November 2001 (Part 2)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
My practice is going well. A couple of nights ago I was practicing self-manifested chi flow. and my right arm was spinning so fast that the blood felt very heavy in my hand like a weight but I stayed calm.
— Alex, USA
This was correct. However, if you find your movements too fast, you can easily slow them down with your mind.
After about 5 minutes of constant spinning my arm stopped moving and I just swayed gently. I was sweating profusely and now a very painful blockage in my back a little to the right of my spine between my shoulder blades is gone.
Wonderful. Your vigorous chi flow pushed through the blockage.
I practice “Pushing Mountains”, “Carrying the Moon”, “Lifting the Sky”, and “Self Manifested Chi Movement” in that order. I also practice the nerve cleansing exercise every few days. And sometimes I do the exercise where I stand still and relax all the muscles and then gently the chi starts to move and I direct it to disolve blockages. I don't like this exercise very much, and I feel like I wasted my chi kung practice time with it when I do it.
You are practising correctly. You can practise the exercises in any order.
You don't have to do the exercise where you stand still and let the chi flow, if you don't like it. You were not wasting time; it was just that the exercise was not suitable to you at this time of your development, or you might not have done it properly. But don't worry. Leave it if you don't like it, practise it once a while if you wish.
Is this an important exercise to practice? How often should I practice it, and what is its significance? What I mean is that if I know more about what the exercise is doing for me I would feel better practicing it more often.
This is the most simple and the most profound exercise if you are ready for it. At this stage, when you perform this exercise, you just relax and let the chi flow on its own. You don't have to direct the chi anywhere.
At this stage, this exercise helps you to relax, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. When you are relaxed, try listening to yourself. You can listen not just to your physical body, but also listen to your emotions and your mind.
When you listen to your physcial body, you may, for example, hear your heart beat and your breathing. You are hearing the music and flow of life. This music and flow of life is in everybody, but most people are too tensed or too busy to pay any attention to it. In this exercise, when you are relaxed and still enough, you will appreaciate this music and flow.
When one listens to his emotions, he may find negative emotions locked in different parts of his body, such as anxiety in his spleen or sadness in his chest. So when he performs a chi flow exercise, he lets chi flush out these negative emotions.
Locating negative emotions and flushing them out, are not easy, and you may not be ready for such tasks at your present stage of chi kung development. Also at your age, there are not many deep-rooted negative emotions locked in your body.
There is an easier and better approach. When you stand still and relaxed, smile from your heart. Don't worry how; just smile from your heart like what you did in the intensive course. If you are relaxed and still enough, you will feel joy blosoming out from your heart.
This joyful energy will spread, and should there be any negative emotions locked in your body, this joyful energy would flush them out. That is why in traditional Chinese medical philosophy, the heart is regarded as the emperor. Its energy affects the energy in all other organs.
How do you listen to your mind? Just let go of all thoughts. Some people, especially in the West, think that it must be terrible to be thoughtless. They have mistaken thoughts for mind. Thoughts and mind are different. If you have a lot of thoughts, you mind becomes crowded, in which case you cannot think properly. When you let go of thoughts, your mind becomes clear. When you mind is clear, it expands.
If you just let go of all thoughts in the exercise where you stand upright and relaxed, you would have done well. If you do this regualrly for a few months, your friends as well as you yourself will be surprised that your thinking has improved remarkably.
As I have said earlier, this exercise called Standing Zen is the most simple and most profound. Those who are not trained but learn it through books may find it dull and boring. Or they may become mentally stressful. But if you can do it correctly, it will bring you wonderful benefits. But practise it only if you enjoy doing so. If you do not find it enjoyable, you are not ready for it. You are still very young; you can practise it later.
The chi moves me very soon when I do the dynamic patterns. I rarely need to do even 10 repetitions to “feel the flow”. Should I ever practice them more times to get more of the physical benefits, like stretching and bending?
You need not do more repetitions if the chi is already flowing well. Just go to chi flow.
