Michael Durkin, England

Michael Durkin

Sifu and Me

Many months have passed since March (2001) and I have enjoyed the benefits of chi kung. These benefits are those that you have mentioned, and I am sure you will not be surprised to know that through chi kung in my practice I have felt more energized, peaceful and happy.

-- Michael Durkin

Dear Sifu,

Firstly I would like to thank you again for accepting me for your chi kung course last March (2001). I am very grateful to have learnt this art from such a kind and proficient instructor. I wish I had written to you earlier to tell you my experiences and gratitude and I must apologize for not doing so.

Many months have passed since March (2001) and I have enjoyed the benefits of chi kung. These benefits are those that you have mentioned, and I am sure you will not be surprised to know that through chi kung in my practice I have felt more energized, peaceful and happy.

Early on in my practice I did develop some pain around my right eye, which was usually brought on by tensing the muscles around the eye. Sometimes I wasn't even aware that I was doing this. I stopped my practice as I felt that it would be better if I took a short break and return fresh to chi kung when I felt I could practice properly. I am pleased to say that I have started my chi kung practice again now that I feel I can practice without causing myself injury. Now I focus a little more on relaxing my body, just remembering the words you would say like "let all your worries and concerns drift away" helps me relax.

Sometimes I think I make my conditions worse my worrying and thinking about them too much, for example my eye, but as soon as I don't think about it and let my body take care of itself then things get better without me knowing.

In my practice I try to let my energy go wherever it wants because I always remember what you said about chi working on the subconscious level. I remember you saying it helps if you visualize chi massaging the area of injury but in my case I worry I might be interfering with things and take the approach that the chi will know what to do.

Michael Durkin
Sifu and Me — a close-up

Sometimes I get this little voice in the back of my head that whatever I'm doing is either right or wrong. I guess most people can relate to this. It's wonderful now that my body can tell me what is for the best. It is quite a difficult sensation to describe, as you have said many times -- only when you have experienced it yourself, do you really know how it feels.

I have also experienced the electric shocks, and when I "smile from the heart" I sometimes end up laughing and smiling uncontrollably, both of which I discover I have in common with Ryan Berg, although I expect this is common with many of your students.

After my practice I do feel more energy inside, and my body feels free without tension. People around have noticed a difference.

My grandma has commented on how I smile more often and look happy. I also find much happiness and wonder when looking at the world around me, especially the clouds and sky for some reason.

Other great benefits I have enjoyed of late are that I have been more creative in my work. I often feel energized after practicing my kungfu and Tai Chi,. My body feels warm and energized, especially my arms and hands. Even though the standard of kungfu I practice might not be of a good standard I feel with the addition of chi kung it has improved.

In one sessions of chi kung after I had just practiced “Pushing Mountains” and was standing with my arms out in front of me at waist height visualizing energy in my hands, now it was a cold night but I could see steam gently coming from my hands. At first I was a bit surprised and a little worried that I might be doing something wrong, but I didn't feel any pain or discomfort. As I have mentioned before warm energized limbs are what I usually experience with my chi kung, Tai Chi and kungfu. Is this usual? Am I doing something wrong?

Also I have a few times felt a strong sensation of what feels to me, energy in the centre of my forehead just above and between my eyes. Sometimes it is quite strong. Again is this usual? Am I doing something wrong? I try not to focus on it too much; again I am concerned about thinking too much into this. Its rather like a sort of throbbing sensation, it doesn't cause pain, so I just let things like this happen.

I might add I have always been aware and have felt this sensation quite a few times throughout my life but I am curious to know what's going on. It has happened more intensly through my chi kung practice also with a similar sensation at the crown of the head.

Finally I have had in the back of my mind the Intensive Kungfu Course, since you mentioned that I should attend when I am ready. Well with my practice I am looking forward to attending your Intensive Kungfu Course in April and will be very honored if you will accept me.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my email. I am eternally grateful.

Michael Durkin
14th February 2002.

I have included a picture of you and myself from the Chi Kung Course last March if it helps you remember me amongst your many students. Also I would like to add that I am pleased to be involved in creating a website with Chris Jones about your classes in the UK.

Michael Durkin

Michael practicing chi kung during the Intensive Chi Kung Course in Malaysia in March 2001

Sifu Wong's reply

Dear Michael,

It is great to receive your e-mail and to know that you have benefited from the Intensive Chi Kung Course in March 2001. If you do not mind, I would like to put your e-mail in my Comments section as it will benefit other people, but if for any reasons you do not wish the e-mail to go on the internet, please let me know and I shall respect your wish.

Not only you have done nothing wrong in your chi kung training, you have trained very well. Congratulations. The sensation at your forehead and sometimes at the crown of your head is an indication that you are about to open your third eye.

Opening the third eye is a remarkable chi kung attainment. It is quite an advance achievement, but many of the students who attended my intensive chi kung courses have achieved this.

It is not that another real eye opens at the forehead besides the two normal eyes, as some people may mistakenly think. It is a figurative way of saying that you actualize your psychic and intellectual potential. As a result your intellect expands tremendously and you can perceive things that ordinary people don't.

Sometimes there may be slight pain as your third eye is opened. If that occurs, don't worry unduely about it. The pain will soon disappear when the opening is complete.

If I rememeber correctly, you told me that previously you had strained your eyes and they became tired easily. The pain around your normal eyes you felt when practising chi kung was due to chi clearing the blockage there to overcome your eye problem.

Feeling relaxed, free and happy is an expected result of chi kung training. Yet it is nice that you let me know of your result. Letting chi flow wherever it wants to flow, is good practice. Chi always works for our best benefits. Taoist masters call this "wu wei", which is often, but not helpfully, translated as "not doing aything". A more helpful translation is "be spontaneous".

Michael Durkin
Michael in Malaysia -- a close-up

"Wu wei" is spiritual. In Western religious terms, it can be translated as "surrendering ourselves to God, knowing that God will always work for our best benefits."

Your feeling of warmth and seeing streams of energy emerging from your hands in your "Pushing Mountains" practice is a good, normal development. Most people may not see the streams of energy, although they are there. You can see them because you have opened your third eye.

Some very nice people are coming to my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Couirse in April 2002. You are now ready, and I look forward to your attending the course. I hope you will train well and become a Shaolin Wahnam instructor helping me to spread the wonderful benefits of Shaolin Chi Kung and Kungfu to deserving people.

Best regards,


Courses and Classes