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  • #46
    A wonderful, comprehensive and step-by-step answer;

    Thank you Sifu, and thank you Sihing for mediating this thread.

    Yours looking forward to Part II,
    Sifu Andy Cusick

    Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
    Shaolin Qigong

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

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    • #47
      Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Question-Answer 6 -- Part

      As many of our students and instructors enjoy our training, and also our training time is much shorter than what most other practitioners spend in their training, a more suitable alternative is to reduce the intensity of training to overcome or prevent over-training.

      The very reason why our training is so powerful is because we operate at the mind level. The great majority of other people operate at the form level. Some may operate at the energy level.

      Some people mistakenly think that to operate at the mind level, a practitioner has to visualize. Visulization, while in an intutitive state of mind, is one way to operate at the mind level. We do this, for example, in Bone Marrow Cleansing. But visualization is not the only way. Another way, which is often more powerful, is to go deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Going into a chi kung state of mind, or entering Zen or entering Tao, is what we always do, and is the main reason why our training is so powerful.

      To make our training less powerful so that we do not over-train, we do not go too deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Instead of spending a minute, for example, to eneter into a chi kung state of mind, we just spend a few seconds.

      Or we can just go straight to our exercise without first spending time, even a short one, entering into a chi kung state of mind. Even when we do not purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind, we are still in a chi kung state of mind due to our habit, so we are still practicing genuine chi kung or good kungfu.

      I tried this method at a chi kung course in Madrid recently, and it worked very well. All students, including some fresh beginners, enjoyed an energy flow. It was not as powerful as other courses, but it was still powerful, and more importantly it best su9ted the needs of the students. The students were stil fresh and energetic at the end of the course, not tired and worn out as in some other courses.

      For some students and instrucrors in our school, even not purposely entering into a chi kung state of mind at the start of the exercise may still be too powerful. The next rep, in a descending order of steps described here, is to purposely perform the exerciuse at a physcial level.

      This is akin to but not the same as the step described previous to this one. At the previous step, we did not purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind, but might perform the exerise in a chi kung state of mind due to habit.

      At this step we purposely do not enter into a chi kung state of mind, and purposely perform our chi kung or kungfu exercise at a form level. This indeed is what most people who practice genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu do.

      But this is not what most people who say they practice chi kung and kungfu do. They perform genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu forms as gentle physcial exercise as as kungfu gymnastics. The contstitue more than 80% of chi kung and kungfu practitioners. Less than 20% perform genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu but at a form level. That was also what I did when I took more than a year to generate an energy flow or to develop intenral force.

      When you perform chi kung or kungfu exercise at a form level, you are still performing genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu, and therefore still in a chi kung state of mind -- at lease some of the ime and not too deeply. Our students and instructors would have no diffiuclty in understanding what I explain here. But many other people may not understand though they know the dictionary meaning of all the words I have used.

      Do you know shy? It is because they do not have the experience of what I explain, whereas our students and instructors have. Another way is to say that the problem is due to the limitation of words.

      If a practitioner still finds himself over-training even when he performs the art or exercise at the form level, is to take negative action. He prposely intellectualize or purposely tense his muscles – not all the time but some of the time. When he intellectualizes or tenses his muscles, he brings himself out of the chi kung state of mind. When he is not in the chi kung state of mind, he will not get the benefits of chi kung or internal force which causes over-cleansing in kungfu. At the end of his practice, he must have a short remedial exercise to relax his mind and muscles.

      Besides reducing the level of training so as not to over-train, which is described above in descending order, one can also spend his excess energy in wholesome activiites. He can performs kungfu sets or combat sequences at a form level. He can also spend his time enjoying with his friends, family or with himself, like hiking, swimming, partying, traveling, socializing, reading and writing. He can also spend his excess energy on his work, like moving goods around in a shop or planning a marketing progreamme for his company.

      Deviating is getting harmful effects instead of benefits from one’s training. In a mild form it is not getting the result practicing the art or exercise is meant to give, but not suffering from harmful effects.

