Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Zen Intensive in Hawaii Q&A

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Thank you Sifu for your answers, and your transmission.

    Thanks to Sihing Anthony for mediating this thread.

    ...and Congratulations to all those attending the Hawaii Zen course!!!
    Sifu Andy Cusick

    Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
    Shaolin Qigong

    sigpic

    Connect:
    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

    "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
    - ancient wisdom

    Comment


    • #47
      Whenever I form just the hand form of One Finger Zen, I always get a strong one pointed mind, clearing my thoughts.

      Thank you Sifu, and thank you Siheng for providing the answers!

      Comment


      • #48
        Thank You

        Dear Sigung,

        Thank you so much for all of these beautiful answers.

        The intensive chi kung course I attended in Malaysia was one of the most significant events in my life. I know everyone attending is in for something special!

        With Love,
        Andrew
        Love, and do what you will.

        - St. Augustine

        Comment


        • #49
          Dear Sifu,


          (shaolin salute) Thank you!


          With a full heart,

          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


          • #50
            Zen Question and Answer 12

            Question 12

            Many in Shaolin Wahnam are dedicated spouses and parents, following the example of our dear Sifu.

            Some people have said that the Buddha, in leaving his family to pursue Enlightenment was not responsible. Even though he made sure his young child was in good hands before he left, some may feel that he did not do his complete duty as a father to bring his child up. On the other hand, I recall Sifu stating in a Q&A that the Buddha’s son later became his disciple as well. This has always intrigued me - what seems to the mortal world as irresponsible may turn out to be the best decision although the wisdom behind it was not obvious at that time.

            What is Sifu’s view on how we should balance our duties as spouses and parents, and the quest to seek deeper spirituality?

            Sifu Zhang Wuji


            Answer 12

            Previously I also had a similar feeling that the Buddha in leaving his family to pursue Enlightenment was not responsible to his wife and child. But later I realized that this personal sacrifice made his universal sacrifice even greater. It was not that the Buddha did not love his wife and child, but He loved humanity more. His love for humanity was so great that he was prepared to leave his wife and child, and his becoming the king for his country.

            Indeed, what seems to the mortal world as irresponsible may turn out to be the best decision although most people may not have the wisdom to realize it at the time.

            I had a similar experience in the late 1980s or early 1990s. I practiced sitting meditation every day and had become very powerful, but I remained humble, bearing in mind the lesson I sometimes mentioned that many would-be masters failed due to their vanity.

            But on one occasion I felt righteous and powerful enough to face a high-ranking god. About that time there were frequent reports in the newspaper about deaths due to motor accidents. I was angry when I read news about a pious Indian man instantly killed in a motor accident the moment he stepped out of a temple after praying to his god.

            “What type of god he is?” I thought to myself. “How could the god let his pious follower die in a motor accident the very moment leaving the temple after praying to him? If the man had to die, the god could have at least let him die a bit later, not immediately praying to him.”

            Later I realized my mistake. I was both ignorant and arrogant. The god could be most compassionate. To mere mortals, dying in a motor accident was bloody and messy. But to the man who died, death was swift and probably he felt no pain. Instantly he was relieved from suffering in this world, and reborn in a happier place. The god was most compassionate.

            Being a husband (or wife) and father (or mothe0 is a joy and sacred duty. We must provide for our wife (or husband) and children to the best of our ability.

            Unless we are a Buddha, our duty to our wife and children takes precedence over our aspiration and quest to seek deeper spirituality.

            In my teaching I have often mentioned the five levels of chi kung as follows:

            1. Medical chi kung.
            2. Chi kung for health and vitality.
            3. Chi kung for the philosophers.
            4. Chi kung for the general.
            5. Spiritual chi kung.

            These five levels correspond to the developmental stages of a person.

            If a person is sick, he should get well first. Attempting to work hard when he is sick, is being irresponsible to himself and others. He should practice medical chi kung to restore his health.

            Then he should practice chi kung for health and vitality so that he can do his work well in order to provide for his wife and children to the best of his ability. If he neglects his family to see God, God will ask him to go home to look after his family. He promised God at his marriage to provide for his wife and children to the best of his ability.

            After having done his job well and provide well for his wife and family, he can engage himself in hobbies, which may be classified as scholarly or martial. Neglecting his work and family to enjoy himself in hobbies is being irresponsible. To excel in his scholarly or martial hobbies, he can practice chi kung for philosophers and chi kung for generals.

            Having done his work well and provided well for his family, he may dedicate him to return to God. Spiritual chi kung will be most suitable for him at this stage.

            These five levels of chi kung serve as guidelines for emphasis in a practitioner’s training. Even when he practices medical chi kung to overcome sickness, he must not neglect his spirit. All healing starts from the heart, the spiritual heart.

