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  • #46
    The “Focusing Spirit Accumulating Energy in Grand Ultimate Practice” Treatise of Zhang San Feng provides us with a clear path...

    To learn to flow with the Cosmos, rather than against it

    To learn how to attain a unity of spirit and energy

    To learn how to use those skills with compassion and wisdom

    To experience Cosmic and phenomenal reality … at the same time

    To have a direct experience of Cosmic Consciousness

    So if you have been wondering about some of the course aims and objectives of Cultivating Spirit - Training Energy, this may help. Once again, it is very practical.


    Question 14

    Please could Sifu explain the concept of "flowing with the Cosmos"? Please could he describe what that might look like, feel like, sound like when we are flowing with the Cosmos? Could Sifu also provide any tips on how to detect when we aren’t flowing with the Cosmos, and offer suggestions for ways to get back into flow?

    Matthew


    Answer

    When we flow with the Cosmos, we are natural, which means we are also healthy and happy.

    For example, when we are tired, we rest; when we are hungry, we ear, and when we are thirsty, we drink. This is natural. This is flowing with the Cosmos.

    When you eat when you are hungry, you look like eating, feeling like eating, and sound like eating, especially if you make a lot of noise.

    Similarly when you rest, drink or do any natural thing, i.e. you are flowing with the Cosmos, you look, feel and sound like resting, drinking or doing any natural things.

    If you are not doing anything naturally, then you are not flowing with the Cosmos. You will be unhealthy and unhappy.

    For example, if you are not tired, hungry or thirsty but force yourself to rest, eat or drink, you will be unhealthy and unhappy. You may not be clinically sick or actually feeling sad, but you will not be healthy and happy.

    These are signs to show you not to persist on doing unnatural things. But if you persist, then you may be clinically sick and actually feeling sad.

    Sometimes it may not be so easy not to do unnatural things. Sometimes you may be forced by circumstances to act unnaturally.

    Day time is for work, and night time is for rest. That is natural, or flowing with the Cosmos. But some people may have to work at night, and rest in the day. That is unnatural, or not flowing with the Cosmos.

    It is actually not difficult to get back to be natural, to flow with the Cosmos, but he needs much will power.

    It is also unnatural, or not flowing with the Cosmos, to be sick or to be depressed. To be healthy and happy is natural, or flowing with the Cosmos.

    Most people who are sick or depressed will see a doctor or a psychologist. For us in Shaolin Wahnam we practice chi kung everyday so that sickness or depression has no chance to occur.

    It is also unnatural, or not flowing with the Cosmos, to continuously take medication. But some people have developed it as a habit, as they did not have the opportunity to practice genuine chi kung. Some people actually value laziness more than good health and happiness.

    <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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    • #47
      Applying principles of Zhang San Feng to everyday life...

      Thank you Omar for this question...

      Question 15

      I've been thinking about how to concretely apply the specific principles of Zhang San Feng to everyday life.

      I have been thinking through them one by one and how I would apply them to typical daily situations like high profile office meetings or dealing with family situations or teaching students in a class environment or even eating a meal or studying for an exam.

      In some cases the 'application' is very obvious like

      - Empty the mind of all thoughts
      - Use intention, not strength
      - Perform patterns continuously in one gentle, graceful flow without any break

      But for most of the others it is not so obvious, for example :

      - Loosen the waist
      - Apply the principle of false-real
      - Apply the principle of sinking and pressing
      - Co-ordinate the top and bottom part of the body
      - Integrate internal and external aspects of training
      - Movement in stillness and stillness in movement

      I would be grateful if you could help 'unlock' some of these and how the specific aspect of wisdom of each of these principles can be applied to such non combat and even non physical everyday exchanges.

      Omar


      Answer

      Thank you for your question. It directly reflects why we in Shaolin Wahnam train Shaolin Kungfu, Wahnam Taijiquan and chi kung. Besides having good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys, we transfer what we learn in classes and courses to our daily life.

