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  • Questions to Grandmaster on Standing Meditation

    QUESTIONS TO GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT
    "WUJI STANCE: THE ART OF STANDING MEDITATION"


    M.jpg
    Dear family and guests of our forum,

    Grandmaster Wong has kindly agreed to answer good questions on the topic of Wuji Stance, the Art of Standing Meditation (Standing Zen).

    Please, these Q&A series will be a short one, so we expect very good questions as always to take profit from this opportunity.

    You can start posting your questions from now on.

    I'm sure we all will enjoy both your questions and Sifus´s answers.

    Greetings to everyone!

    Daniel

    med01c.jpg
    Last edited by Daniel; 5th June 2018, 12:53 PM.
    Daniel Pérez
    http://www.shaolinbcn.es

  • #2
    Dear Sigung,

    Thank You for Your generosity and giving us the opportunity to understand the depths of Standing Meditation.

    Dear Sipak, thank You for making this Question Answer possible.

    I have many questions and hope Sigung will be willing to answer any of them:

    -Could Sigung tell us about different levels that can be achieved in Standing Meditation and compare it with the levels possible to achieve in Sitting Meditation?

    -I have heard from some of my Sipaks that in the past, during the courses, great attention have been paid to entering zen/Chi Kung State of Mind.
    Nowadays entering Zen takes only couple of minutes or we go directly to the exercise, gaining huge benefits anyways.
    Could Sigung elaborate about the reason of this change, and how does it affect the practice?

    -There is a saying that every pattern in a Kung Fu set has a combat application. Could Sigung tell us what is the combat application of Wuji stance?

    With Sincere Respect
    Karol

    Comment


    • #3
      Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

      I would like to thank Sifu for his always endless dedication and generosity. I want to also thank Daniel Siheng and all the participants of this thread.

      Dear Sifu:

      - In Taijiquan there is the saying of "Taiji originates from Wuji, and returns to Wuji". We always start and finish our practice with the Wuji Stance in order to emphasize this teaching. Why do we use this Stance and not other?

      - May you please share with us some of its history, origins and philosophy? Why is it called Wuji Stance?

      - When you taught One Finger Shooting Zen (OFSZ) in Ireland it surprised me that you started teaching us OFSZ first using the Wuji Stance instead of the Horse Stance. May you please share with us the reasons? What are the differences of practicing OFSZ in Wuji Stance in comparison with Horse Stance?


      With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

      Santi

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear Sifu

        Thank you for agreeing to answer these questions on Standing Zen. I have observed that many students (including my family members who have learnt from Sifu) who do not delve deeply into our arts tend to focus on the obvious aspects such as qi flow movements or the patterns, but often neglect taking time to stay in standing meditation. It is one of my favourite parts of my practice. I can see, though, why it is so difficult for some people to simply stay still and enjoy the stillness.

        My question is this:

        When I finish my practice and perform standing meditation, I tend to "sink" a little and tuck in my tailbone. This happened unconsciously early in my practice, and looking back, I think it could be my qi that guided my posture so that my spine was straight (vertical) from neck to tailbone, whereas normally our spine is an "S" shape. I would like to ask Sifu if this is correct as this has been how i have been practising all these years.

        Also, thank you to Daniel for facilitating this set of Q&A.
        百德以孝为先
        Persevere in correct practice

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you all for your questions!

          I believe we all are going to learn a lot from Sifu's answers on this interesting and deep topic of Standing Meditation.


          Let's wait for some more questions!
          Daniel Pérez
          http://www.shaolinbcn.es

          Comment


          • #6
            Question 1 on Wuji Stance or Standing Meditation -- Part 1

            First answer in this wonderful Q&A Series, thank you, Sifu!!!


            Question 1

            Could Sigung tell us about different levels that can be achieved in Standing Meditation and compare it with the levels possible to achieve in Sitting Meditation?

            I have heard from some of my Sipaks that in the past during the courses great attention have been paid to entering zen/Chi Kung State of Mind. Nowadays entering Zen takes only couple of minutes or we go directly to the exercise, gaining huge benefits anyways. Could Sigung elaborate about the reason of this change, and how does it affect the practice?

            There is a saying that every pattern in a Kung Fu set has a combat application. Could Sigung tell us what is the combat application of Wuji stance?

            Karol


            Answer

            If all other things were equal, Standing Meditation produces results faster than Sitting Meditation, but Sitting Meditation is much deeper than Standing Meditation. I must add that Sitting Meditation here is sitting in a lotus or semi-lotus position. It does not apply to sitting upright on a chair.

            I remember clearly that once I asked my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. “Sifu, can I perform Sitting Meditation sitting on a chair?”

            “Yes, you can,” my sifu answered, “but if you want to attend the highest (like merging with the Cosmos), you must perform sitting in a lotus position, or at least a semi-lotus position.”

