September 2009 (Part 3)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I would like to ask you about a constantly discussed issue in today's media especially TV. Pedophilia is a very horrible mental disorder. Do you know if Eastern medicine, like Chinese medicine, has some treatments to heal such patients with those urges? I am very curious what Eastern medicine says about this problem and I will be grateful if you send me information about it.
— Dr Rosse, England
First of all it is helpful to understand some difference between conventional Western and traditional Chinese terminology. In the West we classify a person's dimensions into four aspects, namely physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Conventionally, Western doctors look after the physical ills of a person, psychologists the emotional, psychiatrists the mental, and religious teachers the spiritual.
Although we often refer to pedophilia, or an abnormal fondness for children, as a mental disorder, it actually falls under the dimension of the emotions. For example, a pedophilia patient may not have any neurological problems, and his intellect may be high, yet he has an abnormal fondness for children.
In traditional Chinese philosophy, we classify a person into only two dimensions, namely the "shen" and the "xin", which may be roughtly translated as the body and the heart. Understandably, many people may think that classifying a person's dimenions into two is not as comprehensive or effective as classifying into four as in Western thought. But from my own experience, I have often found that the Chinese classification into two is not only more comprehensive to explain problems many people have that caanot be satisfactorily explained using the Western classification into four, but also more effective in providing a cure for problems that in Western societies are often regarded as incurable.
There are two points to note in this "shen-xin" or "body-heart" classification. One, the Romanized spelling "shen", but pronounced in a different tone and written in a different Chinese character, also refers to "spirit". So, please take note that "shen" in this "shen-xin" classification refers to "body", and not to "spirit". Two, "heart" here is not the organ heart but the spiritual heart, variously called soul, spirit, mind or consciousness in different cultures.
The "body" of a person is the physcial part, that has form, and can be seen, though sometimes it may be too small to be seen by our naked eye. The :heart" is the part that includes the emotional, the mental and the spiritual, that has no form, and cannot be seen, though its manifestations like happiness and intelligence can be seen. In other words, we can see that a person is happy, or whether he is more intelligent than another person.
Pedophilia is an disorder of the "heart", not of the "body". There is too much "fire" in the "heart system". Please take note that this "heart" in the "heart system" does not refer to the spiritual heart in the "body-heart" classification. It refers to the five physiological systems named after the five major organs, namely lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and spleen.
It is not even necessary to know what caused the excessive "fire" in the "heart-system". The important task is to quench the "fire". There are many ways to quench the "fire". One way is to use herbs that facilitate "water". Another way is to use acupuncture. A third way is to use massage therapy.
An excellent way is to make use of the inter-destructivity of the five elementary processes. Fire is related to joy, which in this case is manifested as an abnormal fondness for children. Water is related to fear. If the patient can be made to feel severe fear, he can produce sufficient "water" to quench his excessive "fire", thus curing him of his abnormal behaviour. There are many records of such successful manipulation of the five elementary processes in traditional Chinese medical history.
This is an interesting contrast to Western thinking. Western societies are sympathetic to pedophilia patients, almost condoning their abnormal behaviour by consoling them and implying that they could not do otherwise even when they knew their behaviour was wrong.
What a great traditional Chinese physician does to help pedophilia patients recover may shock Western societies, and may land him in jail in the West. He may threaten them to frighten the wit out of them. He may even employ some people to beat them up. He has to be harsh to be kind. He helps pedophilia patients return to normal, healthy life, whereas in the West the problem becomes more and more pervasive.
I am a martial arts enthusiast and have been learning Aikido since 2002. I am also learning Tai Chi.
One of the reasons why I wish to learn Chi Kung is because I am very curious about Chi. I've read your answers to questions raised about the efficacies of Aikido as a martial art and how the present Aikido practitioners are giving lip service to Ki or Chi in their movements. I totally agree with you as I myself have yet to feel my Ki or Chi during my aikido trainings.
Luckily, Sifu Wuji of Shaolin Wahnam Singapore has recently conducted a foundation course in Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung and I was one of those who completed the course. Sifu Wuji is a wonderful and knowledgeable teacher and through his teachings I am now able to enjoy strong Chi flow and to a certain extend to send Chi to my knees and abdomen.
— Muhammad, Singapore
I am glad that you had some good experiences of chi with your sifu. Your chi kung training will enable you to develop internal force and will enhance your Aikido as well as Tai Chi Chuan practice.
Your sifu is a very good teacher, and I am sure you will benefit very much from him.
I have numerous medical problems. I am on medication for hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. I was diagnosed as a diabetic as early as Dec 2008. I am also suffering from osteoarthritis on both knees.
