THE TREATISE OF ZHANG SAN FENG AS TAUGHT IN SHAOLIN WAHNAM
Can you please tell us the various methods of Entering the Way, Nourishing Heart, Stabilizing Nature, Accumulating Energy, and Focusing Spirit?
— Sifu Tim Franklin, Shaolin Wahnam UK
I shall firstly mention the methods stated in the Treatise of Zhang San Feng, and then the methods used in our school.
"Entering the Way" means starting Taoist cultivation. In the Treatise, which was called "Focusing Spirit Accumulating Energy Treatise in Grand Ultimate Practice", which means "Treatise of Spiritual Cultivation and Energy Training in the Practice of Taijiquan" in modern language, the aim of Taoist cultivation was not to be combat efficient, not even just to have good health, but to merge with the Tao, or to return to God the Holy Spirit in Western language. The principal method is sitting meditation.
In our school, "entering the way" means learning our Shaolin Wahnam arts. Our aim is not to merge with the Tao, though we sometimes have a glimpse of it, but to enrich our daily life. The main methods is to practice our chi kung or kungfu.
"Nourishing Heart" means spiritual cultivation. The supreme aim was to merge with the Tao. The methods were sitting meditation and practicing Taijiquan. In our school, "Nourishing Heart" is also spiritual cultivation. However, our aim is not to merge with the Tao, but to enrich our daily life. Our methods are to practice chi kung and kungfu.
"Stabilizing Nature" means keeping the original nature still so that thoughts will not arise. Original nature is the universal spread of energy without any differentiation. If thoughts arise, original nature will start its transformation into the phenomenal world. This happens all the time. The method advocated by the Treatise is sitting meditation.
In our school, "Stabilizing Nature" is leeping the mind clear of all thoughts to attain mental clarity. Unlike in the Treatise which aim to attain transcendental Cosmic Reality where there is no differentiation, we operate in the phenomenal world where there is differentiation. Our main method is standing meditation.
"Accumulating Energy" is to develop internal force. In the Treatise this principle is operated in the phenomenal realm, and can be attained by practicing Taijiquan. The Treatise advised that in the Taijiquan set "all the patterns must be performed continuously in one gentle, graceful flow without any break." In the Treatise, the internal force developed could lead to merging with the Great Void.
In our school, "Accumulating Energy" is also developing internal force. We follow the advice of the Treateise that "all the patterns must be performed continuously in one gentle, graceful flow without any break." But we apply this principle not just in Taijiquan but in all other forms of kungfu we practice. And unlike in the Treatise which aimed at eventually merging with the Tao, we employ internal force in the phenomenal world to enrich our daily life.
"Focusing Spirit" in the Treatise was to focus the personal spirit, or soul, so as to eventually merge with the Universal Spirit, or the Great Void. The main method was sitting mediation.
In our school, "Focusing Spirit" is interpreted as clearing the mind of all thoughts to attain mental clarity. Our main method is standing meditation. We practice this aspect of spiritual cultivation to be effective in our daily life.
The above is taken from Question 4 December 2017 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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