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10 Questions on Happy Family Life

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  • #16
    Thank you Olli, for facilitating this thread!

    And thank you Sifu for your illuminating answer, and for spreading these wonderful Shaolin arts.

    With gratitude,

    Nessa Kahila
    Shaolin Nordic Finland


    • #17
      Honorable Sifu,

      Originally posted by Nessa View Post
      Thank you Olli, for facilitating this thread!

      And thank you Sifu for your illuminating answer, and for spreading these wonderful Shaolin arts.
      I'm glad that you already enjoy the answers! I really loved the answer to your question, so thank you for asking it.

      I must say that this answer is my clear favorite of all the Sigung's answers that I can remember.

      Thank you Sigung for continuing to answer our questions!

      With sincere gratitude,


      • #18
        Thank you Sigung for another wonderful Q&A series! And thank you to Ollie for facilitating the thread. Unlike all the others in the series, this thread isn't related to an upcoming course (or at least none that I am aware of!) so it feels like a very special opportunity.

        Here is my first question:

        Dear Sigung,

        Some people believe that each soul chooses their parents before incarnating into this life. Is there any validity to this belief?

        All the best,

        Last edited by Kevin_B; 30 December 2016, 01:09 AM.


        • #19
          Dear Sigung,

          Genesis 22 tells the story of the Binding Of Isaac: God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. As we know from the narrative, Abraham duly complies - his obedience to God's will sets him on course to commit a truly barbaric act that violates all notions of parental love and basic human decency.

          Just as he is about to kill his son however God intervenes: “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22:12)

          What can we learn about Abraham from this story Sigung? Are we to admire him for his faith or be horrified by his actions? Or maybe both?

          Are there any circumstances in our lives when our duties to our family and loved ones should be set aside to serve a higher need or some higher power?

          What can we learn about God and what it is to be human from this story Sigung?

          Thank you Sigung for another soon-to-be classic Q & A series. And many thanks to Ollie as well.

          All the best,


          Painting below: Lodovico Cardi's "The Sacrifice of Isaac"

          Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 01.17.12.jpg
          Last edited by Kevin_B; 30 December 2016, 01:26 AM.


          • #20
            Dear Kevin Siheng,

            Thank you for your most interesting questions! I am glad that you appreciate the opportunity. Your questions have a very deep meaning, and I think they are connected enough to warrant treating them as a single combined question on metaphysics.

            My brother-in-law Atte posed an interesting question during my visit, which I am translating and restucturing like this:

            How to pacify children and keep them happy, as a group or alone? The children can be aged anything from toddlers to pre-teens.
            I am including that in the pool of questions because it is highly practical and many parents certainly struggle with children crying or even fighting each other.

            There are currently 7 questions asked. There is still room for three more questions, so please use the opportunity.

            With sincere respect,


            • #21
              Happy Family Life Question and Answer 3 -- Part 1

              Question 3

              In all my years being your student I have witnessed how you successfully bring out the best in people. That is really an inspiration for me and it would be wonderful to have that skill so I can apply it to every relationship that I have. Many times, it is specially challenging with family. Could you please share with us your secret?


              This is an interesting and important question that compels me to look more closely on my philosophy of life. I believe that a person’s attitude towards life, like whether he brings out the best in other people, looks at life negatively, or indifferent to what is happening around him, depends much on his life philosophy, which in turn depends on his environment and upbringing.

              If a person ‘s life is difficult since childhood, and he came from an environment and education background that restrict his professional and intellectual expansion, it is unlikely that he looks at life favorably. On the other hand, if his life is full of luxury and he is well protected by his government and society, he may become bored, resulting in his being indifferent to life.

              I happened to come from a good family and educational background that nurtured a healthy attitude towards life. My family was poor which meant that I had to put in effort to succeed. I came from a very good school, considered by many people as the best school east of the strategic Suez Canal, which provided me opportunities for learning and leadership;.

              Hence, I developed a very good philosophy of life. I knew that we had to put in a lot of hard work if we wanted to succeed. I was also a leader in my schooldays, being the captain of my school table tennis teams, the chairman of the Art Club, an instructor of the school swimming club, the President of the school lion dance team, and an assistant scout master of my scout group.

              My scouting days also enabled me to be joyful towards life. I clearly remember that Scout Law number eight demands that “a scout smiles and whistles at all times.” Hence, even in times of difficulties, I maintained a joyful spirit.

