SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MARCH 2013 PART 3
The arts were kept as top secrets in the past. Why are they taught to the public now?
— Mani, Switzerland
It is because of us in Shaolin Wahnam. Indeed, when I first taught high-level chi kung to the public, some Chinese masters were angry. Firstly, they were angry that I taught high-level chi kung openly. Secondly, they were angry that I taught to non-Chinese.
Why do we not only teach to the public, but also do so generously? There are two main reasons.
We want to preserve the art. If we do not teach the secrets we cannot preserve the art.
Secondly, it is because of the policy of our school. The tenth Shaolin Law dictates that we should teach to deserving students irrespective of race, culture and religion.
I was much inspired by my master, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. At one time a well-known rival school challenged us. We prepared for a public fight where three students of our school would fight three students of their school, three masters from our school would fight their three masters, and I would fight their grandmaster.
But before we could publicly announce this proposal after much harassment from the rival school, my sifu came all the way from his retirement and asked me to stop the fight. It was telling how my sifu knew about this plan. He must have picked it up in his meditation.
The plan was a top secret. Only those involved in the planning knew, and my sifu was not involved. As scholar-warriors we did not want to enter a fight and hope to win. Only when we were sure of winning we would enter a fight. So we were in the midst of preparation when my sifu came.
I told my sifu that we would win. His reply was a classic of wisdom. He said, "I knew you would win. That is exactly the reason why you should call off the fight. If you lose, that is fine as it will be the end of the quarrel. But if you win, your opponent will not stop there. The feud will never end. Don't waste time on quarrels. Spend your time to spread our wonderful art to deserving people irrespective of race, culture and religion."
As a dutiful disciple, I followed my sifu's advice. It was much later I realized how wise his words were. I am forever grateful to my sifu for his teaching.
Can we practice exercises from the Eighteen Lohan Hands and from the Eighteen-Lohan Art at the same time?
— Alexander, Switzerland
Yes, we can.
We can practice just one or more exercises from the Eighteen Lohan Hands. We can also practice just one or more exercises from the Eighteen-Lohan Art. We can combine one or more exercises from the Eighteen Lohan Hands with one or more exercises from the Eighteen-Lohan Art in anyway we like.
We can also combine any one or more exercises from any chi kung types with one or more exercises from one or more chi kung types. In short we can practice any chi kung exercise in solo or in combination with any other chi kung exercises in any way we like as long as the practice is correct and we do not over-train.
For example, you can just practice "Lifting the Sky". Or you can practice "Lifting the Sky" with "Nourishing Kidneys". Or you can practice "Lifting the Sky" with "Rhinoceros Looks at Moon". You can also practice "Lifting the Sky" with "Golden Bridge" or "Lifting Water", or with any Shaolin or Taijiquan patterns.
Do you think that a vegetarian diet tends to cause, by itself, some kind of disease for excess or insufficiency? Which circumstances could be more sensitive?
— Isaac, Spain
No, I don't think a vegetarian diet would cause any kind of disease for excess or insufficiency. A vegetarian diet by itself is self-sufficient. The Shaolin monks in the past were a good example. They were strict vegetarians and were very healthy, full of vitality and lived long lives.
I do not quite understand your second question above, but I would interpret it as follows. If a person chooses on his own free will to be vegetarian, there is nothing sensitive about it. It is sensitive if he is forced against his will to be vegetarian.
Do you think that a non-vegetarian diet tends to cause, by itself, some kind of disease for excess or insufficiency? Which circumstances could be more sensitive?
No, if a person eats normally a non-vegetarian diet does not cause any kind of disease for excess or insufficiency. Only when he eats wrong food, or too much, or not enough, there would be disease, excess or insufficiency.
It would be sensitive if he is not allowed to eat what he loves to eat.
Exists a qualitative difference in the practice of energetic disciplines such as tai chi, chi kung, meditation or yoga based on the diet you follow?
