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  • #31
    Wow...

    WOW... there is soo much insight in all these answers. My deepest gratitude, Sigung, for sharing all these amazing answers.

    And, Sisook, I wholeheartedly agree that this is an amazingly profound thread. I personally made a note to re-read it many times

    Jeroen

    Comment


    • #32
      I am just catching up on this wonderful thread.

      Thank you Sigung for sharing these precious answers.
      And thank you Anthony Sipak for initiating and running the thread.

      Gratefully
      Andrea
      Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

      Evening Classes in Zürich
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      Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
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      Comment


      • #33
        Omg !!!!!

        This thread is completely and totally wonderful.

        I feel like I have just discovered Ali Baba's cave full of Zen Treasure.

        Attaining Enlightenment is merging into Cosmic Reality. We are an integral part of Cosmic Reality. At the cosmic level there is factually no separation between ourselves and the snow at the poles, or anything else, like the clothes you are wearing or the computer screen you are looking at.

        BOOM !!!

        Thank you Sifu, thank you, thank you, thank you

        With deepest respect

        Seán

        Comment


        • #34
          Zen Answer 5

          A Simple, direct and effective answer follows-
          (like the link to Sifu's special and exclusive Zen course, http://www.shaolinhawaii.com/service/3-incredible-arts/ )

          Question 5


          Dear Sifu, I always wondered whom did you learn Zen from? May you share with us please?

          Santiago


          Answer 5

          I learned Zen from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. The public knew my master as a great Taoist master who gave spiritual guidance to people who sought his advice, but not many people, not even some of his students, realized that he was a great Zen master.

          Then, how did I know my sifu was a great Zen master. He himself told me My sifu did not say he was a great Zen master. But he told that towards the later part of his life, he practiced Zen rather than Tao, and judging from his Zen attainment I regarded him as a great Zen master, even greater than his being a great Taoist master which was publicly acknowledged.

          My siheng, Ah Heng, who learn Taoist cultivation from my sifu, explained why my sifu focused on Zen more than on Tao. towards his later life. The attainment in Tao was phenomenal, whereas the attainment in Zen was transcendental. Being an immortal is still in the phenomenal realm, but attaining Zen is merging with the Cosmos.

          Besides teaching me to practice meditation in a lotus position, my sifu manifested Zen teaching in his daily life. For example, if I asked my sifu how I could counter a certain attack, instead of giving me a lengthy explanation, he would ask me to attack and he would counter accordingly.

          If I asked my sifu a question, like “Sifu, what martial art do you consider the best?”, he would just answer, “Shaolin Kungfu.” He would not beat around the bush like saying when he started practicing martial arts, and how many different martial arts he had learned.

          <End>
          Anthony S

          Western USA

          http://elitechikung.com/

          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 www.amazon.com kindle store

          Comment


          • #35
            Question 6 How to prepare for this special course

            Question 6


            What would be the best way for students to prepare to attend this Intensive Zen Course?


            Will gong-ans feature as a training or testing tool as part of the course?


            What benefits in daily life will participants be able to realize after taking this landmark course?


            Sifu Andy Cusick




            Answer

            The best way to prepare for the Intensive Zen Course in Hawaii is to come with an open mind. In Zen terms, come with an empty cup.

            The same principle applies to all other learning. It is amusing that some students, having learnt some rudimentary features, which may not even be correct sometimes, think that they are smarter than masters. It is not uncommon today because many “masters”, especially in the internal arts and even when they are well-known, are bogus. But these students will miss a lot when they learn from genuine masters.

            Gong-ans, or real stories of spiritual awakening or Enlightenment, will not be used as a training or testing tool for their particular purpose, but will be used to help course participants enjoy and understand Zen better.

            The particular purpose of gong-ans is to help students attain a spiritual awakening or even Enlightenment. For example, a monk asked his master, “Why did our First Patriarch came from the West?”

            Every monk knew the answer, i.e. Bodhiharma came from India to China to teach Zen.

            But the master answered, “Three pounds of flax!”

            The purpose was to shock the monk into non-thought. When the monk attained non-thought, he attained a spiritual awakening or Enlightenment. This is because the phenomenal world is the result of thought. When there is non-thought, the phenomenal world dissolves into Transcendental Reality.