      What you have mentioned is applying the 10 Essentials of Taijiquan to daily life, except that you did not mention not tensing any muscles. When Zhang San Feng mentioned these 10 Essentials, they were meant to guide participants to attain the Great Void. But to us still in the phenomenal world, they are to enrich our daily life, besides achieving the aims of our school.

      It is worthy to remember that at the time of Zhang San Feng who lived in the 12th century, Taijiquan was known as Shaolin Kungfu. It was called Taijiquan many centuries later.

      I shall appy each one of the 10 Essentials to high profile office meetings, dealing with family situations, teaching students in class, or any daily activity.

      The 10 Essentials stated by Zhang San Feng are as follows:
      1. Empty your mind of all thoughts
      2. Do not tense any muscles
      3. Loosen your waist
      4. Principle of false-real
      5. Principle of sinking and pressing
      6. Using intention and not using strength
      7. Co-ordination of top and bottom
      8. Integration of internal and external
      9. One gentle, graceful flow without any break
      10. Movement in stillness, stillness in movement

      Emptying the mind of all thoughts leads to mental clarity, one of the aims of our school. When we have mental clarity, we will have better result than when we do not have mental clarity. We will also have better result that all other people who do not have mental clarity. It is not only important in high profile office meanings, dealing with family situations, or teaching students in classes or courses, but also in all situations every day of our life.

      Having myriad thoughts coming to their mind happens to be the problem of most people at all times. They just do not know how to clear their mind of all thoughts.

      Similarly, tensing their muscles is also the problem of most people all the times, even when they sleep, and usually most of them do not realize that they tense their muscles. It has become habitual.

      They will have better results if they are relax than if they are tensed, not just in high profile office meetings, dealing with family situations, or teaching students in classes or courses, but in every situation in their daily lives.

      When they tense their muscles, they cannot develop internal force. Hence, not only they can do better by not tensing their muscles, having internal force contributes to even better results in their daily life.

      (Part 2 follows)
      (Continued from Part 1)

      We often do not realize how important is our waist. If a person’s spine is fused, like some of my students were but chi kung practice overcame their problem, he would not be able to turn his body at a meeting, dealing with family situations, teaching students, or in any everyday situation. A fused spine will also affect other organs, thus affecting his health, vitality and longevity.

      The principle of false-real is important in high-profile meetings and in family situations, though it may also be important in other daily situations. In a meeting of a board of directors, for example, a general manager or a managing director may want to gauge the response of the directors before presenting his proposal. If the response is not favorable, he may have to change or modify it to get their acceptance. The principle of false-real will be very useful.

      On the other hand, the principle of sinking and pressing is particularly useful in meetings with sub-ordinates. He may need to press his points so that his sub-ordinates will accept his proposal. If the response is unfavorable, he would need the principle of sinking, i.e. modifying the wording of the proposal without changing its actual objective, so that his sub-ordinates will accept his proposal and work with zest. Pressing may also be useful in high profile office meetings.

      In everyday situations, “Using intention and not using strength” may be interpreted variously. When dealing with family members, for example, instead of using his authority as the father of the family to bulldoze his children in accepting his ideas, the father may emphasize the benefits that his children will get as a result of his ideas. Similarly, instead of forcing his sub-ordinates into accepting his proposal, a manager may emphasize the benefits they will get in carrying out the proposal.

      “Co-ordination of top and bottom” is important when dealing with two sides of a business, like a managing director dealing with a board of directors and his sub-ordinates, or a sale person dealing with his company and his customers. He should co-ordinate so that both sides will benefit.

      In the practice of Taijiquan or any arts in our school, internal training should be integrated with external training, like energy flow integrated with physical movements, and presence of mind integrated with external forms. The internal and the external can be interpreted variously in situations of daily living. For example, when asking someone to do something, the tone which is internal, should be integrated with the words used, which are external, appropriate to the occasion. An executive seeking the approval of a manager should be persuasive, whereas a teacher telling his students should be commanding.