            On the other hand, when he practices spiritual chi kung to return to God, he must not neglect his health. The great Bodhidharma, for example, taught the Shaolin monks Eighteen Lohan Hands to improve their health so that they could better cultivate to attain Enlightenment.

            <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


            • #51
              Thank you Sigung

              Thank you Sigung for another amazing Q&A series. I'm re-reading your "Complete Book of Zen" for the third time and this and the other Zen Q&A series are really incredible (as is your book! :-))

              Those attending the course are very lucky.
              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.

              Comment


              • #52
                Another Questions

                Since Sifu hasn’t told us we can’t continue to ask questions I’m going to add one here-

                Dear Sifu,

                I had been having some strong vision of an automobile driving dangerously through stop light in front of me. Actually seeing an auto dangerously running through a Red Light is very rare for me ( I don’t recall the last time I’ve witnessed it.) I normally drive quite cautiously and generally stay very aware of traffic coming from all directions. For example, I don’t make a turn or proceed through an intersection until I see other moving cars stop first, I don’t assume they will turn or stop. A few weeks ago I had the same vision again. A couple hours later as I left my home, I indeed witnessed a car drive fast and dangerous through an intersection right in front of me without stopping and I avoided any danger by stopping before this happened (I stopped because I was aware of it before it happened). To me it was a fulfillment of what I had been seeing in visions and I had no emotion attached to it. Since this event I haven’t had any further visions like this. Is this type of experience related to Zen?

                Anthony Spinicchia
                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


                • #53
                  Answer 13

                  Question 13

                  When we spar or fight how should we deal with emotions? In the Zen approach are emotions something to let go of? Are they a hindrance to being combat efficient? Or should we focus our emotions in a fight?

                  Sham.


                  Answer 13


                  In a life-death fight, emotions should be left aside as they interfere with one’s combat efficiency. Irrespective of what types of emotions are involved, they affect the fighter’s performance, both mentally and physically. Working oneself into a frenzy, as a world known Taijiquan master once stated, is unwise. Indeed, in any style of kungfu, especially in Taijiquan, the more relaxed a fighter is the more efficient he will be, in fighting as well as in daily life.

                  Hence, as I have often advised, in a serious challenge match, even though it may not be as serious as a life-death combat but serious enough to get us involved in the fight which we would like to avoid if we can, our Shaolin Wahnam fighters representing our school must not be afraid or hesitant in hurting opponents crucially or even fatally.

                  If an opponent rushes in with a shoot, for example, our fighter must not be afraid or hesitant to strike the challenger’s head with his palm, which may maim or even kill the challenger.

                  With the value of compassion we teach in our school, it is likely that our Shaolin Wahnam fighter might not strike a challenger’s head when he has a chance to do so. This moment of hesitance, due to his compassionate emotion, would turn his victory to defeat. More seriously, this challenger, if he is irrational enough to challenge our school, would be irrational enough to cause serious hurt to our fighter. Therefore, I have to repeatedly warn our fighters to leave aside emotions, even noble ones, when engaged in a fight of this nature.

                  It is naïve if someone asks how we know we could cause serious injury to an opponent if we strike our palm on his head if we had not done so? It is like asking how we know we would cause serious injury to a person if we shoot a gun at him if we had not shot any living person. If we can break a brick so thoroughly that it burst into powder (please see some of our brick-breaking videos), we can also break a skull into pieces. Or if we have enough internal force to break the bottom of two bricks, we also have enough internal force to cause serious damage to the brain of a living person without cracking his skull.

                  Nevertheless, fights are not usually a matter of life-death combat, and emotions or considerations for others’ emotions do play an important part. If a drunken man attacks you in a pub, you don’t have to burst his skull into pieces, you merely push him aside or fell him onto the floor, but without the finishing strike.

                  In friendly sparring, including sparring with martial artists of other schools, we do not even hit our opponents. We stop an inch from target. It is better to win a friend than to win a match.

                  A good way to deal with emotions is to gently sink your chi to your dan tian. This was how past masters dealt with emotions in their fights, including life-death ones. Gently sinking your chi to your dan tian not only attains emotional balance, instead of letting emotions control you, you also have more force ready for use and better mental clarity for combat.

                  Emotional balance does not mean you have no more emotions. It means you can control your emotions so that they will not affect you in your combat or other activities. If you want to be compassionate or destructive, you can do so detachedly and efficiently.

                  Yes, in Zen cultivation one should let go of emotions, or have good emotional control. Letting go of emotions is more urgent in Zen Buddhist monks because to be detached is an important aspect of Buddhist training. The fact that they leave their family and society indicates their detachment.