            “But I can’t sit even in a semi-lotus position.”

            “That’s easy,” my sifu answered. “Practice your flexibility exercise!”

            I was, and still am, an idealist. So I practiced my flexibility exercise, especially stretching my legs, every night for about 2 years. I guess that if anyone can do that, he can do anything.

            Eventually I could sit in a semi-lotus position in Sitting Meditation.

            For convenience we can classify achievements at three levels – basic, intermediate and supreme. The basic level of achievement of Standing Meditation and Sitting Meditation (in a lotus or semi-lotus position) is being relaxed, and the supreme level is merging with the Cosmos. The intermediate level is anything in between, but we may conveniently classify it as peak performance.

            Presuming all other things were equal, here are a very rough comparison between Standing Meditation and Sitting Meditation in these three levels of achievements:

            Standing Meditation / Sitting Meditation


            Relaxation: 1 week / 3 months
            Peak performance: 3 months / 1 year
            Merging with the Cosmos: Never / 10 years

            (Part 2 follows)
            Daniel Pérez
            http://www.shaolinbcn.es

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you Sifu for the first answer. It was mind-blowing in its simplicity and profundity, as Sifu's answers always are. But I have a feeling this Q&A series will be the most amazing one ever, at least to me.

              Since no one else has asked any more questions, I would like to add another question about Sitting Meditation insofar as it compares with Standing Meditation. With Sifu so generously sharing his wisdom through a Q&A series, I feel it is a shame if we did not grasp the opportunity to ask and allow Sifu to share more.

              Thank you, Sifu, for checking my Full Lotus posture during the Essence of Shaolin course. As Sifu had advised us to practice standing meditation, I have always taken Sifu's advice to heart and only practised that method of meditation, and not sitting meditation. Still, as part of my gymnastics practice, I practice all the flexibility exercises relating to the hips, pelvis and legs anyway.

              My question: In the Full Lotus position (and also the Half Lotus), one leg will be placed above the other in a higher and more uncomfortable position. Should someone practising the Full or Half Lotus position alternate the position of the legs every day? For instance, if today, the right leg is above the left, should the left leg cross above the right leg during the next day's session? Standing mediation, by contrast, is intrinsically balanced with both feet and legs sharing equal weight.
              百德以孝为先
              Persevere in correct practice

              Comment


              • #8
                Moving , Standing & Sitting Meditation

                For convenience we can classify achievements at three levels – basic, intermediate and supreme. The basic level of achievement of Standing Meditation and Sitting Meditation (in a lotus or semi-lotus position) is being relaxed, and the supreme level is merging with the Cosmos. The intermediate level is anything in between, but we may conveniently classify it as peak performance.

                Presuming all other things were equal, here are a very rough comparison between Standing Meditation and Sitting Meditation in these three levels of achievements:

                Standing Meditation / Sitting Meditation

                Relaxation: 1 week / 3 months
                Peak performance: 3 months / 1 year
                Merging with the Cosmos: Never / 10 years


                Much thanks to our dear Sifu and Brother Daniel .

                My question is ( and using terminology from the 1 st QA excerpt as above ) :

                Having successfully Merged with the Cosmos using Sitting Meditation , that person can subsequently also Merge with the Cosmos through Standing Meditation ...and perhaps even through Moving Meditation ( eg performing Taijiquan in Perfect 6 Harmonies ) ....and by extrapolation , even while going about mundane everyday life ( ie Absolute Zen in Daily Living ) ? On the other hand , a novice having trouble relaxing even in Standing Meditation would be able to relax better by Moving Meditation ?

                Personal experience found that in Standing Meditation the chi tends to roll down to the lower dantian ( 2-3 inches below navel ) and while in Sitting Meditation the chi tends to rise up the back ( and hold up the spine without effort ) to settle at the upper dantian ( above and between eyebrows ) : are these chi directional flow natural or artificially induced due to mental focus at appropriate dantians depending on the 3 general aims of meditation ( ie Relaxation , Peak Performance , Merging with Cosmos )?Additionally , using our chi kung phrase "flowingly still" , Sitting Meditation is more " still " compared to Standing Meditation and hence the chi is more "locked-in" to enhance mental focus and meditation depth ?
                Last edited by Damian Kissey; 9th June 2018, 05:51 PM.
                Damian Kissey
                Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .
                www.shaolinwahnamsabah.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Question 1 on Wuji Stance or Standing Meditation -- Part 2

                  (Continued from Part 1)

                  But other things are not equal. We in Shaolin Wahnam may appear very boastful, and other people may be angry or indignant, but as I have mentioned many times, that is their problem.

