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Thread: The Way of the Master

  1. #31
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    Andy is offline Sifu Andy Cusick - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
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  2. #32
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    Hi there,

    Another chapter which I would like to share first as I think most of us will be very interested, where this chapter explain in details how Shaolin Kungfu was transmitted to our school. This chapter describe the history of Shaolin Temple, various Shaolin Kungfu, our school linkage and many more. Can't stop reading this chapter! Chapter 17 - How Shaolin Kungfu was Transmitted from the Shaolin Temple to our School, right after Sifu describe the learning process with Sigung Ho Fatt Nam in past few chapters, begins with some stories about Shaolin Temple.......

    The Shaolin Temple

    Although I was the last of my sifu’s disciples, over time I had become quite close to him, and we often spent time together over tea or meals. It was over tea and meals that I learned some of the best lessons from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. Besides kungfu lessons, which were practical as well as philosophical, I also heard many interesting real-life stories.

    Some of the most interesting stories were about how Shaolin Kungfu spread from the Shaolin Temple to us. The Shaolin Temple was first built on Song Mountain in Henan Province in North China in the year 377. It was not built by Bodhidharma, as it is sometimes mistaken to be, but built by Batuo (佛陀), spelled as Fotuo in Romanized Chinese, which means the Buddha. As a form of deep respect for him, the Chinese called him the Buddha.

    Batuo came from India and was a Hinayana Buddhist monk. Hence, initially Hinayana Buddhism was practiced in the Shaolin Temple. It changed to Manayana Buddhism when Bodhidharma (菩提达摩) arrived to teach at the temple in the year 527. Throughout its long history, the tradition of Buddhism taught in the Shaolin Temple changed from one to the other between Hinayana and Mahayana, but mainly it was Mahayana.

    It is significant to point out that the terms “Hinayana” and “Mahayana” and even “Buddhism” were not used by the Shaolin monks or by Chinese in general to describe the type of their spiritual cultivation. It was other people, especially people from the West, who used these terms to differentiate them.

    In other words, the Shaolin monks as well as the Chinese people in general did not call themselves Buddhists, Taoists or Confucians. It was other people who used these terms on them. Hence, in the Shaolin Temple, besides Buddhists there were also Taoists, Confucians, Christians, Muslims and people of other religion or of no official religion.

    In the Chinese language, the Shaolin Temple (少林寺) is written as “Shao Lin Si”, which means “Shaolin Temple”. These three Chinese characters, Shao Lin Si, are displayed at the top of the Mountain Gate, which means the main gate. On the temple wall, the four Chinese characters, Shao Lin Chan Si (少林禅寺), are written, and they mean “Shaolin Chan Temple”. “Chan” (禅) is the Chinese word for “Zen”, which means meditation. It was called a Chan temple because the main method of spiritual cultivation was meditation. The word “Buddhist” (佛) was never mentioned.

    The two words “Shao Lin” (少林) literally mean “young forest”, but that was not what the two words in the term “Shaolin Temple” meant. In other words, Shaolin Temple does not mean “Young Forest Temple” as some people thought it was. Then how did the term “Shaolin” come about?

    When Emperor Xiao Wen Di (孝文帝) was requested to give a name to the newly built temple, he thought for a while, looked around and saw two sturdy cypress trees in front of the temple main gate.

    “The two trees form the character lin (林),” he said. “The temple is situated on the Shao Shi (少室) range of the Song Mountain (嵩山). Let us call this temple Shaolin (少林).”

    ...to be continued...

  3. #33
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    Thank you :-)

    Dear Chun Yian Siheng,

    Thank you so much for sharing with us these parts of Sifu's autobiography. They are truly amazing.

    I could not avoid coming into tears when reading Sigung Ho part. I am still trying to understand why that happened but I guess that heart is many times difficult to understand by intellect. I feel a really strong connection with Sigung Ho though I have never met him.

    This path is truly amazing. What an adventure! Thank you Sifu for being part of my life. :-)

    With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

    Santiago

  4. #34
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    Andrea is offline Sifu Andrea Zilio - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
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    Dear Chun Yian Sipak

    Thank you for these wonderful and inspiring extracts.
    I love reading them and I am looking forward to the publication of Sigung's autobiography.

    I guess I will have to take a holiday then .

    Best regards
    Andrea
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  5. #35
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    Dear Chun Yian Siheng,

    Thank you for sharing some of Sifu's autobiography. I love reading it.

    Thank you Sifu for yet another gem, priceless.

    I can't wait to get a copy and hopefully a chance of the special edition if possible.

    Shaolin Salute,

    Brendan

  6. #36
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    I have never anticipating the launch of a book so much! Among other things, Sifu is a master of suspense.
    .

  7. #37
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    Hi there,

    Santiago you will have the chance to meet with Sigung Ho when the book is published and you will enjoy it very much. Yes Andrea I think we need to take a holiday then, as the book is so long and comprehensive...

    Sifu has finally finish his writing and the manuscript is ready for proof reading very soon. I'm very sure that this book will surprise and inspire all of us!!!

