March 2008 (Part 1)

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Strength and Musculinity

Different persons may have different conceptualization of strength and musculinity, but if you feel you are lacking in them, practiicing genuine, traditional Taijiquan and Shaolin Kungfu, like what Sifu Attilio and Hubert do, will help you to accomplish these qualities

Question 1

I have a hard time being strong and masculine with women. I always feel that they are testing me when we talk and I feel that I do not show enough power to match their tests. In fact I have always been a sensitive, emotional person.

— William, Australia

Answer

Your problem is not whether you are strong and masculine enough, but that you have a perverted view of women. Your view that they are testing you when you talk with them, and you are not powerful or masculine enough to match their tests is both incorrect and perverted.

You should change this view. Your view should be that they like to talk with you for what you are, regardless of whether you are powerful or masculine enough. So, you should make your talk enjoyable for them as well as for yourself. One effective way is to be a good listener. If the women are short of topics to say, which is quite rare, you can ask them to tell you what they like and what they do in their free time.

If you think you are weak emotionally, practicing high-level chi kung, like the Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung taught in our school, can help you overcome this problem.

Question 2

I suspect this is due to the fact that my star sign is Cancer. I was born in July. I have discovered recently that you are also a Cancerian as you were born in July. This has filled me with a lot of hope for myself!

I have always thought of myself as weak, too sensitive, overly emotional and too kind with others, and easily influenced. These are all the qualities that are traits of a Cancerian. And pessimistic! However now that I know a person who is born in July who has become a Shaolin Grandmaster such as yourself, I feel truly inspired and have not lost hope.

Answer

I am sorry that your information is incorrect. I was not born in July. You might have this mis-information because a few people wished me “Happy Birthday” in July. This was because everyday was, and still is, my birthday.

At that time in July I was at the UK Summer Camp in Canterbury where my students, including instructors like Marcus, Darryl and Michael, gave me birthday treatment everyday. I had cake, chocolate, ice-cream and delicious bacons and a lot of fun and laughter.

There are good points and weaknesses for people born under every star. You should look at and work on the good points, and stop worrying about the bad ones.

Practicing genuine, traditional kungfu is an excellent way to overcome your negative view of yourself. But if this is not feasible, the following exercise is helpful.

Early every morning look at the sky and ask God or whatever term you call the Supreme to give you strength. Then close your eyes and relax and let the strength of God flow through you. Promise God that you will always use His strenght for good. At night before you go to bed, thank God for his His strength that has sustained you for the day.

Question 3

I would respectfully like to ask you the following questions. First, I would like to know if you have ever had times in your life where you became deeply emotional or depressed, and even smiling from the heart or practicing chi kung did not help? How did you overcome this?

Answer

Honestly I cannot remember when I was deeply emotional or depressed. I am always happy and free, and grateful for such blessings.

Good fond and company

Enjoying good food and good company, as in the Sabah Intensive Chi Kung Course in March 2007 shown above, is a tradition in Shaolin Wahnam, making eveyday a birthday

Question 4

Second, I would like to know if you also know of Western Astrology, and what the traits of the star sign Cancer are? If so, how have your overcome the tendencies that I mentioned I possess above, including a tendency for Cancerians to be too sensitive, selfish, and moody?

Answer

I don't know much about Western astrology, but I believe it is based on knowledge that modern science has not investigated. The different types of energy due to the different positions of heavenly bodies at the time of conception have strong influences over the foetes. A particular star, for example, may bring about certain physical and emotional characteristics.

I am not sure whether it is due to my not being born a Cancerian, but being too sensitive, selfish and moody are not some of my tendencies. I am also very sure that even if I had these tendencies, which were various forms of negative emotional energies, they would be flushed out by my vigorous chi flow.

Question 5

Finally, have you ever had difficulties with women because you were shy? If so, how have you overcome them?

Answer

This question is irrelevant because not only I am not shy but also I do not view a relationship, not necessarily sexual, with any women as a difficulty to be overcome. I always view it as an opportunity for mutual benefit, and I always make sure that the relationship is wholesome.

Your problem is your mind-set which pervasively influences your perspectives. If you have set up your mind that you are inferior and that women are doing you a favour by talking to you, you will be shy and incompetent.