      One gentle, graceful flow without any break saves a lot of time and effort regardless of high profile meetings, dealing with family members, teaching a class or course, or any everyday situation. In some situations “without any break” does not necessarily mean without any time in between. Sometimes, like dealing with family members, a family member may need time to carry out his action. But the person implementing this principle must complete all the necessary steps, including giving some time to carry out the action, in one smooth flow.

      Let us take a simple situation of taking your girlfriend for a date, or your family for an outing. First you take your girlfriend or family to a restaurant, then to a place where you can spend time together. You don’t go to the restaurant and find that it is close, and spend time arguing on another restaurant. You have decided on the second restaurant, or even the third one. After a delicious meal, you don’t spend time arguing on where to go next. You have planned where to go. You may ask your girlfriend or your family for her or their suggestion, and acti on it, but you must have one gentle flow without any break.

      In high profile office meetings, dealing with family members, teaching students in classes or courses, or any everyday situation, movement may be interpreted as you talking, and stillness may be interpreted as you listening, while others are talking. Listening, or stillness in this case, is an important skill that can give you much benefit.

      These 10 Essentials of Taijiquan can be applied in high profile office meeting, dealing with family members, teaching students in classes or courses, and in any everyday situation. The three courses we will have in the UK Summer Camp, Puerto Rico and Penang provide good opportunities to apply them.

      <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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      • #48
        Interestingly, I have found that over the years practicing Chi Kung, my sensitivity to energy flow in myself and others has increased. It hasn't helped me find specific energy acupuncture points, but neither have I been looking for them. My attention usually goes to where energy is blocked or flowing.

        Through my therapy practice I have also developed increased sensitivity to energy flow and blockages. It is difficult to know exactly what contributed to these things, and in one way it doesn't really matter. Perhaps as a human being we all have it already, we just haven't noticed it because of the many things that distract us from reality as it is.

        Once our own energy flows more freely, and we have less thoughts distracting us, we can notice the things we might attribute to developing a skill/s.

        Question 16

        Does Chi gong help us to find the truth (light) and falseness (shadow) in us and see what is true and false in others and in all things.

        If so, how does it do it?

        Can chi gong help the body find intuitively its own acupuncture points to help close or open channels that help energy flow? What else is opened and closed?

        I’m asking these questions because of what I’m noticing in my chi gong movements.

        Nothing specific just a general impression.

        Dr Kate Gillies


        Revised Answer

        The term "chi kung" is the one we currently use in our school. In Romanized Chinese it is "qigong", but pronounced as /ch'i kung/.

        Chi kung does not help practitioners to find the truth and falseness. Those who practice chi kung may tell untruths.

        Sometimes they may not know what they say is untrue. For example, they may say there is no such a thing as "chi", even when they practice chi kung. But even when they know that what they say is not true, they may still say it without showing any emotion.

        Practicing chi kung also does not help practitioners to see what is true and false in others, and in all things.

        Practicing chi kung helps the body to intuitively find its own acupuncture points to open channels, called meridians in our school, to enable energy to flow smoothly.

        Chi kung clears energy blockage. Those who practice chi kung will have open channels. Those who do not practice chi kung will have close meridians.

        The terms "open" and "close" are used provisionally. Actually in those who practice chi kung, many of their meridians may still be close, and in many of those who do not practice chi kung, many of their meridians are open with chi flowing through.

        <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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        • #49
          Excellent questions Parveen. Thank you for asking these.

          Question 17

          How will Zhang San Feng's courses benefit in 'realizing the way' and how will they contribute to longevity in our human form?

          How will the inner arts develop our elixir and how may we apply this to our daily life? When we develop our inner alchemy (microcosm) how does this affect the cosmos (macrocosm)?

          Sifu, when we practice all these incredible energy arts and develop our heart/mind do we develop the heart/mind of other beings and can we help in alleviating some of the suffering in the world?

          Sifu, do you think that Zhang San Feng practiced the Heart Sutra? As a Taoist priest do you think he blended the Buddhist with the Taoist teachings due to his former training at the Shaolin Temple?

