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  • #31
    Question 7 part 2

    (Continued from Part 1)

    Other most powerful arts for spiritual cultivation, combat and daily life are Dragon Strength, Cosmos Palm, Wudang Taijiqna and Flower Set. Of course, a practitioner must know how to apply his art for spiritual cultivation, combat or daily living. If he, like most people, just knows the routine of the sets, he will be unable to apply the respective art for these purposes.

    Arts that that are less powerful for spiritual cultivation, but still very powerful, are Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, Tiger-Crane, Shaolin Five Animals and Shaolin Tantui. If a practitioner does not know how to use these arts for spiritual cultivation, but practice them deligently and correctly, he (or she) will still attain some accomplishment in spiritual cultivation, but at a low level, like being peaceful and happy, or even at a middle level, like being compassionate and wise.

    However, he has to know the philosophy, techniques and skills if he wants to attain the highest level of spiritual cultivation, like expanding into the Cosmos. If all other things were equal, a practitioner practicing these arts will be less effective in the highest level of spiritual cultivation than another practitioner practicing Cotton Pam if all of them know the respective philosophy, techniques and skills. But other things are not equal. A master practicing Tiger-Crane, or even a lower art than this category, will be more effective than a beginner practicing Cotton Palm.

    The lowest arts for spiritual cultivation are Choy-Li-Fatt, Wing Choon Kungfuand Iron Wire. They are, nevertheless, excellent for combat. Consolidating force is very important in Iron Wire, there the set is not conducive for spiritual cultivation. Flowing force is generally not known in Choy-Li-Fatt and Wing Choon Kungfu, though their masters have flowing force due to years of dedicated training but they may not know it. Most Choy-Li-Fatt and Wing Choon practitioners use mechanical strength.

    We may sound very boastful, bot it is true that in my opinion non-kungfu martial arts like Karate, Taekwondo, Western Boxing, Wresting, Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai are detrimental to spiritual cultivation, especially when their practitioners glorify themselves in hurting their opponents unnecessarily. Generours exchange of blows in free sparring is damaging to their spirit, Tensing thrir muscles in their practice makes them stressful and agitated.

    Practicing Cotton Palm by itself is very good for spiritual cultivation. But if we know the philosophy and have the necessary skills, our accomplishment will ne greatly enhanced.

    For philosophy, we may for convenience classify spirutal cultivation into three levels:

    1. Being peaceful and happy.
    2. Being compassionate and wise.
    3. Expanding into the Cosmos.

    Next, we select the necessary skills to attain these three levels. Practicing Cotton Palm is an excellent choice.

    All students of Shaolin Wahnam will be able to attain the first level of spiritual cultivation, because all of them have chi flow. Chi flow not only give them good health, vitality and longevity, it alsm makes them peaceful and happy.

    To be compassionate and wise, one must have a lot of chi flow to open the heart (which includes the mind). Those students who have not learned and practiced advanced arts, or have practiced advanced arts but not sufficiently yet, will not have enough chi flow to attain compassion and wisdom.

    To expand into the Cosmos, one must have the philosophy, the techniques and the skills. Those who attended high-level courses like “Emerging with the Cosmos”, with heart-to-heart transmission from me, might have experiences of expanding beyond their physical body.

    Cotton Palm is excellent for spiritual cultivation, as well as for combat and daily living. Its force is ont only flowing but tremendous.

    <End>
    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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    • #32
      What an amazing answer from Sigung! Thank you very much Sigung for taking the time to respond to my question and thank you Sifu Tim for managing the 10 Questions on Cotton Palm thread.

      Best wishes to our Shaolin Wahnam family,

      Miguel

      Comment


      • #33
        Only two more questions on the wonders of Cotton Palm. Here is question 8 answer. Thank you Angel.

        Question 8

        I wonder, how the Wudang Cotton Palm set is more suitable than Wudang Taijiquan for spiritual attainment?

        Sifu Angel Guillermo, Puerto Rico


        Answer

        Your question involves the problem of dualistic thinking. You may know what I mean, but most other people may not. Most other people may think that if the Wudang Cotton Palm set is better than Wudang Taijiquan for spiritual cultivation, then Wudang Taijiquan is not good for spiritual cultivation.