                  We can attain all the achievements of the three levels of attainment in Standing Meditation, and in a ridiculous short time! In my “Merging with the Cosmos” courses, more than 60% of course participants merged with the Cosmos in less than 4 hours! If a monk cultivating in a monastery, be it Christian, Buddhist, Taoist or of any religion, can merge with the Cosmos in 10 years, he would kiss the feet of his master in gratitude.

                  I need to emphasize that merging with the Cosmos must be performed in the presence of a master, who can bring the participants back to the phenomenal world.

                  I am not particularly concerned of the change from paying great attention in my earlier years to going directly to entering Zen or a chi kung state of mind now. The important point is that we achieve the objectives of the course, which you described as gaining huge benefits anyways. I would attribute the change to tremendous improvement in my teaching methodology.

                  When I started teaching chi kung overseas in my earlier years about 20 years ago, I spend about half an hour entering into a chi kung state of mind. I made sure that participants were relaxed and free of all thoughts. Now I spend less than 5 minutes to enter into a chi kung state of mind. Indeed participants can be relaxed and free of all thoughts in just a minute.

                  A course about 20 years ago would take about 8 hours. A course now would take only 3 to 4 hours. We have more benefits now than before.

                  Indeed we have progressed so much now that I spend much time to tell participants not to over-train. Over-training is an important issue in our school because I have shortened a years’ teaching, if participants are lucky enough to learn the teaching in a year, to 3 hours!

                  How does this change from taking a long time to enter into a chi kung state of mind in my earlier years to taking just a few minutes now, affect our practice?

                  1. It shortens the learning process from many years if the participants are lucky to learn the material, to just about 3 hours if they attend my courses.

                  2. Participants have the objectives or result during the course, instead of waiting for many years if they are successful in what they have been practicing.

                  3. It is very important to guard against over-training.

                  The combat application of the Wuji stance is fantastic. It will enable a participant to do better in any combat application. If he were to attack an opponent in any pattern, he would be more efficient. If he were to defend against any attack, again in any pattern, he would be more effective.

                  The benefit goes beyond combat. In his daily life, no matter what he does, he would have better results!

                  It is worthwhile to mention that in a Wuji stance, a participant must be upright and be relaxed. If he is not upright or relaxed, he is not in a Wuji stance.
                  Daniel Pérez
                  http://www.shaolinbcn.es

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear brothers Damian and Zhang Wuji,

                    Thank you for your great comments and questions!

                    If someone else has any good questions, please, make full use of this opportunity

                    This questions Series will be open until 1st July 2018. Sifu Will not answer any questions after this date.

                    Greetings to all!

                    Daniel
                    Daniel Pérez
                    http://www.shaolinbcn.es

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dear brother Daniel,

                      Thanks so much for organizing this wonderful opportunity, for my brothers for the wonderful questions and many thanks to Sifu for agreeing so gracefully to answer our questions. Enlightening indeed!

                      Dear Sifu,

                      Would it be fair to say that as we progress in our practice of Kungfu we shall aim to spend less time in Wuji and more time in sitting meditation? Is it possible to over-train in Wuji stance and how one can prevent from and overcome such thing?

                      Humble,
                      Angel
                      [/SIGPIC] Sifu Ángel Pérez
                      Shaolin Wahnam Institute Puerto Rico


                      "Life becomes more meaningful and beautiful as you work towards the realization of your own innate immortality."
                      - Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

                      "La vida se vuelve más significativa y hermosa según trabajas hacia la realización de tu propia innata inmortalidad."
                      - Gran Maestro Wong Kiew Kit

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dear Sigung
                        If I remember correctly you somewhere mentioned the focus mode and the cosmos mode. Can Sigung explain to us what these modes are, if these are attainments of standing meditation and which benefits does standing meditation have on people who are ill physically and / or psychologically.
                        I think there are a few people in the west who think that meditation is a simple, direct and effective way to heal body and soul. Can Sigung please share with us his view about that with special emphasis on standing meditation?
                        How do Chi Flow and the hei sai spirits influence Standing Meditation?
                        I hope my questions are good enough to be answered.

                        Thank you Sigung and Daniel Sipak for the opportunity and thanks to all others for the already asked good questions.
                        "No matter what you do, you must be clear in your conscience." - Sitaigung Ho
                        "Goodness begets goodness." - Sigung

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Question 2 on Wuji Stance or Standing Meditation -- Part 1

                          Dear brother Ángel and Bernhard, thank you for your very good questions.


                          Let's go with Sifu´s answer to question 2:



                          Question 2

                          In Taijiquan there is a saying of "Taiji originates from Wuji, and returns to Wuji". We always start and finish our practice with the Wuji Stance in order to emphasize this teaching. Why do we use this Stance and not another?

                          May you please share with us some of its history, origins and philosophy? Why is it called Wuji Stance?

