SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
NOVEMBER 2015 PART 2
I really should have written you earlier, as I owe you many thanks for the wonderful courses you taught in Hawaii. I returned from that week feeling not only revitalized, but also a deep sense of confidence I did not have previously regarding my abilities as a Chinese medical practitioner, teacher of qigong, and overall public figure and speaker.
As the months have gone by a voice inside of me which had been unable to express itself has gotten louder and clearer, and I am very excited to finally begin my career helping others. The way to go about doing that has also revealed itself very simply and straightforwardly.
— Molly, USA
Molly's e-mail was received soon after the Hawaii courses in July 2014, but because of a long waiting list, the questions and answers are only posted in the Question-Answer Series now. You can have a glimpse of the Hawaii courses here and here.
I am glad you have benefited much from and enjoyed the Hawaii courses. The Intensive Zen Course, the first of its kind, certainly gave participants a lot of confidence and mental clarity.
I was very impressed that every one could speak on the spot on any topic provided by the audience. This was indeed a remarkable achievement. It will certainly enable you to perform well as a Chinese medical practitioner, qigong teacher, public speaker and any other responsibilities.
I have an opportunity to teach qigong at a local clinic which treats infertility. This is an area of particular interest to me and one that I will be specializing in in my private practice.
This particular clinic has never offered qigong and my intent is to start with a 12-week session and see what sort of response I get from the patients there. I believe it will be quite positive, and that all of these women will greatly benefit from our Cosmos Qigong.
Teaching qigong at a clinic that treats fertility is a meaningful job, helping to bring lives and joy to the world. Later you may start your own clinic for this worthy purpose.
My plan for the session would be to transmit the basic skills for practice, as well as teach the basic pattern Lifting the Sky, as well as those more suitable for helping with fertility, such as Nourishing Kidneys and Carrying the Moon.
Of course I am aware that other patterns may be more suitable for some women depending upon their conditions, so I'm wondering if there are any other specific patterns you can recommend which might help with fertility.
Your teaching plan is excellent. Rotating Hips and Dancing Fairy are also useful, but these exercises need not be practiced, or only be practiced gently and occasionally, after women are pregnant.
I was reviewing the instructions for Nourishing Kidneys that you wrote in the "Art of Chi Kung" and noticed some details in the book which you never mentioned in class when teaching this exercise.
When I teach this exercise, do I need to make any mention of a gentle focus of the Yongquan or Laogong points, or qi flowing up the spine, or is it best to simply pass this on as you have taught it to me in class, without those details?
The exercises, including Nourishing Kidneys, in my book, The Art of Chi Kung, were written for those who did not have the opportunity to learn from me personally. The book was also written when my teaching skills and methodology were far below my present levels. Those who have learned from me or from our certified instructors will get the best benefits practicing the exercises the way they have been taught.
Hence, in your teaching of Nourishing Kidneys it is not necessary to mention a focus at the Yongquan or Laogong points, or qi flowing up the spine. For other qigong patterns it is also not necessary to mention details described in my book.
My other question is regarding how to proceed if any of these women do become pregnant during the course of the class. I recall you saying in a Question and Answer series that a pregnant woman with sufficient skill may practice gently until the third month of the pregnancy. Would you say that is still the correct guideline?
For precaution purposes, when a woman is pregnant she does not need to practice the way qigong has been taught to her by you. But she can induce a gentle qi flow once a day with some gentle exercises. My advice that a woman with sufficient qigong skills may practice gently until the third month of the pregnancy is still a correct guideline.
There is, nevertheless, an excellent exercise as follows that she should perform whenever she likes except around noon.
Enter into a qigong state of mind. Gently think that her baby is developing beautifully and healthily, and when the time is right, the delivery will be safe and pleasant.
If you feel I am missing any details that may be helpful for teaching a group like this, I would greatly appreciate any insight you might be willing to give.
Make your teaching and the students' learning fun, and ensure that your teaching is beneficial to them, but without burdening them. The benefits the students get should be more than the fees they pay.
As for myself, my life is hectic but good. Joshua and I are still practicing kungfu regularly, are making good progress.
I had spent five months from May until October studying two to eight hours a day for all of my national Chinese medicine exams. Thanks to my kungfu and qigong practice, I was able to do that, work two jobs, go to school, and find time for my boyfriend, all without getting sick where someone else surely would have.