        Of course, this is not true. Both the Cotton Palm set and the Wudang Taijiquan set are excellent for spiritual cultivation. Indeed, Wudang Taijiquan is amonst the best for spiritual cultivation. But if compare just the two sets, Wudang Cotton Palm set and Wudang Taijiquan set, then Wudang Cotton Palm is better.

        As you know well, the art was not called Wudang Taijiquan when Zhang San Feng practiced it on Wudang Mountain. The term “Taijiquan” came about a few centuries later.

        It was called Shaolin Kungfu, and as it was practiced on the Wudang Mountain it was called Wudang Shaolin Kungfu, to differentiate it from the Henan Shaolin Kungfu practiced at the Shaolin Monastery in Henan Province.

        Indeed, Zhang San Feng practiced Wudang Shaolin Kungfu, or Wudang Taijiquan as it is now commonly called, not for combat, as he was already very combat efficient. He also did not practice the art for health, as he was already very healthy. He practiced the art for the highest spiritual cultivation. He wanted to merge with the Cosmos.

        Nevertheless, although Zhang San Feng practiced the art for spiritual cultivation, he was about 700 years from us, and since then Wudang Taijiquan geared more towards combat. Now many people practice Wudang Taijiquan not for spiritual cultivation, not for combat, but as a gentle exercise.

        On the other hand, the Cotton Palm set was composed by me, with chi flow, or flowing force, as the main criterion. Flowing force contributes greatly to spiritual cultivation, as well as to combat and daily living. Wudang Taijiquan is geared towards combat. Some of its techniques are very sophisticated, and even masters may bat application.

        Hence, when we compare just the two arts, Wudang Cotton Palm is better than even WudangTaijiquan for spiritual cultivation.

        Of course I did not just compost Wudang Cotton Palm. I found out all I could about Cotton Pam and Wudang Kungfu, and selected the best techniques and skills to compose the set. I made sure that all the techniques and skills selected generated flowing force, which in turn is excellent for spiritual cultivation.

        <End>
        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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        • #34
          The Cotton Palm thread answers are coming to a close. Here is the final question 9, part a.

          Question 9

          It has been mentioned previously that Cotton Palm is excellent in cultivating the Spirit.

          Does Cotton Palm specifically enhance the 3 internal harmonies of Jing, Qi and Shen and if so how does Cotton Palm enhance these 3 aspects and when practicing the art of Cotton Palm what would be the most beneficial and practical exercises to enhance both the 3 harmonies and the Set?

          James


          Answer

          Cotton Palm is excellent for cultivating “zhen”, or “spirit”. It is also excellent for cultivating “jin” and “qi”., or “essence” and “energy”.

          The three internal harmonies are “jing”, “qi” and “shen”, or essence, energy and spirit. (Please note that “qi” is spelt as “chi “ in Emglish.) The three external harmonies are feet, body and hands.

          The three external harmonies and the three internal harmonies form a very important concept in kungfu known as the six harmonies, or “liu he”.

          (Please note that “he” in “liu he” is pronounced like the English “her” as in “him” and “her”, and not like the English “he” as in “he” and “she”. If you think that Romanized Chinese is funny, think again. We say /bas/ and /mather/, but write the words as “bus” and “mother”.)

          All beings, irrespective of whether they are humans or gods, bacteria or whales, dragons or garuda (or gigantic birds) in a different realm, are composed of jin, qi and shen, though our human sight is too limited to see many of these beings. Jin is the form, or physical body; qi is the energy or life force,;and shen is the spirit or consciousness.

          This was a discovery by Chinese masters still unknown to the West. Some Westerners still believe that we are only the physical body, without qi or energy, and without shen or spirit. The Chinese master believe that the real being is the shen, or spirit. Jin and qi are changing all the time.

          (Part 2 follows)
          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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          • #35
            So here it is...the final part of an important question.

            Thank you to those who have taken part in reading this thread and asking questions. The Cotton Palm is a very special art, and we are extremely lucky that our Grandmaster has taken the time to both train and pass on this valuable art.