            The gong-an worked excellently for this particular monk because he was ready, having prepared himself after many years in the monastery. If the same answer were given to another person who was unprepared, it would not have the same result. He would probably have more thoughts than non-thought. He might, for example, think that that the master was crazy, or what had flax to do with Bodhidharma.

            The Zen master was an expert teacher. He gave just the right stimulus at the right situation for the right student. It is the same with Shaolin Wahnam teachers. They give the right instructions to the right students or patients at the right moment. When they say, “let go”, for example, the students or patients go into a chi flow. The same instruction given to other people would produce different reactions.

            Having monks following strict monastic rules was one way to prepare them for attaining a spiritual awakening or Enlightenment when an opportunity arose. If they could do whatever they liked, they would be unable to grasp the opportunity even when it was provided by their teacher. Charging high fees in our school is one way to create the right situation for students or patients to get the best results. If the fees were like what other schools charge, students or patients may think they are smarter than their teachers or healers.

            As no one at the course is likely yet to desire to merge with the Cosmos, gong-ans are not taught for this purpose. Gong-ans are also not taught for attaining a spiritual awakening because we already have a better method to do so.

            There are two schools of Zen, Caodong Chan or Soto Zen and Linji Chan or Rinzai Zen. Relatively, the main approach of Caodong Zen, of which the Shaolin Monastery was a leading example, is through meditation, or training of mind. The main approach in Linji Zen is through gong-ans. This is relative: both Caodong Zen and Rinji Zen use meditation and gong-ans as well as other expedient means.

            It is unbelievable but true that without having to live in a monastery or attend regular spiritual retreats, many of our students at advanced courses like Cosmic Breathing, Merging with the Cosmos, and Small and Big Universe attain a spiritual awakening that change their life. I expect the percentage of students attaining a spiritual awakening at the Intensive Zen Course in Hawaii will be even higher.

            Besides attaining a spiritual awakening that brings tremendous freedom and bliss not just during the course but for life, there are many other benefits that will enrich the daily life of the course participants.

            Zen means meditation, though some people associate it with Zen Buddhism and regard it as religious. Even the term “Buddhism” as used by the Buddhists themselves is not “religious” as conceptualized by many people, especially in the West. If one avoids evil, do good and cultivate his (or her) mind, he is a Buddhist, or a good Christian, a good Muslim or a good follower of his own chosen religion, or a happy person without officially professing any religion.

            Meditation here is not a process of thinking or reasoning. It is a process of mind training. Indeed, the mind training at the Intensive Zen Course is firstly to clear the mind of all thoughts, i.e. to attain mental clarity. Having attained mental clarity, the next step is to nourish the mind, making the mind remarkably strong. Then the course participants expand the mind, attaining a spiritual awakening, bringing tremendous freedom and bliss.

            These wonderful benefits will be experienced at the course itself, and will continue for life, and after life. These skills become intrinsic and automatic. In other words, having acquired these wonderful skills, course participants do not need to trouble themselves how to employ their clear mind to solve problems more efficiently, or hos to employ their expanded mind to feel free and joyful. Because their mind is clear, intrinsically and automatically they will solve problems more efficiently. Because of their spiritual expansion, they will intrinsically and automatically feel free and joyful.

            Nevertheless, besides these wonderful skills, course participants will also learn some effective techniques to solve problems. The process is as follows:

            1. Define the problem.
            2. Assess whether a solution is effective, i.e. whether it will solve the problem.
            3. Assess where the effective solution is good, i.e. whether it is viable and easy to be carried out.
            4. Assess whether it is the best available solution, i.e. of various solutions it is the one that will produce the best result with the least effort in the shortest time.

            Some of you would have heard of the case of me providing a viable solution in an impromptu manner to a problem described by a course participant at a regional Zen course in England after I had walked just seven steps. Course participants at the Intensive Zen Course in Hawaii will learn how I could accomplish this feat.


            <End>
            Anthony S

            Western USA

            http://elitechikung.com/

            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 www.amazon.com kindle store

            Comment


            • #36
              Thank You Sifu for these amazing answers. I have no words.

