December 2001 (Part 3)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I am a Catholic Christian. You claimed in an answer to Daniel from Belgium in June 2000 (Part 1):
“But all great religions known in the world today, including Christianity, accept the concept of past lives. There are many instances in the Bible which refer to past lives.”
Please could you be so kind to tell me the parts of the Holy Bible that I can reread them and please can you tell me who told you that the Catholic Church does accept the concept of past lives.
Thank you for the time you spent on answering so many questions. Good bless you!
The following are quotations from the Bible suggesting the existence of past lives.
From the Old Testament you can find the following.
- Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (Moses addressing the Lord).
- Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come.
Elijah already lived before. It is significant that these are the closing words of the Old Testament. In the first book of the New Testament, Mathew, this prophecy is referred to a few times, emphasizing the link between the Old Testament and the New Testament on the concept of past lives.
Here are some examples from the New Testament.
- When Jesus came into the coast of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am? and they said, Some say that thou art John the Bapist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
- But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but had done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (John was already dead when this was spoken.)
Many Christian masters mentioned the existence of past lives. For example, Origen of Alexandria, who lived in the second century and was considered as one of the most prominent of the Christian Fathers, said in “Contra Celsum” that “the soul, which is immaterial and invisible in its nature, exists in no material plane without having a body suited to the nature of that place; accordingly, it at one time puts off one body, which was necessary before, but which is no longer adequate in its changed state, and it exchanges it for a second.”
A 17th century theologian in his book “Mishmath Hayem” explicitly stated that “the belief or the doctrine of the transmigration of souls is a firm and infallible dogma accepted by the whole assembly of our church with one accord, so that there is none to be found who could dare to deny it.”
In my practice I attend to many patients with functional digestive symptoms. I'd like to include some chi kung techniques as part of the treatment. In Venezuela, we do not have an authorized diffusion of this ancient knowledge.
I'd like very much to work for it but in the proper way, with honesty and the respective qualification. I have practised yoga for many years. I know that it is a life's work.. For this reason, I'm interested in taking the Intensive Course of Chi Kung to acquire the basic skills. Is the same course for people who are interested in teaching or healing?
— GHA, Venezuela
I would recommend to you to attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. I am sure you will find this course rewarding. Many people told me that this course enabled them to know what chi kung really was.
But by attending this course alone, even though you would have benefited much from it, would not enable you to teach chi kung yet, if you want to be a genuine chi kung teacher and not just an bogus instructor. A teacher should first of all be a good student in the art he hopes to teach one day.
To practise any form of healing, including conventional medicine, is more an art than a science. Hence, a good healer, including a good doctor, is one who has acquired his healing skills personally from a master healer, and not one who, wanting to include some chi kung into his practice, would read about it from a book, or wanting to operate on his patients, would view some surgery from a video, and then practise it on his patients.
Your first step, if you wish to eventually use chi kung in your healing, is to become a good chi kung practitioner. Attending my Intensive Chi Kung Course is an excellent approach. Yes, it is the same course that aspiring teachers and healers attend. But you also need further training to become a chi kung instructor or healer. If you qualify, you may later join our chi kung instructor training programme.
In this respect, Joan Browne from Ireland is an inspiring example. She was distressed to see the suffering of psychiatric patients whom she nursed, and she wanted to do something for them. She asked me if she could teach some of my chi kung exercises to her patients. I told her to attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course to become a good chi kung practitioner first, then train to be a chi kung instructor. Only when one is properly trained, can he (or she) be effective in helping others. Otherwise he would only debase chi kung, or any other healing arts, and become a bogus healer.
Joan followed my advice. Not only she overcame her own chronic neck pain (which her doctors said was incurable), she has helped many people as a chi kung instructor. I just received a short e-mail from her. Although it is a personal letter, I am reproducing it below in full to share her obvious warmth, joy and sincerity.
I hope that you and your wife and family are well. I know that you are still on your travels, but I just wanted to share with you some good news from my class here in Ireland.
This week one of the students came up to me to tell me that his arm and hand have both started to get back some feeling, having been lifeless for some years. Last week he picked up a cup of tea for the first time in about four years. He is absolutely delighted.
The first couple of weeks of practice in the class I noticed that he was opening and closing his fist a lot and also shaking this arm. When I asked him what he was feeling he said “lots of pins and needles.” I know he has practised a lot and I am so delighted for him. It is wonderful! So thank you again Sifu.