    Let's continue with some interesting stories and various styles of Shaolin Kungfu in chapter 17, before the book is publish......


    When Bodhidharma taught the Shaolin monks meditation, he found them weak and sickly. So he taught them two sets of chi kung exercises in order to strengthen them, namely Eighteen Lohan Hands (十八罗汉手) and Sinew Metamorphosis (易筋). There is a long debate whether Bodhidharma taught the Shaolin monks Bone Marrow Cleansing (洗髄经).

    There were records of Eighteen Lohan Hands patterns and Sinew Metamorphosis patterns, but no records of Bone Marrow Cleansing patterns. I did some research and eventually found the answer. There were no Bone Marrow Cleansing patterns because Bone Marrow Cleansing referred to skills and not to techniques. In other words, the Shaolin monks practiced Eighteen Lohan Hands patterns or Sinew Metamorphosis, and when they attained a high level, chi flowed in their bone marrow, and this skill was called Bone Marrow Cleansing.

    There were many retired generals in the Shaolin Temple, and the Eighteen Lohan Hands practiced by them eventually evolved into Eighteen Lohan Kungfu (十八罗汉拳), which became the prototype of Shaolin Kungfu. Bodhidharma did not invent Shaolin Kungfu as some people mistakenly think. On the other hand, Sinew Metamorphosis became the base of advanced Shaolin Chi Kung (气功), more widely called nei kung (内功) at that time. To honour him Shaolin practitioners regard Bodhidharma as the first patriarch of Zen, Shaolin Chi Kung and Shaolin Kungfu.

    By the Tang Dynasty, Shaolin Kungfu had become very famous. There was a saying that “Shaolin Kungfu was the best beneath heaven and earth”, or “shao lin quan yong ming tian xia” (少林拳勇名天下). By the Song Dynasty, Shaolin Kungfu had expanded so extensively and had many derivative styles like Taizuquan, White Crane and Huaquan, that a Shaolin master and kungfu genius, Bai Yu Feng (白玉峰) was concerned that Shaolin Kungfu might lost its original flavor. So, with the co-operation of the abbot, the Venerable Fu Yu (福裕和尚), Bai Yu Feng invited the best Shaolin masters of the time to return to the temple for many days to demonstrate their arts.

    Various Styles of Shaolin Kungfu

    It was a marvelous demonstration of a great variety of Shaolin Kungu. Bai Yu Feng selected five of the best of the arts and composed them into a style, which came to be called Wuzuquan (五祖拳), or Five-Ancestor Kungfu. The five styles which formed Wuzuquan were White Crane, Taizuquan or First Emperor Style, Lohan, Bodhidharma Style and Monkey.

    Another Shaolin master and marshal of the Song Dynasty, YueFei (岳飞), invented Xingyiquan (形意拳) and Eagle Claw Kungfu (鹰爪拳). YueFei taught his generals Xingyiquan and ordinary soldiers Eagle Claw Kungfu, and his army was undefeated in over 200 battles! Yuejiaquan (岳家拳), or Yue Family Kungfu, was also attributed to YueFei.

    Towards the end of the Song Dynasty, a Taoist master, Zhang San Feng (张三峰), after accomplishing the highest level of Shaolin Kungfu at the Shaolin Temple retreated to spend his hermit days on the Wudang Mountain. He integrated the three aspects of kungfu, namely form, energy and spirit, into one unity and invented WudangKungfu (武当拳), which later evolved into Taijiquan (太极拳). Zhang San Feng is honoured as the First Patriarch of the internal arts.

    During the Ming Dynasty a Shaolin disciple, Wang Lang (王朗) invented Praying Mantis Kungfu (堂蜋拳).

    A Ming emperor built another Shaolin Temple in the city of Quanzhou (泉洲) in Fujian Province in the south. He also moved the status of imperial temple from the northern Shaolin Temple at Henan to this southern Shaolin Temple at Quanzhou.

    But the southern Shaolin Temple was burnt by the Qing army led by the Manchurian crown prince Yong Zheng (雍正), who himself infiltrated into the Shaolin Temple as a monk for many years to find out its secret. In the burning of the Shaolin Temple, he sought the help of Lama kungfu experts from Tibet with their infamous flying guillotines.


    ......to be continued......

    * Attach picture shows Sifu perform Wudang Kungfu of Zhang San Feng

    Shaolin Salute,
    Chun Yian
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #38
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    Love it

    The book will be out in no time yipee, can't wait

    Thank you Sifu,

    Thank you Chun Yian Siheng,

    Shaolin Salute,
    Brendan

  9. #39
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    LeeWeiJoo is offline Sifu Lee Wei Joo - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Malaysia
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    Dear Chun Yian Siheng,

    Please let us know the launch date of the book, and whether there is a special venue for a pre-launch of the book. Thank you!

    Gratitude to Sifu, Sigung Ho, Sigung Lai, Sigung Choe, Sigung Chee and all past masters!

    With Shaolin Salute,
    Lee Wei Joo
    Last edited by LeeWeiJoo; 17th March 2014 at 05:07 AM.

  10. #40
    Mark CH is offline Sifu Mark Hartnett - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
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