good deed, and results in good karma.

                  It brings benefit to the person providing help because it makes him happy.
                  It brings benefit to the receiver of help because it enables him to overcome some difficulty.

                  Asking for help also brings benefit to oneself and others. Thus it is also a good deed, and results in good karma.

                  It brings benefit to the person asking for help as it enables him to overcome some difficulty. It brings benefit to the person providing help because it gives him an opportunity to create good karma.

                  Wanting to do everything possible yourself despite some handicap is a good deed, and brings good karma. It brings you benefit because it makes you feel independent and confident, and enables you to improve yourself. It also avoids incurring resentments from others, as Confucius said.

                  If you ask others for help, you provide them with an opportunity to increase
                  their good karma. Then, why does it incur resentments?

                  If they help you, they increase their good karma. If they refuse to help you, you incur resentments in them.
                  "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

                  Website: www.enerqi.ch

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Answer 6

                    Answer 6:
                    Question 6:

                    How would you define/describe a Zen Master?

                    Sifu Andrew Barnett


                    Answer:

                    Go and wash your face.

                    The above is a Zen answer, given by a Zen master to a Zen student to help him attain a spiritual awakening.

                    An intellectual answer is as follows. A Zen master is one who avoids evil and does good, and his spiritual cultivation, which he has attained a very high level, is mainly training his mind to experience Cosmic Reality. He may or may not know much about Zen philosophy, and he may or may not teach students who follow his methods of spiritual cultivation.
                    "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

                    Website: www.enerqi.ch

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Thank you for the Enlightening answer, Sifu.
                      Sifu Andrew Barnett
                      Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

                      Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
                      Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                      Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

                      Chi Kung Courses: May 2019 in Landquart CH
                      QEA Discussion Forum: www.qea.ch/forum

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                      • #41
                        Dear Sifu,

                        Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

                        Before your answer to my question (5) I looked at Confucius' saying always on a more mundane level. Like being disappointed because the person that was asked for help neglects its promise or the result is not as expected.

                        Also the other answers are very enlightening. I am looking forward to the rest.

                        We in Wahnam are blessed to have such a wise guide and grandmaster who is always ready to share his wisdom.

                        o\

                        Leo
                        Sifu Leonard Lackinger

                        Wahnam Wien Logo

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

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                        • #42
                          Thank you Sifu!

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                          • #43
                            Answer 7

                            Answer 7:

                            Zen Question 7

                            What is the difference between our Horse-Stance, Wuji Stance, Standing Zen and Sitting Zen?

                            Which ancient Zen Master is your biggest inspiration?

                            Sifu Anton Schmick


                            Answer:

                            The difference in physical form is obvious, which you know very well. I shall therefore address other aspects of their difference.

                            In terms of energy, the Horse-Stance is more solid, whereas the Wuji Stance is more flowing, though the energy in both cases is focused at the abdominal dan tian.

                            The physical form of the Wuji Stance and Standing Zen is the same. The former term is used in Taijiquan, whereas the latter term in Shaolin Kungfu. Relatively Wuji Stance focuses more on energy, whereas Standing Zen focuses more on mind.

                            The physical form of sitting meditation is the same in Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan. In Chinese, it is called “zuo chan” in Shaolin Kungfu, which actually means “sitting meditation”. In Taijiquan it is called “jing zao”, which means “silent sitting”.

                            Amongst Horse-Stance, Wuji Stance, Standing Zen and Sitting Zen, Sitting Zen or sitting meditation is the most stable. The energy can be focused at the abdominal dan tian or at the bottom dan tian at the hui-yin vital point.

                            In terms of mind, the focus in the Horse-Stance is at the abdominal dan tian, whereas in the Wuji Stance and Standing Meditation, the mind is focused all over the body.

                            In Sitting Meditation, the mind is focused on a single thought, or is expanded to no thought.

                            With this understanding of their difference in terms of physical form, energy and mind, we shall be more cost-effective in considering their difference in training objectives and results desired.

