September 2009 (Part 2)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I still do feel a significant chi flow with "Lifting the Sky". I know that having gentle visualizations helps, but is it also to have an open mindset and not to force anything, like I am witnessing something?
— Andrew, USA
You will generally have better chi flow if you do not attempt any visualization or any mindset. Just relax and don't think of anything.
Open your mouth gently, and loosen your back and your knees. If you feel chi moving you, just follow the flow.
Editorial Note Andrew's earlier questions can be found at the previous issue, September 2009 Part 1
Will building internal force in this way enhance one's life in general? Can it also help when practicing a martial art other than Shaolin, or is it only Shaolin specific? I am not disrespecting Shaolin at all. It is a wonderful art, but I am beginning to train in my art so I want to stay with it for a while.
Building internal force in any correct way will enhance life in all aspects. No matter what you do -- whether internally like overcoming harmful viruses and regulating your metabolic systems, or externally like reading a book or playing games -- you will do better.
It will certainly help when practicing any martial art, which is not necessarily Shaolin. For example, you will have more stamina and your movements will be more powerful.
Would I be able to teach my family these arts if I go to one of your intensive chi kung courses?
The answer is yes and no.
Yes, you can teach your family members the chi kung patterns you have learnt but at a physical level. Their benefits, understandably, will be just a small portion of what you have.
No, you should not teach your family members or anybody the way you are taught at my Intensive Chi Kung Course, which is at the energy and mind levels. You are not trained to do so, and those who learn from you are very likely to make mistakes which both you and they may not know, but which can lead to serious side effects.
For example, in the course amongst many other skills, you will learn how to use "Lifting the Sky" to tap energy from the Cosmos, and then have a comsic shower. As a result of the cosmic shower, you will be stronger physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, which you can confirm from direct experience during the subsequent standing meditation.
Even when you have acquired these skills at the course, you should not teach them, which are at the energy and mind levels, to you family members, simply because you will not be able to do so successfully. If you try to teach them, like copying the nstructions I use in the course, you may reproduce the exact words I have used but you will be unable to transmit the skills to your family members.
For example, in the course after preparing you to be in a right frame of mind, when I say "Tap energy from the Cosmos", you can do so by following my instruction. But when you say "Tap energy from the Cosmos" to your family members, they will not be able to do so even when they follow your instruction. If you insist and they persist, they will be mentally stressful, resulting in energy blockage in their mind which you and they may not know.
But you can teach them the physical form of "Lifting the Sky", without any mention of tapping energy and having a cosmic shower. This you can do successfully, but even if you make some mistakes in your teaching or they in their learning, the side-effects are not serious.
If you and they do it correctly, they will have benefits like loosening joints and muscles, being relaxed and more balanced. These benefits are nothing compared to the wonderful benefits you will get from my Intensive Chi Kung Course, but to those who have not exercised for some time and are constantly tired and stressful, they may say the benefits are "fantastic".
Which course should I go to? My goal is tremendous internal force, however I have learned and practiced 24-Movement Yang Style Tai Chi. So should I go to the Chi Kung course or the Tai Chi course?
All the courses I give, like the Intensive Chi Kung Course, the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, and the Intensive Taijiquan Course, teach internal force. If all other factors were equal and your goal is tremendous internal force, then the order of choice is Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, Intensive Taijiquan Course and Intensive Chi Kung Course.
But other factors are not equal. One needs prior martial art experience to attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course or Intensive Taijiquan Course. Moreover, due to time factor now I offer the Intensive Taijiquan Course only when there is a substantial demand for it.
Students, including gentle-looking ladies, who attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course are usually those who have already attained a high level in Shaolin Kungfu, eqivalent to 2nd dan Black Belt in Karate or Taekwondo. I teach according to the standard and progress of the students.
So, if you are not at this level, you may find the course very demanding, though if you are ready to work hard, including preparing yourself beforehand with the combat sequences to be used in the course, you can find that you may achieve in 5 days what many other kungfu students may not achieved in 5 years. Understandably, many people will not believe what I just said, and some may feel offended, but the validity of the statement has been confirmed by many who attended my course.
