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Thread: Dragon Strength Course Experiences

  1. #1
    Tim's Avatar
    Tim is offline Sifu Tim Franklin - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
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    Dragon Strength Course Experiences

    We have started a new section on the Dragon Strength course here for people on the course to post experiences, 'ah ha' moments and insights they have had during these wonderful 5 days of the course.

    Please do share your experiences for others to benefit. And others... do post here to ask questions on what you read.

    Here's something I experienced today:

    Practicing the slow movements this morning of the Dragon Strength Chi Circulating set with coordinating breathing, with no intention of force, flow or speed I experienced what I believe to be Dragon force.

    Prior to this course I had a question?
    How does this force differ from that of consolidating force or flowing force?

    Rather than reach an intellectual answer, which on reflection was not possible, the direct experience of what I felt gave me the answer.

    I have experienced consolidating force from Wing Choon and Iron Wire, flowing force from the Flower Set and expansive force from Xingyiquan, chi at the meridians from Big and Small Universe. It was not that!

    All of the above worked at the phenomenal level, although some gave an experience that led to an expansion of spirit.

    The experience or glimpse I got from the Dragon Strength set this morning worked directly to spirit and spirit expanded within and without the body.

    It was both beautiful and enlightening.

    Interestingly we were only working on form and breath and not mind (purposely).

    We are still yet to work on the mind level this week. Oh boy!
    Tim Franklin

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  2. #2
    Matt F. is offline Sifu Matt Fenton - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam USA
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    Thank you Sihing for starting this thread!

    I had two very great realizations during this morning's session. And while not directly related to Dragon Strength, I think they are worth sharing.

    The first was as we practiced the set, specifically training picture perfect form only and intentionally not developing force. I experienced how much focus (mind level) was required to do that. Before learning from Sifu, I would try and try and try to develop just a tiny bit of force, and had zero luck doing so. But now, after practicing what Sifu has taught us, it is a struggle to practice without developing force! It's a complete reversal!

    The second realization came after we practiced the set using form integrated with breathing. It was very nice, and developed a very gentle, smooth flowing internal force. And while it was a nice experience, it was only a small "stepping stone" in our progress. But this would have been an extremely high level experience in my training before learning from Sifu! It's only mid-way into our second day, and we've already surpassed the level so many practitioners strive to someday attain. It's truly humbling to be part of this training.

    Specific to Dragon Strength, early this morning we practiced the opening, arm spreading movements with integrated breathing. During standing meditation, I experienced a new level of mental clarity, or rather full body clarity. The "wiped clean" sensation of mental clarity, that I have experienced in the past, had spread through my entire body, and my mind and body felt wiped clean. It wasn't a sensation of flowing, and not a forceful sensation. I just felt totally flushed out and wiped clean. It is difficult to explain, but was very nice!

    Day two/evening session coming up!

    -Matt

  3. #3
    Zhang Wuji is offline Sifu Zhang Wuji - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Singapore
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    Thank you both for your helpful insights. I have a feeling a common theme and sentiment is going to be that the experience of Dragon Force is going to be difficult if not impossible to describe.

    I do have a question. Is it fruitful to know the whole set at its form level beforehand? I am busy trying to clear my workload before coming for the course so if I can focus on that first, I would prefer to finish my work, and learn the set and its patterns during the course itself.

    But if it is recommended, I will spend the next few days learning. I just discovered a new function on my MacBook that would help me learn better from videos.
    百德以孝为先
    Persevere in correct practice

  4. #4
    Matt F. is offline Sifu Matt Fenton - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhang Wuji View Post
    I do have a question. Is it fruitful to know the whole set at its form level beforehand?
    Dear Sihing,

    I am very, very, very glad I learned the majority of the set before the course started. I am sure that by the end of the course, everyone will know the set. However, we are moving very quickly, and not having to try very hard to remember what comes next has been quite beneficial.

