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Thread: The Shaolin Journey - Part 1

  1. #41
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 25

    10/02/2014

    “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”. - Mother Teresa


    Everything started when Sije mentioned in one of her classes: How many of you Smile from the Heart in the morning just before opening your eyes? I could not answer a “yes” to that question. That made me realise a lot of things. If I always smile just at the very start of my practices and it is so beneficial, why not starting my day with a beautiful Smile from the Heart?

    Smiling from the Heart is a simple but incredibly profound skill that brings me enormous and various benefits. I must confess that I sometimes forget this fact and it is not always easy for me to practice it at the very start of my day. When that happens I just take a couple of seconds and try gently for some more times. Then the miracle happens. I find it there, just in the heart, bring it out and share it with the world.

    I never regretted commencing my day with a Smile from the Heart. It totally changes the entire day. This practice really boosts my energy, relaxes me, opens my heart and makes my life much more joyful.

    As I was progressing in this practice and getting more and more benefits I decided to implement it to the rest of my day. For that, every time that I realised that I wasn’t Smiling from the Heart I was taking a deep breath, closing my eyes (when possible) and searching for an honest smile that came from the heart.

    It is so beneficial that Smiling from the Heart is becoming very natural in my life. I am more aware than ever when I am not Smiling from the Heart. It is amazing how much the heart can close during the day. I totally understand now why I was feeling always so sad and depressed.

    Whenever I am working and feel stressed I stop and Smile from the Heart. I realise then how much I was tensing as I feel that tension disappearing with the smile.

    It is so simple, so profound and it has so many benefits that I cannot thank enough for this wonderful gift.

    In fact, I think that it is impossible for me to worry or intellectualise when I am Smiling from the Heart. Smiling from the Heart connects me with God and refreshes my whole body, energy and spirit.

    Adding to that, I have noticed that my practice has improved a lot since I Smile from the Heart more often as it instantly takes me to a Chi Kung State of Mind.

    Many months have passed and many lessons have been learned by bringing alive this simple but profound practice.

    Smiling from the Heart hasn’t always been easy. In fact, one day I was looking at my pictures over the past 10 years and I decided to destroy most of them as I looked incredible sad, upset and locked up. I didn’t want to keep such a terrible memory of myself. It was time for a fresh start, for a second opportunity.

    It is inspiring to see how different my pictures look now. That shows me how profound these arts are and how much I have progressed since I practice them. Without realising, the change has been so enormous and meaningful that it is hard to believe.

    I once heard that “a smile is the shortest distance between two people”. I have understood by direct experience that an honest smile coming from the heart opens the door to the wonders hosted in people’s hearts. A smile is the best way that I know to connect and bring the best out of me and people.

    In fact, it was Sifu's smile that opened my heart. It connected my heart with his and heart to heart transmission happened.

    The more I walk this path the more respect I have for these beautiful arts. Having such meaningful lessons and teachings keep me really humble as I can see the limitless power of God reflected in every one of them.

    Smile from the Heart.jpg

    (Picture taken from palmvietnamtravel)

    To be continued...

  2. #42
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 26

    12/02/2014

    "When you have the unity of spirit and energy, you have accomplished the essential practice of Taijiquan and in life. It is a sign showing that you have practiced correctly and live your life well. It is a sign that you have attained the essence of Taijiquan and have a meaningful, rewarding life". - Sifu

    NOTE: The next 6 posts were already shared in this St. Valentine's Thread. As they were part of the Shaolin Journey Diary I am going to share them here too so you have all the pieces together. :-)

    DAY 1


    Today Sifu has arrived into Ireland. It is interesting to note that in this week I have experienced the worst weather since I live in here. Wind was so strong that many flights and trains were cancelled or delayed. Fallen trees, broken roofs and many Irish homes with no electricity for days were just one of the fews that Ireland has experienced. That is why I was a bit worried that Sifu's flight might had some issues for getting to Dublin.

    Sifu’s arrival always surprises me as wonderful things happen around him. Though Ireland was in red alert because of the storm, as Sifu’s flight was arriving storm ceased. In fact, it was an amazing sunny morning and wind almost stopped. I could not stop smiling from the heart.