          Sifu, what healing did Zhang San Feng practice and is it relevant today?

          Why were many masters drawn to the Wudang mountains to 'realize the way'?

          Are the arts connected to Laozi and was he the embodiment of MahaKasyapa? If so is that why our school is so special as the transmission from both Wudang and Shaolin are direct from Buddha?

          Parveen


          Answer

          Zhang San Feng’s courses will be conducted from 12th to 15th July in the UK Summer Camp, on 22nd and 23rd September in Puerto Rico, and from 2nd to 8th December in Penang. At the Summer Camp course the focus will be on experiencing and expressing the Grand Ultimate on Wudang Kungfu, in Puerto Rico it is on Wudang Kungfu or San Feng Wudang Set, and in Penang it is on cultivating spirit and nourishing energy.

          “Realizing the way” can be interpreted at different levels. For the Taoists on Wudang Mountain who had dedicated themselves to the highest spiritual attainment, it was merging with the Great Void. For us still in the phenomenal world, it is having good health, vitality and longevity. While learning Wudang Kungfu or San Feng Wudang Set, we also develop combat efficiency.

          In chi kung, which will be the purpose of the “Cultivation Spirit Nourishing Energy” course, good health, vitality and longevity are a continuous process. If a person is sick, cultivating spirit and nourishing energy at a low level will overcome his sickness, resulting in good health. When he has good health, cultivating his spirit and nourishing his energy will give him vitality and then longevity. We shall use the Abridged San Feng Set (at the UK Summer Camp) as well as methods from Cotton Palm and Dragon Strength (in Malaysia Dec 2018) for this purpose. Earlier at the UK Summer Camp and Puerto Rico we shall use Wudang Kungfu and the Abridged San Feng Wudang Set for combat efficiency.

          “Elixir” is the essence of spirit and energy. When we practice inner arts we develop our spirit and our energy. At the “Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy” course in Penang, we develop the best of our spirit and energy to build our elixir.

          When we have our elixir, i.e. the essence of spirit and energy, we can have better results no matter what we do in our daily life. Whatever we do, irrespective of whether they are physical or intellectual tasks, we do with zest and vitality. We can also continue performing with zest and vitality until our advanced age. At 60 or beyond we can perform better than other people who may only be at 30 or younger.

          The Cosmos or macrocosm is spirit and energy. When we have the essence of spirit and energy in our inner alchemy or microcosm, i.e. when our spirit and energy are better than the surrounding spirit and energy, and better than other people’s spirit and energy, we can do better no matter what we do. When we read a book, for example, we can understand better. When we carry on our daily activities, we can perform better. This is because of our better spirit and energy.

          (Part 2 follows)
          (Continued from Part 1)

          The answer to whether we can develop the heart or mind of other beings when we practice these incredible arts, is “yes and no”. When our heart or mind is well developed, i.e. when we have the essence of spirit and energy, we can be an inspiration and greatly influence other people. We can, for example, alleviate some of the sufferings in the world. In this way the answer is “yes”.

          On the other hand, other people who do not have the opportunities as we do, will remain low in spirit and energy. Due to our training, although our spirit and energy are very high, their spirit and energy remain low. In this way the answer is “no”.

          As the Heart Sutra, being a major Mahayana sutra, was recited at the Shaolin Monastery, Zhang San Feng, who trained at the monastery for many years, would have recited and practiced the Heart Sutra.

          Actually Buddhism and Taoism are not what modernized people, especially those in the West, normally conceptualize what a religion is. Buddhism and Taoism are established ways to live lives fully and to attain the highest spiritual achievement when aspirants are ready. Because of cultural, historical, geographical and other differences, Buddhists and Taoists may approach life and spiritual achievements differently from Christians, Muslims and people of other religion or of no official religion. But the basic principles are the same, namely they avoid evil, do good and cultivate their mind or spirit, which may be called soul or consciousness by other people.

