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Thread: 10 questions on Small and Big Universe

  1. #41
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    Thank you Sifu for sharing your knowledge with us and for answering my question. I am berry excited for the upcoming course 🙂

    Dom

  2. #42
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    Question 8

    I have been practicing the Small and Big Universe for several years now.

    Right at the moment I practice the Small Universe in the Wuji Stance just because it feels nice. The Big Universe though I practice rather in the Cosmos stance, again just because it feels good.

    Could you please give your opinion about this development as it‘s a spontaneous happening rather than an intuitive one?

    Another question came to my mind concerning the Big Universe. The Big Universe is also been activated with the 12 Sinew Metamorphosis exercises. Though it seems I feel a difference when I activate the Big Universe with the orthodox traditional way in the Cosmos stance, than using one of the 12 Sinew Metamorphosis exercises. The former even though standing in the Cosmos stance feels more flowing than using for instance Flicking Fingers which is performed in the Wuji stance.

    Could please elaborate on that further?

    Sifu Roland Mastel


    Answer

    The Small Universe and the Big Universe are very advanced, wonderful exercises. They can be practiced separately, or together.

    If they are practiced together, it is usual to practice the Small Universe first, then the Big Universe. But there is no harm if the order is reverse. Or, I believe many of our Shaolin Wahnam members may do this, the Small Universe and the Big Universe can be practiced in any way practitioners like, such as a small part of the Big Universe, then a small part of the Small Universe, another part of the Small Universe, and then a part or whole of the Big Universe.

    What you have been doing, i.e. practicing the Small Universe in the Wuji Stance and the Big Universe in the Cosmos Stance because it feels good, is excellent. This in fact is what masters normally do – because it feels nice, not because they understand the underlying philosophy.

    I would say that your use of the Wuji Stance for the Small Universe and the Cosmos Stance for the Big Universe because it feels nice, is an intuitive action. You do so intuitively, without thinking about the reasons. Hence, I would modify your question as my opinion about this development in your intuitive (and also spontaneous) happening rather than an intellectualized one.

    I would also take this opportunity to say that intellectualization is not necessarily bad. Our three golden rules of practice are not to worry, not to intellectualize, and to enjoy our practice. It is bad only during practice because it brings us out of a chi kung state of mind.

    At other times, intellectualization can be good. If we want to prevent or overcome over-training, we purposely intellectualize. Here, intellectualization is good. When students ask me questions, I have to intellectualize. Again, here intellectualization is good.

    That is how things happen in Eastern culture – not just in the Small Universe and the Big Universe, but in all things. We use the False Leg Stance when threading an opponent’s attack with “Golden Dragon Plays with Water”, or raise our stance instead of lifting our hands when we lift a heavy weight, because it feels nice.

    These actions, and other similar actions, happen intuitively and spontaneously. Later, masters may think about the actions and come out with relevant philosophies. Using another stance to thread would have missed avoiding an opponent’s force. Not raising the stance when lifting a heavy weight, would be less effective. Of course, the actors must have learnt the proper methods first, otherwise they would not know the methods.
    (Part 2 continues)
    Last edited by Anton S.; 6th December 2017 at 11:46 AM.

  3. #43
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    (Continued from Part 1)
    In Eastern culture, and kungfu and chi kung originated from the East, experience comes before philosophy. This is different from modern Western culture where philosophy comes before experience. For example, a research scientist first comes out with a philosophy, then he looks for justification in experience. Here, philosophy refers to a philosophy of a hypothesis, often mistaken to be a theory.

    In our school, we differentiate between Medical Big Universe which is also called Phenomenal Big Universe, and Spiritual Big Universe, which is also called Transcendental Big Universe. It is pertinent to mention that the terms “Phenomenal Big Universe” and “Transcendental Big Universe” were coined by Piti, and “Medical Big Universe” and “Spiritual Big Universe” were coined by me.

    In traditional Chinese medicine, when chi, or vital energy, flows continuously in all the 16 primary meridians, a practitioner attains the Big Universe, as compared to the Small Universe where chi flows continuously in the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian. In spiritual cultivation, especially in Taoism, when the personal chi of a practitioner merges with Cosmic chi, he attains the Big Universe. He emerges from his physical body as an immortal, or he merges with the Tao, which is everything there is.

    When a practitioner attains the Medical Big Universe, he is still in the phenomenal realm. He is different from the floor he is standing on, and different from all other entities on earth. When a practitioner attains the Spiritual Big Universe and becomes an immortal, he is in the transcendental realm. He may not see various entities on earth, though he can if he wants to. When he merges with the Tao, he is totally transcendental. There is nothing else, but only Universal Consciousness.