    Many people might not understand what just happened as predictions were giving for that day a really terrible weather in Dublin, including strong winds. I knew that weather was going to improve just because of Sifu. Most people might think that weather went just crazy or that predictions failed.

    Everything happens for a reason. Whenever I am capable of feeling, experiencing and understanding some of them I just start smiling from the heart because I feel the divine presence providing care and protection for all of us.

    DAY 2

    Today I had the honor to have lunch with Sifu. I really love the informal teachings when having meals with Sifu. They help me to improve and to understand better the key to success.

    Sifu had an interesting idea for Dominic to approach rich customers as Dominic mentioned that he was having some difficulties for reaching them. Sifu suggested him to practice the 30 opponents program. That does not mean that Dominic had to do sparring with 30 customers! :-) As Sifu has taught us, his teachings are alive and they are meant to enrich our daily lives. Using the progressive method of the 30 opponents program for reaching richer customers it is a fantastic idea.

    Since the moment Sifu mentioned it I just thought about many different applications for my own life. The progressive and systematic approach of the 30 opponents program when applied for business truly is a very powerful and effective way to escalate to the goals that I want to achieve.

    Whenever I go to interviews for finding a new job I am not very successful in showing them why I am the perfect candidate. In fact, I have seen how many of my colleagues at work found much better jobs and better paid through the past 3 years while I was failing in every interview process.

    In many cases, I knew very well those colleagues and I knew that their quality of work was much worse than mine. It is very interesting to see how sometimes the best professionals fail in interviews while other professionals that offer low level work get really good jobs.

    I understood how important is the heart of confidence for getting what I want in my life. I know that I provide high level work and any company that hires me would benefit a lot from hiring me. Despite that fact, which I demonstrated in my actual company for the past 3 years, I have been unable to convince companies when in interviews. Therefore, I am missing a lot of opportunities because my heart of confidence is not strong enough.

    I think that 30 opponent program applied for professional life is an excellent choice for improving. When I do interviews with big managers I struggle and they can feel that. At the end it is them that I have to convince for getting the job that I want. I am qualified enough for all the jobs that I have been interviewed for. Though I have excellent qualifications I have failed in all of my intents.

    During lunch, Sifu was also explaining us the 5 elemental processes and how could they be applied into different scenarios. In one case, Sifu was explaining about Metal and how Metal Resonates. I then asked Sifu if Marketing could be an example of Metal. Sifu was explaining that it is not fixed and it always depends on the scenario or situation. In one scenario one action could be considered as metal and in other it could be considered as water.

    I often remember how Sifu always reminds us that Kung Fu is alive. I sometimes tend to enclose ideas into a box and think that they are fixed and cannot be modified. As everything is in constant change, I have understood that it is no fixed and everything will depend on many factors.

    I remember one example that Sije was mentioning in one of the Taijiquan Weekends. Sije was reminding us of a story when a student asked Sifu if one specific thing/action was Yin or Yang. Sifu explained that it always depends. Below I copy Sifu's explanation:

    If we ask ourselves if a table is Yin or Yang it will depend if for example we compare it with the floor or with the ceiling. In one case the table will be Yin and in the other case it will be Yang. I don’t remember well in which case the table was Yin and in which case it was Yang.

    Cosmos Stance.jpg

    (Picture taken from shaolin.org)

    To be continued...

  3. #43
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 27

    15/02/2014

    "In our school, often less is more". - Sifu

    The first course for this Saint Valentines has ended. It was an amazing course. The 18 Jewels was divided in 3 parts and spread through 1,5 days. The results were so good that Sifu finished in two of the three parts one hour before.

    When I was a beginner and Sifu was finishing before expected I used to feel a bit disappointed because I used to relate the money that I was paying with the duration of a course. I did not pay attention to the important fact of being cost-effective. I am proud to say that this way of thinking belongs to the past. Now, when a course finishes before expected I feel happy because that means we did very well and we have accomplished the goal in much less time.

