SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
FEBRUARY 2014 PART 2

Sukhavati, Western Paradise

Sukhavati: Going to Heaven as Taught by the Buddha

Question 1

I own your book for several years now, and read it a few times over the years, but it is only recently that your words have struck home. I am particularly grateful for it and particularly for the way you link Buddhism's cosmological content with contemporary science. Your book is a gift to humanity and I hope that a lot of people like me will be able to receive this wonderful Dharma message. I do think you are a great Bodhisattva.

— Jerome, France

Answer

I am glad that you have enjoyed and benefitted from my book "Sukahvati: Going to Heaven as Taught by the Buddha".

Indeed many people may think that what I have described in my book is too good to be true. Of course it is true. The Buddha, like all the greatest of spiritual teachers, never tell lies.

It is also very scientific. Indeed, all the great discoveries in science right from Galileo’s discovery that the world we live in is not the centre of the universe to latest discoveries in relativity and quantum physics have been told by the Buddha in sutras, though the writings in the sutras are very concise and without annotation not many people can understand them.

I honestly believe that I am not the author of the book, though I wrote it. I was only a conduit, and I was frequently inspired by Bodhisattvas in the writing.

Your mention of Buddhist cosmological content with contemporary science is a good example. Many people, including I myself before writing this book, cannot reconcile the Buddha’s teaching of the cosmic system with modern scientific knowledge. The Buddha teaches, for example, that the world we live in is surrounded by ocean, then islands, then ocean, then islands. I had difficulty relating this teaching with modern astronomy. Then all of a sudden, in a moment of inspiration, it struck me that the Buddha was looking at our world from space.

Question 2

What is the difference between choosing two exercises or just one exercise in a training session?

— Liliana, Costa Rica

Answer

It is like asking what the difference is between doing one job and doing two jobs a day.

Whether you do one or more jobs, the main purpose is to generate a cash flow. It is the cash flow, not the jobs, that enables you to fulfil your economic needs. This is a very important point to bear in mind. Even if you perform your jobs well but you have no cash flow, you will still face economic problems.

Similarly whether you perform one or more exercises, the main purpose is to generate a chi flow. It is the chi flow, not the exercises, that enables you to fulfil your health needs. Many chi kung practitioners, including masters, do not realize this important fact. Even if you perform your chi kung exercises beautifully but you have no chi flow, you will still face health problems.

Generally, it you can perform one job well, it will give you better cash flow than performing two or more jobs. Similarly, if you can perform one exercise well, it will give you better chi flow than performing two or more exercises. Hence, we recommend choosing just one exercise for one training session.

However, if you are not sure of your proficiency in generating a cash flow with just one job, you may do another job as a precaution. Similarly, you may perform another exercise in case the first exercise may not give you sufficient chi flow.

On the other hand, there may be occasions when doing a second job may enhance the productivity of the first job. Similarly, you may perform another exercise to enhance the first exercise, not that the first exercise itself is insufficient to produce the result but that with second exercise will make the result better.

Sometimes you may want to do other jobs for fun even though your main jobs provide enough cash flow for your economic needs. Similarly you may want to perform other exercises for fun even when your main exercise provides you with sufficient chi flow.

You may also like to review your other skills in doing other jobs even when your main job provides enough cash flow. Similarly you may perform other exercises to review your chi kung skills even when your main exercise provides enough chi flow.

Your present job provides you with sufficient cash flow for your present economic needs, but you want to improve your economic status by doing or learning other jobs. Similarly, your present exercise provides you with sufficient chi flow for your present health needs, but you may want to perform or learn other exercises for more advanced benefits.

Poisonous Snake Shoots Venom

Poisonous Snake Shoots Venom

Question 3

Does one direct force from the dan tian when performing Poisonous Snake Shoots Venom? I guess I should know this but I just direct chi to the finger tips without consciously involving the dantian. I would very much appreciate clarity.

— Leroy, South Africa

Answer

Firstly, I shall give you a practical answer.

You have done correctly. Just direct chi to your finger tips without worrying about where the chi comes from.

Now I shall give you a philosophical answer.

In your case the chi comes from your dan tian, regardless of whether you consciously direct it from the dan tian.

For most people there is no chi flow. It is just a physical movement.

Why is it that in your case chi flows from your dan tian, making it a movement with internal force, whereas in most people it is a physical movement? It is because you are trained in internal force whereas the others are not, even though some of them may have read about internal force.

The dan tian is where energy is stored. In fact, “dan tian” in Chinese means “energy field”. When you perform “Poisonous Snake Shoots Venom”, the movement itself generates an energy flow from the dan tian to the fingers, if you are physically and mentally relaxed. If you tense your muscles or intellectualize, as untrained people do, it will block the energy flow.

For other people who have a chance to train internal force, they have to repeat this movement many times daily for many months before they can have some noticeable effect. For you and our students in Shaolin Wahnam, you can have the effect immediately, or at most after a few days. This is because you already know how to enter into a chi kung state of mind and generate an energy flow before perform “Poisonous Snake Shoots Venom”.

If you use your mind to direct chi from your dan tian to your fingers, you will have better result, provided you do it correctly. If you do it wrongly, it will have adverse effects. As you already have sufficient chi flow to cause severe damage to an opponent even without your using mind to direct chi flow, it is not necessary for you to risk making mistakes using your mind.

Question 4

I've practiced more in the last few months than I have in the last few years. Please let me apologize for this. This time I've found that when I radiate in chi flow I end up in patterns which, I guess, seem similar to Sinew Metamorphosis.

When I clear my mind, I squeeze more. And after these patterns I find that I'm far more open and I'm clearer about the shower and pyramid you've often mentioned. The question is: am I on a decent track?

Answer

Yes, you are on a decent track.

