FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS OF CHI KUNG AND LIVING A RIGHTEOUS LIFE
How can we best apply the fundamental skills of Qi Gong towards living a righteous life?
There are only two fundamental skills in chi kung, which are to be relaxed and to be free from irrelevant thoughts. Anyone who accomplishes these two fundamental skills will be able to perform chi kung, which is energy exercise.
The essence of chi kung is energy flow. Energy flow is natural. But energy will not flow if a person is not relaxed, or if he is troubled by irrelevant thoughts. If he is relaxed and free from irrelevant thoughts, energy will flow naturally.
There may be techniques to make the energy flow more vigorously, and to increase the amount of energy. These techniques are post-basic. But basically, if a person is relaxed and free from irrelevant thoughts, energy will naturally flow, which means he is performing chi kung, regardless of whether he realizes it.
Now, how can we best apply these two fundamental skills of chi kung towards living a righteous life, i.e. a life that is morally right and good?
Firstly, we have to decide what makes life morally right and good. Obviously different people have different opinions. Hence, what constitutes a righteous life varies according to different people. But we can reasonably say that a righteous life should bring benefit -- to oneself or others, and preferably to both.
If a person hurts himself so that others benefit, is this righteous? It is a matter of opinion, but it is certainly not good, and in my opinion it is also not right. The debate becomes more heated if we insist that the issue is not whether it is right and good, but whether it is morally right and good. Nevertheless, one can logically argue that if an action is already not right and not good, irrespective of what qualifiers we add to the action, like morally or immorally, fairly or unfairly, the result is still not right and not good.
Let us leave logic and splitting hairs aside, and agree that a win-win situation is righteous, which is in fact what our school advocates. Hence we should apply our condition of being relaxed, and our condition of being free from irrelevant thoughts to think of attaining a win-win situation.
Someone may ask, “Is thinking of a win-win situation opposed to being free from irrelevant thoughts?” No, it is not. Thinking of a win-win situation is not an irrelevant thought. It is the main thought in question. Indeed, when we are free from irrelevant thoughts, we can think of the main thought more efficiently.
We may conclude that all the skills of chi kung, including the fundamentals, lead to a righteous life. If any skill does not lead to a righteous life, it will not contribute to practicing chi kung. It will block energy flow.
For example, if one tenses his muscles, will it fail to lead to a righteous life? Yes, it will fail. Tensing muscles causes energy blockage which leads to illness. Being ill is morally wrong and morally bad.
Let us now take a post-basic skill as an example. If someone builds too much energy that his body can take, i.e. he over-trains, will it fail to lead to a righteous life. Yes, it will fail. Too much energy can make him sick. Being sick is morally wrong and morally bad.
To sum it all, if you want to lead a righteous life, practice chi kung every day. Indeed, being righteous is an intrinsic benefit of practicing genuine chi kung.
The above article is reproduced from the thread Applying and Deepening the Fundamental Skills of Chi Kung in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.
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