    This way of thinking has not only benefited me inside Shaolin Wahnam but also outside. In fact, it has enriched all aspects of my life and saved me a lot of time, money and trouble. By reviewing my life I can see how I used to compensate the lack of efficiency by spending more time in a task. If for example I was meant to spend 5 hours and I wasn’t able to finish on time I was just spending as much time as needed in order to finish it. For that, I could not understand why finishing a course 1 or 2 hours before could be considered a great success when I was paying a lot of money for a relatively short time already.

    Interestingly, a colleague in the office asked me how much money I was spending on the courses that I was about to do. When I told her the fees she could not understand how could it be possible that I was paying such an amount of money for such a short length of time. She thought that I was crazy.

    I patiently explained her that length was not the best approach to rank a course. I emphasised that the most important thing were results achieved. It is interesting to see how she could not understand that way of thinking. In fact, more people in the office joined the conversation and they could not believe that I was paying that amount of money for only one week. Some people even suggested that I was being cheated. The only thing that I did was just smiling from the heart and share with them through that smile all that Sifu has done for me.

    That experience brought me back to what I used to be and to the way I used to think and made me feel really happy as I could see how much improvement I have done in my life since I have joined the school more than 10 years ago.

    What Sifu mentions is actually incredibly inspiring: "We have finished before expected. We have more time to spend with family, friends, drinking a coffee or having a walk!" Being so cost effective brings a lot of benefits in my life. For example, at work. In my current role I have to optimise clients advertising campaigns. I have to complete one optimisation per day. As I am very cost effective I often finish 2 or 3 hours before. I use that extra time for helping others, for getting some extra training in online advertising, for writing, for listening to music or for whatever I want.

    Some people struggle and cannot finish one task per day unless they do overtime. Since I am in this job I never had to stay over time. I always accomplished my targets and finished even before expected. In fact, the colleague that sits on my right usually comments that I always look very relaxed when I am working and asks how is it possible that I usually finish so soon.

    Now I have enough mental clarity to detect if my way of working lacks efficiency. I am able to remove unnecessary steps, I make less mistakes and I am able to find the best solution for each client in a faster way. As Sifu mentions, the arts that we practice should enrich our lives and the lives of others. Being able to complete whatever I have to complete in a shorter time gives me a lot of free time for doing many other things that I want to do in my life.

    Coming back to the 18 Jewels, “Dancing Butterfly” certainly was my favourite by far. It makes me feel free, it makes me fly up there, far away in the sky and just beyond the stars. It is amazing how one simple exercise can free the spirit in such way and put it just where it belongs.

    My second favourite exercise was one called the “General Surveys Field” and it was truly amazing to gain immediate confidence just seconds after its practice. In fact, it was funny to see some people enjoying this exercise so much that they kept walking that way even when that session ended. All I can say is that I truly understand them as I have experienced its powerful benefits myself.

    There was a girl which story really touched my spirit but I won’t share it here because it is not my duty to do so. All I can do is feeling lucky enough to have witnessed with my own eyes what genuine Chi Kung is capable of. I am sure that people in this course knows what experience I am talking about. :-)

    Dancing Butterfly.jpg

    (Picture taken from shaolin.org)

    To be continued...

  4. #44
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 28

    16/02/2104

    "The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude". - Friedrich Nietzsche

    Sunday evening. I am waiting in my room until it is time for Graduation Dinner. Bone Marrow Cleansing has finished already. As usual, I feel very happy but also very sad. It is like the Sweet and Sour Sauce; though its tastes are opposite they perfectly combine. My feelings are the same way; though they are contraries it is an incredible feeling to have because that means that what just happened marked my spirit in a way that only eternity can remember and understand.

    It is always such a joy to spend time with my dear Shaolin Wahnam Family members that whenever they go back to their own homes I feel an empty space in my heart. I only have that kind of feeling with my other family. That is why I know that this family has a very special place in my heart.

