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10 Questions on the Essence of Spiritual Cultivation

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  • 10 Questions on the Essence of Spiritual Cultivation

    Dear Family Members,
    During the Dragon Strength course this December in Malaysia, the Fully Alive team were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. They were having a conversation with Sifu about cultivation, what it means and what was the practice of this and out of this discussion was born a course that has never been done before.

    The Essence of Spiritual Cultivation

    Sifu has kindly agreed to a grand unveiling of this course at the UK Summer Camp. He will be passing on his distilled wisdom in this area- which could have the potential of waking up your own wisdom

    As with all of his courses Sifu has kindly agreed to answer some questions around this subject.

    This thread has the potential to become very popular and I would ask people to limit themselves to one question at a time.

    Ask away and enjoy


    The Fully Alive Team
    Sifu Mark Appleford


  • #2
    Enlightenment , Immortality and Evilness

    Thank you very much Sifu and Brother Mark

    Question : Assuming that if the spiritual cultivator cultivates correctly while aiming at Enlightenment or Immortality or Good health , she/he automatically or intrinsically will become morally upright ; Why do some spiritual cultivators become evil persons or black magicians ?

    With Shaolin Salute.
    Damian Kissey
    Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .


    • #3
      Dear Sigung,

      A. What are the benefits of cultivating a strong spirit in both the mundane and spiritual world?

      B. What are the various stages of spiritual development? At what point in a spiritual cultivator's progress is he or she "tested" by God to determine if he or she would fail or succeed?

      C. Which specific exercises (i.e Bone Marrow Cleansing, Expanding into Cosmos) specifically cultivate the spirit?

      Thank you for this opportunity.

      Best regards,


      • #4
        Dear Sifu,

        Some of my friends practice or used to practice certain forms of Jewish and Christian mysticism and contemplative prayer/meditation. They told me that according to their particular systems, once a practitioner reaches a watershed moment in their cultivation, they seem to attract trouble and opposition. The usual explanation given to me was that "demons" are afraid that the cultivator will attain divine grace and get beyond their grasp, so they do all they can to drag the cultivator back into "an impure state." If the cultivator manages to break a certain threshold, then they become immune to these "demons."

        I thought it was very peculiar, especially since the arts we learn in Shaolin Wahnam are said to protect us from anything from bad luck to hostility of almost every imaginable sort (I know I have benefited from ridiculously good luck many times). In fact, one of my friends who cultivates told me that my home seemed like "a safe place, protected from spirits" even though I just practiced my kung fu there and don't even think about spirits or the sort.

        My question is: What is it about our arts that make us "protected" and what is it about other arts that, despite also aiming at spiritual fulfillment, do not "protect" their practitioners?

        Thank you very much, Sifu!

        Sincerely and with Shaolin salute,
        -Fred Chu
        I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.


        • #5
          Thank you :-)

          Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

          I am so happy to see such a wide variety of questions and answers series happening! :-)

          Thank you Sifu for your endless dedication. It is very much appreciated. Thank you Siheng Mark for starting this wonderful thread.

          Dear Sifu,

          May you kindly share with us some of the tests and difficulties that you have had in your own path towards Spiritual Cultivation and how where you able to detect and overcome them?

          With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

          Last edited by sancrica; 8 March 2015, 09:23 AM. Reason: grammar :-)


          • #6
            Dear Sifu,

            We use the terms Martial Art, Eighteen Lohan Art, the Art of Shaolin Kung Fu, the Art of Teaching, the Art of Chi Kung, and the Shaolin Arts. What do we mean by "Art" in this context and how is it similar to and different from "Art" in the sense of poetry, literature, painting, dance, theater, photography, etc.? Also, is Spiritual Cultivation "Art" in either of these senses? Is Zen "Art"?


            Mark Blohm
            少林華南台灣 Shaolin Wahnam Taiwan


            "Then how could chi kung overcome diseases where the cause is unknown or when there is no cure? The question is actually incorrect. The expressions "the cause is unknown" and "there is no cure" are applicable only in the Western medical paradigm. The expressions no longer hold true in the chi kung paradigm. In the chi kung paradigm the cause is known, and there is a cure."

            -Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit


            • #7
              Dear Sihing,

              Thanks for this opportunity.

              Dear Sifu,

              Please can you speak on how best to attain the balance between:

              - striving to reach one's maximum potential in this life (not necessarily ultimate potential; just making full use of the gift of this life) vs not deviating, overtraining or chasing experiences?

              With Shaolin Salute,

              Sifu Andy Cusick

              Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
              Shaolin Qigong


              Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

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


              • #8
                Dear Siheng Mark,

                Thanks so much for such a wonderful thread! I am in awe about the amount of great Courses Sifu has agreed to teach this year and the corresponding amount of questions-answer series going on. This year's UK Summer Camp will be extraordinary!

                Dear Sifu,

                Thanks so much for your immense generosity! 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?