But if your purpose is for stretching, bending, etc, you can do more repetitons if you like. You see, chi kung is very versatile once you know the principles and have the fundamental skills and techniques.
I originally got a big energy boost from practicing, but now I just feel a little boost and calmness. My guess is that the energy is going inward.
You are right. Another reason is that when you first learned to tap energy from the cosmos, you would feel a big energy boost if you compared it with the time when you could not tap energy. But now that your energy has increased quite substantially, the boost may not appear so tremendous.
An analogy is as follows. When you had 500 dollars, an addition of 1000 dollars would be substantial. When you have 10,000 dollars, an addition of 1000 dollars may not even be noticeable..
Also, my girlfriend is really interested in going to one of your intensive chi kung courses. She has a disorder where her hormones are imbalanced so that she doesn't get her period frequently enough and her body is lacking the proper hormones for functioning correctly. It is called chronic anovulation, I think. Do you have any idea when your next intensive chi kung course will be?
My intensive chi kung course will be excellent for her. Not only she will overcome her hormonal problem and have regular periods, she will overcome other health problems if any, be healthy and have much vitality, and actually become more beautiful.
I am not joking. When she does not worry about her periods, and when chi flow has made her eyes sparkle, her complexion glowing, and her movements more elegant, she will become more beautiful.
My next intensive chi kung course is in December. I think Linda has sent you the particulars.
One more question: the exercises we have learned are more focused on circulating chi. Eventually I will be cleaned out. What do I then do to start more of an energy building up when I am clean? Or am I confused, and can I actually use these same exercises for energy buildup?
All real chi kung does two fundamental tasks: cleansing and building. Some chi kung exercises may emphasize one task more than the other, but all of them accomplish both tasks.
Self manifest chi movement, for example, does more cleansing than building, but it also builds up energy for you. Dynamic patterns do more building than cleansing, but they also clear your blockage.
Of the three dynamic patterns you have learnt, “Carrying the Moon” emphasizes cleansing, whereas “Pushing Mountain” emphasizes building. This is speaking relatively. If you do only “Carrying the Moon”, you can also build up a lot of energy. If you only do “Pushing Mountain”, you can also clear all your blockage.
You are right. You can use the same exercises for cleansing or for building. The wonderful thing is that you do not even have to know whether you should cleanse or build. Leave that to your chi flow. In Taoist terms, leave that to Tao. In Christian terms, leave that to God, and God will operate for your best benefits.
Let us say you practise “Lifting the Sky”. Then you enjoy your chi flow. Suppose you have some physical blockage under your arm and some emotional blockage locked up in your stomach, both of which you do not consciously know. But chi will know. It will flow naturally to your arm and your stomach to clear the blockage.
What you need to do is to do nothing. This is what Taoist masters call “wu-wei”, which is often translated as “non-action”. Although it is literally correct, it is a poor translation because it does not make sense to most people.
A better, more figurative translation is “spontaneity”. It means when the chi moves you forward, you do not tense your leg muscles to stop your forward movement, or when the chi flows to your stomach, you do not direct it to your kidneys.
You do not do anything; you just let the chi do everything. This is “wu-wei”. In this example, the chi will flow to your arm and stomach to clear the blockage.
Now, suppose you do not have any blockage. Where will your chi flow to? It will flow to your glands and organs to make them perform more efficiently, and it will flow to your “heart”, which is the chi kung term to mean your mind or spirit, to make you mentally fresh and spiritually joyful.
Let us say, theroetically, you are thoroughly cleansed, and all your organs and systems have sufficient energy for their excellent performance, and you continue practising chi kung. Where will the extra energy you have tapped from the cosmos, flow to?
It will flow to your dan tian (or energy fields, and you have a few of them in your body) as well as your Eight Marvellous Meridians to be stored as reserve energy. If there was an epidemic, other people might become sick but you wouldn't, because your reserve energy would flow our to clear the germs.
