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Deviating from the fundamental skills of Shaolin Chi Kung: 10 Qs to the Grandmaster

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  • Deviating from the fundamental skills of Shaolin Chi Kung: 10 Qs to the Grandmaster

    Dear Family and Visitors,

    As you know, for the Shaolin Wahnam UK Summer Camp 2016, Sifu has put together an exciting program. The focus is on developing, realizing and applying the fundamental skills of Chi Kung and Kung Fu in all circumstances, whatever the situation, everywhere – something we can all benefit from remembering, regardless of the level we think we are at.

    attachment.jpg

    As Barry has said in his Q&A Developing and deepening the fundamental skills of Chi Kung -

    Relaxing, smiling, letting go - it is a wonderful time to be able to learn and practise these skills. To see the amazing benefits that come naturally out of this process. This course is an opportunity to have a Grandmaster teach and review the fundamentals (on which these skills depen d) and how they practically apply in every aspect of life - so that the right things happen naturally - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
    We will all have an opportunity to get our questions answered in the areas of developing, realizing, applying (and deviating from) the fundamentals of Chi Kung.

    This thread is an opening to ask your questions about what deviating from the fundamental skills of Chi Kung – What deviation is, how to recognise it, what it means for your practice - and how it can affect developing, deepening and applying the fundamental skills. So it might be worthwhile considering if there is crossover on this subject for Barry and Tim's thread

    Family and visitors are invited to ask questions. These might be about the general topic or specifically about challenges you have faced or are facing.

    Unlike in previous Q&A threads we have run, it won't automatically be the first 10 questions that get answered. Mark, Tim and I will consult and choose which ones to put forward to Sifu to answer. Obviously, we won't wait for them all to come in before we make our first choices - so get them in now.

    Another classic in the making.

    Wishing you the very best,

    Peace

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark A; 27th January 2016, 02:42 PM.
    Sifu Mark Appleford

    sigpic

  • #2
    Dear Sifu:
    One of the fundamental instructions for students is to not worry. I appreciate your analogy of walking toward a cliff: if you don't want to go over the cliff, just stop! and so it should be with worrying.
    However, I am finding that, even after more than a decade of practice, I have much habit-energy that makes it difficult to not worry. This habit-energy is possibly accumulated from previous generations.
    This habit energy shows up most when I get sick. To provide background, I am a new father and started a new job recently. I have seemingly been getting sick non-stop as a result of my child. It is difficult for me to let go and not feel stress.
    I have maintained my qigong practice, but it has not prevented me from getting sick and worrying about my health and the amount of time I am missing from work.
    Can you share any expedient means to overcome worry when I'm sick?

    Thank you very much Sifu!

    Comment


    • #3
      Dear Sigung,

      Especially for those of us that don't live near a Wahnam community, is there any type of self-assessment we can perform from time to time to determine if we have deviated from correct practice?

      With Gratitude,

      Andrew
      Love, and do what you will.

      - St. Augustine

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you Mark Siheng for starting this interesting and important thread - I am certain that Sifu's answers will be very helpful for us all.

        I have a couple of closely related questions:

        - What are the root cause(s) of deviation, and what is the best way to guard against it?
        - what is the difference between a deviation and a blockage?
        - is it possible or desirable to never deviate? Or should we simply recognise that, from time to time, tendencies that could grow to become deviations may begin to arise as part of our development process and that we should just try to get better at becoming aware of them sooner and correcting or letting go of them before they become big and serious?
        - what is the best way to deal with a fellow student who we think may be developing a deviation?

        Shaolin salute to all,

        Omar

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you, sihengs, for your good work!

          My question to sifu is: Why is sifu's instruction, 'don't worry' rather than the other negative emotions, 'don't be angry,' 'don't be sad,' 'don't be afraid'?
          Anger, sadness and fear are obviously not emotions to indulge in, but why is worry especially to be avoided over these other negative feelings?

          With Shaolin Salutations,

          Charles
          Charles David Chalmers
          Brunei Darussalam

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

            Thank you Sifu for always being so incredibly generous with all of us. It is very inspiring to witness how much you always share.

            Thank you Mark Siheng for starting another amazing Question and Answer Series.

            Dear Sifu,

            You have mentioned in your article "Developmental Stages In Training to Become a Master" that "The great majority, which constitutes more than 95%, will be unsuccessful".

            I must say that this number impressed me a lot. I never realised that it was so high. I believe that you speak in general terms, which also include practitioners from other schools.

            How about Shaolin Wahnam? How many of us do you estimate that will be successful in achieving the masters level? Having such an excellent Grandmaster and Sifus in our school and an incredibly extensive philosophy resources behind, it seems very hard to deviate from the noble purpose of achieving the masters level. Why does then many might not achieve it? What will our challenges be?

            With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

            Santi

            Comment


            • #7
              Good Questions

              Hey Folk,
              These are great questions and as mentioned Tim, Barry and I will discuss which ones to put forward to Sifu

              Peace

              Mark
              Sifu Mark Appleford

              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you, Fully Alive team for this opportunity to ask Sifu this somewhat difficult/awkward/taboo question - regardless of whether or not it is chosen to be answered.