I do not follow any diet. This is one of the many benefits of the arts I practice. I eat and drink what I like, including ice-cream, cakes, bacons, grilled shrimps, steak, eggs with yoke, coca cola, coffee and tea with a lot of sugar and cream milk,
Yes, the energetic disciplines that I practice, such as Taijiquan, chi kung, meditation and Shaolin Kungfu (but not yoga) make a qualitative difference to the food and drinks I take. The food and drinks taste better, and I know whatever I eat and drink is good for me even when I do not have to make factitious choice.
Would you recommend a vegetarian diet?
No, not to ordinary people. I would recommend to them to practice genuine chi kung and enjoy their food, including hamburger if they like it.
However, some chi kung masters who teach chi kung as gentle exercise instruct their students not to take certain food like coffee, sugar, chocolate and coca cola. Some even ask their students not to have sex.
To me this is ridiculous. If people could take such food or enjoy sex without harm before they started practicing chi kung, they should be able to do better after practicing chi kung. If they can't take normal food or enjoy wholesome sex, why should they practice chi kung? In fact, the irony is that these students of masters who advise abstinence from such common pleasures of life are not healthier than before they started chi kung.
But to religious people who are ready to forgo the pleasure of enjoying meat for the sake of other living things, I would recommend them to follow a vegetarian diet. But regardless of whether they are vegetarian or not, they should continue enjoying wholesome sex (of course with willing partners) unless they wish to become monks.
Which common food is the most pernicious and which the healthier?
Food that a person loathes to eat is the most pernicious, and food that he longs to enjoy is the healthiest. This is particularly true for those who practice high-level chi kung like we do.
Unless one has learnt to survive on sunshine and fresh air, food is essential for life. We should give it due respect for providing us with energy for living, rather than scorn and suspect.
I am now 84 years of age and I live in a small town. I have purchased, read and practiced from two of your books the "Art of Chi Kung" and "Chi Kung for Health and Vitality" for about two years, on and off and I understand the quote "it is harder to find a good student."
Five years ago I damaged my left knee. Different treatments including acupuncture did not improve it. At my last physical for my drivers' license January 2012 my doctor confirmed I was in great health. In spite of my limping, I walk up and down to my cottage and carry my water from the creek every day.
It is my most serious intention to come to Sungai Petani for 6 months for the sole reason to learn and benefit from you and your disciples to improve my general health and vitality including my knee.
— Marcus, Canada
It is great receiving your e-mail and to know that you are enjoying life at 84 despite your knee problem.
From our chi kung perspective, overcoming your knee problem is a relatively small matter, and is actually your stepping stone to good health and better days to come for a long, long time.
And you do not even have to come to Malaysia for six months to learn the art that will give you these results. I conduct chi kung courses all over the world. Please see my website for details.
If you wish to learn from me in Malaysia, attending my Intensive Chi Kung Course is excellent. Please see http://www.shaolin.org/general/ck-course.html . I only offer such intensive chi kung courses two or three times a year, and those scheduled for this year have been completed. The dates for intensive courses for next year have not been finalized, but will be announced on my website in due time. You may register with my secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will inform you the details later.
Both my intensive courses, which are of a higher level, and my regional courses take only a few days. May people wonder what one can learn in a few days, especially in an internal art like chi kung. The answer, which may surprise you, is a lot.
Indeed students learn in just a few days in my intensive or regional courses what most other students do not learn elsewhere regardless of how long they practice. Understandably many people may find this statement arrogant, boastful or offensive, but I am just sincerely and honestly stating a truth, especially for respectful seekers of good health and happiness like you.
At these courses at the least you will learn how to be relaxed, peaceful and happy, and to generate an energy flow. You will actually experience these results at the courses themselves. You will tap energy from the Cosmos to strengthen yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
At higher levels you may find yourself expanding beyond your physical body and experience an intimate connection to the Supreme irrespective of one's religion or lack of it. If you continue the practice at home after the course to generate an energy flow daily, you can overcome any pain and illness, and attain good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness and spiritual joys.
- Early Shaolin Combat Sequences in the 1980s
- Combat Sequences of Tiger-Crane Set
- You Show Me the Smile in My Heart
- Vitality Illuminating my Soul and Body
- Thirteen Techniques, Bagua and Wuxing