              My brother Sean said it perfectly:

              BOOM !!!!

              With immense gratitude,
              Claude
              Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

              Comment


              • #37
                I wrote my previous post when I still had a couple of questions to read. Now I read them all...

                It is an amazing non stop transmission. I feel transparent/empty/everywhere and nowhere at the same time...

                Thank You Sifu, your generosity with us students is Infinite..

                Thank you Sihing Anthony for posting...

                With deepest gratitude,
                Claude
                Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

                Comment


                • #38
                  Zen Question 7- Love and Compassion

                  Question 7

                  From what I understand, endless love and compassion are hallmarks of enlightened beings. Could Sigung please discuss love and compassion in Zen?

                  Andrew R


                  Answer 7

                  The terms “Enlightened” (with a capital E), and “enlightened” (with a small e) need some clarification. Enlightenment (with a capital E) is the highest and most noble attainment in Buddhist cultivation. It is described as returning to God the Holly Spirit in Christian terms, where there is no differentiation whatsoever, and there is God and only God.

                  On the other hand, enlightenment (with a small e) may mean different things to different people, but generally it means attaining a very high level of understanding or experience, but there is differentiation into countless entities, and not the highest spiritual attainment where there is no differentiation.

                  An Enlightened Being is the Spiritual Body of the Buddha, called God, Tao or other terms in different religions. An enlightened being is one with a very high level of spiritual, moral, scientific, philosophical or any other attainment in experience or knowledge, or both.

                  In Enlightenment there is no love and no compassion, not hatred and no cruelty. There is no differentiation whatsoever. It is infinite and eternal. That is what Lao Tzu means when he says “The Tao that is called the Tao is not the Tao”, because if something can be called the Tao and the remaining things are not, there is already differentiation.

                  It is the same as saying that in God the Holy Spirit, there is no God the Father and Satan the Anti-Christ, no heaven and no hell. There is only God and nothing else. In scientific terms, in Infinite Reality there are no electrons and protons, no butterflies and no mountains. It is just a universal spread of energy or consciousness.

                  Obviously, enlightened beings mentioned by you have not attained Enlightenment (with a capital E), otherwise they would not be differentiated into individual beings. They are beings in the phenomenal realm who have attained very high levels of their cultivation.

                  If their cultivation is in moral or spiritual development, they are full of love and compassion, otherwise they will be unable to attain their very high level of attainment. Leaving aside altruism, hatred and cruelty, which are the opposite of love and compassion, go against their development.

                  If a person is full of hate and cruelty, his moral is bad, and his spirit is imprisoned. To release himself from bad morals and imprisoned spirit, so that he can start his moral or spiritual cultivation, he has to avoid hatred and cruelty. To rise in his moral or spiritual cultivation, he has to be loving and compassionate.

                  If the enlightened beings are in such fields like politics and business, they may be full of love and compassion if they are also highly moral and spiritual despite being very successful in their fields. But it is more likely that they are indifferent to love and compassion because love and compassion more often than not hinder their progress. A shred politician or businessman, for example, often has to compromise his love and compassion if he wants to be successful.

                  Enlightened beings in crimes, i.e. those who have attained a very high level in committing crimes, have to go against love and compassion because these emotions are counter-productive in their criminal development. A scam worker or a murderer, for example, cannot even do his work if he has love and compassion.

                  Zen means meditation, which is a training of mind. If a cultivator trains his mind for such professions like becoming a teacher or a healer, he will grow in love and compassion. If he trains his mind for such professions like becoming a lawyer or to win prize money in fighting, he would have to compromise love and compassion. If he trains his mind to be a top criminal, he was to grow in the other direction of love and compassion, i..e. he harbours more hatred and becomes more cruel.

                  The teaching in our school places a lot of importance on moral and spiritual development. Hence, our Zen training like the Intensive Zen Course in Hawaii will enhance our feeling of love and compassion. The development is intrinsic. In other words, our students need not be constantly reminded to be loving and compassionate, they will automatically manifest love and compassion as they develop.