    This Bone Marrow Cleansing has a very special place in my heart too. It is really an honour to deepen in the Bone Marrow Cleansing Skills as it is probably my favourite Chi Kung Course. For some reason it really connects with me. I have done this course 3 times already and, though it is the same course, they had nothing to do one with each other. It reminds me of the saying “you cannot step in the same river twice” by Heraclitus.

    Just before start writing about the courses I was thinking on how lucky I am by belonging to this family and receiving such incredible transmissions. As I am writing this sentence I cannot avoid to come into tears as I know that this opportunity is not very frequent and I really want to make the best of it.

    After Bone Marrow Cleansing I always feel very emotional. It is incredibly strong and it goes really deep. I understand why Sifu is insisting so much in being careful with its practice. In fact, whenever I practice the bone marrow level I usually choose doing it on the weekends as I might be crying during the whole day for no reason and that wouldn’t be very advised if it happens in the middle of a meeting or while having lunch with my colleagues at work. :-)

    The more time it passes the more gratitude I feel towards Sifu, Sije and all the masters that dedicated their life to these amazing arts. I feel that it is a tremendous privilege to be part of such a millenary tradition and art. It is the incredible adventure that my heart has always been waiting for.

    Graduation Dinner came to an end and I had to pronounce my speech. People that know me can testify that this was by far my shortest speech ever. Words just didn’t happen. An immense feeling of gratitude was arising from my heart and flowering like a cherry blossom in spring. This force was flowing through me with such an intensity that all I could say was thank you.

    That reminds me of the story when the great Bodhidharma asked his students to tell him their understanding of his teaching and all that Hui Ke, the most senior student, did was bowing deeply but said nothing.

    I just could not have a long speech. Words didn't come out. By knowing me, people know that this is hard to believe… All I could do is look at Sifu and transmit him my gratitude through the heart to heart connection that he has always taught me. I never felt so closed to Sifu’s heart before. Though I did not say much I felt that I said it all.

    Bodhidharma and Hui Ke.jpg

    (Picture taken from shaolin.org)

    To be continued...

  5. #45
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 29

    18/02/2104

    "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win". - Sun Tzu

    36 strategies is another wonderful course. Scholar projects are really helpful for me. As I work in Marketing, I have to create strategies on a daily basis and these courses really boost my skills in professional life.

    In comparison with the previous 36 Strategies Course I have seen in myself a big improvement in the skill of identifying problems. Though many people might think that this is an easy task I can confirm by direct experience that it was not, at least for me. In this year I have had the chance to train this skill at work and it has really changed my approach towards work.

    My findings in this field have been very enriching as I have seen that great majority of people have difficulties in finding what the real problem is. I found that it is quite common to mistake the problem with the symptoms. That makes the labour of solving a problem quite hard, if not impossible.

    I am happy to see that in this course, when discussing the "attack" strategies, I was able to identify problems much faster than previous year. Actually, last year I wasn't even able to identify the problem at all. Adding to that, in this course I was able to separate one problem from another and that made the labour of solving them much easier.

    This year, I have had a very important lesson that really hit me in the heart. When I was trying to apply a solution for a problem Sifu made me realise that I wasn't really applying a solution at all. I was just going round and round with the problem and thinking that I was applying a solution. I have been doing this for a long time in all aspects of my life. Because of that, some of my problems lasted for months and in some cases even for years.

    Another big teaching that entered in me like a thunderbolt was the fact that I was not able to apply strategies in my life because I was afraid that they would fail. Sifu made it very easy for us: "Apply one strategy and if it does not work, apply another strategy". At the end, it is the action what solves the problem. In Sifu's words again: "In our school, we cannot just talk. We must be prepared to walk our talk".