Follow the three golden rules of practice, and you will have excellent results:

  1. Don't Worry.
  2. Don't Intellectualize.
  3. Enjoy your Practice.

This means that in this particular case you don't worry how you end up with patterns similar to Sinew Metamorphosis, and you don't intellectualize why it is Sinew Metamorphosis and not something else.

You also don't worry whether you are on a decent track, and don't intellectualize on what would happen if your track is not decent. You just enjoy your practice.

If you don't worry about whether your practice is correct and intellectualize on what should be done if it is wrong, will you have any adverse effects if it is really wrong? Yes, there will be adverse effects, but without you doing anything special your subsequent chi flow will erase the adverse effects and still give you a bonus.

But if you worry and intellectualize, even when this results in you performing your techniques correctly and having a correct philosophical understanding, you will not get any practical benefit of internal art training as you will then be only performing physical exercise, and you may have negative effects due to mental stress.

cosmic shower

Students enjoying a cosmic shower

Question 5

I keep slipping in and out of depression. And additionally, I find it extremely difficult to develop the heart of confidence you spoke of or to commit to letting go of resentment.

I know you've already taught me everything I need to know to achieve these things but it's just been very hard. If you think any advice here would be appropriate, would you please bless me with some?

Answer

I have just given you some excellent advice, namely don't worry, don't intellectualize, and enjoy your practice.

Another but even shorter way of giving similar advice is:

Just do it.

In other words, don't think of how to let go of depression and resentment, or how to build confidence, but do the exercises you have learnt from me which you know will get rid of your depression and resentment, and build your confidence. Just do it, instead of thinking about it.

Question 6

Firstly, I would like to thank you for writing wonderful books for us. I cannot express how grateful I am for the knowledge you have given me. I have bought your books and they have really changed my life.

— James, Canada

Answer

I am glad you have found my books enjoyable and beneficial. My books have brought good health and happiness to many people.

healthy and happy

When your chi if flowing harmoniously, you'll be healthy and happy

Question 7

Ever since 2 years ago when I was 13, I learned to control this mysterious flow of something I am not clear of. I discovered it without any instruction. I found out about it when I felt good.

It is hard to explain. I feel very inspired or encouraged. I don't know if these are the right words but I learned how to control this very easily, moving it up or down. It feels like a chill of something like energy moving up or down my body. I can choose if I want to move it down or up.

When I breathe in I can move this chill up my spine to my brain, or down from my brain to spine and legs. This feeling makes me feel slightly colder and when I activate this feeling, it stays and flows for about 10 seconds and then it subsides.

Sometimes when I am feeling relaxed, I can generate a large amount and I feel it for longer. However if I try to do it again continuously, I feel less and less each time. I am wondering what this can be.

Answer

This is chi, spelt as qi in Romanized Chinese. It is energy or life force.

What you have done is not wrong, but it is inadvisable to play around with it like you did, in case you do it wrongly it may cause you a lot of problems. It is, for example, risky to send you chi up your spine to your brain.

Nevertheless, you can enjoy its flow when you feel it. Just enjoy it and be grateful. Your energy flow is literally your flow of life. The more relaxed you are, the smoother and the more volume will be the flow. In other words, the more relaxed you are physically and mentally, the better your life will be.

When a person's energy flow is weak, he lacks vitality. When it is blocked, he becomes sick. This blockage may manifest in different symptoms, interpreted by Western medicine as various dieases, but from the chi kung perspective there is only one sickness and it is called yin-yang disharmony, and there is only one root cause, namely energy blockage.

Chi kung is the art of managing this energy, not haphazardly nor by trials and errors like what you did, but in a systematic, informed way according to the accumulated teachings of masters over many centuries.

If a person's energy flow is blocked, which results in illness, the blockage is cleared so that he recovers good health. If his energy flow is feeble, which results in weakness, it is strengthened, which brings him vitality. As he continues to practice, he attains longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys.

I would recommend you to learn chi kung so as to enrich your life. In the past I used to tell sincere seekers to learn from a good master. Good masters are rare, and most people cannot tell what genuine chi kung is, and therefore end up learning gentle physical exercise. To save you and other sincere seekers time, now I would ask you to learn from any of our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors. Please see our List of Instructors .

Question 8

I have also learned to feel a force. It feels somewhat like a magnetic force on my palms and fingers. I found out how to feel this by placing my palms facing each other and close to each other, and there would be a slight feeling of something there like a ball of energy.

I practiced this 2 years ago for a while until I actually feel it all the time or most of the time. I feel energy on my palms right now as I am typing this. I wonder what this is and what the purpose of it is.

Since placing my palms facing each other to feel this energy worked, I tried it using my feet too. Using the same method, I placed the bottom of my feet faceing each other, but not touching and I felt the same thing. It feels like what my palms feel - like a magnetic energy or something similar.

When I move my palms gently, it feels like something is resisting my palm from moving forward, same with my feet. Also, when I practice the "Pushing Mountains" technique described in your book, I feel the energy in my palm move right to my fingers without visualizing any chi. It also happens if I just extend my arms out straight forward. I am wondering what these could be and I hope you can answer my questions.

Answer

You created an energy ball with your palms and with your feet. Congratulations.

Your playing with energy balls also showed the reality of chi. Because chi, or energy, is invisible, some people do not believe it exists, yet it is the very substance that makes not only you and me and every other person, it is also the very substance of the universe, including the minute cells and the infinite galaxies.

Actually the ability to create energy balls is natural, but most people have lost this natural ability. In the same way, to be happy and healthy is natural, but many people are stressful and sick.

While it is novel to play with energy balls, and you can have fun with it if you find it pleasurable, you can have better use of your energy if you learn how to manage it to enrich your life and the lives of other people. You can do so by learning from one of our certified instructors.

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