              Most importantly, I practiced very good kungfu from the best masters I could find. My kungfu training, which included chi kung, not only gave me good health, vitality and longevity, but also mental clarity and a lot of internal force. Thus, I had good ingredients to put into practice my wholesome philosophy of life.

              Basically, I find life is a joy. Everyday is our birthday. But we need to know how to find the joys and beauties of life, and also realize that there is also a lot of suffering. We need to know the limits of our abilities. There is much suffering and injustice that are beyond our control. If we can right wrongs, we would do so., but we can still find the joys of life despite its sufferings. This principle is in line with the teaching of Zen, that Zen practitioners can live in societies without being contaminated by societies.

              An important ability to find the joys of life is to find joys in our daily duties. Our daily duties are not only joyful, but also beautiful. You are more likely to find joys and beauties in your work if you appreciate the truth that the job you do provides you the source to feed yourself and your family if you have one, as well as to provide a roof above your head at night. If you are a boss, appreciate the truth that the people who work for you, provide you a comfortable life.

              When you return home, appreciate the fact that your wife or husband is not the person who just happened to marry you, but is the person who sacrifices the best part of her or his life for your well being. If you are not married, it is time to get a good husband or a good wife. There are literally thousands of men and women around you. You just have to make a good choice.

              I was lucky to have a good family and educational background to develop a healthy philosophy of life. For those who are not so lucky, those who came from difficult or luxurious background, and whose philosophy of life is unhealthy, can change their philosophy of life to become healthy. It is easier than changing your job, or changing your house. But it still needs effort,.

              (Continued from Part 2)


              • #22
                Happy Family Life Question and Answer 3 -- Part 2

                (Continued from Part 1)

                More importantly, it needs a will to change. You will be much motivated to know that you will benefit tremendously if you make this change. If you happen to look at life indifferently, or worse till negatively, change to look at life with joy and beauty. Start with everyday things and duties.

                If you are looking at your computer, appreciate how joyful and beautiful to have a computer. People in the past, even the very rich and powerful, did not have this facility. If you are sitting on a chair at a table, feel how joyful and beautiful your chair and table are. Those caught in busy traffic, or working in the open, may not enjoy such joy and beauty.

                What should you do if you happen to be caught in busy traffic, or to work in the open? If you are in busy traffic, realize the fact that by being anxious or impatient, won’t help; it will definitely make things worse. Once on a German expressway, I was caught in a traffic jam with my wife for 3 hours because of a motor accident ahead. Th traffic just couldn’t move. I was lucky because my wife was with me. We talked about old times, and the 3 hours passed quickly. But if I were alone, I would appreciate the God-given 3 hours, recalling the common complaint by many people that they had no time to do anything.

                If you were working in the open, appreciate the fact that you could work in the open. Think of those who are sick in hospital, or old people who have nothing to do at home. To work in the open is actually a welcoming thing, and you should enjoy your work.

                Before we can bring out the best in other people, we ourselves need to have a healthy philosophy of life.

                When you meet people, see the good side of them. There are three ways to see people. We can see their bad side, we can be indifferent, or we can see their good side. Unfortunately, most people are indifferent, and many see the bad side. If you can see the good side of others, you will have one of the secrets to bring out the best in them.

                Let us take a simple example of someone walking across a street. Appreciate the fact that he is wholesome to walk across the street; he is not sick or invalid.

                Suppose a car knocks him down. Appreciate the fact that he is still alive, and subsequent treatment in a hospital will save him.

                Suppose the accident is fatal. Appreciate the fact that it is not the end of him. He is liberated, and his soul is set free. Wish him well in his afterlife.

                Seeing the good side of people does not change the present. If an accident is fatal, it would not enable the victim to live again. But it will make you feel better, and it will enable you to bring out the best in people.

                Actually, seeing the good side of people can change the future. Many people outside our school may not understand it, but many in our school have both the understanding and experience that the mind is a very powerful thing. When you wish peace and happiness in his afterlife, you actually contribute to his peace and happiness. After all, our phenomenal world is a creation of mind.

                It is also necessary to realize the freedom of choice. This is especially important to family members. Our students have derived a lot of benefits from practicing our Shaolin Wahnam arts,, and they want their family members to have similar benefits. But if the family members choose laziness over practice, for example, it is their choice. Let them live their lives the way they like. Don’t try to force them live their lives the way you want.