Everybody doing the class have felt the peace and relaxation of the practice and in their everyday lives. Some others are feeling more energetic, especially one mother who has two little boys who insist on getting up at 5am each morning!! I know it is early days yet for these people, but already they are making great progress. I am so happy Sifu.
I hope to start a new group in January and already have bookings for your course in February which I am really looking forward to . I won't delay you any further, Sifu. I know how busy you are. Thank you for accepting me as a student, I am forever grateful.
Joan. firstname.lastname@example.org 16th November 2001.
My other instructors are also producing good results. I am now in Colombia, having arrived from Spain. In Madrid, Roman and Laura told me that many of their students were recovering from illness and pain that were earlier considered helpless, including a few cases of cancer.
I am committed to train instructors who will continue the good work of chi kung (as well as Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan). They must first of all be ready to train hard to be good practitioners themselves, and be sincere and dedicated. I have no time for those who want to become a master in three months so as to save the world, even before they have learned the art.
Is there a specific chi kung exercise for lung cancer. If so where can I find it. Your help is greatly appreciated.
— John, Australia
Any genuine chi kung exercise can overcome lung cancer, or any other types of cancer.
While there may be specific exercises particularly suited to lung problems, in the case of lung cancer as well as other types of cancer, it is best to attack the illness holistically. This is because the fundamental site of the illness may or may not be at the lungs. The cancer at the lungs is only a symptom that something has gone wrong in the body (and/or mind).
While we may not know where the site of illness is, the wonderful thing about chi kung treatment is that one needs not even have to know! This is because once the patient has generated a good chi flow, chi will automatically flow to where it is needed most. If the site of illness is his most urgent problem, chi will flow there to help him overcome the problem.
This may sound incredible to some people, but it is true. Chi always flows from high energy levels to low energy levels, and the most urgent site is the one with the lowest energy level. Two conditions, nevertheless, are required. One, his meridians must be clear. If there is blockage, chi is prevented to flow there.
Two, he must have sufficient chi for the task. Even if his meridians are clear but his chi is insufficient, the little chi he has will be first used to sustain life. Clearing energy blockage and increasing energy levels are the two fundamental tasks of chi kung.
I would strongly recommend the cancer patient to learn chi kung from a genuine master, and he must do so quickly if he wants to survive. If he thinks I can be of help, my Intensive Chi Kung Course will be suitable for him. I cannot promise that he will surely recover, but I can honestly say he has a good chance.
If someone suffering from cancer wishes to get well by practising chi kung, he must learn from the best master he can find. If he thinks he can recover by learning from an e-mail, a video or a book, he is a joker or a fool.
Reading your remarkable book, “The Complete Book of Zen” my wife learned about chi kung. Then she bought your “Art of Chi Kung”. She started to try “Lifting the Sky” and very soon achieved good results, becoming much more easy tempered and placid. She was very nervous.
She is pregnant now. I recommend to her to delay her practising of chi kung, because I am not sure if it is suitable for pregnant women. And you wrote in your books that anybody must be very careful when practising alone without a master. There are no genuine chi kung teachers here. But I see that she suffers without training. What would you kindly recommend?
— Renat, Russia
Although chi kung is good for pregnant women if they already know how to practise it correctly, for your wife who learns from books, it is advisable to delay the practice after the delivery of the baby.
Nevertheless, she can practise the following simple exercise which is safe and beneficial. Stand, sit or lye down in any comfortable position. Close the eyes and relax. Then gently visualize or think that she will have a safe and pleasant delivery, and the baby will be healthy and beautiful.
It is important that the thinking or visualization must be done very gently. She can do this exercise any time she likes, and about two or three times a day.
I was wondering if the chi kung taught in your Intensive Shaolin Course has similar outcomes to the Intensive Chi Kung course and vice versa. For example if I attend the Chi Kung course would I be able to generate internal force. And similarly, if I attend the Shaolin course would I gain the benefits of being vibrant and happy as described by so many who have attended your Chi Kung course.
— Yee, Malaysia
The chi kung exercises in the Intensive Chi Kung Course and in the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course are different. While they have similar aims, like promoting health, vitality, mental freshness and spiritual joy, they have different emphasis.
The chi kung exercises in both courses generate energy flow as well as develop internal force, but those in the Intensive Chi Kung Course emphasize generating energy flow, whereas those in the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course emphasize developing internal force.