    The Big Universe -- whether it is the Medical or the Spiritual Big Universe, or the Phenomenal or the Transcendental Big Universe – needs a lot of chi. The Sinew Metamorphosis exercises, especially as they are practiced in our school, produce a lot of chi.

    You have been practicing the Big Universe regularly. So when you have a lot of chi, the chi automatically flows along all your 16 primary meridians to accomplish the Medical Big Universe, or merges your personal chi with Universal Chi to accomplish the Spiritual Big Universe. Other people who have not attended our Small and Big Universe Course will not have this wonderful effect and benefits.

    Because of the method you used in generating a lot of chi, you feel more consolidated than flowing, which is a characteristic of Sinew Metamorphosis. Although you feel more consolidated, your chi is still flowing, or else the chi will stagnate and you developed big muscles instead.

    If you use the Cosmos Stance to accomplish the Big Universe, your chi will be more flowing. Although your chi if flowing, you can consolidate it whenever you want because you have learnt the methods. Whether your chi if flowing or consolidated, or both, you will feel and actually are very powerful. More significantly, you are healthy, full of vitality, have longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys.
    <End>
    Last edited by Anton S.; 6th December 2017 at 11:47 AM.

  4. #44
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    Dear family,

    I am happy to present the answer to question nr 9. Enjoy!

    Question 9

    Can the Small Universe and Big Universe be activated spontaneously without previous chi kung practice, if a person's spiritual attainment is "advanced" enough? For example, can a living saint, who has never done chi kung or other energetic specific practices but is quite spiritually developed, have the Small and/or Big Universe activated, or is it necessary to practice an energy specific art?

    Does the practice of Small and Big Universe help us to attain Enlightenment, and if yes, how?

    Andrew R and Karol


    Answer

    A highly spiritual person, like a living saint, can attain the Small Universe and the Big Universe without having to practice any chi kung exercises.

    I would take this opportunity to explain the meaning of spirituality and of chi kung, because their meaning is often misunderstood. The meaning is what the two terms originally meant, and also what we interpret them to be. The general public often takes their meaning differently.

    Most people take the meaning as the terms are generally understood, or misunderstood, and the terms are generally far off from what they originally meant. We in Shaolin Wahnam are most familiar with “kungfu” and “chi kung”. By “kungfu”, the public generally means kungfu forms for demonstration and fighting using techniques of other martial sports or fighting like children. By “chi kung”, the public generally means gentle physical exercise using chi kung techniques.

    The term “spirituality” is self-explanatory, but it is often confused with morality and religious education. Spirituality concerns the spirit as opposed to material things. Usually a highly spiritual person is highly moral, and knows much about religions, but it is not necessarily so.

    A highly spiritual person, like a black magician who has spent much time cultivation his spirit though he may call it by other names like psychic training, may not be morally upright. Another highly spiritual person, like a genuine kungfu master who has spent much time in triple-cultivation, including his spirit, may not believe in religion.

    Chi kung, written as “qigong” in Romanized Chinese, is the art of energy. The methods to cultivate energy are usually formal, but they can also be informal. A highly spiritual person who has spent much time in meditation, but who has not performed any formal chi kung exercises, may have attained the Small Universe and the Big Universe. His vital energy may continuously flow along his Ren Meridian and his Du Meridian, and he may have experienced transcendental reality, including merging with the Cosmos.

    His attainment of the Small Universe and the Big Universe is not in-born, but an art. Actually all people have the Small Universe when they are babies, but all of them lose it as they grow up. The highly spiritual person acquires, or re-acquires, his Small Universe and the Big Universe though long years of meditation and informal energy practice, though he may not call it the Small Universe or the Big Universe.

    Hence, it is possible that a highly spiritual person, who may not have practiced formal chi kung exercises, to attain the Small Universe and the Big Universe. But this happens rarely. The person must be highly spiritual and have practiced meditation or similar exercise for a long time, though he may not call his practice chi kung.

    It is unlikely that a highly spiritual person would have his Small Universe and his Big Universe activated spontaneously, i.e. without any practice at all, irrespective of whether he consciously know the practice. To have the Small Universe and the Big Universe activated, one must have a lot of energy. It takes time to develop a lot of energy. If the energy is generated too fast, the physical body of the person may not cope with the energy; he would have over-trained.