                  Nevertheless, as tolerance and compassion are important teachings in Buddhism, Zen Buddhist monks are also tolerant and compassionate. This is not a contradiction, though it may appear to be. They are tolerant and compassionate in a detached manner, but not irrationally involved. For example, if a preacher advocating doctrines contradictory to Zen Buddhism was found wanting for food and shelter, Zen Buddhist monks would feed and house him in their temple, but they would not hug him and kiss him all over, nor will they deny him food and shelter due to his opposing teaching.

                  However, at the highest level when Zen Buddhist monks are ready to attain Enlightenment, they would be emotionless, for any emotions, even noble ones, would bide them to the phenomenal realm. It is because of their great compassion that Bodhisattvas postpone their Enlightenment, or return to the phenomenal realm from Enlightenment to help sentient beings.

                  When we spar or fight we should tame our emotions, just like we tame our mind. We should not focus on our emotions in a fight. Strong emotions, like wandering thoughts, distract us and are a hindrance to our combat efficiency.

                  This does not mean that we become emotionless. We control our emotions instead of letting our emotions control us. We are detached, and can be compassionate to let our opponents go if we want to, or to decisively strike down an opponent if it is necessary. Our efficiency and detachment derived from Zen training, i.e. training of mind, can be beneficially used in combat or in 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


                  • #54
                    Dear Sigung

                    Once again thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and understanding.

                    I'm very grateful for the answer to my question - very very useful indeed.

                    My wife and I are looking forward to meeting and learning from you soon at the Summer Camp!

                    Thank you Anthony Sipak for managing this Q&A.

                    With gratitude and Shaolin Salute
                    Jacek

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Answer 14

                      Question 14

                      Besides counting breaths and concentrating or relaxing and focusing on the breath, trying not to worry, how do you actually focus, tame the "monkey mind" and will we learn this in the Zen course?

                      This sounds dumb right, but I'm an RN. I went to school, I'm persistent in my pursuit of martial arts, I have many skills that require concentration for long periods or hours. How come I can't keep a single focus for more than a breath during meditation and chi gung?

                      I've read books for techniques without much more success. Will this be taught in the course?

                      Lee


                      Answer 14

                      There are many other ways besides the ones you have mentioned to focus or tame your monkey mind.

                      There are countless methods in meditation, or training of the mind, but all these countless methods may be summed up into two principles, namely to reduce the mind to one, or to expand the mind to zero.

                      Your problem concerns reducing the mind to one. This principle, as well as the other principle to expand the mind to zero, together with appropriate techniques will be taught at the Intensive Zen Course in Hawaii.

                      Reducing the mind to one is reducing myriad thoughts to one thought. When you are proficient in this skill, you attain a one-pointed mind.

                      This one thought can be an object outside your body, an object inside your body, or a thought. To make it easier for you to focus on this one object or thought, it should be as simple as possible. If it is elaborated, it may distract you.

                      Some examples of an object outside your body are a stone, a flower, a spot on a tree, a dot on a piece of paper or some simple movements of a chi kung or kungfu exercise. Some examples of objects inside your body can be your dan tian, your breathing, and your energy flow along your arms. Some examples of a thought can be reciting a simple mantra, saying a non-sensible verse, counting from one to ten, repeating that you are healthy and well.

                      You may be standing upright, standing at a stance, sitting on a seat, sitting cross-legged, sitting in a lotus position, lying down or moving in some chi kung or kungfu patterns. You must be relaxed and your mind on the one thought.

                      I do not know what you mean by RN. Are you in the Royal Navy, or a rotten nut?

                      If you are interested in martial arts, a good opportunity is to join a regular Shaolin or Taijiquan class conducted by any of our certified instructors. Please seehttp://www.shaolin.org/general/instructors-list.html You can be sure that you will develop internal force and be able to apply what you have learnt to defend yourself or your loved ones, two basic benefits that practicing a good martial art will give. You will also enrich your daily life.

                      What you mean is that you have many techniques that require concentration for long periods or hours, but not a single skill to perform them correctly. It is better for you to develop your skill to focus on something for a short time, like a minute, than attempting to focus on anything for a long time without success.

                      You can’t keep a single focus for more than a breath during meditation and chi kung because of one, two or all the three factors below:

                      1. Your method is wrong.
                      2. Your teacher is incompetent.
                      3. You are a bad student.

                      The three factors below are known as the Three Essentials of Successful Training. If you have these three essentials, you will be successful in any training – from cooking a meal to sending a rocket to space:

                      1. The method is correct.
                      2. The teacher is competent.
                      3. You are a good student.

                      The better the factors are, the better will be the result.