          Hence what a good Buddhist or Taoist does is also what a good Christian, Muslim or a person of any religion or no official religion does. As Zhang San Feng was a great Taoist priest, I am sure he blended the Buddhist teaching with his Taoist teaching. The Shaolin Monastery was non-religious, though it was highly spiritual. Zhang San Feng as well as other Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, Muslims and followers of other religions were free to carry on their own religions beliefs.

          The monks at the Shaolin Monastery when Zhang San Feng was studying there, and the priests on the Wudang Mountain where Zhang San Feng continued his spiritual cultivation, were already healthy. If anyone was sick or injured, Zhang San Feng would ask him to practice appropriate chi kung exercises to have a chi flow to overcome the sickness or injury. If someone was seriously injured, Zhang San Feng might transmit some chi to him.

          Chi flow is very relevant today, but not many people have the opportunity to learn it. Transmitting chi from a healer to a patient is also relevant, but again not many people have the opportunity to meet a healer to have chi transmitted to them. I used to transmit chi to some patients, but now I find chi flow more comprehensive and eventually more effective. Not only can chi flow overcome illness, more significantly it gives good health, vitality and longevity.

          Not many masters were drawn to the Wudang Mountain “to realize the way” because Zhang San Feng was very selective. The very lucky ones were taught by Zhang San Feng to merge with the Great Void or to attain immortality. Even those who failed to merge with the Great Void or to attain immortality, would have good health, vitality and longevity.

          Today many people, including some so-called masters, are drawn to the Wudang Mountain to “realize the way”, not to merge with the Great Void nor to attain immortality, but to learn Wudang Kungfu.

          Laozi, which is in Romanized Chinese spelling, or Lao Tzu in English spelling, is the First Patriarch of Taoism. As the teaching of Zhang San Feng was Taoism, the Wudang arts are connected to Laozi.

          Mahakasyapa was a principal disciple of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. The gist of Buddhism, as stated by the Buddha himself, is to avoid evil, do good and cultivate the mind.

          As Laozi in his own Taoist ways also avoided evil, did good and cultivated the mind, which is called the spirit in Taoism, he was the embodiment of Mahakasyapa, or Mahakasyapa, who was one generation later, was the embodiment of Laozi. Laozi in China and the Buddha in India were contemporaries, but they never met.

          Yes, that is one main reason why our school, Shaolin Wahnam, is so special. Although the transmission comes separately from the Buddha and Laozi, the transmission says the same things, i.e. avoid evil, do good and cultivate the mind or spirit.

          There are two other main reasons why our school is so special. One is that we practice genuine chi kung and kungfu, and the other is that we systematically transfer what we learn in chi kung and kungfu to our daily life.

          <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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          • #50
            Thank you Thank you Thank you for the wonderful answers

            With Love & Gratitude,

            Parveen
            “So I say to you –
            This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:”

            “Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
            Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
            Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream.”

            “So is all conditioned existence to be seen.”

            Thus spoke Buddha.

            Comment


            • #51
              To complete the circle we have the final question 18.

              Thank you everyone for the wonderful questions and to Sifu for so generously taking the time to share his invaluable wisdom.

              We are looking forward to seeing you in the UK, Puerto Rico or Malaysia...

              Question 18

              You have talked about the realisations you had regarding your Kung Fu & Chi Kung practice when you translated the Treatise of Zhang San Feng. Could you say something about any realisations you had about living a healthy, happy and meaningful life. Did it change the way you approached anything in your everyday life or help you to crystallise anything that had already been working well?

              How, if at all, did the Treatise affect the way you taught or practiced Chi Kung or Kung Fu?

              You are teaching Five Dan Tien Training for the first time. What skills will someone practising this art gain, what holistic effects will the practice have and what aspects of life can these skills be used to enhance?

              How have the experiences of "Taiji originates from Wuji" and "experiencing Cosmic and Phenomenal reality at the same time" affected the way you look at other people and the world around you. What would you say has been the most practically useful outcome of these experiences.

