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10 Questions on the Essence of Spiritual Cultivation

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  • George
    replied
    PDF and EPUB of this Q&A are available here.

    Leave a comment:


  • DarkCosmoz
    replied
    Thank you Sigung for such enlightening answers.

    I had a friendly chat with a director in a large investment bank some time ago. He was successful and always seemed so happy, which was unusual for someone working at a bank in his position. I asked him what his secret was.

    "Every morning, I pray to God to ask Him to be at the center of everything that I do for the day. I also take time to reflect and be grateful for everything that I have."

    Best wishes,
    Stephen

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark A
    replied
    Still time..............

    Hey Charles,
    Thank you for that. You know there is still time for you to fly across and attend the course ......................

    Peace


    Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • Charles David
    replied
    Thank you, Sifu, for all of your answers on this thread. And thank, you, Mark Sihing, for organizing it for us. I know you will be having a marvellous time at the summer camp right now. I send my very best to you and everyone there.

    Happily,


    Cha

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark A
    replied
    The Grand Finale ........ Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Question-Answer 10

    Question 10

    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?

    Sifu Leonard Lackinger


    Answer

    The most cost-effective and easiet way for lay people to attain spiritual fulfillment is to take regional courses from me where the courses range from an elementary stage like “Generating Energy Flow”, “18 Jewels” and “Five-Animal Play”, thorugh an intermediate stage like “Internal Force”, “Bone-Marror Cleansing” and “Cosmic Shower”, to an advanced stage like “Cosmic Breathing” and “Merging with the Cosmos”.

    In just two or three days, these lay people will have the opportunity to experience all the three stages of spiritual fulfillment from the elementary to the most advanced. The fees they pay for the courses are expensive when compared to other chi kung courses elsewhere, and they may have to travel to another country to take these courses. But compared to the benefits they get, the course fees they pay are very cheap. Compared to the time they would have to spend elsewhere to have smilar results, if they ever have similar results, it is simply ridiculous. Instead of spending at lease 10 years, probably 20, they just spend 2 or 3 days!

    This way is the most cost-effective, and in my opinion it is also the easiet, though some people may not consider booking a hotel and traveling to another country to take the courses easy.

    Will these lay people have all these spiritual benefits stated in the respective courses? From our informal statitics, more than 70% of our students derive these benefits. As a comparison, if they spend 20 years cultivating elsewhere, the chance of them acquireing similar beneifts is less than10%. It is too good for many people to believe this is true. That is their business, not ours.

    Spiritual fulfillment, which means fulfilling the needs and sspirations of the spirit, is not just attaining Nirvana or returning to God. Attaining Nirvana or returning to God is the most noble and most supreme of spiritual fulfillment any being can ever attain.

    We do not aim at attaining Nirvana or retruning to God in our courses, not even in the most advanced ones. One main reason is that I myself have not done than – at least not in this life. I teach attainments which I myself have achieved.

    Another main reason is that our studnts who attend the courses are not ready for attaining Nirvana or returning to God. They can have a glimpse of Nirbana or God, called a sstori or spiritual awakening, and return to our phenomenal world.

    A third main reason is that it is not a philosophy of our school to help students attain Nirvana or rturn to God. Our philosophy is to enable students to enrich their own lives and the lives of other people. Those who wish to attainNirvana or return to God will have to seek elsewhere.

    Our spiritual fulfiment covers all stages except this final stage. For convenience we may classify all stages of spiritual fulfiment into three main levels:

    1. To be peaceful and happy in our daily life.
    2. To attain peak performance joyfull.
    3. To sxpand into the Cosmos.

    The coming UK Summer Camp will provide opportunities to experiences all these stages of spiritual fulfillment.

    Leave a comment:


  • joko
    replied
    Thank you, Sifu.

    Toudai,
    Joko

    Leave a comment:


  • veenie
    replied
    Thank you Sifu 😊

    Leave a comment:


  • drunken boxer
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark A
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark A
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • sancrica
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Tim
    replied
    Quite right, which is why we often say:

    Techniques lead to skills. Skills lead to outcomes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Andrew
    replied
    Skills are far more important than techniques

    Leave a comment:


  • Tim
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • drunken boxer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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