    (Part 2 follows)

  5. #45
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    Part 2 of Question 9:



    The Small Universe and the Big Universe certainly helps us to attain Enlightenment. A main aim of the Big Universe is to attain Enlightenment, and a main aim of the Small Universe is to attain the Big Universe.

    Enlightenment means an experiential awareness that one is the Cosmos or the Great Void. There is no differentiation at all, no object and no subject, no knower and no the known. It is returning to God the Holy Spirit, or attaining the Tao. Enlightenment, here, with a small letter “e” unless it starts a sentence like in this case, is not just understanding the underlying reasons, like the age of enlightenment.

    On the other hand, attaining Enlightenment may not be the reason for practicing the Small Universe or even the Big Universe. As an analogy, in our school combat efficiency may not be the reason for practicing kungfu.

    Combat efficiency is actually the fundamental reason for practicing kungfu. In other words, the fundamental reason why anyone practices kungfu is to be combat efficient, so that he can defend himself or his loved ones when needed. However, in our school people practice kungfu because of the benefits genuine kungfu can give them, like good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys.

    The fundamental reason for practicing the Spiritual Big Universe is to attain Enlightenment. The fundamental reason for practicing the Medical Big Universe is to have good health. The fundamental reason for practicing the Small Universe is to attain the Big Universe.

    While these are fundamental reasons, the actual reason, or reasons, why members of our school practice the Small Universe and the Big Universe may be different. Understandably, their actual reasons vary from persons to persons.

    Many practice the Small Universe because of the tremendous internal force that the practice will bring. Many practice the Big Universe to have a glimpse of the Cosmos, to experience a satori or spiritual awakening, to have a life-changing experience.

    Some practice the Small Universe and the Big Universe because of the rare opportunity our school provides. The Small Universe and the Big Universe normally take years to accomplish if practitioners have the rare opportunity in the first place, but in our school the course takes only 3 days!

    How do the Small Universe and the Big Universe help us to attain Enlightenment. Enlightenment is omnipresence and infinite, where there is totally no differentiation. This is exactly what the Big Universe will provide.

    But we are not ready to leave our phenomenal world to be totally Enlightened. So we have a glimpse of Cosmic Reality and come back to our phenomenal world. This glimpse is life-changing. It will, amongst other benefits, make everyday a joy.

    The Small Universe is an ideal preparation for the Big Universe, which will ultimately bring Enlightenment. Hence, we practice the Small Universe to attain the Big Universe to attain Enlightenment.

    <End>
    Last edited by Anton S.; 9th December 2017 at 10:23 AM.

  6. #46
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    Wonderful questions and answers as always. Thank you to Sifu for sharing your wisdom so freely, and to Karol for coordinating this Q&A.

  7. #47
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    And the first part of question nr 10.

    Thank You Sigung for Your generosity.

    Question 10
    As the Small Universe provides its practitioners with a smooth continuous flow of energy around the Du and Ren Meridians and distributes the chi from them to the other wondrous meridians, can we affirm that the Small Universe at some point reduces or even eliminates the over-training symptoms of practitioners? Can you please elaborate on this statement, explaining why it is true or false?

    Davy


    Answer

    The Small Universe enables practitioners to have a continuous flow of chi, or vital energy, round the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian. The Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian, also called the Conceptual Meridian and the Governing Meridian, are the seas of chi, where all the chi of the 12 primary meridians flows to or from.

    However, the other 6 of the 8 Wondrous Meridians are different. The chi in the Ren Meridian and the Du Meridian may not flow into these 6 secondary meridians.

    In theory, the meridian systems links to every part of the body of a person. But in practice many parts of the body are blocked in almost all persons, except those who successfully take a special course like clearing the Eight Wondrous Meridians which is very rarely offered. Those who attend the Small and Big Universe Course will have a chance to clear all the wondrous meridians.

    The Small and Big Universe is a very advanced course. Very, very few people will have a chance to really attain the Small Universe and the Big Universe. We in Shaolin Wahnam are ridiculously privileged.

    Attaining the Small Universe and the Big Universe, or any advanced chi kung or kungfu arts on one hand, and over-training on the other, are different issues. Even a practitioner at a low level of a chi kung art can over-train. Over-training occurs when the physical body of a practitioner cannot cope with the tremendous increase of energy, and not because the art is elementary or advanced.

    If an art is advanced, which means a lot of energy is generated, presuming that all other things were equal, it is more likely for over-training to happen. But in real life all other things are not equal. The physical body of Shaolin Wahnam members can take more energy than that of ordinary person. Shaolin Wahnam members also understand a lot of chi kung philosophy, including over-training.