Considering all these factors, the Intensive Chi Kung Course is best for you. Although relatively the internal force developed in this course is not as much or powerful as that in the Intensive Shaolin Course or Intensive Taijiquan Course, it is still a lot and very powerful.
You will develop noticeable internal force on the first day itself, whereas for most martial artists they would be thankful of they could develop internal force in a year. During the course itself you will have develop sufficient internal force to enable you to run around a football field without being tired or panting, or to look at problems with such mental clarity that you may never have thought possible before. And when you return home to spar with your martial art friends, they will find you powerful and wonder what you have done.
I would like to humbly apologize if it seems that I am insulting you in anyway. I'm not trying to belittle your teachings by thinking that I do not need your direct instruction. Far from it, because of this experience, it is teaching me to receive direct instruction in order to advance properly.
It is my hope that I will be able to visit you or your instructors for more practice. I am only curious because after months of practice I feel that I am starting to progress and that I am heading in a certain direction which needs clarification.
There is no need for any apology. Not only you are not insulting in any way, you have been very respectful.
I am not surprised at all at your good results. They are actually expected.
There are three contributing factors for any results -- the method, the teacher and the student. I have chosen the best available methods to be explained in my books and webpages. My instructions are simple, direct and effective, and often reveal secrets that many masters keep only for their top students. You follow my instructions respectfully and practice diligently. In other words, you have the best combination of method, teacher and student. Your results have to be good.
Why do other people not have good results when they use the same technique? They fail in one, two or all the three factors. The technique may be the same, but the method is different, though often they are unaware of it. They may also use the Horse-Riding Stance to develop internal force. But they tense their muscles trying to last as long as possible, instead of relaxing. The instructions may be verbose and confusing, attempting to mystify rather than simplify the learning procedure. They may have practiced wrongly or haphazardly.
But you may be surprised when you attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course or Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course. You will find that what you have attained in a few months and many others may not attain in many years, like experiencing chi flow and internal force, your course-mates attain on the very first day! You will find that advanced skills like sending chi to whatever you like in your body, or sparring for a few hours without being tired or panting for breaths, which you believe are attainable only by masters, are attained by you and the other course participants during the course itself.
It is not for no good reasons that a few students have said that they would gladly pay many times the fee to attend my Intensive courses.
Once again, these arts are treasures. I thank you very much for sharing them. My goals with these arts are to have tremendous internal force that I may have wonderful health and vitality, as well as having no need to fear anything this world is to offer. As such, I will practice them diligently without pause. That is the only way I can honor these arts as well as the master.
It is helpful to differentiate ends from means. Having tremendous internal force is the mean, not the end. Having good health and vitality as well as having courage are ends, and they are worthy ends for us to attain.
You may be surprised to learn that while some internal force is necessary, you do not need a tremendous amount to have good health and vitality. If you daily practice "Lifting the Sky", "Pushing Mountain" and "Carrying the Moon" the way I teach at my regional "Generating Energy Flow", which is at the basic level, you will have good health, vitality as well as longevity.
If you wish to have a lot of courage, an excellent exercise is "Flicking Fingers" from Sinew Metamorphosis, which I also teach at regional courses, but it is of a more advanced level.
Another worthy end is combat efficiency. But tremendous internal force alone is insufficient, you also need combat techniques and skills. An excellent way to achieve this end is to practice genuine traditional Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan.
Yet another noble end is spiritual development. Spiritual cultivation demands a lot of internal force, more than maintaining good health and vitality and attaining combat efficiency. Excellent means to achieve this noble end is through advanced chi kung skills like "Cosmic Shower" and "Merging with the Cosmos". There are many techniques to achieve these skills, including "Lifting the Sky", "Pushing Mountains" and "Carrying the Monns".
