October 2009 (Part 3)

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Presence of Mind

Presence of mind is very important in our Shaolin or Taijiquan training, as shwon by Sifu Attilo and Sifu Rama above

Question 1

Hoping to have gained energy, I tried later to increase my energy level, like calling upon it to see if I could perform better in my different activities when needed. I do feel more alert, concentrated, active.... Also, I do some punching and kicking sequences in my morning training but they are merely by instinct and there are no special techniques that I know.

— Andreas, Spain

Answer

This is using your mind to marshal energy for some specific tasks. It is very important to use your mind gently. The more gentle you are, the more powerful you become. Those with no knowledge or exposure to internal force training will not be able to comprehend this apparent contradiction. But it is not a contradiction. It is a great secret and essence of internal force training.


Editorial Note Andreas' earlier questions can be found in the Question-Answer Series October 2009 Part 2 issue.

Question 2

Fortunately I have not felt uneasy with the training so I hope this means it is not harming my body in any way.

Answer

From your description it is clear that you are doing quite well.

Yes, a good indicator of whether one practices any exercise correctly is how he feels after the practice. If he feels fine, it indicates he has practiced correctly. If he feels uncomfortable or nauseous, it indicates he has practiced wrongly.

Carrying the Moon

Carrying the Moon

Question 3

Even after doing and practicing this personal programme, I know that this is but a mere percentage of what I could learn from a true master.

Answer

This is very true, and I am glad you realize it.

When people learn from my books or webpages and get benefits, they often think the benefits are fantastic. They know the benefits will be more if they learn from me personally, but it is difficult for them to know how much more. They may think it is a bit more, or even two or three times more. But it is difficult for them to appreciate that the difference is incomparable.

Question 4

I do have access to all the examples in your webpages of so many techniques and I could buy some of your books but by personal choice and your own warnings I have decided not to increase my knowledge on any level, and I will wait to get the training from a master.

Answer

This is a wise move.

Nevertheless, you still can learn and benefit from my books or webpages. Except those where I have specifically warned readers not to attempt the exercises on their own, if you follow the instructions respectfully the exercises are quite safe. But of course the benefits one gets by learning from my books or webpages will be incomparably different from the benefits one gets by learning from me personally.

Horse-Riding Stance

The feet should be parallel in the Horse-riding Stance

Question 5

Do you think that I will be able to enhance my skills potentially with my present training?

Answer

Yes. You have a good training programme. You will certainly enhance your skills if you practice regularly.

Question 6

Are there other things or techniques that I could use in training to enhance my skills on my own without the guidance of a master for now? If yes which ones?

Answer

You should add "Lifting the Sky" or "Carrying the Moon" or both, as well as energy flow into your routine. You can add them singly or collectively at the beginning, at the end or anywhere in your training session. This will enhance your result.

Although you may not be able to attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course in Malaysia, you can attend my regional "Generating Energy Flow" course. I visit Spain often. Please check my website at http://www.shaolin.org for details.

You can skip the other courses but take my "Generating Energy Flow" course. By applying the skills you will learn in this course on your daily training, you can enhance your results many folds. It may not be easy to believe that this is true, but you can easily find out from your own direct experience.

Chi Flow

Enjoying a chi flow after stance training is very beneficial

Question 7

Is it very important to have feet parallel when practicing the Horse-Riding Stance? When they are parallel my back is not straight completely so I turn them a bit outwards. Is it correct? And how low the horse stance should be?

— Denazs, Latvia

Answer

While it is highly recommended as it will contribute much to your internal force development, it is not necessary that your feet must be parallel. Many people, including some masters perform their Horse-Riding Stance with their feet pointing slightly outward.

Indeed, in my early days of stance training, my feet pointed outward slightly. This was especially so when my Horse-Riding Stance was low, with my thighs almost parallel to the floor. That was the time when I did my stance training at a physical level, with the tenet of enduring as long as I could.

It was later that I discovered stance training was not a physical exercise to build strong muscles, but an energy and mind exercise where the crucial factor was to relax. I also discovered that with the feet parallel, and the body slightly higher in a pyramid shape, the practitioner would be in the best position to tap energy from the Cosmos.

But it is very important that your body must be straight, and relaxed. So, if you have difficulty doing this when your feet are parallel, you may turn them slightly outward.

Question 8

I am doing the Three-Circle Stance before the Horse Stance, and I can stand in it for 15 minutes every day. Does it affect the performance of the Horse Stance? And should I meditate during this stance?

Answer

Staying at the Three-Cicle Stance correctly for 15 minutes is a remarkable attainment. After this you need not continue with the Horse-Riding Stance. You can stand up and be relaxed, and enjoy a gentle chi flow if there is any.

The chi flow is important. You should enjoy a chi flow after Three-Circle Stance, the Horse-Riding Stance or any other stance. It is a great secret in stance training many kungfu practitioners today do not know.

The chi flow will spread the cosmic energy that you have acquired during the stance training all over your body, as well as accumulate some at your dan tian. You may feel as if there is less energy in you after the chi flow than when you just completed the stance. Inexperienced students may think that some energy has been drained away. No, the energy has not been drained away. It is put to good use. It has flowed into your body to nourish your organs, as well as to build a ball of energy at your dan tian as the foundation of your internal force.

On the other hand, if you like and if you are not tired yet, you may continue with the Horse-Riding Stance after the Three-Circle Stance or any stance. Whether this is good or bad for your stance training depends on a few factors. Generally, if you can still continue your training in a totally relaxed manner, you will increase your internal force. But if you are tired and force yourself to do so, it will result in blockage.

There are various ways to train the mind during stance training. One may count the breaths, place the mind at the dan tian or keep the mind blank. In your case, I would recommend that you just don't think of anything.

LINKS

Overview of the Questions-Answers Series

Selected Reading

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