Five-Animal Play

A Five-Animal Play class in Barcelona

Question 6

If all things were equal, how does Shaolin Wahnam Self Manifested Chi Flow induced by combining 3 dynamic patterns (like Lifting the Sky, Pushing Mountain, Carrying the Moon as taught in Intensive Chi Kung Courses) compare to 5-Animal Play in efficacy to cure illness?

Dr Damian


At the risk of being branded egoistic or boastful, I would say with conviction and confidence, and backed by empirical evidence, that our Shaolin Wahnam Self-Manifest Chi Movement induced by combining 3 dynamic patterns, like Lifting the Sky, Pushing Mountain, and Carrying the Moon, is more effective than the traditional Five-Animal Play in overcoming illness, including so-called incurable diseases and health problems that are considered impossible by the general public. If the Five-Animal Play were better, I would certainly have used it instead of our Self-Manifested Chi Movement in chi kung healing.

From what I have read, the Five-Animal Play was generally chi kung at a form level, which is the lowest level of operating chi kung. Five-Animal Play practitioners have to perform chi kung exercises many times, between 30 to 50 times, before there is some slight chi flow.

We operate at the mind level. We need to perform an exercise about 10 to 15 times, and our chi flow is very vigorous. Our advanced practitioners can perform an exercise just 3 to 5 times to have a vigorous chi flow.

Chi kung can operate at three progressive levels, namely form, energy and mind. As a rough guide, the proportion of chi flow due to operating chi kung at the form, energy and mind levels is about 1, 3 and 6. In other words, our Self-Manifested Chi Flow is 10 times, not 6 times, more powerful than Five-Animal Play.

Why is it 10 times and not 6 times? It is because our Self-Manifested Chi Movement operates at all the physical, energy and mind levels, whereas the Five-Animal Play operates only at the form level.

Some students have a misconception that operating at the mind level means the use of visualization. No, this isn’t correct. Operating at the mind level means operating in a chi kung state of mind. Often there is no visualization involved, although in some types of chi kung, like Bone Marrow Cleansing, visualization is needed. Visualization here is not intellectualization; it is performed intuitively.

As entering into a chi kung state of mind is an essential requirement for performing chi kung, otherwise it would just be gentle exercise using chi kung patterns, don’t Five-Animal Play practitioners enter into a chi kung state of mind too. Yes, they do, otherwise they would be doing gentle exercise instead of chi kung, but this occurs only infrequently. Most of the time they would be perform chi kung form as gentle physical exercise, but once a while they have become so involved in their performance that they enter into a chi kung state of mind without their realizing. Only on such infrequent occasions, which may happen once awhile, that they practice chi kung, on other days they practice gentle physical exercise.

Indeed, the great majority of chi kung practitioners, including masters, are in this situation, except that for masters being in a chi kung state of mind happened more frequently than ordinary practitioners. This is a main reason why masters take many years to attain what we can attain in a few months! This is also a main reason why the chi kung level of most other practitioners is at a relatively low level even when they may have practiced from a long time.

In our case we purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind every time we practice chi kung. Moreover, because we understand the underlying philosophy, we enter into a deeper level of mind that other practitioners. The deeper the mind level, the more powerful will be the result.

When I first practiced chi kung, I also operated at the form level like what most practitioners do. But over the years, especially when I taught as many as over a hundred classes a year whereas other master taught only two or three, I had good opportunities to reflect on the underlying philosophy of chi kung training and improve my teaching methodology, I gradually moved from operating at the form level to operating at the mind level.

In other words, when I first taught 18 Lohan Hands about 30 years ago, my own chi kung attainment as well as that of my early students were at the form level, which was similar to that of Five-Animal Play. But now my own chi kung attainment as well as that of our students are at the mind level which makes our Self-Manifested Chi Movement induced from combining 3 dynamic patterns more effective than Five-Animal Play in overcoming pain and illness.

There are two dimensions of our effectiveness over Five-Animal Play. The traditional approach of Five-Animal Play was thematic. A healer prescribed specific techniques to patients according to the types of illness they suffered from. Our Self-Manifested Chi Movement is holistic. It does not matter what types of illness patients suffer from. If they have sufficient chi flow in amount and time, they will recover from their illness.

Secondly, our more powerful chi flow results in more powerful healing effects. As the chi flow of Five-Animal Play is not as powerful as ours, its healing effects are less, and may not be powerful enough to help patients overcome drastic illness, like cancer, heart disorders and deep emotional problems. Our Self-Manifested Chi Movement can overcome any health problems.

Our Self-Manifested Chi Movement is not only more effective than Five-Animal Play in healing, but also in other aspects. Although Self-Manifested Chi Movement is best used for healing, for which it is known in our school as the platinum chi kung for overcoming diseases, because of our high level skills, we can also use this genre of chi kung for other purposes, like developing internal force, improving mental clarity and even for spiritual cultivation. Five-Animal Play does not have this facility.

If all other things were equal, Self-Manifested Chi Movement is not as effective as Golden Bridge for developing internal force, as Cosmic Shower for improving mental clarity, or as Cosmic Breathing for spiritual cultivation. But all other things are not equal. Because of the higher level skills and better philosophical understanding, our students may use Self-Manifested Chi Movement to develop internal force, improve mental clarity and cultivate spiritually more effectively than other students use Golden Bridge, Cosmic Shower and Cosmic Breathing.

The comparison of Self-Manifested Chi Movement is made here with traditional Five-Animal Play. But the Five-Animal Play that I shall teach in Barcelona will be different. Because of my improved methodology, which was not available to traditional Five-Animal Play in the past, the Five-Animal Play that I shall teach may (or may not) be more effective than Self-Manifested Chi Movement in the various aspects explained above. But it is certain that the Five-Animal Play I shall teach in Barcelona will be more effective in healing and other functions than the Self-Manifested Chi Movement I taught 30 years ago.

Five-Animal Play and Other Chi Kung in Barcelona 8-11 May 2014

Questions on Five-Animal Play – Overview

The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread Hua Tuo’s Five-Animal Play - 10 Questions to Grandmaster in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

Five-Animal Play

Self-Manifest Chi Movement during a chi kung class at a UK Summer Camp