                Smiling from the Heart,
                Last edited by Angel Guillermo; 8 March 2015, 06:53 PM.
                [/SIGPIC] Sifu Ángel Pérez
                Shaolin Wahnam Institute Puerto Rico

                "Life becomes more meaningful and beautiful as you work towards the realization of your own innate immortality."
                - Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

                "La vida se vuelve más significativa y hermosa según trabajas hacia la realización de tu propia innata inmortalidad."
                - Gran Maestro Wong Kiew Kit


                • #9
                  Dear Sifu,

                  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?

                  Thank you, Sifu!



                  • #10
                    Dear Sifu,

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

                    Does spiritual cultivation also agree with this concept?

                    Thank you, Sifu.

                    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)
                    Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)


                    • #11
                      Dear Sifu,

                      Thank you very much for answering our questions once more!

                      One hallmark of Shaolin Wahnam is that we are always aiming at cost-effectiveness.

                      What is the most cost-effective and easiest way for lay people like us to attain spiritual fulfillment, i.e. attaining Nirvana or returning to god?

                      Thank you, Mark Siheng, for providing this wonderful opportunity.

                      Best wishes,

                      Sifu Leonard Lackinger

                      Wahnam Wien Logo

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

                      Shaolin Wahnam Wien on facebook
                      Shaolin Wahnam Wien on YouTube


                      • #12
                        Great Questions

                        Dear Brothers and Sisters,
                        I just wanted to say thank you for the great questions so far ..........Keep them coming, even though it says 10 questions what we need to remember is that Sifu will pick the 10. Also Sifu can extremly generous and may answer all of the questions asked


                        Sifu Mark Appleford



                        • #13
                          The Questions have been Asked

                          Dear Brothers and Sisters,
                          Following a PM from Sifu who pointed out that we need to be more precise in what we say. I mistakenly assumed that Sifu would pick the 10 questions from the ones that had been asked when in fact it is that we only have an opportunity for 10 question to be asked.

                          So now we have reached the allotted number of questions the opportunity is now closed. I look forward to posting Sifu's answers


                          Sifu Mark Appleford



                          • #14
                            The Answers begin on this never been taught course !!!

                            Dear Family Members,
                            Sifu has kindly started the answers for this thread, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have............I have the second part to Question 1 which I will put in sometime next week.......................unless people want me to put it sooner?? If you do then please respond to this thread and say that you do


                            The Fully Alive Team

                            Spiritual Cultivation: Question-answer 1 -- Part 1

                            Question 1

                            Assuming that if the spiritual cultivator cultivates correctly while aiming at Enlightenment or Immortality or Good health, she/he automatically or intrinsically will become morally upright ; Why do some spiritual cultivators become evil persons or black magicians?

                            Dr Damian Kissey


                            This is an excellent question that can benefit many people. A lot of people equate spiritual cultivation with moral development. They think that a highly spiritual person is also morally right. This is not necessarily so!

                            A lot of people also equate spiritual cultivation with religious development. They think that a highly spiritual person is also religios, or more frequently they think that a highly religions person is also highly spiritual. Again this is not necessarily so!

                            A highly spiritual person is not necessarily morally upright or not necessarily religious, and vice versa, because spiritual cultivation, moral education and religious development are three different issues, though they are connected.

                            The terms are self-explanatory though, surprisingly, many people are confused over their meanings.

                            Spiritual cultivation is cultivating the spirit, sometimes called the soul, the heart, or the consciousness in different cultures. In classical Chinese culture, for example, spiritual cultivation is called “xiu xin”, which literally means “cultivating the heart”. Here, the “heart” is not the organ heart, but the spiritual heart, which includes the emotional, the mental and the spiritual.

                            In modern scientific culture, spiritual cultivation is cultivating the consciousness, often resulting in developing psychic or extra-sensory powers. A psychic, for example, may be able to tell where lost objects can be found.

                            Moral education is inculcating high moral values. Although different cultures, peoples and times may have different moral values, certain moral values are universal.

                            In kungfu culture, for example, betraying one’s sifu is considered a worse crime than raping a woman. To a samurai, failing to carry out the instruction of his master was far worse than killing people. At present, consensual extra-marital sex is morally acceptable, though it was taboo in the past in both Eastern and Western societies. But irrespective of cultures, people and times, certain actions, like betraying one’s teacher, raping a woman and killing people, are considered immoral.

                            Religious development is developing he understanding and practice of a chosen religion. If a Christian or a Muslim now knows his Bible or Koran better than before, for example, he has made religious development. If a Buddhist or a Taoist can perform Buddhist or Taoist rituals more effectively than before, he has developed religiously.

                            Understanding what spiritual cultivation, moral education and religious development are, will enable us to understand why some spiritual cultivators may become evil persons or black magicians, as well as other related issues, like some morally upright persons may not believe in the spirit, and some religiously developed person may be low in their spiritual cultivation.

                            As an analogy, soccer, tennis and basketball are different sports. Hence, a good soccer player may not play tennis well. A good tennis player may not like basketball. And a good basketball player may criticize playing soccer.

                            (Part 2 follows)
                            Sifu Mark Appleford



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mark A View Post
                              unless people want me to put it sooner?? If you do then please respond to this thread and say that you do
                              I do! I do!!

                              I am constantly amazed at these "10 Questions" threads. They are so full of wonderful insight, shared so freely! It's such a great opportunity for us all to learn from Sifu!