                      Although you have read techniques from books, you are still unsuccessful because you lack the relevant skills. This is a secret not many people know. They do not differentiate between skills and techniques. They think, wrongly, that if they have the techniques they will have the desired results. This is not so.

                      For example, you may learn excellent swimming techniques from a book, but you still cannot swim. Or you may learn excellent driving techniques from a video, but you still cannot drive. In both cases you lack the relevant skills.

                      The chi kung techniques practiced by many people are genuine, but they still remain sickly and weak. It is because they do not have the skills to perform the techniques as chi kung; they perform them as gentle exercise. The kungfu techniques practiced by many people are genuine, but they still cannot apply their kungfu techniques for combat. It is because they do not have the skills to apply the techniques for combat; they only have the skills to apply the techniques for demonstration.

                      Yes, the skills to focus in meditation and chi kung will be taught in the courses in Hawaii. If you are a good student, i.e. if you are willing and able to follow simple instructions, you will be able to focus long enough to attain a one-pointed mind in meditation, and to generate an energy flow in chi kung.



                      (All Questions Answered)
                      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


                      • #56
                        Thank you dear Sifu.

                        I really appreciate your advice on the reality of fighting and how letting go of emotions (or being emotionally balanced) allows us to have peak performance in whatever we do.

                        Interestingly I have read articles by a couple of people who have practiced Zen for many years (they also teach Zen in established lineages), they don't explain Zen clearly or not even at all. Whilst on our forum a newcomer can read your advice and benefit right now in their Zen cultivation. Lucky we are!

                        Regards,

                        Sham.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Answer 15

                          Question 15

                          I had been having some strong vision of an automobile driving dangerously through stop light in front of me. Actually seeing an auto dangerously running through a Red Light is very rare for me. I don’t recall the last time I’ve witnessed it.

                          I normally drive quite cautiously and generally, stay very aware of traffic coming from all directions. For example, I don’t make a turn or proceed through an intersection until I see other moving cars stop first. I don’t assume they will turn or stop.

                          A few weeks ago I had the same vision again. A couple of hours later as I left my home, I indeed witnessed a car drive fast and dangerously through an intersection right in front of me without stopping and I avoided any danger by stopping before this happened. I stopped because I was aware of it before it happened.

                          To me it was a fulfillment of what I had been seeing in visions and I had no emotion attached to it. Since this event I haven’t had any further visions like this. Is this type of experience related to Zen?

                          Sifu Anthony Spinicchia


                          Answer 15

                          Yes, this experience is related to Zen. In Absolute Reality there is no time and space. In other words. time and space are constructs of thought. When you have transcended thought in Zen training, you transcend this limitation even when you remain in the phenomenal realm.

                          As we progress in Zen training, we can perceive beyond time and space. In other words, we may see events that will happen in the future or happened in the past, or is happening somewhere at present in another place.

                          When one has such miraculous abilities, it is important that he must not reveal what are called “heaven secrets” indiscriminately even with good intentions. For example, if he sees his friend is to be killed in an accident, is he going to inform his friend? No, it is a “heaven secret”. How does he know whether it is a “heaven secret”? A good way is to ask God or whatever term he calles the Supreme. If he asks sincerely, he will always be given an answer, though sometimes he may have to interpret it according to his understanding.

                          From a mortal’s perspective, he may think he is doing good by informing his friend of the impending calamity. But from the cosmic perspective what is an impending calamity to him might be a good thing to his friend. It may, for example, a release favorable for him. It is certainly true that there are such events as blessings in disguise.


                          <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


                          • #58
                            Dear Sifu and Family,

                            Thank you very much for your wonderful wonderful questions and Sifu’s incredible and amazing answers which are full of Sifu’s wisdom and insights.
                            I am reading these questions and answers one by one.
                            I am still in the middle of reading, but the more I read, the more I am looking forward to joining the Zen course in July in Hawaii.

                            So far, I laughed when I read the Two Monks Story in the Q&A #2 and I noticed how often I am doing similar things that the younger monk was doing in my daily life.

                            How easily being attached to many things we are!!!

                            I would like to convey my deepest appreciation with great respect to Sifu and those who asked Sifu those questions.

                            Much gratitude and respect,
                            Yumi

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Thank you

                              Dear Sigung and family,

                              I have just finished reading through this Q&A and just wanted to express my gratitude for this thread. The transmission has come through and deeply calmed my spirit.

                              The Zen course sounds wonderful, and I wish I could attend. I am sure everyone there will have an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience!

                              Thank you Sigung for your generosity in answering the questions, and thank you to all the members who have contributed to making this such an interesting thread.

                              With respect and gratitude,
                              Erica

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Excellent

                                I still very much like this thread. Really happy to come back to it, once in a while
                                Jeroen

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X