I also suffered a slipped disc during my national services days in the late 70s and had an inter-vertebral disc removed. As a result of the surgery, the scar tissues are bothering me and I constantly suffer from lower backaches.
I sincerely hope to cure my "incurable" diseases so that I can truly enjoy my martial arts training and have a good healthy life. I have been practising the Chi Kung patterns that Sifu Wuji taught us for about 3 months. However, to date, my diabetes and hypertension have still not improved.
It is quite amazing that you have put up with so many health problems for such a long time. You and many other people may find it too good to believe, but it is true that by practicing high-level chi kung regularly, all your health problems will be solved.
You have practiced our chi kung for just three months. It is too early to see lasting results yet.
May I appeal to your kindness, dear Sigung, to help open up my energy channels and assist me to clear the blockages in my energy meridians when we meet at your Intensive Chi Kung Course.. I would be forever grateful if you could accede to my request.
Of course I shall help you and all other students at the Intensive Chi Kung Course to open up your energy channels and clear blockages. In fact, this is one of the main objectives of the course.
In the past, I did this by physically opening their energy points with my fingers. But over the years I have improved my teaching methodology tremendously. Now I help students develop internal force on the very first day of the course, which increases the power of their energy flow dramatically, thus clearing their energy blockage themselves.
Their doing it energetically themselves is much better than my doing it physically for them. Instead of giving them a fish, I teach my students how to fish.
Could you tell me which positions or movements would be best for back strain?
— James, USA
"Carrying the Moon" is excellent for overcome back problems, including back strain. But of course you have to perform it as chi kung and not just as physical exercise.
Concerning Iron Palm, as I understand it some of the Shaolin training is so secret that not even other disciples are allowed to watch unless they are actually engaged in the training.
This is quite true. Hence, many people are very surprised at our generosity in sharing secrets.
And one of the great secrets we often emphasize is that often it is not the technique that is most important but how the technique is being practiced. In other words, it is the "how" rather than the "what" that is more important.
For example, many people may have the correct technique to train Iron Palm, but if they do not perform the technique skillfully, they would still not have Iron Palm even when the technique is correct.
An analogy may make this clear. Suppose you have read the technique of how a world-class footballer kicks a ball. Unless you have his skills, even when you apply the same technique, the way you kick a ball is vastly different from how he does it.
Part of my confusion is over different methods. One master uses a 3 year conditioning course and says that you would have to train 3 years to be able to break bricks using internal force. But I read an interview with another master who said you could use a sandbag and be able to break bricks in 6 months? It seems like the latter method is external instead of internal?
Both masters are correct in their own ways. Different masters and different schools have different ways to train their Iron Palm, and their result is also different.
Yes, the method described by the second master is external.
I've been conditioning my hands on a sandbag filled with rice and beans mixed with herbs. I can break pine boards and plywood But these are not that difficult to break anyway.
I don't know how to do this as an internal method because I don't have a master to study under And I don't know of any actual Iron Palm masters in the United States.
If you keep on practicing daily, you will be able to break a brick. Later you may fill your sandbag with sand and then with pebbles instead of rice.
Attempt an easy brick first to give yourself confidence. Having confidence is very important. Gradually you can try harder bricks.
The method you are using is external. Iron Palm is basically an external art. Please note that saying it is external instead of internal does not mean it is less powerful. In fact some external arts are more powerful than some internal arts.
Most Iron Palm masters, including great ones, trained their arts using external methods, mainly hitting bags filled with pebbles or iron-fillings. But through long years of training, their external art became internal.
It is not advisable to attempt internal art training without a master's supervision. It is easy to make mistakes which can have serious side-effects. But training with a master is very safe. Internal training basically involves intrinsic energy and mind.
There are many genuine Iron Palm masters in the United States. You can find them if you search the internet.
I would like to learn more about Piercing Palm and especially Cotton Palm and Angels Palm. Can you tell me if there are any books or other material available on the subject?
Piercing Palm is a technique, whereas Cotton Palm and Immortal Palm (which I believe is a better translation than Angel Pam) are specialized skills or force.
As its name shows, in Piercing Palm you pierce your palm, usually vertically or horizontally, into an opponent. If you succeed in doing so, you may maim or kill him, which I believe you or most people would have neither the need nor interest to do.
The Piercing Palm technique can be found in many styles of kungfu, like Shaolin, Taijiquan, Bagua, Hsing Yi, Wing Choon, Choy-Li-Fatt and White Crane. It is not difficult to find books or webpages showing this technique.
Cotton Palm and Immortal Palm are advanced skills taught only to selected disciples. I have not come across any books or webpages specially describing how these advanced arts are trained.
This is expected, as masters who know these arts not only do not want the arts to fall into wrong hands, they also do not want unsuspecting students develop serious side-effects training on their own without proper supervision.
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