      Indeed, getting harmful effects instead of benefits is the main issue of most matial artists today, and many of them may not realize it.

      Two main aims of practicing any martial art are to be able to defend themselves and to be healthy. Most marital artists cannot defend themselves, otherwise they would not be hit and kicked in free sparring.

      Many martial artists become more unhealty the more they train. Some advanced martial artists realize this problem, and they take to Taijiquan hoping to overcome their problem. But unfortuantely they practice Taiji dance instead of genuine Taijiquan.

      Chi kung practitioners also have deviated. They may not have serious harmful effects like matial artists have, but the chi kung practitioners fail to derive the benefits practicing chi kung is meant to give. Even many chi kung “masters’ are routinely sick.

      Both chi kung and kungfu have deviated to a ridiculous extend. Most chi kujg practitioner today have no experience of chi, though chi is what they should work on in their art. Most kungfu practitioner cannot apply their kungfu for combat, though kungfu is an excellent martial art.

      The five guidelines mentioned above will help them to avoid deviation. Even if they do not have a set of elaborate guidelines, they could ask themselves why they practice their art. Finding that they do not get the benefits they should get, they should realize they have deviated, or their art has deviated.

      Even if they do not ask this important question, they should know from direct experience that they have harmful effects or their practice is not bringing them the benefits it gives. If a person has practiced a martial art dedicately and is hospitalized for injuries sustained in his practice, or has practiced chi kung delicatedly and still has to take medication for an illness, it does not deminad much intelligence for him to realize that he or his art has deviated.

      It need courage as well as humblemness to make a change to remediate the deviation or at least stop it. Sadly many martial art and chi kung practitioners lack the courage and humbleness.

      Chasing experiences instead of getting real benefits from the art one practices is not uncommon. Some students asked me, fortunately not many in our school, why they didn’t see colorful lights in their head or feel electric current flowing down their arms. Many years ago a kungfu student asked me how long it took for him to train to be able to jump up a building.

      I told them that these were fanciful experiences, not real practical benefits that we want to obtain from practicing our arts. Real benefits are good health, vitality, longeivity, mental freshness and spiritual joys, and in the case of kungfu to be able to defend ourselves or our loved ones if needed.

      In the case fo the kungfu student, I told him that even if he could achieve the feat of jumping up a building, it was not worth the time and effort he had to put into his training. He could just use a life, or just run up the stairs.

      Apparently my anssers make sense to them. They continued to practice their arts and eventually obtained the practical benefits.

      Having a sound philosophical understanding of how to get the best result and ofdeviating, over-training and chasing experiences, it becomes simple to balance the two aspects.

      In practical terms, we use the five guidelines in our training. Knowing why we dedicate ourselves to practicing our arts will prevent deviation and chasing experiences. When we experience or suspect over-training, we apply the steps described above in desceinding order.

      We are indeed very fortunate that not only we have inherited some wonderful arts but also have sound philosophical undetrstanding to enable us to get the best results from our practice
      Sifu Mark Appleford

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      • #48
        A bonus Answer from Sifu for Q=A 6

        Supplimentary Answer for Question 6

        After sending to Mark my answer to Andy’s question, I realized that I did not anwer Andy’s question directly. Andy asks my advice on how best to attain the balance between striving to reach one’s maximum potential in this life vs not deviating, overtraining or chasing experiences. But my answer focuses on how to attain the best results in training an art or an exercise vs not deviating, overtraining or chasing experiences. The crucial difference is attaining maximum potential in life in Andy’s question, and attaining the best results in our training in my answer.

        Misreading a question is rare in my answers, and as I don’t think accidents really happen, I consider this incident as divine guidance where we can use this opportunity for improvement. I am sure many peoplw will benefit from reading the answer, so I did not notify Mark immediately. I believe it will also be beneficial to give a supp;imentary answer where I can address Andy’s question directly.

        The same 4 guidelines to obtain the best results in practicing any art can also be applied to obtaining maximum potential in life, but we need to make appropriate modifications.