            So why is this art so very valuable? Like all the arts Sifu has passed onto us we benefit from increased energy, good health, happiness and the potential for longevity. Cotton Palm also takes you ever closer to ‘an uninterrupted smooth flow of energy’.

            I remember many years ago on a mountain retreat with Siheng Kai. He asked me “Sooo Tim, why do you want to practice these arts?”.

            “So that I am no longer bothered by things. So that I don’t get stressed by people and things. So that I can have a life of peace and be happy and healthy.” I replied

            “Ahhh,” Siheng Kai said, with a knowing look in his eyes “You are aiming for the highest!"

            During my time with Sifu I have learnt and benefitted from many things; how to generate and manage energy flow. How to apply it to my daily life. How to overcome hardships. And how to find inner peace. The Cotton Palm has been an important part of the collective journey and experience, and I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity.

            So here it is. The final answer. And as if by Shaolin magic, we finish on 9!

            (Continued from Part 1)

            Cotton Palm, if we perform it correctly, specifically enhances the 3 internal harmonies of jing, qi and shen, This is because jin, qi and shen are integrated. When one aspect is weak, the others are weak too. When one aspect is strong, it nourishes the other two aspects.

            For example, when jin is weak, the person has little qi and little shen. Hhen a person is sick, for example, he is easily fatiqued, and his thinking is poor. When qi is plentiful, like when we practice our qigong, spelt as “chi kung” in English, our physical body and mind are strong.

            Those who do not know this concept of jin, qi and shen, will not benefit from it. They may, influenced by Western exercise for example, perform Cotton Palm or any kungfu setphysically, without cultivating qi and shen. Worse, they may tense their muscles, hindering energy flow and weaking their spirit.

            The correct practice of Cotton Palm enhances these 3 internal aspects. We need to practice Cotton Palm in a relaxed, flowing manner which brings nutrients to nourish our jin, The flowing energy as a result of our performance generates internal force, which makes us fast and powerful. We also focus our mind in our performance, thus strengthening our shen. All kungfu sets in our school are perfomed in this way, but Cotton Palm is specially powerful.

            While we focus on the 2 internal harmonies, we must not neglect the 2 external harmonies. Indeed, the 3 external harmonies should be perfect before we pay much attention to the 3 internal harmonies. If the form, which includes the feet, body and hands, is not picture-perfect, the cultivation of jin, qi and shen will be affected.

            As mentioned earlier, the 6 harmonies, -- which are feet, body, hands, essence, energy and spirit – are integrated. When any one of the 6 aspects is out of harmony, the other 5 will be affected. For example, if the feet are not in the correct position, the body, hands, essence, energy and spirit will be unfavorably affected. If the spirit is not focused, the feet, body, hands, essence and energy will not be at their best.

            Hence, in the practice of Cotton Palm, all the 6 aspects must be in harmony in order to get the most benefit. This is guided by the concept of “liu he” or “six harmonies”.

            Which is the most beneficial and practical exercise to enhance the 3 internal harmonies of jin, qi and shen, and the whole set, depends on various factors, like needs, aspiration,s developmental stage, and whims and fancies. The exercise most suitable for a beginner, for example, may not be most suitable for a master. The most suitable exercise for combat, may not be the most suitable for developing internal force.

            Nevertheless, all the patterns in the Cotton Palm set are suitable, as all the patterns are specially chosen. Some of my favorite patterns, which may not be the same for other people, are “Wave Sleeves Light Breeze”, “Whirlwind Cotton Palm” and “Garments Receive Flowing Breeze”.

            <End>:
            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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            • #36
              Thank You...

              Thank You Sigung for your Insightful answers as always, and thanks to Tim for weaving this thread!


              James
              Aaahhhhh!

              Comment


              • #37
                Dear Miguel Sidai,

                Thank you for asking your profound question. It really prompted Sigung to give us an excellent learning about the depth which Cotton Palm offers. Thank you to other Family members for their excellent questions also.

                Thanks again to Sigung for the answers and teaching this invaluable Art! Last but not least, thank you Tim Sipak for facilitating this special oportunity.

                Since there was discussion both on the course and here in the Q&A thread about using Cotton Palm for healing and one more questions is still needed, I thought to ask a related question about energy projection. I'll post it soon!