                  Zen monks in Zen monasteries are full of love and compassion because their training is centered on moral and spiritual development. However, at the highest level when they wish to be Enlightened, they have to be equanimous. Even noble emotions like love and compassion will bide them to the phenomenal realm. Because of their great love and compassion for others, very highly developed beings, like Bodhisattvas, may postpone their entry to Buddhahood, or return to the phenomenal realm from Transcendental Reality to help others. Guan Yin Bodh Satt is a shining example.


                  <End>
                  Anthony S

                  Western USA

                  http://elitechikung.com/

                  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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Sifu's 3rd eye

                    All are blessed after reading Sifu's replies on Zen. Not all are lucky(good karma to meet Sifu), to have the opportunity to read his interpretations of wisdom passed down by the anchient chan practitioners.
                    Sifu have many times expressed succinctly the differences between phenomenal and transcendental.
                    It just open up our mind for zen.

                    The beauty of it all is that we have personaly experienced merging with the Cosmos, with Sifu's help and guidence. I do not take this beautiful gift for granted. This merging with the cosmos has an impact on the heaven eye.

                    Thank you Sifu , for your great compassion and great wisdom.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Question 8- Cultivating Zen with Kung Fu

                      Question 8

                      What techniques, skills and kung-fu sets are notable for cultivating Zen in Shaolin Wahnam?


                      Chris


                      Answer 8

                      Our school is very special. All practice in our school is a training of the physical, energy mind. Hence, when we train kungfu, we also train chi kung and meditation. We do not need to include any chi kung exercise or separately practice any meditation because they are already incorporated in our kungfu training.

                      We have such elite advantages because of two special skills we train at the start and completion of every practice session. These two special skills are entering into a chi kung state of mind, or entering Zen or Tao, and enjoying an energy flow. When we enter into a chi kung state of mind, we practice meditation. When we enjoy an energy flow, we practice chi kung.

                      So every technique, skill and kungfu set in Shaolin Wahnam is suitable for cultivating Zen. Indeed, it is precisely because of this Zen cultivation in all our training, that we have unbelievable results in a very short time. We put into practice the saying that the highest chi kung and kungfu are of the mind.

                      Nevertheless, certain techniques, skills and kungfu sets are specially cost-effective for Zen cultivation.

                      Grasping Sparrow’s Tail is an excellent set of techniques for cultivating Zen. If it is performed correctly much internal force as well as mental clarity are generated. However, if it is not performed correct, i.e. with mind training, it degrades into some gentle physical exercise. This, unfortunately, more that 80% of students who practice Grasping Sparrow’s Tail. Worse, as some of them do not even perform the external form correctly, they develop adverse effects like knee injuries and back pains.

                      It is illuminating to contrast Grasping Sparrow’s Tail, which is found in the fundamentals of Taijiquan, like in the set, “Cloud Hands Grasp Sparrow”, with a fundamental sequence in Lohan Asks the Way, a fundamental set in Shaolin Kungfu. Depending on one’s perspective and skill, Lohan Asks the Way is not effective for cultivating Zen or most effective for cultivating Zen!

                      A practitioner may not be in a state of Zen, i.e. a meditative state, yet he may still perform Lohan Asks the Way quite well. This is because Lohan Asks the Way is a set at a physical level. Even without internal force and a Zen state of mind, practitioners can still improve their combat or daily life. Practicing the set, amongst other benefits, enables practitioners to increase their strength, stamina, endurance and agility.

                      These benefits are not available to Grasping Sparrow’s Tail if the techniques are performed as gentle exercise instead of internal art. At its best it is a dance, good for demonstration as well as making practitioners graceful. But if it is performed as an internal art, its benefits are more than those from Lohan Asks the Way as it is normally practiced. Besides an increase in strength, stamina, endurance and agility, as in Lohan Asks the Way, Grasping Sparrow’s Tail generate internal force and mental clarity, which will produce better results no matter what the practitioners do!

                      In other words, when the two sets of techniques are practiced in their normal way, Grasping Sparrow’s Tail has more benefits than Lohan Asks the Way. But if they are practiced poorly, though not wrong as harmful side effects do not occur, Lohan Asks the Way has more benefits.