        Firstly we need to have a sound phiulosophical understanding of what maximum potential in life means. We can realize this guideline by reading good books on life.

        Different writers will give different interpreations of what they consider as the maximum potentiao in life. In our school, our interpretation is to enrich our life and the lives of other people.

        To enrich our life we need to have good health and vitality, mental clarity, a lot of energy, and a good philosophy of life, like realizing that it is wonderful to be alive, and that we are grateful for being living a meaningful life. Our examples will indirectly enrich other people’s life. Directly we are generous to share our philosophy and skills of joyful living with those who are deserving.

        The second guideline is to set aims and objectives in life. The aims and objectives may change according to situations, like availability of opportunities and increase of knowledge or wisdom.

        But generally the many aim and objectives can be reduced to two main categories:

        1. Increase income
        2. Cultivate the spirit

        It is worthwhile to realize that our income is a means to lead the type of life we want to live, and not accumulate money for its own sake. There is abundant evident to show that the fabulously rich are not necessarily happy.

        Of the two aims or objectives, depending on whether we regard increasing income and cultivating the spirit as long-term processes or immediate endeavors, cultivating the spirit is more important. Indeed, increasing income is always influenced by or even directely guided by cultivating the spirit.

        The most basic stage of cultivating the spirit is to be peaceful and happy, and the most supreme stage is to merge with Cosmic Reality, called variously by people of different cultures as returning to God the Holy Spirit, merging witht Great Void, or attaining Enlightenment.

        We are not ready for this most supreme stage though we have the skills and techniques, especially those who have attended courses like Cosmic Breathing, Merging with the Cosmos, Intenisve Chi Kung Course, and the Small and Big Universe Course. So we have a glimpse of Cosmic Realtiy, called a satori or a spiritual awakening, which is life-changing.

        In between these two extremes there are countless stages, and we in Shaolin Wahnam have direct experiences of these stages, like feeling joyful everyday irrespective of rain or shine, having compassion for other people, and feeling happy when others succeed.

        The third guideline is to learn from the best available master according to the student’s resources. As far as I know, there are no schools that specifically teach students to maximize their potential. Our school comes very close, though we are basically a chi kung and kungfu school.

        Our aim, which our instructors are consciously aware of in their teaching, of enriching our lives and the lives of others and not just being good at kungfu and chi kung, set a sound direction for our students to maximize their potential in life. We also consciouusly transfere what we learn in our kungfu snd chi kung lessons to enrich our daily life. Our philosophy that life is wonderful contributes greatly to this purpose. Hence, those who learn in our school are really very lucky.

        The fourth gudeline is to practice what the teacher teaches, and not what the student thinks the practice should be done. By definition, not following this guideline is a deviation.

        Some students and even instructors, despite having the rare opportunity to learn in our school, deviated in this way. Those who have read my autobiography will have read about the many betrayals in the history of our school. I did not mention in the autobiography the follow-up situations of those who betrayed me. But their situations were not good, certainly not examples of maximizing their lives’ potential. The chi kung master who betrayed me died young. The president of Shaolin Wahnam Association suffered from paralysis for many years before he died.

        We wished them well despite their betrayals, but they could not escape their own karma. The Buddha himself said that he could not change bad karma into good one. Do good and goodness will result, do evil and evilness will result, is a universal truth, and this is a guiding principle in our spiritual cultivation. In our school we do good not because we crave for good result, but because we are righteous, we believe it is the right thing to do.

        The fifth guideline is to periodically access the results of our endeavour with reference ot our set aims and objectives. If a person does not attain his aim or objective, his failure can be traced to one, two or all of the folloing three factors:

        1. His philosophy of life.
        2. His (or her) teacher.
        3. He (or she) himself (or herself).

        In our school, as we have a good philosophy of life, and good teachers, the fault is usually the student. And the fault can be traced to one or both of the following:

        1. He did not carry on the required endevor sufficient.
        2. He did not follow the advice of his teacher.

        If he is an instructor and wants to teach a large class to increase his income, he may have advertised his class once a while, but not work on marketing from 9 to 5 everyday for six months. If he is a student and wants to be peaceful and happy, he may have practiced his chi kung exercises learned from our school, but keeps worrying and intellectualizing during his practice.

