Sinew Metamorphosis

Sifu Tim Franklin performing a jumping kick during a Xingyiquan course

Question 1

I conducted an experiment to find out what were the differences in terms of experience and outcomes of

The experience and outcomes were measured in

It produced interesting, whilst not unexpected results, as follows -- typed in real time as it happens:

This was actually harder to do than I imagined. I have become so used to doing Chi Kung and Kung Fu relaxed that exerting some tension and force was very demanding.

Not only that but by the time I had got to ten times I was already feeling fatigued. By the time I reached 20 times my muscles were starting to ache. At 30 I was starting to breath heavier and my heart rate was increasing. At 49 I was glad it was over.

The result was I felt a little agitated, tired, aching and only a very small release of increased energy. I cannot recommend doing it this way, and I won’t be repeating it either. Actually I need to go and do some Chi Kung now to release the blockage.

Increase in energy 1-10 = 1
Peaceful Scale 1-10 = -1

Well, I’ve just done a quick Chi Flow to release the blockages and feel much better! So can now try out the next stage:

This was actually quite pleasant. I felt physically relaxed throughout, but my mind wandered a bit as I was not in a Chi Kung state of mind (on purpose). It was fairly simple to do, although took a little while. I enjoyed it, which is important, and at the end I felt more peaceful and felt a release of internal force through the body.

Increase in energy 1-10 = 5
Peaceful Scale 1-10 = 5

To rest between each set of exercises I type up my findings. This time I don’t feel the need to do any adhoc exercises to release any tensions or blockages as there were none caused as a result of doing the exercise whilst relaxed.

I’ve sat down to write this following doing the exercise 3 times whilst in a Chi Kung state of mind, and I just need to take a moment as my body is buzzing and I still feel expanded.

First the Chi Kung state of mind was instant and deep. Not because of I wanted or willed it, but because I didn’t get in the way. As a result I could already feel my energy flowing through the body and meridians before I did the flicking fingers.

As I moved my hands into the position of flicking fingers I felt a rush of energy down my arms to my hands. The first flick released a surge of energy back up my arms and into the body, the second flick actually triggered off the small universe and as the energy surged over my head I was flung forwards. The third flick the Chi had flooded all my meridians.

As I released at the end I was flooded with energy. It literally vibrated through every cell. I felt both full and empty at the same time. And then I was gone. I had a sense of my body, whilst being expanded beyond my body. I was nowhere and everywhere.

I gave a gentle thought to my Dan Tien, my third eye started to pulsate and open. The third eye and Dan Tien were joined as two parts of the same. I sat down to write, then got up again to put the oven on for lunch. It’s good to be expanded, but good to be back in the here and now as well. I am still buzzing though, expanded.

Increase in energy 1-10 = 10
Peaceful Scale 1-10 = 10

The results beg the questions:

Sifu Tim Franklin


Thank you for the illuminating experiment. You confirmed in direct experience what we had been saying, and also experiencing but not in a structured manner you had done, all the time.

As you have said, your results beg the questions you ask. In other words, the answers are found in your own experience, which serves as helpful philosophy to posterity.

If you use muscular tension to perform Flicking Fingers like an isometric exercise instead of as an energy exercise, you will cause a lot of damage to yourself. You will feel tired, and your muscles will start to ache. Your breathing will become heavy and the rate of your heart beat will increase.

All this causes damage and is detrimental to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Worse, the damage is insidious. Many people may not realize the harmful effect of practicing Flicking Fingers or any internal art wrongly.

There is much damage but there is no benefit. There is no increase of energy nor mental clarity. Indeed, practitioners using muscular tension to perform Flicking Fingers or any internal art would have less energy and less mental clarity as a result of performing the exercise.

If the exercise is performed correctly, like the second performance of your experience, there will be benefits and no damage. There will be increase of energy and mental clarity, and practitioners would not feel tired nor panting for breath. There will be no energy blockage.

In your case you performed the exercise correctly the first time in your second performance. Most other people will take a longer time, about a few months. And only a small percentage of all those who have attempted the exercise will be able to perform the exercise correctly. This is because you understand the philosophy of the exercise and have the required skills, whereas the others don’t. After prolonged period of trail and error, a small percentage of those who attempt the exercise acquire the skills without their conscious knowing.

If you perform Flicking Fingers or any internal art superbly, as in your third performance, you have excellent result in a very short time. This is possible when you understand the philosophy very well and can perform the techniques very skillfully.

Flicking Fingers is recommended for other people to perform 49 times whereas for very skillful practitioners like some of us performing it 3 times is evidently more powerful because most other people do not have the skills or even the understanding that very skillful practitioners have. Others who are less skillful, but still much more skillful that most other people, will have to perform the exercise 6, 9 or 12 times.

It has been discovered form years of direct experience that 49 times was a suitable number for most people to practice over a prolonged period to acquire the necessary skills to develop the desired internal force. Performing the exercise, say, for 5 times was too few, and performing it for 100 times too many.

Others may not believe what we say, and think we are boastful, but it is true that some of us can develop much more internal force as well as mental clarity by performing the exercise just 3 times, whereas even when others perform the same exercise 49 times, provided that their performance is correct, their result is far less powerful. If their performance is wrong, and often they may not realize their mistake, they will have harmful effects instead.

There are a few reasons why many of our instructors and some of our students have a sound understanding of the philosophy of the exercise and the necessary skills so that they can have more powerful results by performing the exercise just 3 times. These reasons include that I am a generous teacher, they are very good students, they have basic skills like being able to relax and attain a one-pointed mind, and we have the benefit of heart-to-heart transmission.

Many practitioners, including masters, may not know that entering a chi kung state of mind is a requirement for chi flow, and chi flow is a requirement for developing internal force. In other words, if a practitioner is not in a chi kung state of mind, he cannot generate a chi flow. If he cannot generate a chi flow, he cannot develop internal force.

Many masters who have internal force did enter into a chi kung state of mind during some of their training sessions, but they did not realize it. They also generated chi flow, but they also did not realize it. These requirements for developing internal force, which they did not realize, happened incidentally and haphazardly, and hence they took a long time than us, who realize these requirements and purposely work at them, to develop internal force.

The deeper we enter into a chi kung state of mind, the smoother and bigger is our chi flow. The smoother and bigger our chi flow is, the more powerful and quicker we can develop internal force.

By operating in a chi kung state of mind, we operate at the mind level, which also includes the form level and the energy level. Others work at the form level, and occasionally when conditions become ideal, it may lead them, often without their knowing, into the energy level and mind level.

A rough proportion of benefit in any training is 1, 3, 6 respectively at the form, energy and mind levels. Hence, basing on this factor alone, when we operate at the mind level, which includes the form level and the energy level, we are 10 times more powerful than others who operate at the form level.

When we add other factors like attaining a one-pointed mind and being able to generate a chi flow at will, we can understand why we have more powerful results by flicking our fingers just 3 times than others who flick their fingers 49 times.

When you are very deep in your chi kung state of mind, you are in tune with the Cosmos. Because you have learned the Small Universe and expanding into the Cosmos before, being in tune with the Cosmos spontaneously activate these high-level skills.

The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Sinew-Metamorphosis in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.