Change your mind-set and change your perspectives. Set up your mind that you have acquired a lot of blessings in the past to be born human in this life.

Have the perspective that you are made in the image of God, and that even at your worse, being an image of God, you can't be too bad. Remind yourself that you have to be worthy of being a human made in the image of God, and that when given any opportunities to interact with other humans, male or female, you will treat them with kindness and respect.

Question 6

The main reason I ask is because I see myself becoming like you in the future. I would like to make my positive traits shine - kindness, empathy, benevolence, wisdom, and intuition - but right now all I seem to be expressing is the negatives! Is it really just as simple as three things:

Think good thoughts

Smile from the heart

Practice high-level chi-kung every day?

Answer

Yes, although there are also other ways to actualize your positive traits, or make the negative into positive even if one does not have any positive traits to start with, doing the three simple things above is a sure way.

Please take note that “simple” does not necessarily mean “easy”. For many people it may not be easy to think of good thoughts or smile from the heart. And for most people, finding a competent teacher to teach him high-level chi kung is a rare opportunity.

Nevertheless, once you have set your mind to do these three simple yet profound things, and are ready to make some sacrifice, accomplishing them is a matter of time. If you follow the advice of those who already have accomplished these three things, your journey will be much easier and the time taken much faster.

Chi Kung Qigong

For the initiated, like the participants of the 19-23 June 2007 Intensive Chi Kung Course shown in the picture above, directing chi to massage muscles and organs, is simple

Question 7

I enjoyed your book, “The Art of Chi Kung”, and have been practicing the exercises. My father has recently been diagnosed withNon-Hodgkin's Mantle Cell Lymphoma. The cancer is in his blood and bone. Are there some Chi Kung exercises you could recommend to help balance his chi and cure this disease?

— Mike, Germany

Answer

I am sorry to hear of your father's cancer. The good news is that cancer can be cured, though unfortunately this does not necessarily mean that every cancer patient will be cured. Nevertheless, it is heartening to know that many people who suffered from cancer before, including some terminal cases, have been cured. Some of these lucky persons who courageously defeated cancer are my students, whom I know in person and who learned chi kung from me or our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors.

In principle, any chi kung exercise may cure cancer because in chi kung philosophy there is only one illness, called yin-yang disharmony, caused by disruption of harmonious energy flow. If the patient can restore his harmonious energy flow, he will restore yin-yang harmony, which in Western terms means he recovers from the illness. Practicing chi kung is an excellent way to restore harmonious energy flow.

This one illness or yin-yang disharmony has many and varied symptoms. If the symptoms manifest as the failure of the kidneys to function properly, it us called in Western terms kidney disorder. If the symptoms manifest as feeling dejected in spirit, it is called depression. In your father's case, it is called cancer. But irrespective of the symptoms, i.e. irrespective of whether the illness is called kidney disorder, depression, cancer or any other terms, the fundamental cause is the disruption of harmonious energy flow. Once harmonious energy flow is restored, the illness will be overcome.

Those used to the Western medical paradigm of looking at different diseases being caused by different individual factors may find this holistic yin-yang concept odd or even ridiculous, though actually this concept has been successfully used for centuries by traditional Chinese doctors to help patients recover.

An analogy may make this clearer. Suppose John does not have enough money to repair his car, Smith could not pay his rent, and Tom cannot afford to take his family for a holiday. From a reductionist viewpoint, the one used in Western medicine, we attempt to find out the specific cause of their individual problems. The causes can be many and varied, like John's income is small, Smith over-spent the previous month, and Tom's boss did not fulfill his promise to give Tom a pay rise. If they could overcome the specific cause, like increasing the income, saving money for the month and getting the pay rise, they could overcome their economic problems.

In the same way, if Western doctors can define the specific causes of the disease and prescribe the right treatment, the patient will be cured. But a very big problem arises when the specific cause is unknown, like your father's cancer, or when there is no known treatment, like viral infection, in which cases Western doctors would resort to relieving symptoms. The disease would be considered, in the Western medical paradigm, incurable.