        Following the above 5 guidelines will enable students to avoid deviation and chasing experiences as well as overtraining in the sense of overdoing a particular activitiy to maximize his life potential to the extent of missing the benefits or even bring harm to himself.

        For example, instead of enjoying wholesome hobbies, a person starts drinking and womanizing, it is a deviation from maximizing his life potential. The fault can be traced to the first guideline. He did not have a sound philosopical understanding of life.

        He may be chasing experiences, like dreaming himself as a millionaire or spending a holiday on an idylic island, when he can hardly make ends meet, or work laborously in a factory. His fault can be traced to the second guideline; he did not set aims and objectives.

        He can set an aim to become a millionaire one day, or an objective of holidaying on an idylic island, like those who will attend the Advanced Shaolin Kungfu Course on the 36 Leg Techniques in Penang in Novemnber will experience. Th crucial difference is that in chasing after experiences a person merely day-dream, in setting aims and objectives, he works purposely towards the aims and objectives to maximize his life potential.

        Following the five guidelines will enable a person to maiximize his life potential. But he must guard against overdoing. For example, he may set an aim to become a millionaire. He may want to start his own business. So he reads up a lot of literature about the business he wishes to start as well as about how to start a business. He reads a lot of books and becomes very knowledgeable, but he never gets to start his business.

        He has overdone in his preparation. He has prepared more than necessary for his immediate need, but never gets on to the next stage of the process. He does not understand the flow method.

        Suppose he knows the flow method and succeeds in becoming a millionaire. He must realize that becoming a millionaire is a means to fulfil his spiritual cultivation. In this case it is providing himself and his family a comfortable life.

        If becoming a millionaire does not enable himself and his family a comfortable life, like he is so involved in making money that he has no time for himself and his fmaily, then he has to reassess his situation, especially his philosophy of life and his aims and objectives in life. The means must justify the end. There must be yin-yang harmony.

        There must also be yin-yang harmony between a philosophical understanding of maximizing one’s potential in life and the practical skills of mental clarity and a lot of energy in translating this philosophy into practical benefits. The coming UK Summer Camp will provide the opportunity to acqurie these skills.
        Sifu Mark Appleford

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        • #49
          This thread is an absolute treasure, of immeasurable value. Like many of the blessing offered by Sigung to the Shaolin Wahnam family, it is somehow both exactingly timely and gracefully eternal.

          With gratitude and respect,

          -Ryan

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          • #50
            Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Q+A 7

            Question 7

            Following Siheng Mark advice on asking only one question, the most important question that comes to mind is, what do you consider is the Essence of Spiritual Cultivation.

            Sifu Angel G. Pérez Oliveras


            Answer.

            The essence of spiritual cultivation is the spirit.

            If the spirit if cultivated, there is spiritual cultivation. If the spirit is not culitvated, there is no spiritual cultivation.

            Spiritual cultivation, therefore, is different from moral development, and also different from religious education.

            These three disciplines – spiritual cultivation, moral development and religious eductaion are often confused. Many people thank, mistakenly, that a morally upright person is spiritually cultivated, or that a spiritually cultvated person is well versed in religious education.

            A spiritually cultivated person is usually morally upright, but not necessarily so. A black magician, for example, has cultivated his spiriit to a high level, but he may not have high moral values. On the other hand, a morally upright person, like one who never lies and never steal, may or may not believe in the spirit.

            Being spiritual and being religious are different. Our arts, for example, are spiritual, but they are non religions. Hence, a spiritual cultivated personly may or may not be religious, and a religiously educated person may or may not be spiritually cultivated.

            As all religions deal witht the spirit, religious person therefore believe in the spirit. But whether they cultivate their spirit is another issue. Usually they are spiritually cultivated indirectly, like being devoted to God or divine beings, But if they are afaind of ghosts or are depressed, then they are not spiritually cultivated.

