GENTLE PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND CHI KUNG AT THREE LEVELS
I know that I cannot teach “Lifting the Sky” or “Carrying the Moon” to my friends or old parents when they ask, so I wonder if you can recommend an exercise that all the people young and old or anybody can do to have better health. So I can tell them when they ask, or just tell them so that they may want to try and train that exercise. For example, my grandfather or grandmother or my little brother.
— Hugo, Sweden
If someone asks you to teach him chi kung, the best answer for his benefit is to tell him to attend an Intensive Chi Kung Course offered by me. If that is not feasible, the second best way is learn personally from one of our Shaolin Wahnam certified instructors. You can find a list at Certified Shaolin Wahnam Instructors. Others may think that we are trying to sell our chi kung, but honestly this is the best answer you can give to a sincere enquirer.
But if you have to teach someone, irrespective of his age or sex, the best exercise is “Lifting the Sky”. You should teach it at a physical level, and certainly not at the level or in the manner you learned from me.
Any chi kung exercise can be performed at three different levels — the physical, the energy and the mind level. When you learned “Lifting the Sky” from me at the regional course in Helsinki, you learned it first at the physcial level and then at the energy level.
Others who learn it from certified instructors at regular classes, also learn it at the physical level and the energy level. Those who attend an Intensive Chi Kung Course in Malaysia, learn “Lifting the Sky” from me at all the three levels, i.e. the physical, the energy and the mind.
The physical level is the lowest, the energy level is intermediate, and the mind level is the highest. Of course, performing “Lifting the Sky” or any chi kung exercise at the mind level produces better result in shorter time than at the energy level, which in turn produces better result in shorter time than at the physical level.
On the other hand, if one practices wrongly, the adverse side effects are most serious at the mind level, less at the energy level, and least at the physical level. This is the main reason why responsible masters advise their students not to teach others until they are ready, but if they have to teach they should do so at the lowest of the physical level, which is almost like a physical exercise. This is to avoid causing serious harm to those who want to learn from untrained teachers.
Not many people understand my explanation above, although the explanation is actually very clear and straight-forward. First of all, not many people understand that chi kung exercise is different form physical exercise though the form may be the same. In other words, you can use the same form of “Lifting the Sky” and perform it as chi kung or as physical exercise.
Most people would perform it as physical exercise, although they may call it chi kung and honestly, but mistakenly, think it is chi kung. This is the main reason why so many people do not derive the benefits of chi kung like good health, vitality and mental freshness although they have practiced what they mistakenly think is chi kung for many years.
Now we leave aside physical exercise and talk about chi kung. Genuine chi kung can be performed at three different levels — at the lowest physical level, at the intermediate energy level, and at the highest mind level. To sum up, the same external form like “Lifting the Sky” can be performed in four ways, namely as a purely physical exercise, as chi kung performed at the physical level, as chi kung performed at the energy level, and as chi kung performed at the mind level.
To make it more complicated, or interesting to the initiated, the division of chi kung into the physical, the energy and the mind levels is for convenience. In genuine chi kung, all the three aspects of the physical, energy and mind are involved. But because of different emphasis, we classify chi kung into the physical, the energy and the mind levels for convenience.
For example, when we perfrom chi kung at the physical level, energy and mind are also involved but these two latter aspects are not emphasized. When we perform chi kung at the mind level, the physical and the energy aspects are also involved, but we emphasize on the mind aspect. On the other hand, when we perform any physical exercise, only the physical aspect is involved. In other words, it is the energy and mind that make chi kung different from physical exercise.
If you do not understand what has been explained above, it does not matter. But what matters, if you wish to bring some benefit to your grandfather, grandmother, brother or whoever you wish to teach chi kung to, and avoid causing insidious harm, is to teach only the form of “Lifting the Sky”, and ask them to perform it gently with natural breathing.
Ask them to repeat the exercise about 30 to 40 times. It is very important that they must be relaxed and not to worry about anything. After about 30 to 40 repetitions, they just stand upright, be relaxed, think of nothing and just enjoy being alive. If they do this everyday for six months, they will have good results.
They may even say the results are fantastic, as many who had learned from my books said, although the results are nothing compared to what our students get from learning personally from our certified instructors or from me. Their results are also remarkable compared to those who merely perform physical exercise though they mistakenly think it is chi kung.
The above is taken from Question 8 of March 2008 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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