                To bring out the best in people, you must have the skills to do so. If you don’t have the skills, or even when you have the skills, you should tell them of the opportunities for improvement. If someone is sick, ask him (or her) to get well, like seeing a doctor, then practice genuine chi kung. Not only he will not be sick again, he will also have other benefits. If someone has lost his job, ask him to get a better hob, or be his or her own boss.

                However, if that someone does not want to get well or get a better job, it is his choice. Let him live his one life.

                We can bring out the best in others if we follow the following secrets. We, ourselves, must have a healthy philosophy of life. We look at the good side of people. We tell them opportunities to improve themselves.



                • #23
                  What a wonderful message.

                  Thank you so much Sifu for your wisdom
                  Sifu Andy Cusick

                  Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
                  Shaolin Qigong


                  Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

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


                  • #24
                    Thank you Sifu for this wonderful answer!
                    A good way to start off the week.

                    Thank you Olli, for posting these gems.

                    Best wishes,

                    Nessa Kahila
                    Shaolin Nordic Finland



                    • #25
                      And if you happen to have a marvellous teacher, be grateful you have such a great teacher, and follow his (or her) instructions...

                      Thank you, Sifu!

                      Humbly Yours,

                      Charles David Chalmers
                      Brunei Darussalam


                      • #26
                        Thank you :-)

                        Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

                        I would like to thank Sifu for the beautiful and inspiring answer given to my question. I read it already 3 times. It was so meaningful that I wanted it to soak deep in me. In fact, I already know that I will read it many many times. I will treasure this answer and will read it if any time I happen to forget to always look at the bright side of life.

                        I remember that, when I was a child, I wanted to become a Boy Scout. It was very inspiring for me knowing that Sifu was a Boy Scout. I didn't become a Boy Scout myself but I became a Shaolin Wahnam Scholar Warrior which far exceeded this dream of mine.

                        I loved the philosophy that Boy Scouts had because they were aspiring to become great human beings, they were a big happy family supporting and nourishing each other, they had a lot of wholesome fun, they were courageous, they were adventurous and they were often smiling.

                        Interestingly, all those things are things that Sifu offered me when I joined the Shaolin Wahnam Institute. He offered me the teachings that I need in order to become the best human I can be. He offered me an international happy family that supports and nourishes me at all times. He offered me a training where I have a lot of wholesome fun. He offered me the skills I need to bring out the courage that is in me. He offered me the greatest of all my adventures which is living the Shaolin Journey. He offered me the skill of "Smiling from the Heart" which is one of the Hallmarks of the Shaolin Wahnam Institute and is widely practiced by this beautiful family.

                        That reminds me of the saying: "When the student is ready, the master will appear". The seeds will grow when the perfect conditions are met. Having all those aspirations lead me to Shaolin Wahnam.

                        Thank you Olli Sijat for starting another Question & Answer Series that will become a master piece and thank you to all the participants for their wonderful questions. :-)

                        With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,


                        Boy Scouts.jpg


                        • #27
                          Hello everyone

                          If we can still ask questions here comes mine.

                          Dear Sigung
                          In your Q&A from May 2007 part 3 Question 1 ( you mention that the cause of a broken heart is being in love with love. To be honest at first I didn't see any deeper meaning but now having more experience I have a slightly deeper understanding of what you meant. On a website about Buddhism I read that there are two kinds of love, unconditional love and conditional love also called selfish love. It is also mentioned that one should avoid conditional love. I think being in love with love is conditional love.

                          Can Sigung please tell us the philosophical differences of conditional and unconditional love, how situations change due to this philosophical differences for example in finding a suitable partner, being in a relationship, having children and a happy family life and how to cultivate unconditional love and avoid conditional love?

                          Thanks in advance.

                          All the best to everyone. :-)

                          "No matter what you do, you must be clear in your conscience." - Sitaigung Ho
                          A single light can eliminate the darkness of millenia.
                          Every moment is precious.


                          • #28
                            Dear Bernhard Siheng,

                            Thank you very much for your insightful question. Yes, it will easily qualify as the question number eight. I think we all can easily agree that love is an important and relevant topic for all occasions.