In other words, one can use a technique like "Lifting the Sky" to achieve a skill like generating energy flow to attain good health and vitality. He can also use the same technique, "Lifting the Sky", to achieve a more advanced skills like cosmic shower to attain spiritual development.
In a regional course, students learn "Lifting the Sky", "Pushing Mountain" and "Carrying the Moon" to generate an energy flow. At an Intensive Chi Kung Course students learn the same three techniques to achieve advanced skills like cosmic shower and merging with the Cosmos.
Practicing the arts diligently is an excellent way to honour the arts and the master who teach them to you. But there are also other excellent ways, like following the Ten Shaolin Laws, which includes being kind to your parents, and living a rewarding life for yourself and other people.
It has been a very long time since my first Chi Kung course in Bath, and the Intensive Course in Malaysia.
I have been practicing diligently every day since those courses, and the results have been extraordinary. I am confident, strong, cheerful and, perhaps most importantly, I have learned how to fully relax. I owe all these things to you, Sifu, and I am extremely grateful for your teaching.
— Donald, England
I am very glad of your results which your rightly deserve. If you practice diligently and correctly, as you have done, you are sure to have the results that the art or exercise is purported to give. Hence, all your good results are expected.
Carry on with your practice, and enjoy it. You will get results that many people may not even dare to dream about, like waking up every morning to find that every day is a beautiful day, irrespective of sun or rain, and bouncing with vitality and mental clarity that you find your work a joy to perform.
I do have one problem, however, concerning sleep. I was brought up to believe that 7 or 8 hours a night is not only healthy, but necessary for an adult in order to function properly. But recently, my body simply has not felt any need to sleep. I am fully awake and alert well into the early hours of the morning, and can wake up early the next day without feeling tired. In fact, if I force my body to sleep for 7 or 8 hours a night, I feel terrible the next day! I am tired, irritable and mentally dull.
Have I been practising wrongly? Or is it a natural progression for my body to require only a handful of hours' sleep each night? If so, should I stop trying to force myself to sleep longer and simply enjoy the extra hours in each day?
This is not a problem, it is a privilege.
Sleeping is nature's way to charge a person with energy, like what we do to our cellular phone every night. The energy is in the Cosmos all the time, but ordinary people can absorb it only when they are perfectly at rest physically and mentally. They toss about at night but towards dawn, when cosmic energy is also at its best, they attain this special state when they are perfectly relaxed whereby they are charged by cosmic energy for about 15 minutes. This charging will provide them with sufficient energy to last the day.
But when you practice chi kung, you go into this perfectly relaxed state of body and mind and be charged with cosmic energy. Hence you need less sleep but are more energized.
Ordinary people need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but most of our Shaolin Wahnam students need only 6, and some need even less. Yet they have more energy and mental clarity than most other people.
We often hear people saying that they don't have enough time. Practicing high-level chi kung like ours is an excellent solution. They will have an extra 2 hours from sleeping less, and another 2 or 3 from being more cost-effective due to their increased energy and mental clarity. When most other people need 6 hours to complete some work, they need only 3 or 4.
Sleeping less should come naturally. It should not be forced. In other words, don't purposely go to bed later and wake up earlier. Go to bed when you feel like sleeping, and jump out of bed for another beautiful day when you awake. As you have found out yourself, you will naturally sleep less.
But if you enjoy sleeping though you don't need so much of it, you can sleep more if you want. Perform "Lifting the Sky" about 10 times in bed. The main purpose is not to generate an energy flow as we normally do while performing the exercise standing, but to relax physically and mentally. Then go to sleep, and you will sleep like a baby.
When you wake up, you can choose to jump out of bed or to continue sleeping. If you wish to further enjoy the pleasure of sleeping, just gently close your eyes, don't think of anything, relax and go to sleep like a baby again.
- Step by Step to Happiness
- The Previous Days are all Starting to Emerge into One
- Is there further Training After an Intensive Course?
- Who Says there is no Ground Fighting in Shaolin Kungfu?
- Intricate Applications of Eagle Claw Techniques