    -Matt

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    Thank you :-)

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. They are very much appreciated! :-)

    With love, care and Shaolin Salute,

    Santiago

  6. #6
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    barrys is offline Sifu Barry Smale - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
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    Interesting experiences on the second day of the Dragon Strength course. Sifu has been teaching the breathing patterns and touching on Dragon Force development.

    This morning we did a beautiful exercise of flowing and consolidating force in sections 1-4 of the set. At the end in Chi Flow there was an experience of force consolidating around the heart area. It is difficult to put this into words but it was like a tremendous amount of energy in one area. It was almost like the form in that area realising it couldnĺt contain that and then allowing a wonderful expansion. Not sure what, if anything, that means but it was a truly wonderful experience.

    This afternoon got very "Wow" and weird.Using the first two sections of the set we first practised co-ordinating the breath and then allowing the chi to take over the movement. It got rather freaky and surprising. It seemed like the "me that thinks its me" lost touch with the arms and they gradually began to do their own thing. Sometimes that was in line with the patterns, sometimes something completely different. Even the face joined in, which was an interesting thing to experience.

    The subsequent chi flow was ... erm ... well I have to say something ... so ... it was ... different. There seemed to be a lot of disappearing going on.

    If you are on next weeks course you are going to have an amazing time. If you aren't on next week's course then see if there are any places left and try to get an invite .

    With metta,

    Barry
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  7. #7
    barrys's Avatar
    barrys is offline Sifu Barry Smale - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
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    Dear Wuji,

    I am glad I had at least been through the set, although parts of it sometimes seem to disappear from my mind at times in the day.

    I think it is at least worth learning up to c. 48 secs. Sifu has been using this to show us how to develop Dragon Force and it is nice not to have to use any conscious memory/mind and just let the movement flow.

    With metta,

    Barry
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  8. #8
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    Dear Tim, Thank you for starting this thread. I think today we all have had deep, intense and wonderful experiences. Sifu asked us to share our experiences at the end of our session today but I could not talk, I could barely be on my feet as I was feeling floating, light and expanded. So I am sharing it here
    We practice a very short part of the form coordinated with breathing. We repeated the exercise a couple of times. After 2 or 3 repetitions of the form coordinated with the breathing I became a golden ball of energy, and my arms were giving shape and bright to this golden shape. As the energy was moving me faster, my surroundings became light, I was transparent and the room was pure energy, I could actually see millions of bright tiny dots moving, flying and dancing all around. I continued seeing this bright little sparks long after the session, just talking about the experience they take over my sight and my other senses. There is much of the experience I can not remember as it was like at some point was not me anymore doing the form, it was something like the other way, or not even me as a presence doing nothing, nor form, nor breathing, feeling nor being. Wonderful.
    During chi flow I had a lot of intense emotions coming up, and then I felt One with God, and I was deeply grateful, blessed and lucky.

    Thank you Sifu for this unique opportunity.

    With deep respect,

    Vero
    Last edited by Vero; 8th December 2014 at 03:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Zhang Wuji is offline Sifu Zhang Wuji - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Singapore
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    Thank you, Matt and Barry, for the advice. I have been viewing the set on my iPad but have not been practising it. Time to start!

    The good thing is that none of the patterns are unfamiliar, it is only their sequence that I have not memorised.
    百德以孝为先
    Persevere in correct practice

  10. #10
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    Andrew is offline Sifu Andrew Barnett - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
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    I agree with Matt and Barry. It has been very important for me to have learned the set in advance even though, as Barry notes, the preparation sometimes just disappears and I am left standing wondering what happened. Funnily enough, even this has been a pleasant experience.

    It is difficult to relate many of my experiences at this course so far as I am still trying to get to grips with most of them myself.

    One thing that is evident: the Dragon is a very spiritual creature and this is one of the characteristics of the set (practice). We have been lucky enough to experience the set at multiple levels already and Sifu has hinted that there is (much?) more to come. I can't imagine where this will take us

    I have to echo Barry's words:
    If you are on next weeks course you are going to have an amazing time. If you aren't on next week's course then see if there are any places left and try to get an invite .
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