    Other thing that I have learned in this course is to identify when one strategy is a good or a bad strategy and if it serves well to its purpose. This might be easy but it is not easy. It might seem simple and it is simple but not necessarily easy. In fact, this is the reason why many companies fail in their strategies. There is a good example that I remember from my marketing education:

    A big Western pharmaceutical company had a very successful medicine and wanted to expand to Middle East and Asia. They had a very successful advertising billboard that generated a big revenue in the USA so they decided to use it for the Middle East and Asian countries. I have reproduced it below with a very basic Photoshop made by myself:

    [you need to be logged in order to see the picture] :-)

    36 Strategies.jpg

    There are 3 photographs (from left to right): The first one represents a sick man. In the second one, the man is taking the medicine. In the third one, the man is happy and healthy again. This showed to be a very successful advertising for western countries but, what if some countries read from right to left? That was the case for many Middle East and Asian countries. For those countries, the man from the advertising was happy and healthy, the man then takes the medicine and just after that he gets sick because of the medicine! That was a complete fail in advertising and this example is in the marketing books as a case study.

    This company failed in its advertising strategy because it assumed that it was a good strategy just because it worked in western countries.

    Honestly, I have wasted a lot of money in my education. I know this now by learning from Sifu. I don't mean to disrespect my teachers but it is a fact and it is not merely my opinion. I shall elaborate on my reasoning. For example, about 10 years ago I did a postgraduate course in Business that took me a year to complete. Though it was from one of the most prestigious Schools in Spain, when I finished I felt that I wasn't able to apply anything of what I had learned.

    In fact, this is one of the reasons why companies don't want to hire recent graduates. They know that a recent graduate won't be able to perform the job in an efficient manner. As no company wanted to hire me because I did not have the experience I had to do an intern-ship within a company and work almost for free so I could gain enough experience for getting a real job. The irony of this is that I decided to expand my education just for that purpose! I thought that getting a good education would provide me with a good job.

    Later, I found that what companies want are people with skills. It is sad that prestigious schools and universities focus only on techniques and leave aside the skills. What happens then is that recent graduates are unable to use what they have learned. The paradox is as follows: Companies do not want to hire recent graduates because they don't have necessary skills but graduates won't acquire those skills because companies won't hire them.

    This is something that I have realised not long time ago and Sifu was the one that made me understand the difference between techniques and skills. In fact, it took me really a long time to differentiate between techniques and skills. The reason for that is very simple. Never before in my life I have been explained the difference between techniques and skills.

    In the past, I have studied a lot of things. I have invested a lot of time and money in my education but I never felt ready for working in a company. That lead me to a lot of frustration as I could not understand why, if I knew the theory, I wasn't able to apply it. I even thought that it might be because I wasn't a good student. I always knew that something was missing but I wasn't able to know what it was because it is a problem of the great majority and nobody was able to answer my question until I found Sifu.

    I know that it might sound crazy what I am going to say but I have found that, by Sifu's skills transmission, the techniques that I have learned in my scholar education are becoming alive now! It does not matter if my teachers weren't able to transmit the necessary skills. Being able to differentiate between skills and techniques has allowed me to use what I have learned in past. It has free my knowledge and made it useful. I honestly think that this is actually incredible!

    To be continued...
    Last edited by sancrica; 19th April 2015 at 05:11 PM. Reason: mistake :-)

  6. #46
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 30

    20/02/2014

    "Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end". - Patel, Hotel Manager, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

    The courses are officially over. I can confirm from direct experience that when Sifu is here time and space run in a different way. To be honest, I don’t feel that I have been in Killarney for a week. It seems just a flash but at the same time it seems that I have been in contact with a place where nothing of all these things actually matters.

    Honestly, I cannot believe Sifu’s generosity. How can it be possible that I am always having more than what I expected?

    Sifu’s Transmission - Transmission in these courses has been very different to the transmission that I have been experiencing in the past years. My heart is closer to Sifu than any other year. I can feel how his heart communicates with my heart and I could feel that transmission really clear this year. Many times I cannot understand what Sifu means when he explain me things. Though I don’t understand all of them now I know that what Sifu is teaching me is in my heart and it will come alive when I am ready for it.

    Opening my heart to Sifu is an experience beyond words. Feeling that connection cures my fears and brings confidence into my life. I feel always very grateful for his patience as he has to explain me the same thing many times and many times I am not able to follow his instructions.