                With sincere gratitude,
                Olli

                Comment


                • #38
                  Cotton Palm and Energy Projection

                  Honorable Sigung,

                  What advice or general guidelines could you give to Cotton Palm practitioners if they eventually wished to train the skill of Striking a Buffalo Beyond a Mountain? How important would you consider this skill for attaining a high-level mastery in Kungfu?

                  How to recognize the stage of having enough force and skill with Cotton Palm so that a practitioner might set a candle or gong at a close distance and see whether he can extinguish or sound it respectively with reasonable expectations of success? What would be the choice patterns from the Wudang Cotton Palm set for this purpose?

                  How does the Cotton Palm differ from Cosmos Palm in learning the skill of Strike-Across-Space? Does the lack of consolidation affect attaining this skill?

                  Is there any significant difference in terms of time and difficulty between learning to project energy via index finger, palm, or fist? Is it easier to transfer the skill of energy projection from some specific hand form to another?

                  With sincere respect,
                  Olli
                  Last edited by understanding; 25th September 2017, 05:06 AM. Reason: An important addition about choice patterns and some language clearer!

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                  • #39
                    Dear Olli,

                    It truly is a wonderful art! Thank you for your questions and everybody else's as well. They have been a joy to read.

                    Kind regards,
                    Miguel

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Thank you Olli, as you may have realised the opportunity to ask further questions on this Q&A passed already. However, yours is an excellent question, so Sifu has very generously answered it. We are all very fortunate!

                      Extra Question

                      What advice or general guidelines could you give to Cotton Palm practitioners if they eventually wished to train the skill of Striking a Buffalo Beyond a Mountain? How important would you consider this skill for attaining a high-level mastery in Kungfu?

                      How to recognize the stage of having enough force and skill with Cotton Palm so that a practitioner might set a candle or gong at a close distance and see whether he can extinguish or sound it respectively with reasonable expectations of success? What would be the choice patterns from the Wudang Cotton Palm set for this purpose?

                      How does the Cotton Palm differ from Cosmos Palm in learning the skill of Strike-Across-Space? Does the lack of consolidation affect attaining this skill?

                      Is there any significant difference in terms of time and difficulty between learning to project energy via index finger, palm, or fist? Is it easier to transfer the skill of energy projection from some specific hand form to another?

                      Olli


                      Answer

                      I shall answer Olli’s extra question. Other questions in this series will not be answered after this.

                      I could not answer from direct experience on how to attain the skill of “Striking a Buffalo Beyond a Mountain” using Cotton Palm, like what I normally do with other questions, because I already have this skill long ago with Cosmos Palm before I trained Cotton Palm. More than 30 years ago, I could break the bottom of two bricks lying one on top of the other, which is a manifestation of this skill.

                      But I believe that if one trains Cotton Palm correctly for some time, like one year, he would have this skill. He may not be able to break a brick, which needs consolidated force, like the consolidated force from Cosmos Palm, but the flowing force of Cotton Palm can go through obstacles and damage an opponents without damaging the obstacles. Because Cotton Palm may not break a brick, this does not mean that Cotton Palm is less powerful than Cosmos Palm. The flowing force of Cotton Palm can cause more damage to an opponent than Cosmos Palm. Similarly, a dim mark master may not break a break, but the injury of dim mark can be more damaging than a brick-breaking Iron Palm master.

                      I would consider very highly the skill of “Striking a Buffalo Beyond a Mountain” – much more highly than the skill of breaking a brick, which I would consider 3rd class kungfu. The skill of “Striking a Buffalo Beyond a Mountain” is versatile. It will make all the attack and defence of a practitioner powerful. More significantly, it contributes to his good health, vitality and longevity as well as to peak performance and spiritual joys.

                      (Part 2 follows)
                      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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                      • #41
                        Part 2

                        (Continued from Part 1)

                        It is recommended that Cotton Palm practitioners practice the whole Cotton Palm set learnt at the courseat UK Summer Camp 2017. In this way they will not miss any important aspects of the training. They will eventually attain the skill of “Striking a Buffalo Beyond a Mountain”, besides other wonderful benefits.