                          When you taught One Finger Shooting Zen (OFSZ) in Ireland it surprised me that you started teaching us OFSZ first using the Wuji Stance instead of the Horse Stance. May you please share with us the reasons? What are the differences of practicing OFSZ in Wuji Stance in comparison with Horse Stance?

                          Santi


                          Answer

                          The saying that “Taiji originates from Wuji, and returns to Wuji” sums up the philosophy of Taijiquan. “Taiji” means the Cosmos, and “Wuji” means the Great Void.

                          The Cosmos originates from the Great Void, or the phenomenal originates from the undifferentiated spread of energy. At first there is the Great Void, or the undifferentiated spread of energy. Energy that is quiescent is symbolized as “yin”, and energy that is dynamic is symbolized as “yang”. The interaction of yin and yang gives rise to the phenomenal world. The purpose of Taijiquan is to return to Great Void. In Western terms, it is expressed as returning to God the Holy Spirit.

                          We always start and finish our Taijiquan practice with the Wuji Stance. This was actually how Taijiquan began. At the time of Zhang San Feng, it was not called Taijiquan. The term “Taijiquan”, which means “Cosmos Kungfu”, was invented by the founder of Chen Style Taijiquan, Chen Wang Ting, in the 17th century, which was 4 centuries after the time of Zhang San Feng.

                          After his practice of Shaolin Kungfu, Zhang San Feng stood still, relaxed and upright. Extreme stillness generated movement. Soon Zhang San Feng swayed in his chi flow, which resulted in numerous Taijquan patterns. This was expressed as Taijiquan originated from Wuji.

                          We use this stance, the Wuji Stance, and not another stance because it is the easiest to return to the Great Void. If we use another stance, like the Horse-Riding Stance, the Three-Circle Stance, the Bow-Arrow Stance, the Four-Six Stance, the Single-Leg Stance or any other stance, we would be in the phenomenal realm. Hence it is called the Wuji Stance.

                          (Part 2 follows)
                          Daniel Pérez
                          http://www.shaolinbcn.es

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Question 2 of Wuji Stance or Standing Meditation -- Part 2

                            (Continued from Part 1)

                            I do not know the exact history, origins and philosophy of the Wuji Stance. What is said below is based on my understanding and experience.

                            Long before martial arts were institutionalized at the Shaolin Monastery, after engaging in battles warriors like in the Warring States or the Three-Kingdom Period, which were many centuries before the Shaolin Monastery, stood to rest. They discovered over many centuries that if they were not upright, they would block their energy flow. If they were not relaxed, they would also block their energy flow. If they were upright and relaxed, not only their energy would flow smoothly, but also they might enter into a deep state of meditation and return to the Great Void.

                            Hence, standing upright and be totally relaxed became an important stance. It was much, much later, probably during the times of Xingyiquan, Taijiquan and Baguazhang, that the term “Wuji” was used for this stance.

                            “Wuji” means “no-ultimate”, or the Great Void where everything is just energy and is undifferentiated. It is called the Wuji Stance because it is the stance that is the easiest to return to the Great Void.

                            When I taught One-Finger Shooting Zen in Ireland and elsewhere, I used the Wuji Stance because many people would be tired in the Horse-Riding Stance, which would be eventually used.

                            In other words, One-Finger Shooting Zen should be performed in the Horse-Riding Stance. But not many people can perform the Horse-Riding Stance well. If they perform One-Finger Shooting Zen in a Horse-Riding Stance, they would try to maintain their Horse-Riding Stance and therefore not pay much attention to the movements of One-Finger Shooting Zen.

                            To help these students, I asked them to stand upright and be relaxed in the Wuji Stance so that they could focus on the movements of One-Finger Shooting Zen. When their movements were correct, they could progress to a Horse-Riding Stance.

                            Later I discovered that the Wuji Stance was more conducive for energy flow. Energy flow was needed before students could consolidate the flowing energy into internal force. The Horse-Riding Stance was more conducive for consolidating energy into internal force.

                            Hence there are two main differences in performing One-Finger Shooting Zen in the Wuji Stance and the Horse-Riding Stance.

                            Performing One-Finger Shooting Zen in the Wuji Stance is easier so that students can focus on the hand movement. It is better for energy flow.

                            Performing One-Finger Shooting Zen in the Horse-Riding Stance is more demanding, but when students know the movements they can progress to the Horse-Riding Stance because they will be in a better position to consolidate their flowing energy into internal force.
                            Daniel Pérez
                            http://www.shaolinbcn.es

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dear Sigung,

                              I just arrived home after a weekend retreat at Zen Monastry organized by TaiSipak Kai.

                              After intensive period of Zen meditation, reading Your wonderful answers warmed my heart.

                              Thank You for answering in so many details to all my questions.

                              Reading them, as the rest of this wonderful thread, is pure pleasure and deep teaching.

                              Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

                              Karol

                              Comment

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