                      But if Lohan Asks the Way is performed superbly as an internal art, its benefits surpass those of Grasping Sparrow’s Tail. Students in Shaolin Wahnam have a changeto perform Lohan Asks the Way superbly because their kungfu training, which is physical to other people, become chi kung and meditation to the,.

                      Skills that are most conducive to Zen cultivation are generating energy flow and generating internal force. Even without specially practicing Zen methods, Zen cultivation is present in these two skills. Without a Zen mind, it is not possible to generate an energy flow and to generate internal force.

                      It is no surprise, that our students, despite not having undergone formal Zen training, have Zen benefits, like being relaxed and joyful, and having a one-pointed mind. These benefits are derived when they generate an energy flow and generate internal force, which are hallmark of our arts.

                      Of the two skills, generating internal force is of a higher level. In generating an energy flow, the Zen mind of a practitioner is passive. He does not tense his muscles, and he does not think of any thoughts. As a result his energy will flow. He just lets go and follow the energy flow.

                      In generating internal force, the Zen mind of a practitioner is active. First, he needs to be passive to let his energy flow. Then he actively uses his mind to increase the verbosity of the energy flow to generate flowing force. Or he uses his mind to focus his energy to have consolidated force.

                      The two kungfu sets that span the range of internal force training where Zen cultivation is innately involved are 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiqusn on one end and Iron Wire on the other. The 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan Set is 100% generating flowing force, whereas the Iron Wire Set is 100% consolidating force.

                      Zen cultivation is involved in both generating flowing force and building consolidated force, though the nature and function of the cultivation may be different. In both case, mental clarity and mental focus are required. In mathematical terms, in flowing force the mind is reduced to zero, and in consolidated force the mind is reduced to one.

                      When the mind is trained to be clear and to be one-pointed in internal force training, the skills of mental clarity and mental focus can be applied in any activities in our daily life.

                      As a rough guide the proportion between flow and consolidating, or between mental clarity and mental focus in the process of internal force training of the kungfu sets below is as follows:

                      Yang Style Set – 100 % - 0%
                      San Zhan – 90% - 10%
                      Baguazhang – 80% - 20%
                      Flower Set – 70% - 30%
                      Dragon Strength – 60% - 40%
                      Wudang Taijiquan – 50% - 50%
                      Flowing Water Floating Clouds – 40% - 60%
                      Siu Lin Tou – 30% -70@
                      Xingyiquan - .20% - 80%
                      Triple Stretch – 10% - 90%
                      Iron Wire – 0% - 100%

                      This is a rough scale for orthodox training of the sets. But we in Shaolin Wahnam are elite; we can modify the proportion to suit our purpose, or fun. We may, for example, employ 100% consolidating force in 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan Set, or 100% flowing force in Iron Wire Set. In the Special Wuzuquan Course in Penang in December 2012 course participants used techniques from the San Zhan Set for various force training skills, like in Flower Set, Triple Stretch and Iron Wire.

                      Being the most versatile as well as tremendously powerful, the Dragon Strength Set is the best for experiencing various force training methods found in the different sets. Although the proportion between flow and consolidating in Dragon Strength is 60-40, a skillful practitioner may use the set for 100% of flow as in Yang Style Taijiquan, or 100% of consolidation as in Iron Wire, or any set in between.

                      <End>
                      Anthony S

                      Western USA

                      http://elitechikung.com/

                      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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Question 9

                        Question 9

                        In your book The Complete Book of Zen you mentioned non-Buddhist Zen as one type of Zen cultivation. Since I come from a Christian background I'm particularly interested in this approach.

                        I understand that Chi Kung is a spiritual, but not a religious practice, and in one of the recent interviews you gave, I heard you talking about Buddhism and Taoism as not being "religions", but "teachings". I take that the same can apply to Zen.

                        My question is: how do personal beliefs affect one's Zen cultivation?

                        I'm asking this because there are certain doctrines in Zen Buddhism I don't personally subscribe to (i.e. reincarnation) and I'm wondering how this is going to affect my Zen cultivation. Does it put me in more disadvantageous situation than Zen practitioners who follow their path more "completely", so to speak?