My lovely boyfriend and I have been together for nearly a year. We plan to get married next year, and start a family a year after that. It seems as if I'm on the brink of a new chapter of my life and I'm looking forward to it with excitement and gratitude.
You are an inspiration to all other students. Not only you are not sick for the hard work you are doing, I am sure you enjoy your work too and perform better than most other people. Our training certainly enrich our life.
Congratulations for having a boyfriend and planning to get married. To be a wife and mother, as well as to be a husband and father, are some of the happiest things in life.
In the book, "The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu", Sigung explains that in performing One-Finger Shooting Zen, "as you move your hand out and in, tense it and visualize it as charged with internal force" and then "even though you tense your arm and finger, you must never be tensed, especially in your chest"
So how to tense without tensing? If tensing the muscles is one of the biggest mistakes, how to do One-finger Shooting Zen correctly?
— Karol, Norway
Editorial Note: This question was summarized from Post 5 of Questions on One-Finger Shooting Zen in the Shaolin Wahnam Institute Discussion Forum. As this and the subsequent question are topical, they are posted here ahead of a long waiting-list.
It is a good question.
Let us have some fun. In performing One-finger Shooting Zen, you should tense your arm, and not tense your arm. The confusion is due to the limitation of words. Words do not explain exactly what we want to explain.
The first "tense" in "you should tense your arm" is not the same as the second "tense" in "not tense your arm". Although the meanings are different, I still used the same word "tense" when I wrote the book 20 years ago in 1995 because I could not find another better word.
After many years of teaching, now I use words that give a clearer meaning. Now I say, "Focus your energy at your index finger, but do not use muscular strength", or "Consolidate your flowing energy at your arm without tensing any muscles".
In other words, in "tense your arm", I mean "focus or consolidate energy at your arm". In "not tense your arm" I mean "not tense the muscles in your arm".
When you focus or consolidate energy at your finger or arm, your energy is still flowing, but it is focused or consolidated. The consolidated energy is flowing, not locked up or stagnant. You do not tense your muscles when you let your energy flow. If you tense your muscles, the energy will be locked up and be stagnant.
Such limitation of words occurs quite frequently in chi kung and kungfu descriptions. For example, after a few repetitions of a Sinew Metamorphosis exercise, we tell students to breath out forcefully but without using force! In developing internal force, we advise students not to use strength and they will develop a lot of strength.
In the "breathing" example, breathing out forcefully means breathing out with a lot of energy going out of the mouth. Without using force means without breathing out in a forced manner.
In the "internal force" example, the first "strength" means "muscular strength", and the second "strength" means "internal force". If we use muscular strength, we have to tense our muscles. When we tense our muscles, we stop the flow of energy that constitutes internal force.
The uninitiated will not understand the meaning of the descriptions although they know the dictionary meaning of all the words used. The initiated will have no difficulty understanding the meaning because they have experience of the situations.
What are the flow method and the force method?
The flow method and the force methods are two main categories of methods to develop internal force. These terms were coined by me.
I did not invent the various force-developing methods. These various methods were used in the past. I analysed the principles in the various methods and categorised them into two main types, and call them the flow method, or "xing-fa" in Chinese, and the force method, or "jing-fa".
In the flow method, we perform the techniques to train force in picture-perfect forms.. Then we perform the forms in a smooth flow, without beginning and without ending to generate an energy flow. When the energy flow becomes vigorous, it produces internal force. The various styles of Taijiquan are good examples of the flow method.
In the force method, we also perform the techniques to train force in picture-perfect forms. Then we consolidate energy into internal force. The consolidated energy is still flowing, but more focused and concentrated. Iron Wire and Triple Stretch are good examples of the force methods.
In studying and analysing various methods of developing internal force, I discovered that chi flow was necessary. It was increasing the chi flow or consolidating the chi flow that resulted in the flow method or the force method. This discovery tremendously sped up the process of building internal force. It is incredible but true that our students can now develop internal force in a month what I would need a year during my student's days!
The process in the flow method is form-flow-force, and the process in the force method is form-force-flow. It is helpful to note that the crucial part of the processes of both the flow method and the force method is the middle part, and not the end part. In the flow method, we let our energy flow vigorously to develop force. In the force method, we consolidate energy into force and let it flow smoothly.
Editorial Note: An excellent answer by Sifu Leonard Lackinger can be found here.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
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