                        If they prefer certain patterns, the following are highly recommended – “Wave Sleeves Light Breeze”, “Cloud Hands”, “Lone Drake Leaves Crowd”, and “Garments Receive Flowing Breeze”.

                        The flowing force of Cotton Palm, or any internal force, can be recognized by the initiated. The eyes of a practitioner with such force sparkle, his skin flows, his limbs are rounded and there is a small “drum” at his belly. He is alive and full of vitality. His voice is loud and soronous, though he is often soft-spoken, He is fast, agile and elegant.

                        Striking a candle or a gong from a short distance is a test and confirmation of such force. Other tests and confirmations include smashing a water-melon without damaging its skin, causing serious damage to a tree without leaving outward signs, and braking some taufo under water.

                        A choice pattern from the Wudang Cotton Palm set for this purpose is “Wave Sleeves Light Breeze”. Besides feeling forceful himself, the practitioner will find everyday a joy for living, irrespective of where he is.

                        A main difference between Cosmos Palm and Cotton Palm is that in Cosmos Palm there are both flowing force and consolidated force, whereas in Cotton Palm there is only flowing force. This does not mean that Cosmos Palm is superior to, or more powerful than Cotton Palm. If all other things were equal, Cosmos Palm is good for combat, whereas Cotton Palm is good for health. Needless to say, it does not mean that Cosmos Palm is not good fro health, and Cotton Palm is not good for combat. Both Cosmos Palm and Cotton Palm are excellent for health and combat. Both Cosmos Palm and Cotton Palm develop the skill of “Strike Across Space”

                        Because of this main difference, the training methods and application of the skill are also different. The at of Big Windmill, for example, which is used to consolidate force from flowing energy, is found in Cosmos Palm, but not in Cotton Palm. As Cotton Palm focuses on flowing force., its training methods are soft and gentle.

                        The lack of consolidation in Cotton Palm does not affect attaining the skill of “Strike Across Space”, though it may affect the breaking of hard objects, like a brick. Striking a living opponent is very different from breaking a brick.

                        The training of Cotton Palm, of course, is not just to break bricks. It is easeir to use a hammer. A good analogy is a hurricane. A hurricane may not break a brick like a hammer does, but it can blow off buildings.

                        Whether it is easiest to project energy using the finger, the palm or the fist depends on different persons and other factors. But if all other things were equal, it is the easiest to do so using the finger, then the palm and lastly the fist if the person has the skills to do so. Hence, in Shaolin Wahnam Association, which was the fore-runner of our school, Shaolin Wahnam Institute, extinguishing a candle flame from a short distance was one of the items in the First Standardized Test in 1893 because all students had learnt to project energy while training One-Finger Shooting Zen, though many people considered this feat impossible.

                        Chi kung healers who wish to project energy to their patients use the sword-finger. However, those who wish to project energy over a larger area use their palm. They never do so with their fist. Yhe finger is the easiest to transfer the skill of energy projection, followed by the palm. It is important that those who wish to project energy must be rained to do so. Without proper training, they are likely to harm themselves or others.

                        <End>
                        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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                        • #42
                          Dear Tim Sipak,

                          Lucky us, indeed!

                          The English language is very nuanced. I had genuinely misunderstood your cue about closing and two more questions: I understood it as an encouragement that a final tenth question was still needed.

                          I had written this question already back in August, but I decided against posting it just yet because I wanted other people (in particular those who hadn't ask any) to have an opportunity to ask the missing question. Next time I shall submit my questions for consideration earlier if I suspect that the quota is not otherwise reached, even if they are not selected in the end.

                          Honorable Sigung,

                          Thank you very, very much for your generosity and wisdom. The answer was instructing and inspiring, thus making it another fine complement to the practical transmission of Cotton Palm. Hopefully around this time next year I will be able to demonstrate Strike-Across-Space and make a dream come true! It's one thing to speak and demonstrate to friends and family about the health effects of our precious practice, but a feat like this will surely widen their eyes and open their minds, even they might still choose not to join us in practicing the wonderful Shaolin Arts.

                          With sincere gratitude,
                          Olli

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