                        If I may, I would also like to ask what are the most essential Zen aspects of our Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung practice and how to efficiently approach applying some of those elements into one's daily life?

                        Jacek



                        Answer 9


                        Zen means meditation, not sitting cross-legged with myriad thoughts troubling the mind, but training the mind in various ways for more efficient performance. In some cultures, the mind is called the spirit, the soul or the consciousness.

                        Training the mind, the spirit, the soul or the consciousness can be practiced in many ways and in various poises. When one is in prayers, deeply involved in one’s work or hobby, or absorbed in a spectacular scene, he is in Zen or meditation. He may be standing, sitting, moving about or lying down.

                        When a Christian prays to God, reads the Bible or listens to the teaching by a preacher, he is in meditation. His mind is focused on what is being said or done without any disturbances.

                        The word Zen is sometimes used to mean Zen Buddhism. Even Buddhism is not religious in the way many people, especially in the West, conceptualize the term to be. When a person avoids evil, does good, and cultivates his mind (or spirit, soul or consciousness), he practices Buddhism. It is worthy to note that in the Shaolin Temple, which was a Zen temple, there were Taoist, Christian, Muslim and people of other religions or no religion cultivated for spiritual development.

                        Zen, like chi kung and kungfu, is spiritual, not religious. By spiritual is meant that its cultivation concerns the spirit. It means, for example, that if a student was depressed or afraid before cultivation, but by cultivating he becomes cheerful and confident. By non-religious is meant that followers of any religion or of no official religion can practice and benefit from it without any adverse effects on his religions belief.

                        Indeed, Zen cultivation often makes him a better follower of his own chosen religion. This is because Zen cultivation concerns the spirit, which is the crucial feature of all religions. Most followers just read or hear about the spirit, but have no direct experience of it. Zen cultivation brings the spirit to life. Zen practitioners experience their spirit directly by taming, strengthening and nourishing it.

                        If all other things were equal, personal beliefs, religious or otherwise, affect Zen cultivation, and any other endeavor. If a person does not believe in the spirit, for example, his spiritual cultivation, though possible, will be much compromised. Just as if a person does not believe in chi, or does not believe that kungfu can be used for combat, he will take a longer time to attain similar result of someone who believes.

                        Zen cultivation is very liberal. Practitioners may choose to cultivate only those aspects they believe are favorable or beneficial to them. Believing in reincarnation is not a required condition for Zen cultivation. In other words, without believing in reincarnation, a person can still trains his mind or spirit. It is unlike relaxation, which is a required condition for Zen cultivation. In other words, if a person is not relaxed, he cannot trains his mind, even when he performs the outward techniques of Zen cultivation, like sitting in a lotus position.

                        It is interesting to take the analogy further. Although Zen cultivation concerns the spirit, paradoxically a belief in the spirit is not a required condition. In other words, even when a practitioner does not believe that his spirit exists, but by Zen cultivation his spirit will be stronger and more peaceful than before, even when he may continue to deny it. Similarly, a person may not believe in chi or that kungfu can be used in combat, but by practicing genuine chi kung or genuine kungfu, he will be healthier and be able to apply kungfu to defend himself despite his disbelief.

                        One does not have to believe anything in Zen cultivation. Indeed, it is better than he has an open mind. In Zen terms he comes with an empty cup. He can then assess his cultivation to the best of his experience and understanding.

                        It may be significant to note that Jesus himself believed in reincarnation. There are many instances in the Bible to verify this statement. For example, Jesus clearly stated that he was Elijah in a previous life.

                        Nevertheless, to say that belief is not a required condition in Zen cultivation does not mean that it does not affect progress. If a Zen cultivator does not believe his mind exists, for example, it will take him a longer time to attain a similar result than another cultivator who does, if all other things were equal.

                        But other things are not equal. If this person who believes he has only his body, which includes his brain, but has no mind, learns chi kung or kungfu in our school, his attainment in Zen, that is mind training, will be better than others who believe they have a mind and attend Zen retreats.