The situations become very different when we use a holistic viewpoint, the one used in traditional Chinese medicine and chi kung. In the examples of John, Smith and Tom, there is only one fundamental economic problem, namely yin-yang disharmony between income and expenditure, and there is only one fundamental cause, namely disruption of cash flow. If they can restore their harmonious cash flow, they will be able to restore the harmony between income and expenditure, which means their various economic problems would be overcome. To restore their harmonious cash flow, they would have to increase both the volume and the smoothness of their cash flow.

If they can, for example, increase their monthly income from 2000 dollars per month to 20,000 dollars per month, and they have good control over the cash flow, then their economic problems of repairing the car, paying rent and going for a holiday will be overcome, without having to worry about the intermediate factor that caused the cash flow disruption in the first place, like small monthly income, over-spending and failure to recei ve a pay rise. In the same way, if your father, or any patient suffering from whatever disease, can restore his energy flow, he will restore his yin-yang harmony, which means he will regain his good health, without even having to know what factor cased the disruption of energy flow in the first place.

In other words, the intermediate cause of the disease, whether it is cancer, kidney failure, depression, viral infection or many others, may be stress, negative emotions, viruses or any of the myriad factors, but the root cause is disrupted energy flow. Similarly the intermediate cause of economic dis-ease, whether it is insufficient fund to repair a car, pay rent or go for a holiday, may be small monthly income, over-spending, failure to receive a pay rise or any of myriad other factors, the fundamental cause is disrupted cash flow. Once you have increased the volume and smoothness of the cash flow sufficiently, the economic dis-ease will be overcome, without even having to know the intermediate cause. Similarly once you have increased the volume and smoothness of energy flow sufficiently, the disease will be overcome, without even having to know what caused the disease in the first place.

Practicing chi kung is an excellent way to enhance energy flow. In theory any chi kung exercise can increase the volume and smoothness of energy flow. But in practice, not only one has to practice high-level chi kung exercises, he has to learn them from a master or at least a competent instructor. Thus, even when I recommend the right high-level chi kung exercises to your father, he would not know how to practice them correctly and therefore would not be able to overcome his disease.

As an analogy, in theory any transport vehicle can take you to your destination. But if your destination is far and you have to reach it within a short time, not only you need a high-level vehicle but also you must learn from a competent teacher how to use it. Even when someone gives you a plane, you would be unable to reach your destination.

You didn't mean it but you were actually insulting chi kung masters as well as Western doctors by suggesting that it would be easy for a cancer patient to recover merely by practicing some chi kung exercises learnt from an e-mail. It is insulting to chi kung masters because you implied that their art was shallow. It is insulting to doctors because you implied that they were fools, being unable to cure a disease that merely practicing from an e-mail could cure.

Practicing high-level chi kung can help a patient overcome cancer or any illness, but is is not as simple as practicing some exercises learnt from a book. If it were so, there would not be so many people suffering from cancer. Not only the patient must learn from a real master, who is hard to find nowadays, but also he must practice the exercises correctly and diligently.

Question 8

I partially dislocated my shoulder, and some ligaments got torn or stretched. The doctors say they will be more likely to give out due to them being over stretched. I simply can't do kung fu if my shoulder is going to pop out all the time. I have trained so hard for the past 7 years, and. I can't imagine life without it. I need your wisdom.. How can I tighten tendons and ligaments that are over-stretched?

— Randy, USA

Answer

It is actually quite simple, but not necessarily easy. If you are not trained to do so, it may be impossible. But for us in Shaolin Wahnam, especially those who have taken an intensive course with me, it is straight-forward as follows.

Go into chi flow. Direct chi to the tendons and ligaments that are over-stretched, and tighten them.

It is understandable if some people think that I try to be funny, but it is an honest and serious answer. That is exactly what we shall do if we have over-stretched muscles.

In principle it is like someone asking how you can eat your food. The answer is also straight-forward. Place the food in your mouth, chew it, and preferably enjoy it, then swallow it into your stomach.

But for someone who has not been trained (usually indirectly) to do so, like a new born baby, the action is impossible.

Can we really go into chi flow, and direct it to our muscles to massage them? Yes, we can if we have been correctly trained. I just completed an Intensive Chi Kung Course. On the third day course participants, including some fresh beginners, successfully directed chi to various internal organs and parts of their body to massage them

LINKS

Overview of the Questions-Answers Series

Selected Reading

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