    I have detected an incredible amount of weaknesses in all these 7 days. I feel happy about it because it keeps me humble and it gives me homework for a really long time. Having the chance to improve it is probably one of the best things in life. Having the chance of being corrected by Sifu it is a blessing because I feel safe with his guidance. It has been really a long way of search and trust and the journey has not always been easy. Finding Sifu was the best of that search.

    Yang set in the Yang Spirit - I honestly did not know what the difference was between Yang and Chen style. After this course I not only know the difference but I am also able to apply that skill to any set! That is because Sifu has taught us not only the set but also the “Spirit” of the style. In my opinion, feeling the “Spirit” of a style has brought me more benefits and a deeper and faster understanding than just merely practicing the set. Without this “Spirit” transmission I would not be able to understand the difference between different Taijiquan styles.

    Yang set in the Chen Spirit - As I learned “Flowing Water Floating Clouds Set” with Sifu the past year, I had an understanding of what Chen style was. What I did not have was an understanding of Chen Spirit. As I did not learned the Yang Style, I could not compare and feel the difference. In consequence, as mentioned before I thought that all Taijiquan styles had the same spirit. I love to be proved wrong! it really makes me happy when I am proved wrong as I can get a deep understanding by direct experience.

    24-Pattern Simplified Taijiquan Set - I really didn’t expect learning this set in the 108 pattern Yang set course! This is another unexpected gift that Sifu gave us and another proof of his endless generosity.

    Working in groups - My last Taijiquan course was “Flowing Water Floating Clouds” in the previous Saint Valentines Festival. It is amazing to see how different the teaching methodology was from this 108 Pattern Yang Set course. I found it particularly enriching and very cost effective. For example, Sifu separated us in groups so we could find applications for every single pattern of the set. I learned a lot with this way of teaching as we had to think, discuss and use all our resources for finding applications in patterns assigned. This does not only deepen my skills on "patterns application" but also improves my "application" skills for any other thing that I learn in my life!

    This skill is really useful for daily life as I often learned things that I didn’t use because I was unable to apply them. How can learning be useful if I was unable to apply it in daily life? I never thought about that until I met Sifu. I had a lot of information in my head that I could not use and that was really frustrating. Now I understand the importance of “applying” what I learn.

    Picture perfect form - When training “perfect form” it was easy for me to focus on form. The difficulty came when I had to explode force or to flow without neglecting the form. It was really easy for me to forget the form when focusing on flow or force. Thank you Sifu for insisting so much in this aspect. I finally understood that form gives us many benefits. Combat advantages and the flow of chi are some examples of it.

    In fact, Sifu mentioned a very important aspect of exploding force. Many participants, including me, were having breaks when exploding force in patterns. This was stopping the flow. I must admit that it was really difficult to explode force without stopping. In fact, Sifu taught us how to use any kind of pattern for exploding force without sacrificing the flow. I must say that I was really impressed every time that Sifu made "Exploding Force" demonstrations.

    Ah, Spiral force should not be forgotten! We are practicing Taijiquan. It was very enriching to deepen in that skill through Sifu’s transmission. In fact, it was in this course were I really understood what spiral force meant.

    Performing the set really really slow - I have never practiced sets that slow. The experience was incredibly enriching. I don’t think that I have ever had the feeling that I had when performing the full set at that speed. There was a moment where the time had no time and the space had no space. Performing the set in such a slow way made me go incredibly deep and the feeling that I had was like if I was moving but not moving. I was going so slow that I felt that I was not moving but at the same time I could see that I was moving. These kind of experiences are very hard to explain as I don’t think that words make justice when describing them. One perfect sentence to define what I felt would be by saying that “I was moving without moving”.

    Kung Fu is alive - A pattern can be modified to find the most effective approach - Before, I used to try to apply what I learned in a rigid way.

    This is a very important lesson for all the teachings that I have received so far. In fact, understanding this concept and receiving this skill from Sifu has allowed me to apply what I have learned in Shaolin Wahnam for daily life. Not only that, I have been able to apply this skill in many other teachings outside Wahnam. For example, I was able to apply the 36 strategies for playing music, or using music education for improving my “hearing force” skill or using my “hearing force” skill for dealing with managers and customers.