                        The reason is straight-forward, though it may not be obvious. Zen cultivation, or mind training, is an integral part of our chi kung and kungfu, but may not be in many Zen retreats today. In the retreats, practitioners study Zen instead of practice it. When they sit cross-legged to meditate, myriad thoughts trouble their mind. When they close their mouth and do not speak for days, they lock up their spirit.

                        Your not subscribing to some doctrines in Zen Buddhism will put you in a disadvantageous situation in cultivation of Zen Buddhism than Zen Buddhist practitioners who follow their path completely. But we in Shaolin Wahnam practice Zen, and not Zen Buddhism. The Intensive Zen Course in Hawaii is on Zen, and not on Zen Buddhism.

                        Zen and Zen Buddhism are quite different. Zen is a training of mind. Zen Buddhism is a school of Buddhism that uses the training of mind as the main method of cultivation. The course in Hawaii is on Zen, and not on Zen Buddhism.

                        If you do not subscribe to some doctrines in Zen Buddhism, it may put you in a disadvantageous situation in the Zen Buddhism cultivation, but not in Zen cultivation.

                        If you, for example, do not believe that the phenomenal world is a function of thought, which is a basic doctrine in Zen Buddhism, if all other things were equal, you would be in a disadvantageous situation in the cultivation of non-thought, which is crucial in Zen Buddhism.

                        But even if you do not believe that the phenomenal world is a function of thought, you may not be in a disadvantageous situation in Zen cultivation even in the cultivation of non-thought, which is also crucial in Zen cultivation.

                        Why is a disbelief that the phenomenal world is a function of thought disadvantageous in Zen Buddhism cultivation and not in Zen cultivation even when the cultivation involves attaining non-thought? This is because this doctrine is important in Zen Buddhism, but not important in Zen. The primary aim of Zen Buddhism is to transcend the phenomenal world to attain Cosmic Reality. The primary aim of Zen is to train the mind for peak performance in the phenomenal world.

                        The method is the same, i.e. to attain non-thought. But the aim is different. In Zen Buddhism it is to go beyond the phenomenal to attain the transcendental. In Zen it is to attain peak performance in the phenomenal world. When a Zen Buddhist attains non-thought, the phenomenal world dissolves and he attains Enlightenment. When a Zen practitioner attains non-thought, his mind is pristine clear so that he can perform his best in the phenomenal world.

                        The most essential Zen aspects of our Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung practice, i.e. the most important aspects of mind training in our chi kung, is to clear our mind of all thoughts and to focus our mind on one thought. In Zen terms, they are attaining non-thought and attaining a one-pointed mind.

                        Without clearing our mind of all thoughts, we cannot generate an energy flow, which is the essence of chi kung. Without focusing our mind on one thought, we cannot accomplish many of our chi kung skills, like focusing on our dan tian, massaging internal organs, developing internal force and enjoying a cosmic shower.

                        When we have these skills, we just apply them into our daily life, although the techniques involved may be different. Only those who lack these skills will ask how to do so, i.e. the techniques involved, but still will be unable to do so even when an academic answer is given.

                        For example, if you have the money to buy a bicycle, you can also use the money to enjoy a dinner in a fancy restaurant or go for a short holiday, though the procedures involved may be different. Even if someone explains how to enjoy a dinner in a fancy restaurant or go for a short holiday, if you lack the money you still cannot do so.

                        Skills are general in nature, and therefore can be applied to different situations. When you have the skill of non-thought to generate an energy flow, you can also apply the same skill to generate a feeling of love for your wife and parents, or to eat ice-cream without irrelevant thoughts bothering you. When you have the skill of a one-pointed mind to focus on your dan tian, you can also apply the same skill to focus on playing tennis or on planning a marketing project. These skills, undoubtedly, enrich our daily life.

                        <End>
                        Anthony S

                        Western USA

                        http://elitechikung.com/

                        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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Question 10- One Finger Shooting Zen

                          Question 10

                          Sifu has kindly transmitted "One Finger Shooting Zen" to us. Some might say that the name is self-evident, and that the benefits of "One Finger Shooting Zen" should be directly experienced instead of discussed. Nonetheless, I would like to respectfully ask what the significance is of the words 'shooting' and 'Zen' in this art?