The Shaolin Kungfu chi kung exercises are more powerful. This course should make you vibrant and happy. But this does not mean that the Chi Kung course is less useful. In fact it is generally more useful for most people, because not many people are ready for the Shaolin Kungfu course.
If you are already fit and healthy, as having practised kungfu for a few years should make you so, you just need to take the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course; but if you are weak and sickly, you should first take the Intensive Chi Kung Course.
Although I am only 17 years old I have studied many martial arts like jujitsu, karate, taekwondo and kick boxing, but I have never found one that I really enjoy. I think kungfu will suit me because I like my martial arts to have a lot of history and philosophy. I also think kungfu is a beautiful art that everyone should know just to improve their day to day life.
— Stuart, England
You are right. Kungfu has a lot of history and philosophy, and will enrich the practitioners' daily life. But it must be genuine traditional kungfu.
Some people have told me that kungfu isn't really good if you want to learn self defense, but that doesn't bother me anyway since I can already defense my self quite easily against large groups of kids.
That is only true of kungfu gymnastics or dance, which is wide-spread today. Wushu, which is a form of modernized kungfu promoted for sport, is also not effective for self-defence. Genuine traditional kungfu, irrespective of its style, is effective for combat. And great kungfu like Shaolin and Taijiquan is more than just for self defence.
I guess it doesn't matter what martial art you know, if your heart is not in it you will always be beaten.
While it is true that if your heart is not in it, you may be beaten, it is not true that it doesn't matter what martial art you practise. The philosophy and method of training of a particular martial art have great influence over your attainment and development.
If you practise a martial art like karate and kickboxing which emphasis on winning at all cost, you tend to be aggressive and you also sustain a lot of injuries in your training. If you practise a martial art like Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan which were originally meant for spiritual development, you tend to be peaceful and you also promote your health and vitality.
Would Wing Chun Kungfu suit me?
That depends on various factors, including your needs and aspirations as well as the philosophy and methodology of your teacher.
If you desire to be a good fighter within a comparatively short time, Wing Chun Kungfu is excellent.
If your aim is personal development and you are prepared to spend much time to realize your aim, Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan is a better choice.
The situation today is such that it is easier to find Wing Chun teachers who will make you into a good fighter, than to find Shaolin or Taijiquan teachers who will help you in your personal development.
I really want to learn kungfu and I would dedicate my life to mastering it.
At 17 it is too early for you to decide dedicating your life to kungfu. Choosing kungfu as a professional career is wonderful but there are also other wonderful careers. You should open yourself to various possibilities before deciding on a career.
Meanwhile practise kungfu as a hobby. Since it may be your career in future, do not simply learn from any teacher that you conveniently meet. Spend some time finding a good teacher.
Later, after you have an opportunity to compare various potential careers and are convinced that kungfu is your best choice, you can choose kungfu for your life dedication. Otherwise you can still practise kungfu as a hobby.
I believe if I try hard enough I would become a great master and a better person.
Unfortunately this is not necessarily true. Indeed, many people have spent decades trying very hard to learn kungfu, but not only they have not become great masters or better persons, they cannot defend themselves against ordinary karate and kickboxing students, and often they become disappointed, depressed and dis-illusioned.
There can be numerous reasons for their failure, despite their hard work. One very important reason is that they did not have any vision and direction. Another very important reason is that they did not learn from genuine masters.
Merely wanting to become a master is not a vision, it is just a fanciful wish. Learning from books, videos or instructors who themselves cannot differentiate between genuine kungfu and kungfu gymnastics or sport, is not following a right direction; it is at best a convenient past-time.
Having vision means you are clear about what a genuine kungfu master is. It means that you know when you have become a kungfu master, you are not only combat efficient, you are also healthy, full of vitality, mentally fresh and spiritually joyful.
Having direction means you work patiently but surely towards your goal. It means that if you constantly sustain injuries, feel tired and dull after your training, and feel angry at others and at yourself, your training has been deviated.
I will also be visiting you in a few years (once I've saved enough money). I wish to meet the man behind the legend and if possible study with you. Could you please recommend any books that you think are worth a read. I am interested in spiritual enlightenment and the history and philosophy of kungfu.
Before you attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, you must have some prior kungfu or martial art experience, and you must be willing to work very hard. Otherwise you would be wasting your time and money. If you fulfill these conditions, as well as the most important condition of practising the Ten Shaolin Laws, you will be amply rewarded.
My book, “The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu”, is a good choice. From this book you will get information on spiritual enlightenment, as well as the history and philosophy of kungfu, and more.