Standing Zrn

Entering Zen, which we perform at the start and the end of each training session, is an excellent way to tap into cosmic love and wisdom


You said, “Do you really know what you meant when you said 'tap into cosmic love and wisdom'? Many people, especially those who have read much but have practised little, often use phrases like this without fully realizing their true meaning.”

I can easily answer your question: Yes, I know what I meant. I mean that I want to be able to fully use the entire range of my conscious mind. In every single task, I attempt to make full use of my thoughts, feelings and then act. To me that is a life time task, and actually I even believe that it is a very simple task! All it takes is that I am attentive — open minded and curious, like a baby — that I actually see, hear, feel, taste and smell all there is. Maybe it is the sum of the five senses.

— Kenneth, Denmark


Different people from different culture and training will understandably give different answers. Yours is a typical answer from an educated Westerner. Before I provide my answer from the perspective of my Shaolin training, I would like to give some comments to your answer. Needless to say, these comments are definitely not meant to criticize or belittle your answer, as here there is no such a thing as a right or a better answer — it is a matter of different perspectives. The comments are meant as sincere pointers to help you review your answer from a different perspective, and hopefully gain some depth from your review.

“I want to be able to fully use the entire range of my conscious mind.” What about your unconscious mind, or your supraconscious mind? Many Western scientists themselves believe that the unconscious or supraconscious constitutes 90% of your mind, the conscious only 10%. Would you agree that tapping into the cosmos for love and wisdom would concern more of the supraconscious than the conscious?

“In every single task, I attempt to make full use of my thoughts, feelings and then act.” Many essential life tasks, like breathing, digestion and hormonal production, are done without thoughts, feelings and direct actions. They are done by your unconscious.

“To me that is a life time task, and actually I even believe that it is a very simple task!” Most of the simple, yet profound, tasks are done by the unconscious. Indeed the conscious often makes things complicated. Imagine how complicated it would be if you consciously try to regulate your breathing to adjust to constantly changing air temperature and chemistry. But why do you regard making full use of your thoughts, feelings and then act (which is also to you a simple, life time task) as taping into cosmic love and wisdom? In what ways, for example, has eating your lunch with full thoughts and feeling, anything to do with cosmic love and wisdom?

“All it takes is that I am attentive — open minded and curious, like a baby — that I actually see, hear, feel, taste and smell all there is. maybe it is the sum of the five senses” Do you mean that when you are not attentive, such as when you are sleeping, you would be unable, or inadequate, to tap into cosmic love and wisdom? Do you mean that there is no cosmic love or wisdom outside your five senses?

More significantly, you have not attempted to clarify what you mean by cosmic love and wisdom. What you have explained can be applied to tapping into cosmic hatred and ignorance, or doing mundane jobs, or in fact to anything. What you have suggested is being attentive, in thoughts and feelings, in whatever you do, but you have not explained why or how this will lead to cosmic love and wisdom.

If I use the phrase “tapping into cosmic love and wisdom”, generally my meaning is as follows. Cosmic love is to be distinguished from personal love, and cosmic wisdom from worldly wisdom. If I go hungry so that my child could eat, it is a manifestation of personal love. Personal love is instinctive; every mother knows this very well. If a mother gives away her child's food, even though her child is hungry, to a stranger who needs the food more urgently, it is a manifestation of cosmic love. Cosmic love is usually not instinctive; it has to be acquired through cultivation.

All the knowledge we have gained through science and (Western) philosophy is worldly wisdom. Knowing that a molecule of water is a compound of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, is an example of worldly wisdom. Thinking that if a student studies hard, he will pass his examination well is another example.

Worldly wisdom is bound by a set of conditions — a fact that many people may not be aware, and which often causes some scientists to be dogmatic. Water, for example, is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen only if we use the conventional Western scientific paradigm, which constitutes a set of conditions. Ancient scientists of other cultures, who were equally intelligent and capable but who used different sets of conditions, described water differently.

Even when we use the Western paradigm, but if we change the conditions slightly, such as studying the water under an electron microscope instead of using electro-analysis, water would no longer be a compound of hydrogen and oxygen but a mass of distantly spread sub-atomic particles. Thinking out conditions why studying hard does not definitely enable a student to pass his examination well, is quite easy.

Cosmic wisdom is transcendental, i.e. it transcends sets of conditions, and at the highest level is not bound by any conditions. Cosmic wisdom is almost always obtained by great masters from direct experience at heightened level of consciousness. Lesser minds learn such cosmic wisdom from the masters. When Jesus said that those who believe in him and follow his teaching, will go to heaven, Jesus was generously sharing some great cosmic wisdom.

I am not a Christian, and therefore do not follow a set of conditions normally applied to Christians, yet from my Shaolin training, which has nothing to do with Christianity directly, I can vouch with conviction that Jesus was stating a great cosmic truth. Indeed, Jesus is a shining example of cosmic love and cosmic wisdom.

How does one tap into cosmic love and cosmic wisdom? Through meditation, which is the training of mind to bring it to heightened levels of consciousness. In Shaolin terminology, it is entering Zen. Hence, meditation is not just sitting cross-legged, and Zen is not just speaking in riddles. Basically, meditation or Zen is mind training, and has to be properly learnt from a master — not read from a book and then teach others.

The most fundamental way to meditation or Zen is sitting in a lotus position thinking and feeling nothing. It is a most simple and profound task. It is difficult for those not initiated into Zen to appreciate, or even imagine, how such an apparently simple task can help the practitioner tap into the cosmos. On the negative side, it is easy for many people, especially in the West where traditional Zen training is rare but where Zen is usually studied (as distinguished from practised) from books, to learn it superficially and quickly teach others, thereby wasting their own and others' time, and sometimes bringing adverse effects.

In the Shaolin training, Zen is also attained through kungfu and chi kung. In fact kungfu, chi kung and Zen are integrated; it is in the much diluted kungfu and chi kung which are wide-spread today, that the energy and mind aspects are missing. When you, for example, perform a kungfu movement and directly experience (not merely recall having read) your energy flowing with your movement, or when you perform a chi kung movement and directly experience your mind (or spirit) merging into the universal mind, you are tapping into the cosmos.

But there are other forms of meditation which you can practise on your own. One such form is prayer. If you pray sincerely and deeply, especially if you do so habitually, you can raise your mind to heightened levels of consciousness, and tap into cosmic love. Another good example is chanting scriptures, sutras or mantras. At first you may not understand what you chant, but when your mind has reached heightened levels of consciousness through devoted chanting, glimpses of cosmic wisdom will flash into you.

Entering Tao

When your movement, energy flow and mind are in unity with the Cosmos, known as entering Tao in Taijiquan context, you may tap into cosmic love and cosmic wisdom


Reproduced from Questions 1 in Selection of Questions and Answers October 1999 Part 3

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