                          Sifu Emiko


                          Answer 10

                          One-Finger Shooting Zen is a treasure of Shaolin Wahnam. It was through One-Finger Shooting Zen that I first developed internal force. It was through One-Finger Shooting Zen that I discovered through direct experience the processes involved in internal force training that eventually led me to formulate the philosophy involved in the training which greatly enriched the many internal force training methods in our school.

                          The word “shooting” in One-Finger Shooting Zen”indicates that internal force shoots out from the finger into an opponent. The force comes from the dan tian.

                          “Zen” refers to the One-finger Zen hand-form. It also represents the highest attainment in Shaolin. One-Finger Zen used in dim mark or dotting energy points is regarded as the first of the ultimate arts in all martial arts.

                          Being the essence of Shaolin, the beauty of One-Finger Shooting Zen is that once you have acquired the internal force, you can channel the internal force to any part of the body. Unlike in some arts like Iron Palm where only the palm is powerful, or Iron Arm where only the arm is powerful, in One-Finger Shooting Zen other parts of your body can be powerful when you channel internal force to them. For example, without having to train your palm, your palm strike can be powerful, or without having to train your arm, your arm can also be powerful.

                          The internal force developed from One-Finger Shooting Zen can be used to heal. I have healed many people using One-Finger Shooting Zen.

                          More significantly, One-Finger Shooting Zen enriches our daily life, enabling us to attain peak performance in whatever we do. It also contributes greatly to good health, vitality and longevity.

                          Does practicing One-Finger Shooting Zen contribute to Zen cultivation? Indeed, training One-Finger Shooting Zen is training Zen, contributing to non-thought and one-pointed mind. With the tremendous increase of energy and mental clarity due to training One-Finger Shooting Zen, it enables us to have better results no matter what we do.


                          <End>
                          Anthony S

                          Western USA

                          http://elitechikung.com/

                          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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            a comment related to question 10

                            I once commented to Sifu that I found it is very easy to have no thoughts after one completes a practice session of One Finger Shooting Zen. Sifu responded with wide eyes and a smile, "That's why its called One Finger Shooting Zen."

                            Thus, even if a person wasn't interested in sending energy into an opponent or in being a healer, one may greatly enhance one's Zen cultivation through the practice One Finger Shooting Zen. lol, maybe we should ask Sifu to include this in the course?
                            Anthony S

                            Western USA

                            http://elitechikung.com/

                            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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Zen Question 11

                              Question 11

                              Does Sigung have a particular memory of first experiencing a Zen awakening?

                              Andrew R


                              Answer 11

                              My first experience of a Zen awakening happened when I was a small boy in the late 1940s, even before I attended primary school. At that time I did not know it was a Zen awakening. In fact I was quite frightened by the experience.

                              My mother took me for a holiday in Kuala Lumpur. I was sitting in a village house looking at passers-by. I could not remember the exact situation or the reason, but for fun I wanted to put myself into another person to feel how he would feel.

                              I cannot remember what exactly I did. I believe I went into what we now call a chi kung state of mind, and placed myself in his position. All of a certain I found myself seeing the world from his eyes. I was shocked. The fright brought me back to my body.

                              I did not tell the experience to anybody. In fact I almost forgot about the incident until being reminded by answering this question.

                              The first Zen awakening I can remember more clearly was when I was teaching chi kung at the Moral Uplifting Society in Taiping in the early 1990s. One night I taught Abdominal Breathing in a Small Universe Course. I was standing on a platform in front of the class performing Abdominal Breathing with the students. I just pressed and released my abdomen about 10 times. I was deeply involved in a meditative state of mind. Then, all of a sudden I found myself nowhere and everywhere.

                              I did not know much about spiritual expansion at that time. I was quite scared, and quickly returned to my body. I also did not tell this extraordinary experience to anybody.

                              <End>
                              Anthony S

                              Western USA

                              http://elitechikung.com/

                              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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                my comment on Sifu's answer to Question 11-

                                It is interesting that Sifu doesn't write "I remember sitting in meditation and seeing/experiencing……."
                                Anthony S

                                Western USA

                                http://elitechikung.com/

                                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 www.amazon.com kindle store

                                Comment

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