    Some of those who use chi kung techniques to practice gentle physical exercise, which means most chi kung practitioners in the world today, over-train, but the over-training is mild that they soon overcome it, often without their knowing.

    (Part 2 follows)
    Last edited by Anton S.; 9th December 2017 at 10:24 AM. Reason: as usual: added the quotation :)

  8. #48
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    The final part.

    Small and Big Universe Course will start tomorrow...

    Dear Sigung, thank You for accepting this Q and A. Its a great honour to be invited for that course and to handle this thread.

    Dear Sifu, thank You for everything. Without You I could never be here.

    Dear Sipak Andrew, thank You for all Your help with this thread.

    Dear Family, thank You for asking good questions. I am sure all of us enjoy reading the answers.

    And finally, dear Sipak Anton, thank You for correcting my posts, I am still new to mac



    (Continued from Part 1)

    One may ask how can those who practice gentle physical exercise over-train as they do not generate energy.

    When I mentioned earlier that over-training occurred when the physical body could not cope with the tremendous increase of energy, I was referring particularly to our Shaolin Wahnam members. Here is a good example that chi kung terms are often used for convenience, and are not scientific definitions.

    The concept of yin-yang is useful to explain over-training.

    In our case, yin represents the physical body, and yang represents an increase of energy. If the physical body can cope with the increase of energy, which means there is yin-yang harmony, over-training does not occur. If there is a rapid and large increase of energy, and the physical body cannot cope with the increase, although the body is healthy, over-training occurs.

    In the case of other people, yin represents the physical body, and yang represents physical exercise. If the physical body can cope with the physical exercise, or there is yin-yang harmony, over-training does not occur. If the physical body cannot cope with excessive physical exercise, over-training occurs.

    It is interesting to note that in our case over-training is due to too much energy, whereas in the case of most other people over-training is due to insufficient energy. Other people over-train when they have used up their energy in excessive physical exercise.

    Over-training concerns a balance of the physical body and the amount of energy, and not whether the art is elementary or advanced. Our family members practicing the Small Universe or the Big Universe will not over-train if they ensure that an increase of energy is within the capacity of their physical body.

    Hence, your statement that the Small Universe can reduce or even eliminate the over-training symptoms of practitioners is false.

    It is worthwhile to note that we need to ensure a balance between an increase (or decrease, in the case of physical exercise) of energy and the capacity of the physical body, not the need of the physical body.

    Suppose the need of the physical body is 20,000 units of energy, and the capacity of an ordinary person is 25,000 units of energy, leaving 5,000 units as reserve.

    In other words, with 20,000 units of energy he can carry out his daily life, like walking about and having his meals. If he has to run, he may soon be tired and out of breadth, as he has used up 30,000 units of energy which exceeds his capacity of 25,000 units.

    Because a Shaolin Wahnam student has learnt how to generate energy, his capacity is more. Suppose his capacity is 50,000 units, but his need is also 20,000 units. In other words, he needs 20,000 units of energy for his daily work. But he has the capacity to do twice the amount of work done by an ordinary person. When he runs, he only uses up 30,000 units of energy, so he may not be tied or out of breadth.

    If he attended the 1000 Steps Course in Finland, he can run even better. He uses only 5,000 units of energy, not 30,000 units, for physical movement, and this 5,000 units as well as the other 25,000 units for running will be replenished from the Cosmos the next time he breathes in, and the result is that he will have more energy at the end of the run than when he started.

    Those who will attend the coming Small and Big Universe Course will have similar effects. They won’t be tired or out of breadth in running or in doing any physical work. In case I forget to tell the class how to transfer the skills of the Small Universe to doing daily work without being tired or out of breadth, those attending the course please remind me. Having attained the Small Universe, practitioners will have not just 50,000 units as his energy capacity, but he will have at least 100,000 units. In other words, he will be able to perform at least 4 times more work than ordinary people.

    <End>

    <All 10 selected questions answered>

  9. #49
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    Each single word of the answers were enlightening! Thank you Sigung!

    Thanks Karol for having the initiative of organizing this thread!

  10. #50
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    A comment from Sigung:

    In one of my answers, I mentioned that it was Piti who suggested the terms, Phenomenal Big Universe and Transcendental Big Universe, for the Medical Big Universe and the Spiritual Big Universe.

    As the situation happen some years ago, I can't remember exactly. It might be Andrew (Sifu Andrew Barnett of Switzerland) who first suggested the terms. Or it might be both of them at different times.
    With Shaolin Salute
    Karol

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