            Spiritual cultivation may be divided into the following three categories:

            1. To live a happy and peaceful life heae and now.
            2. To go to heaven in the afterlife.
            3. To merge with Cosmic Reality, called variously by people of different cultiures as returning to God the Holly Spirit, attaining Enlightenment, or merging with Tao.

            Spiritual cultivation may take many forms, like saying prayers, reciting sutras, devoting to the Divine, practicing chi kung and practicing hihg-level martial arts. But the principal method is meditation.

            The term “meditation”, however, is a misleading term. It may suggests “to meditate” or “to think”. Thinking or intellectualizing is exactly what practitioners of some meditation disciplines, like ours, do not do.

            The term originated from Christian meditation, which refers to reflecting on God’s words. This term was later applied to other spiritual cultvation systems that came from the East to the West, even when some of these systems, like Zen, discourage intellectualization
            Sifu Mark Appleford

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            • #51
              Hi Mark Siheng (or others)

              I know it is far too late to ask Sifu a question about this, but I was wondering if you (or others) knew whether Sifu would be teaching anything like sitting meditation, as an aid to spiritual cultivation on this course?

              He taught that on a zen course I attended, sitting as in just sitting at a chair, not the lotus position. I really, really enjoyed it, but later in my own practice I started to feel I was doing it wrong and couldn't remember it clearly enough so I was worried about continuing to practise it, and decided I was best to stick with what I know well.

              It was when I read one of Sifu's answer on this thread and he talked about how he had an experience of spiritual cultivation whilst meditating that I thought he might include this as part of the course.

              Comment


              • #52
                I am not sure what Sifu will be teaching on this course, as I did not deem it necessary to ask. I am sure though what ever is taught will be for the best benefit of the students there to obtain the aims of the course. Just as a reminder this is what was written as the course description.

                The practice of the Shaolin Arts has always included in its aims – good health, increased performance and spiritual cultivation. During his 60 years of training in these arts Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit has distilled the essential elements of each of these aspects.
                In this course Sifu Wong will be teaching and transmitting the essential practices and skills for spiritual cultivation. It will give you the foundation for developing and distilling these skills for your own path of spiritual cultivation.

                This path, depending on each individual’s choice and stage of development, can lead to:
                • A happy, healthy, meaningful life
                • “Eternal Bliss”
                • A complete awakening
                Progress on this path is experienced as increased: Being at ease, awareness, clear mind, connection, excitement/engagement in life, presence, being part of something bigger, understanding of our part of things. This in turn resonates out, leading towards our aim at Fully Alive of helping to create a world that is healthier, happier and safer for the current generation, the children and the grandchildren to live in.
                Tim Franklin

                http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
                A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

                www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

                Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

                UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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                • #53
                  Skills are far more important than techniques
                  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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                  • #54
                    Quite right, which is why we often say:

                    Techniques lead to skills. Skills lead to outcomes.
                    Tim Franklin

                    http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
                    A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

                    www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

                    Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

                    UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Indeed Divine Guidance :-)

                      Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

                      Sifu kindly explains in this thread (Question-Answer 6) about the skill for lowering the level of practice that was recently transmitted in Madrid Courses. I was lucky to be there and I feel very grateful to Sifu for having transmitted me this useful and life changing skill.

                      I was thinking of including my experience in this thread but I then considered that it would better fit in the thread that Leo Sidai kindly created regarding "Over Training" and "Over Cleansing". If you would like to read about my experiences and insights please click here.

                      With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

                      Santiago

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Question-Answer 8

                        Only two more questions to go

                        Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Question-Answer 8 -- Part 1

                        Question 8

                        With regard to Spiritual Cultivation and access to the Universal Mind, is it possible to seek guidance from a particular individual that has passed? For instance, if a student/instructor has taken your Baguazhang course, would it be possible for them to seek guidance directly from Dong Hai Chuan, to deepen their understanding and skill?