              Sifu Barry Smale, Shaolin Wahnam UK


              Answer

              My realizations about living a healthy, happy and meaningful life may be a surprise to many people, but they lead to my being healthy, happy and meaningful.

              The first realization is to let others, including those close to you, to lead their own life. If you don’t follow or accept this realization, it will lead to you becoming less healthy, less happy and less meaningful even thought it may not make you sick, sad or meaningless.

              A good example is our having benefited much from our practice in our school that we want to share our practice with those we love. You may, for example, want your wife (or husband) and children to practice our Shaolin Wahnam arts. If they do not want to, then let them live their life the way they want. It is their life, and we have no right to dictate to them to live their life the way we want.

              This realization has changed the way I approach my everyday life. I may tell them the wonderful benefits of our Shaolin Wahnam arts, but if they do not want these benefits, I am not going to insist or waste my time. I rather spend time with deserving students.

              Another realization is that you must be able to do what you ask others to do. For example, you may tell others to practice chi kung, but you yourself must be able to practice the exercises you tell others. This will give you confidence and conviction, which are important if you want others to follow your suggestion. Sometimes, other people may ask you to demonstrate what or how they should practice. You must be able to do so, bearing in mind that their standards are different from yours.

              The third realization is that you are an example of the benefits following your practice will give. If you tell them that practicing chi kung will give them good health and vitality, you will not be a good example for others to follow if you are unhealthy or lack vitality. If you tell others that practicing kungfu enables you to defence yourself, you must be ready to demonstrate your combat efficiency.

              (Part 2 follows)
              (Continued from Part 1)

              The Treatise of Zhang San Feng crystallizes the way I teach or practice chi kung and kungfu. Actually I taught and practiced the principles mentioned in the Treatise, but it crystallized them.

              Being relaxed and freeing the mind of all thoughts were important in the practice of chi kung. I learned them through years of teaching, and the concept of entering into a chi kung state of mind as mentioned by the great chi kung master, Yan Xin, confirmed these principles. I learned from my two sifus, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam and Sifu Choe Hoong Choy, that many patterns should be performed in one smooth flow without any break, and my sparring with opponents confirmed these principles.

              My sparring also taught me principles like the importance of the waist, sinking and pressing, and using feint and real moves, and the Treatise crystallized them.

              Five Dan Tians, which will be taught at the intensive course in December 2018 in Penang, is an advanced art. Those who will attend the course, especially those with Small Universe, will be able to achieve this skill quite easily.

              The holistic effects the practice will have are as follows:

              1. The participants will be healthy, full of vitality, and have longevity.
              2. They will have mental freshness and mental clarity.
              3. They will be happy and peaceful.
              4. They will be solid and agile at the same time.
              5. They will have a lot of force in their hands. They will be more forceful, irrespective of whether they practice kungfu.

              Whatever course participants do in their daily life, they will have better results! The following are just some examples how they can enrich various aspects of life:

              1. When they read a book, they will comprehend well.
              2. They will do well in their physical work.
              3. They will enjoy their sexual performance more, irrespective of male or female.
              4. Their intellect will improve.
              5. They will find joy in their simple, daily work.

              The experience of “Taiji originates from Wuji” and also “returns to Wuji” confirms for me that all great religions teach the same truth. It reminds me that Transcendental Reality is the same as Phenomenal Realm; the difference is a matter of spiritual perception.

              The skill of “experiencing Cosmic and Phenomenal reality at the same time” is very, very high level. Its experience occur to the greatest of masters. This experience as well as the other experience of “Taiji originates from Wuji and returns to Wuji” enhance the joy and beauty of life.

              Different people, if they ever have such wonderful experiences, may have different outcomes. But to me these experiences greatly enrich life, enabling me to perform better whatever I do.

              <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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              • #52
                Thank you Sifu

                Thank you Sifu for an amazing set of answers, what a great thread!

                Thanks to all the questioners and to Sifu Tim and Sifu Angel.