    The Skill of Chi Flow - Sifu has often mentioned that in other schools training, for example, “Iron Wire” and “108 Yang Set” would be detrimental as they are opposed sides. In Shaolin Wahnam, because of the Chi Flow is not only the opposite but also advised as they will complement each other and enhance results.

    The skill of Chi Flow also brings me a lot of benefits in many other aspects of life. That gives me an incredible freedom as all my learnings become alive and nourish each other. No matter what I learn, it always complement and enhance with other areas of my life.

    Because Chi Flow has an holistic approach, any learning of any area that I include in my life will also have an holistic approach and enhance whatever I do or learn. It was not long time ago that I have understood this important cosmic truth and I am very happy that it has happened as that has led me to the next level in this incredible journey.

    White Crane Flaps Wings.jpg

    (Picture taken from shaolin.org)

    To be continued...

  7. #47
    wooden shoes is offline Sifu Roeland Dijkema - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam The Netherlands
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    Dear Brother,

    Thanks for your accounts of your journey. I enjoyed reading them!

    Best wishes,
    Roeland

  8. #48
    Andy's Avatar
    Andy is offline Sifu Andy Cusick - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooden shoes View Post
    Dear Brothe
    Thanks for your accounts of your journey. I enjoyed reading them!
    +1!
    Sifu Andy Cusick

    Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
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    "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
    - ancient wisdom

  9. #49
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    Thank you :-)

    Dear Brother,

    Thanks for your accounts of your journey. I enjoyed reading them!


    Best wishes,
    Roeland
    Thanks for your kind words Sifu Roeland. I am glad that you enjoyed reading them. :-)

    +1!
    Thanks Siheng Andy. :-)

    With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,


    Santiago

  10. #50
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    The Shaolin Journey - Part 31

    24/02/2014

    "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls". - Pablo Picasso

    “Rounding” the patterns - This was another magnificent lesson while on the course. To be honest, I never practiced Taijiquan in this way before. I remember practicing “There is no beginning there is no end” before this course but “Rounding the Patterns” took me to the next level. I felt like a wave in the ocean.

    Applications in daily live for this skill just came straight away. At work, this skill is going to be very useful as it is a way to keep the flow and to smooth relationships between colleagues, managers and team leaders. Sometimes managers, colleagues or team leaders could be quite direct and aggressive as they receive a lot of pressure from management. If they come in that way I used to just freeze and do nothing. That made situation really uncomfortable for both parts. Now I am going to be able to “round” the situation, keep the flow and direct the proper response according to needs.

    This might sound easy but it is not easy. It might be simple but not necessarily easy. In fact, Wahnam Taijiquan has given me the advantage of turning an unfavourable situation into a favorable one. Being able to turn around the situation is something that I have learned in Shaolin Wahnam and has been incredibly useful for me when dealing with angry customers. I have learned it from Sifu. I am still not able to apply it for combat but I am already able to apply it in daily life and it has saved me from a lot of trouble. Honestly, it has made my life incredibly easier as I use this skill to bring the best side in people. I am most part of the times able to turn the situation into a win-win situation. That not only enriches my life but also the life of others.

    One big movement - That is other skill that I have deepened in this amazing course. In daily life this skill has allowed me to complete tasks at work in a more efficient manner as I don’t stop the flow of work by other distractions. Also, I am able to link one task after another and keep a smooth flow not only in professional but also in personal life.

    Being able to perform a task at work without breaking the flow gives me the best use of energy and time management. I can understand now why I haven’t been successful in many parts of my life. I have been stopping the flow again and again.

    Time and spacing - I am still not very skilful using it for combat but I have become very skilful in daily life. I am able to calculate how much time should I dedicate to my tasks at work just by looking at them. 95% of the times I am correct in my calculations so I am never late when submitting my work.

    Building sequences/sets to meet expedient needs - I am still not very skilful in building combat sequences and applying them for combat situations but I have become very skilful building sequences for my daily life. For example, when I am at work, before I start the week I order all my weekly tasks in a way that brings me the best benefits and the best advantage. Other colleagues do not plan that well and if there are any “surprises” within that week they might not be able to complete all their weekly tasks.