                Dear Sifu,

                I have always enjoyed interacting in a physical manner. It is the life that I know. Strenuous physical work, bumps, bruises, scrapes, and blood are no big deal. I have never been one to complain if I am shoved around while playing basketball, or if I am hit hard when sparring. I just see it as part of the experience (or my fault for not blocking! ). And with this, comes enjoyment for Water Buffalo training - lifting heavy things, pushing stuff around, running fast, etc.

                I intentionally suspended most of those activities when I began learning Chi Kung from you, because you had said that tensing muscles, large muscles, and Western "working out" all contributed to poor energy flow, blockage, excessive energy use, etc. I was new to genuine Chi Kung, wanted to be the best student I could, and tried to follow your instructions 100%.

                But I missed that part of my life! And slowly, I have been working it back in. On one hand, those activities bring me a lot of joy. But on the other hand, I have been feeling a fair amount of guilt. I know you do not recommend such things, and I have been feeling like I am sneaking around, trying to be smarter than the master. Or at least, intentionally doing something that is not recommended.

                So, I am left conflicted, trying to find a balance between two seemingly opposing paradigms. I love both of them, and have experienced the pro's and con's of life with only one and not the other. Without a doubt, my life is better with genuine Chi Kung and Kungfu. But I would also say that my life is better with physical exercise/Water Buffalo training.

                Is my conflict coming from a blockage? Am I experiencing a deviation from incorrect practice? Is it just a matter of me trying to be smarter than the master? Or is it perfectly OK to live fully, doing the things that excite me and bring me enjoyment, and I simply need to stop worrying about it?

                Thank you!

                -Matt

                Comment


                • #9
                  Most, if not all, practitioners hit plateaus in their progress at some points. I remember several occasions over the years where I had no tangible effect from practice for some time (days, weeks). This led me to ask myself what I was doing wrong, was I deviating, was what I had experienced until that point real or fantasy, why was nothing happening any more, etc. In short, I started to question everything about my practice.

                  My question, then, is: how does one recognise the difference between a natural plateau and a deviation and how should one ideally react in each case?
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow excellent questions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dear Sifu,

                      I have another question:

                      I have heard the Chinese saying, "Too Much Joy Hurts the Heart." Does this saying apply to our Smiling From the Heart? Can sifu explain, if, how, and why Smiling From the Heart may need to be moderated?

                      With Shaolin Salute,


                      Charles
                      Charles David Chalmers
                      Brunei Darussalam

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DarkCosmoz View Post
                        Wow excellent questions.
                        I agree with this!

                        I would vote up and be interested in the answer to Matt's question, and also to Andrew Siheng's question.

                        In relation to the latter, I asked Sifu a related question, maybe it will go on the q+a series some day. I don't know if I would define my case as plateaus, but basically for the past year to two years, there are times when for one or two days I feel absolutely charged with force, feel my chi flowing very strongly, I feel powerful, I experience joy and subtle joys, I feel great. Then the feeling eases off, I wouldn't say goes away as I still enjoy training and still feel benefits, but not as wonderful or intense as this day or two. As time has gone on, sometimes the day or two has become 3 or 4 days, even a week and more, but always still returns... perhaps I could also say to a "plateau", or just to a more 'normal' state, or at least a state that isn't as wonderful as the other state.

                        Sometimes I try to recreate it ie "I practised a lot of X the week before that experience, I will do it again" or "I practised a lot" or "I didn't practise a lot" the week before the experience and I will try to recreate what happened before in order to re-induce that state, but I don't seem to be able to control it like that, it just happens sometimes, apparently randomly. Sifu gave me an answer already, but it will be interesting to see the answer to Andrew Siheng.

                        The only thing to add is that I wonder do others experience similar things or do they experience the intense, charged with force feelings all the time?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drunken boxer View Post
                          The only thing to add is that I wonder do others experience similar things or do they experience the intense, charged with force feelings all the time?
                          Great topic for a separate thread, Paul
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Andrew View Post
                            Great topic for a separate thread, Paul
                            Well with that endorsement Siheng, I shall do just that, perhaps this evening, when I've worked out which forum section it should go in! (Chi Kung or Kungfu?)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dear Sigung,

                              Respect for the Master is the foundation upon which one’s development in the training of the Shaolin Arts is based. In Shaolin Wahnam this of course forms the very first of our Ten Shaolin Laws.

                              In the long history of the Shaolin Arts I suspect however that there have been instances of a Master having deviated in their training and, as a consequence, deviated in their teaching to their students.

                              How can a student of a Master who has deviated reconcile the fundamental principle of respect for the Master with their Master’s deviation should they find themselves in this scenario?

                              In asking this question I am assuming that a student has the clarity to recognise their master’s deviation which of course may not be the case. So a second part to my question is: How can a student recognise that their master has deviated or is at risk of deviating?

                              Thank you Sigung for again very kindly allowing us the opportunity of another Questions to the Grandmaster thread.

                              And thank you to Sisook Mark and the Fully Alive Team for facilitating the thread and of course for running another Summer Camp which promises to be very extraordinary.

                              All the best,

                              Kevin

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