                        If this is possible, would it be recommended? Could this fall into the category of trying to be smarter than the master (not trusting Sifu's teaching/method, looking for better ways to practice, etc.)? If we do our best to practice as you have taught us, does that provide us with best opportunity to receive spiritual guidance (if it is offered), and therefore no additional seeking of this guidance is necessary?

                        Sifu Matt Fenton


                        Answer

                        Yes, it is possible to seek guidance from an individual that has passed on from this world. This in fact is what happens in seeking guidance from gods who were human before in this world.

                        Immortal Li was a scholar and Taoist cultivator before he became an immortal. Many people sought his advice with my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, acting as a medium. I was skeptical at first, but events proved that if I claimed to be scientific, I just had to accept the fact that immortals who were previously himan existed, and their advice helped when human endevour failed.

                        It is only sensible to seek advice from highly spiritual beings like gods and immortals. It would be foolish to seek help from lower spirits.

                        A student or an instrucror who has taken a Baguzzhang course from me could seek guidance from Dong Hai Chuan. Whether Dong Hai Chuan would respond is another issue.

                        Personally I have not come across students or instrucrors in our school or other schools who seek advice or guidance from the patriarch who have passed on of the arts the students or instructors practice, like Southern Shaolin practitioners seeking guidance from Wong Fei Hoon or Taijiquan practitioners seeking guidance from Yang Lu Chan.

                        But I know of a senior practitioner from our school who received guidance from Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng who passed on about 50 years ago. This was a very illuminating real story. The disciple did not know about Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng at first. He just knew a jovial powerful kungfu master cam to teach him. It was like real life; the master was like a real living person.

                        Later when this senior practitioner had a pleasant surprise when he saw in my website a piture of Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng. He told me that was the master who cam in spirit to teach him. I asked the senior practitioner what Gandmaster Law Sai Weng had taught him. It was very powerful tiger-claw.

                        Some time ago a few students reported that they were visited my my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. But on investigation I found that it was another spirit.

                        I would not recommend our students or instructors to seek guidance from mastes who had passed on. There is a likelihood that other spirits may impersonate the past masters.

                        There is also no need to seek guidance even if the real past masters themselves come. Our studdnts and instructors are already practicing the past masters’ arts very well – to the point of over-training. In fact I have advised that if they could attain only 30% of what they attained at the courses where I taught the arts, it would be more than sufficient for them to excel in the arts.

                        Yes, this would be falling into the category of trying to be smarter than the master. It is a clear indication that they do not trust my judgement – that attaining just 30% in their daily training of what they attained during the courses would be sufficient for them to excel.

                        This is different from the example of a past master coming on his own will to help a student like the case of Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng and our senior practitioner. The senior practtitooner actually sought my advice when Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng first came. At that time neither the practitioner nor I knew that the past master was Grandmaster Lam Sai Weng. I advised the practitioner to access whether the psst master good-natured and that the practitioner must make clear there was no oblication involved.

                        We have become so cost-effective that students and instructors do not have to do their best to practice as I have taught. If they practice daily and attain only 30% of what they attained during the courses I taught them, they would have done well. This is almost a joke. “Ku lian”, which means “bitter training”, is the hallmark of all kungfu training, including my own kungfu training when I was a student. But now we tell our students, “Don’t worry! Don’t intellectualize! Enjoy your practice! If you just attain 30% you would have done well. If you try to do your best, you will be over-training.”

                        Yes, if one can attain only 30% of what he (or she) attained during the course I taught him, it would provide him with the opportunity to receive spiritual guidance, and there is no need for him to seek additional guidance elsewhere.

                        All our training is triple cultivation, i.e. cultivation of jing, qi and shen, or physical, energy and spirit. In other wores, all our training, from the lowest to the most advanced, includes spiritual cultivation.

                        After performing an exercise like Lifting the Sky or Carrying the Moon in a regional Generating Energy Flow class, all students feel peaceful and relaxed. This is spiritual cultivation. After an advanced regional course like Merging with the Cosmos, more than 70% of the students expanded into the Cosmos. This is spiritual cultivation.