                            Dear Family and Friends,

                            There is room for two more questions.

                            Honorable Sigung,

                            I still wish to thank you for your beatiful answer to Santiago's excellent question. I have read a lot of your anwers and expositions on various topics, as I have also read many other authors, but this particular answer really felt special as if it carried a direct transmission. Words fail me. It could be read and comprehended with intellectual study, but I experienced it mostly as a gentle touch on my Heart, as if a candle was lit and later I could pass this flame to other people when I have nurtured it enough.

                            With sincere gratitude,


                            • #29
                              Happy Family Life Question and Answer 4 -- Part 1

                              Question 4

                              One of the most wonderful things that I have been gifted through our trainings and especially through Sigung’s wisdom and help is to enjoy a happy family life. It is one of the greatest gifts, I think, to love and feel loved within a family. 

I would like to contribute the following question:

We are all different. We think, act and feel differently i.e. have different needs, aspirations, walk of lives etc. Apart from sharing our love and joy with our family members (family in a narrow and more wider sense), what are the skills and how can we train them to understand the other person better in order to be able to nurture them more effectively.


                              Indeed, having a happy family life is one of the greatest gifts in life. It is also one of the values we cherish in our school. As I have said often, we do not just practice chi kung or kungfu, we apply what we have learned to enrich our life and the lives of others.

                              We think, act and feel differently i.e. have different needs, aspirations, and walks of lives. It is precisely important to realise this fact in order to have a happy family life.

                              Let us look at the needs, aspirations, walks of lives and other relevant factors of our blood family and our Shaolin Wahnam Family.

                              We are all different. We think, act and feel differently i.e. nave different needs, aspirations, and walks of lives etc. Apart from sharing our love and joy with our family members, both in a narrow and more wider sense, what are the skills and how can we train them to understand the other person better in order to be able to nurture them more effectively.

                              The first skill is to realise this difference. For example, we in Shaolin Wahnam have enjoyed the benefits of our arts, and naturally we want our immediate family members to have these benefits too.

                              It will be foolhardy and bring a lot of unpleasantness to force our arts on them. Although they are our brothers and sisters, fathers or mothers, nieces and nephews, they live their lives differently. Let them live the lives the way they want. Do not try to force them to live their lives the way we want. It is their lives.

                              But we can show by examples. If you happened to have an illness and recovered by practicing our chi kung, tell them not only the effect but also the joys of your practice. Remind them that you need to put in effort. If they do not listen, that is their choice, and also their right.

                              You now live life healthy and happily. Tell them that it is the result of your practicing chi kung. If they want to have this health and happiness, they can practice our chi kung. They have to pay the fees for the training, and most importantly they have to practice everyday. It won’t take up too much of their time. they need to practice just about 10 minutes a session, twice a day.

                              If they do not spend the time practicing our chi kung, they would waste the time anyway, and probably remain sickly and unhappy. But it is their choice. Don’t pay the fees for them, or force them to practice if they do not want health and happiness. Realising this difference in choice is very important in sharing love and joy with them, or at lease avoiding dislike and unpleasantness.

                              An excellent way to develop this skill is mental clarity and realisation. Our arts give us mental clarity. What is needed is to realize the different needs and aspirations.. You also show by personal example. You. yourself, practice our arts everyday.

                              Another important skill is to talk about things that they like to hear, not about things you want to talk about or you want them to hear. What you say must be truthful. Don’t lie to them to make things pleasant.

                              For example, your brother may want a better paying job. Don’t tell him that he has no money. It is not what he wants to hear though it is truthful. Don’t tell him he can strike a lottery. It is what he wants to hear but it is unlikely to be truthful.

                              Tell him that he can find a job that he likes and pays better, but he must make the effort to find it. If he just continues doing his job, it is unlikely his boos will give him more money, or a better paying job will come to him. But, if he chooses not to look for a better paying job, it is his choice. He chooses a low-paying job over putting effort to find a better paying one. Don’t nag him saying that he has no money or that there are plenty of better-paying jobs outside..

                              (Part 2 follows)


                              • #30
                                Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

                                I would like to ask a second question if that is possible. :-)

                                Dear Sifu,

                                If you were to decide the 5 most important aspects for having a happy Family Life, which ones would they be and why?

                                Thank you Sifu for always guiding and helping us in our Shaolin Journey.

                                With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,