                            If we wish to develop internal force, the best choice amongst the four would be the Horse-Stance because it will give us the best result. However, it is the most difficult to practice.

                            For those not ready to meet the demand of the Horse-Stance, a good choice for internal force development is the Wuji Stance, provided they are able to relax, and know how to tap energy from the Cosmos.

                            If we wish to generate an energy flow, such as to overcome injuries or illness, the best choice of the four is the Wuji Stance. Standing Zen, which focuses more on mind, is the next choice. The Horse-Stance and Sitting Zen are not suitable for this purpose.

                            If we wish to train mental clarity or nurture spiritual joys like being happy, peaceful and free, Standing Zen is the best choice, followed by Wuji Stance. The Horse-Stance and Sitting Zen also provides these benefits, but are not as cost-effective.

                            If we wish to attain a satori or spiritual awakening, Sitting Zen is the best choice, followed by Standing Zen, Wuji Stance and Horse-Stance.

                            Of course, the about description presumes all other things were equal, which is almost never true in real life, but this presumption is necessary for a theoretical comparison. In practice a master using the worst choice will still have better result than a student using the best choice.

                            The second presumption is that these exercises are practiced correctly, which actually is not easy. Many people practice them wrongly, even in seemingly easy exercises like Wuji Stance and Standing Zen, and therefore derive harmful side-effects instead of benefits.

                            In this respect, students in our school are lucky. Because we have a sound understanding of their philosophy, not only we ensure that our students practice correctly but also they have good results in a relatively short time.

                            For example, many of our students attain satori in Standing Zen. This is incredible, considering that even monks practicing professionally take a few years to attain satori in Sitting Zen. This is one important reason why we do not normally practice Sitting Zen in our school. We can attain the results of Sitting Zen faster and safer using Standing Zen.
                            "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

                            Website: www.enerqi.ch

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Answer 8

                              Answer 8:

                              Question 8:

                              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?

                              Chia-Hua


                              Answer:

                              As in many things in life, the answer can be yes or no.

                              Yes, when the kind of activities is different, the Zen state of mind involved in the different activities is also different. Hence, the Zen state of mind in vigorous activities like kungfu and sports is different from more sedate activities like Japanese tea ceremony or Chinese calligraphy.

                              The Zen state of mind in vigorous activities is active, whereas that in sedate activities is passive. In kungfu sparring, for example, the Zen state of mind, while being calm and focussed, will be intuitively thinking of what movements will be executed next. In Chinese calligraphy, the Zen state of mind, also while being calm and focussed, will be enjoying the flow of the artist’s brush.

                              On the other hand, we can also say that irrespective of the different activities involved, regardless of whether the activities are vigorous or sedate, the Zen state of mind is the same. At the basic level, it is calm and focused. At higher levels, it initiates or responds to the activities at hand.

                              In other words, irrespective of whether you are performing a kungfu set, preparing tea in a ceremonial way, viewing a sunset, chewing your food, walking with your girlfriend hand in hand, or giving a public speech, if you are in a Zen state of mind you will be calm and relax, and spontaneously and usually correctly initiate or respond to requirements of the activity involved.

                              For example, if you miss a pattern in the set, you would just smoothly go on to the subsequent pattern without a break and without any indication for spectators that you have missed a pattern. Others who lack the benefit of a Zen state of mind may just stop and stretch their head, or do any tell-tale action that shows they have made a mistake at this point.

                              If you are holding a pot of hot tea and someone is about to crash onto you, you would without any intellectualizing, spontaneously move aside to avoid the crash, and carry on your tea ceremony as if nothing amiss has happened. Others without a Zen state of mind would accidentally splash the hot tea on to himself or the crashing-in person, or execute any other action clumsily not in harmony with the tea ceremony.

                              Hence, irrespective of the activities involved which may be vastly different in nature, the Zen state of mind is the same, i.e. being calm and relaxed and being able to react spontaneously and correctly.
                              "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

                              Website: www.enerqi.ch

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Wonderful!

                                Thank you, Sifu and thank you, Roland.
                                Jeffrey Segal

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