    Teaching methodology - Sifu was incredibly generous and gave us many unexpected presents in this Taijiquan course. For example, he was teaching us how to teach Taijiquan to elder, to children and composing sets for different teaching approaches (meeting expedient needs). Though I don’t teach Taijiquan, the skill that Sifu has transmitted me can be used straight away in my daily life. At work, I have to train new people all the time so having the skill to build trainings for meeting expedient needs is of incredible value.

    Using Taijiquan for healing - I have learned an invaluable lesson when Sifu was showing us how to use Taijiquan patterns for healing. How important is to bring confidence to the patient! Whenever I have to teach new starters in my company, my mission is to transmit them the necessary skills so they can successfully perform their role. The heart of confidence has proved to be one of the most, if not the most, important skills for that transmission. They often shared with me that they felt very happy to learn from me as I made it very easy and simple when others were making it complicated and very confusing.

    Sifu insisted in the importance of chi flow at the end of every teaching for not missing the healing. Sifu also mentioned to keep it simple. Having had the chance of learning the “18 Jewels” in this Saint Valentines Festival I understand what Sifu meant. Thought this exercises were easy to perform they were incredibly powerful, generated really vigorous Chi Flows and offered wonderful results.

    Grand Finale - As Sifu mentioned: "We have practiced the Yang and Chen Spirit. Now we are going to practice the best Taijiquan using the mind level". The last performance of the 108 patterns Yang Set was the best experience that I have had practicing Taijiquan so far. It reached a moment where I could feel the spirit of the Dragon. I have often felt the spirit of the Tiger and sometimes the spirit of the Monkey but never the spirit of the Dragon.

    As mentioned before, words usually don’t make justice when explaining Sifu’s courses. All I could feel was like waves in all parts of my body. I am very happy that the Dragon spirit let me taste a glimpse of his grace and majesty. My body was so charged of energy that I thought that I was not going to be able to complete the set. After the "closing pattern" I let go and Chi was so strong that pushed me down to the floor like if I was a puppet controlled by some force. Though the crash was quite violent I felt like if I was landing in a bed of feathers. I can understand now why Taijiquan is used for spiritual cultivation.

    That was the Grand Finale that Sifu had prepared for this very special course. After that Chi Flow I was coughing a lot and I could not stop. The coughing was really deep and came from the stomach. It reached a point that I started vomiting chi. As I was a bit afraid of really vomiting I went to the toilet and let the Chi finish its work there. Being in the toilet I started vomiting chi from the stomach mixed with the real one (sorry for being so explicit). I felt a big karmic blockage going down that toilet.

    I am so happy to have this amazing tools and skills. Life really make sense now. I always felt my life as incomplete and missing a very important piece. I was missing the key to open the door of wonders and marvellous. Now that I have the key I have opened that door and the real adventure has truly started.

    When Sifu asked us to send blessings today I sent them to a very special person in my life. To my surprise, I just read in Facebook later today that this person updated her status with this sentence: “Feeling some powerful and intensely positive auras today …” She did not know anything about the blessings in today’s course but it is obvious that she could feel them.

    All these transmissions of skills explained above have been shared with me in a heart to heart transmission. I thank Sifu for that. I find Sifu’s teachings the best approach that I know for living my life. Millions of decisions have been made with the help of Sifu’s teachings. For that I am forever grateful because I know that if Sifu’s teachings are involved in those decisions they were good decisions.

    One last thought that I had in the train when coming back to Dublin from this unforgettable Saint Valentines Festival:

    Water is not worried about being dirtied, about being carried against its will, about being taken by animals, plants, humans, wood, earth, fire, wind, metal or clouds. Water is not worried about time or even space as water knows that it belongs to the ocean and it will inevitably return home.

    Water Returns to Ocean.jpg

    (Picture taken from picsora)

    To be continued...
    Last edited by sancrica; 5th May 2015 at 04:11 PM. Reason: missing link

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