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Thread: Order of 18 Lohan exercises

  1. #1
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    Order of 18 Lohan exercises

    Hello again,
    Thanks for all the "welcome posts" you sure know how to make a guy feel at home!
    I don't know if this should be in the FAQ but I am just wondering why are the 18 Lohan exercises in the order they are in?
    Is that the order they were always practised in and handed down?
    Regards,
    Dave


    ***********************************
    Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
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  2. #2
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    The patterns are arranged in an intelligent and meaningful order, but they need not be practiced strictly in that order. For example, in his qigong courses, Sifu teaches #1 (Lifting the Sky), #14 (Pushing Mountains), and #7 (Carrying the Moon), in that order.

    Here are Sifu's own words on the subject:

    The Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Sinew Metamorphosis constitute the foundation of Shaolin Kungfu and Shaolin Chi Kung. They were first taught by the great Bodhidharma to help the Shaolin monks in their Zen, or meditation. Shaolin Kungfu, Chi Kung and Zen are the three treasures of the Shaolin tradition.

    However, because of their long history, different versions of the two arts exist today. It is difficult to say which versions were the original.

    Interestingly, and perhaps surprising to many westerners, Shaolin masters in general have paid little significance to this question of originality. This is because, I believe, of the emphasis on practical benefits rather than theoretical knowledge in the Shaolin teaching. In other words so long as what they practise bring the results that the two arts are purported to bring, they are not interested whether they are the original, or even whether they are really Lohan Hands and Sinew Metamorphosis.

    I did not learn the complete set of the Eighteen Lohan Hands from my master....Years later, as a young idealist and lacking my master's practical wisdom, I dreamt and meditated on the Eighteen Lohan Hands, and tried to search whatever classics I could find and ask whoever masters I could meet, to work out what the original eighteen patterns were.

    Finally, when I was already a master myself, I managed to gather 18 patterns together and call them the Eighteen Lohan Hands. Imagine my surprise when one day I came across an old classic purporting to show the original Eighteen Lohan Hands taught by Bodhidharma, and they were similar in form and sequence to the ones I composed! I had no answer for the coincidence (or was it a coincidence?). I could only flatter myself to fancy that perhaps in some of my deep meditations I had touched the Universal Mind and had drawn the original Lohan Hands from the universal reservoir, or more poetically Bodhidharma himself or some Bodhisattvas had taken pity on me and inspired me with the original.
    In my opinion, the Eighteen Lohan Hands we have inherited contains the essence and spirit of the original set. Actually, I think the essence is more important than the actual patterns. Although we inherited several of the patterns directly from the Shaolin Temple through Sigung Ho, it is really the essence that we inherited. Sifu Wong then applied this essence to the patterns he researched and gathered. The result is amazing.

    I have studied several styles of qigong, and some of them contained sets that could probably be traced back a thousand or more years. Nevertheless, I am continually amazed at the depth and power of the Eighteen Lohan Hands. It is, quite simply, the single best qigong set I have ever encountered. The more qigong forms I learn, the more I realize that I already have more than enough for a lifetime with the Eighteen Lohan Hands.
    Last edited by Antonius; 13th November 2004 at 06:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Antonius,
    Thank you very much for your reply although infomative, it does not answer my question in that I was wondering was there a reason for the order of the 18 Lohan Hands, exercises, in that is each succesive exercise more "powerful!?" than the other. Does that make sense?
    My question I suppose is like that of someone asking is there a reason for the alphabets' order of letters.
    I am just wondering does it make a difference if you carry out the exercises at a random selection.
    Regards,
    Dave


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    Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
    Charles Dickens

  4. #4
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    I'm pretty sure I answered both of your questions:

    The patterns are arranged in an intelligent and meaningful order, but they need not be practiced strictly in that order. For example, in his qigong courses, Sifu teaches #1 (Lifting the Sky), #14 (Pushing Mountains), and #7 (Carrying the Moon), in that order.

    As for exactly how they are meaningful, that is more complicated and involves meridian theory and internal organ theory. I don't pretend to fully understand it. I leave that stuff to the masters.

  5. #5
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    Hi Dave,

    My own understanding (which is far from complete) is that each pattern has it's own strengths and (relative) weaknesses. Since every pattern benefits from Harmonious Energy Flow and Lifting The SKy emphasises Harmonising Energy Flow, I can see where you are coming from.

    However, each pattern may or may not be as relevant as the next one in regards to the individual practitioner. A far as practicing them in order, I would not say that this was immediately neccessary since each and every one of us has various individual matters that need to be addressed before progressing further within the discipline (even by using the same exercise).

    As to why they are in the order that they are in - no idea. It makes sense in some ways (e.g. Lifting The Sky as the first pattern) but as with Antony Siheng, I honestly couldn't say because I don't actually know.

  6. #6
    Andrew's Avatar
    Andrew is offline Sifu Andrew Barnett - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
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    I'm afraid I also don't know why the exercises are in the order they are. But I have learnt from experience that the Masters did not and do not do anything without good reason. When I teach the exercises I follow the instructions of my Master and teach in the same order unless there is a specific and very good reason not to.

    Andrew
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies, and I hope I did not cause any offense, I didnt mean to be dis-respectful Anthony, just a question that popped into my head and got me wondering if there was a method/reason behind the structure/order of the exercises.
    I think each of us is different and that some exercises appeal to me than others, thats why it just got me thinking, of course as Sifu Joan has said too much thinking can be an obstacle.
    Thanks again
    Regards,
    Dave


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    Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
    Charles Dickens

  8. #8
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    shoulders tense

    Dear friends,

    I find that my shoulders and neck are extremely tense. I was wondering if my Lifting the Sky and Three Levels to the Ground practice can help me eventually untighten these areas. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Relaxing is so simple but so hard!

    Divineshadow
    "Om"

    I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

  9. #9
    Andrew's Avatar
    Andrew is offline Sifu Andrew Barnett - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
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    Simple answer .... yes. You may, however, find that dropping 3 levels for a week or 2 will speed up your recovery. It is more difficult to relax the shoulders fully there than with Lifting the Sky.

    Andrew
    Sifu Andrew Barnett
    Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch
    Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
    Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
    Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

    Chi Kung Courses : 3t0h September 2017 in Landquart CH
    QEA Discussion Forum: www.qea.ch/forum



  10. #10
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    How about Carrying the Moon and Rotating Head?

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