                I am so excited for Summer Camp and Penang 2018!!
                With love and Shaolin salute /o

                "Your purpose in life is to find your purpose & give your whole heart and soul to it." - Buddha

                Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Missing part 3 for question 4

                  Originally posted by Tim View Post
                  Hi,

                  Here is the answer to question 4...
                  (Continued from Part 2)

                  When I learned form Uncle Righteousness, my patterns were staccato, as I had to pause for Uncle Righteousness to check my form. When I learned from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam he asked me to perform a sequence of many patterns in one flow, manifesting the principle of “One gentle, graceful flow without any break”.

                  Later I read that “Chang Quan”, or “Long Fist”, is so called because it resembled the long river, or Yangtze Kiang, where waves after waves flow continuously. It reminded me that not only in Taijiquan but also in Shaolin Kungfu and other kungfu styles that it was important to have one graceful flow of patterns. When I formulated the ever-victorious strategy, this principle was very important.

                  “Movement in stillness, stillness in movement” is particularly important in Wudang Kungfu or Taijiquan. But I was aware of this principle in chi kung as I often read about this principle in classics. When we perform a chi kung movement, like Lifting the Sky, there is obvious movement, but the mind is still, which means calm and clear. When we perform a series of kungfu patterns, the mind is still. On the other hand, in Abdominal Breathing, for example, the external form is still, but the chi if flowing. When we perform stance-training, the form is still, but the energy is flowing.

                  Hence, even when practitioners learn other styles of kungfu other than Taijiquan, or other martial arts, they can benefit a lot from the Ten Essentials of Wudang Kungfu. Indeed, many kungfu practitioners and other martial artists as well as many other people tense their muscles and stress their mind with myriad thoughts. If they can learn just the first two of the 10 Essentials of Wudang Kungfu, they would have benefitted a lot.

                  Participants of any one of the Wudang Kungfu courses need to have some prior kungfu experience. If they are total beginners, they need to learn from any one of our kungfu instructors first. I shall not, for example, teach stance training and basic kungfu movements in any of the Wudang Kungfu courses.

                  Students can learn the 10 Essentials of Wudang Kungfu, but they will not be able to put the essentials in practice. All the essentials are skills, and skills need to be learn from a living teacher.

                  Let us take the first essential, “Empty your mind of all thoughts”. It is precisely that people cannot empty their mind of all thoughts that they become stressful. It is a very common problem faced by most people. Our Shaolin Wahnam students are indeed very lucky. Everyone of our students can empty their mind of all thoughts.

                  My teaching is multi-level. This means that relative beginners will benefit from the course more because there are advanced students present, but the more advanced a course participant is, the more he will benefit.

                  The 10 Essentials are not just for kungfu and other martial arts; it is for daily life. If we can understand and put into practice the 10 Essentials, our daily life will be much enriched.

                  Let us take just two examples, “Using your waist” and “Using intention and not using strength”.

                  When we turn round to look behind, we do not turn the whole body; we use our waist. Imagine how difficult it would be for people whose spinal bones are fused. We can also use our waist in another way. Suppose you need to carry some heavy object. Bend down, hold the heavy object with your fairly straight hands, then use your waist. It is much easier than trying to lift the object with your hands.

                  We are quite familiar with the saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword”, which is another way of saying use intention and not strength. But “strength” here is not muscular strength; it is internal force. By using intention, you can generate energy, or chi, to flow to your hands or whatever parts of your body to do your jobs.

                  If you want to turn on a switch of a light, or to lift a kettle, use intention instead of muscular strength. You will let chi instead of strength do the work for you. I learned this many, many years ago when I taught chi kung from a student who also learned Taoism.

                  When you want to go up the stairs, walk along a street, play games or do any work, use intention instead of strength. You will find chi will do the work for you, without you being tired or panting for breaths. You may need some practice, but you can be successful. The Wudang Kungfu courses are good places to practice.

                  <End>
                  Tim Franklin

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