                        30% of a student who feels peaceful and relaxd, or expands into the Cosmos in a few hours is more progress than other practitioners, including masters, who feel peaceful and relaxed or expand into the Cosmos after many years.
                        Sifu Mark Appleford

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                        • #57
                          Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Q + A

                          Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Question-Answer 9

                          Question 9

                          Most religions state about Heaven and Hell, as rewards/punishments for human beings' life after death.

                          Does spiritual cultivation also agree with this concept?

                          Sifu Joko Riyanto


                          Answer

                          Yes, spiritual cultivation also agrees with the concept of heaven and hell, as rewards and punichments for human beings’ life after death.

                          There are three main stages of spiritual cultivation:

                          1. To have a peaceful and happy life in this world.
                          2. To go to heaven after physical death.
                          3. To merge with Cosmic Reality, called variously by people of different cultures as returning to God, attaining Enlighteniment or merging with the Great Void.

                          Reversely, if a person commits evil, he will have the three corresponding results:

                          1. To have an agitated and miserable life.
                          2. To suffer in hell after physical death.
                          3. To be contempt to eternal suffering unless he (or she0 has a change of heart.

                          Heaven and hell, like our world we now life in, are phenomenal. They are a function of mind. That does not mean that heaven and hell are not real. They are as real as the world we now live in.

                          Those who do good will go to heaven, and those who do evil will go to heal, is a cosmic truth. All great teachers of all world’s known religions teach this truth, and great teachers do not tell lies.

                          This truth can be explained scientifically. Whenever a person does good, the mental impulses of hie (or her) good deeds are imprinted in his mind, or consciousness. Whe he leaves his physical body at physical death, these impulses are still in his consciousness.

                          When the time is right for reincarnation, these impulses will create the conditions and situation for him to be reborn. Hence he will be reborn in heaven or at a better station in his next life in this physiccl world.

                          Similarly if he has done evil, evil impulses will be imprinted in his consciousness, and will create the conditions and situations for his rebirth. Hence he may be reborn in hell, or as an insect or animal.

                          As a rough analogy, it is like taking photos with a camera. If the scenes are beautiful, the imprints on negatives are of beautiful scenes and the phots when develop will turn out to be beautiful. If the scenes are sodid, the imprints are ugly and the resulting phots will be ugly.

                          This also explains why a devoted Muslim will go to a Muslim heaven, whereas a devoted Christian or of another religion will go to a Christian heaven or a heaven of his religion. This is because a person’s religion decides the types of imprints on his consciousness.

                          It is worthy to know that whether a person will go to heaven or hell is a result of the type of imprints he has in his consciousness, and not a result of judgment by God or Divine Being as rewards or punishments, though to make things simple for those who may not understand such profundity, the idea of God or Divine Being judging to reward or punish human beings for their deeds may be used. God is all merciful. He will want all human beings to go to heaven. But, as the Buddha has taught, even a Buddha cannot change bad karma to good one.

                          Karma, or what our futue will turn out to be, is determined by thought, speech and action in that order of importance. It is therefore very important for our own sake to always have good thoughts.
                          Sifu Mark Appleford

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                          • #58
                            Wow, I wish there were another 10 questions on this, but I will record this one for the next time we get a golden opportunity:

                            If a Christian who does good deeds will go to a Christian heaven, because that is the imprint he puts on his consciousness, which determines what happens after he dies, and a Muslim who does good deeds will go to a Muslim heaven for the same reasons, and presumably the same for other religions, what then would happen to someone who does good deeds but does not believe in a Christian heaven or a muslim heaven, or perhaps not any heavens of other religions either?

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                            • #59
                              Thank you Sifu 😊
                              “So I say to you –
                              This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:”

                              “Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
                              Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
                              Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream.”

                              “So is all conditioned existence to be seen.”

                              Thus spoke Buddha.

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                              • #60
                                Thank you, Sifu.

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

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