All this may sound fantastic to some people, but actually it is a natural everyday process happening to all people. People are exposed to germs, toxins, polutants, stress, negative emotions and many other disease-causing agents all the time, yet all the time if their chi or energy is flowing harmoniously, which is another way of saying if they are healthy, their chi flow will clear away these disease-causing agents without their conscious knowing.
Due to various reasons, the energy flow of some people is blocked, or they do not have enough energy to flow well. In other words, they become sick or they lack vitality. Chi kung is an excellant art to clear blockage and increase energy, thus overcoming sickness and enhancing vitality.
I am a 14 year old boy and currently studying kung fu. My sifu doesn't seem to have much knowledge of chi kung though he is a 5th degree black sash in his art and has appeared in a number of martial arts magazines.
— Christian, England
Many kungfu masters who specialize in external force, do not know much about chi kung although they may be good fighters. Hence, they have certain disadvantages.
For example, they may have powerful strikes from their external force, but they may not have much stamina which usually is a result of internal force. Moreover, their external force as well as their fitness would diminish as they age, whereas kungfu masters with internal force as a result of chi kung training, can still be forceful and full of vitality in their advanced years.
I respect you as one of the best chi kung teachers in the world and I hope that I will be able to train with you in Malaysia in one of your courses. However, it is very hard for my parents to afford the trip. They say I need proof that what you say about chi kung is true.
While I understand your situation and have no doubt about your sincerity, it is not my policy to prove anything to intending students to persuade them to learn from me. In fact it is the reverse. Intending students have to prove that they are deserving before I am willing to teach them.
All I can say is that whatever I have stated in my webpages, including my question-answer series, is true. Whether your parents or other persons believe my words or not, is their previllege.
But I can understand your parents' concern. No sensible parents would send their child to a far-away place to learn some unheard-of art based on some hearsay. The fact that they are willing to do so if you can provide some proof of my claim, is a clear indication of their care and love for you.
I would therefore like to give you, or your parents and you, an offer. You can first attend one of my intensive chi kung courses in Malaysia without paying fee. (But you would have to pay for your own transport, food and lodging.) You will continue to practise on your return home. Only when your parents are convinced that your chi kung practice has benefited you, they will send me the fee. Until they are convinced, they do not have to pay me any money.
Alternatively, one or both of your parents and you can attend an intensive chi kung course in Malaysia together. If they are satisfied with the course, they pay the fees; if not they need not pay any money. You will take the course with my compliments.
Although I have bought your book describing such movements as “Lifting the Sky” and “Lohan Embracing Buddha”, it is hard to learn such movements from a book and prove that they really work.
You can actually learn such movements from my book and prove that they really work. Many people have done so. All you need to do is to follow my simple instructions. Do not add anything that I have not mentioned in the book.
But the benefits you get from learning from my books is vastly different from the benefits you get from learning from me personally. Some people have told me that when they first learned from my books, they found the benefits fantastic. After having learnt from me personally, they realized that learning from my books and learning from me personally were beyond comparision.
If you could send me energy to cure my asthma or prove that chi exists any other way, I would be very grateful.
I could transmit chi over great distance to you, like I did to some people to save their lives. But to do so just to prove that chi exists, is an abuse of my ability in distant chi transmission.
Asthma can be readily cured with chi kung training. If you wish to be cured, you have to attend my intensive chi kung course. My offers still holds. Your parents can pay the fee only after you are cured.
Proving chi exists is easy when you attend my course. You yourself will experience chi on the very first day. People who have not experienced chi may ask, “How do I know it is chi?”, but you won't because the experience itself is the best evidence. In the same way, while you are eating a mango, you won't ask, “How do I know it is a mango?”
Please do not think I am selfish or inconsiderate for my request but I am prepared to work hard in kung fu and not be unworthy of a noble tradition as many people are nowadays.
After you have practised kungfu for a few years, you should attend my intensive Shaolin Kungfu course. I am sure you will find the course amazing. Among other things, you will accomplish during the course itself developing internal force and sparring using genuine kungfu patterns.