October 2006 (Part 1)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Truly I have been trying hard to be worthy of the Chi Kung you taught me, but this is an impossible standard.
— Nick, England
If you can just follow the Ten Shaolin Laws and even you lead a very ordinary life, I will be very proud of you. But you are not ordinary. The mere fact that you can study at Cambridge University makes you outstanding.
Nevertheless, in our Shaolin Wahnam philosophy, leading a simple, happy life is a greater achievement than having fame but being miserable.
Whether the standard aimed at can be attained depends much on what kind of standard you set yourself and how realistically you work towards it. If the standard is to live a rewarding, happy life, practicing our Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung daily and following the Ten Shaolin Laws is a sure way to attain it. If you don't attain this standard, then either you have practiced wrongly or worse not at all, or you have not followed the Ten Shaolin Laws. Some possible reasons for your wrong practice will be explained below.
I have made some progress since the last time I emailed you about my difficulties at Cambridge taking my exams. I have had signs that I may be much closer to the Small Universe now. I have recently been getting incredibly powerful urges to do things I would normally be too weak to do. I am forced to let go, and when I succeed I am rewarded with many nice experiences, but the rest of the time I cannot succeed at the things that are less fundamental but of more concrete importance to those around me and myself.
You should not worry about the Small Universe. This is one possible reason for your wrong practice, i.e. you worry unnecessarily. If you attain the Small Universe, that is fine. If you don't, that is fine too.
The main reason to practice chi kung is to be healthy and happy. Doing great things is secondary and is an aspiration. But doing things that are of more concrete importnce to those around you and yourself, like passing your exams and being kind to your friends, is obligatory.
In Shaolin Wahnam we place obligations before aspirations. Even if you have not practiced wrongly, you have upset priority, and this may lead to misery.
Letting go is of utmost importance. You should not force yourself to let go. You should let go voluntarily, spontaneously. If you cannot let go, you simply cannot be happy.
The problem is that I cannot overcome these basics quickly enough to then work on the rest, but my life does not wait for me. Is this my own deviation? As usual I have not left myself time to remedy thesituation. An example is that my place at university has been put in great danger, both my authority and my declining self-belief.
Yes, this is a deviation. Actually there is no problem, but you imagine and create the problem yourself due to unnecessary intellectualization. This is a very common, and big, problem among many students in the West, especialy smart ones.
If you clear your mind of all thoughts, and then focus on one issue at a time, it really does not matter which side the outcome will be.
Does it really matter that you overcome these basics quickly or slowly? Does it really matter whether you overcome these basics first or work on the rest first? Does it really matter whether your life waits for you or not? In reality, and irrespective of whether you overcome the basics quickly enough to work on the rest, life does not wait for you — you will still grow older with each passing day. The crucial point is not to slow down your life to wait for you while you intellectualizes over trifle issues, but make the best of your life as it unfolds.
To remedy this situation is simple. Stop intellectualizing and focus on passing your university exams well.
I sitll cling to small things and think excessively, despite tremendous and consistent efforts to relax, let go, not think and smile form the heart. I wonder if I have deluded myself about getting the Small Universe one day and getting some form of the Art of Wisdom a year ago. I wish I could have focuesd on the results, and not which meridians in my body were filled with flowing energy.
Herein lies the major cause of your self-created problems. You worry too much and unnecessarily. This is also a major mistake of many smart people.
“Don't worry. Don't think of anything. Just enjoy your practice” are very, very important instructions in our school. If you make some mistakes in the forms or breathing, it is not so bad. But, as our chi kung is performed at the mind level, if you constantly make mistakes in your mind, like worrying, intellectualizing or reasoning, you will cause serious side-effects.
But the remedy is simple. Just follow the following three golden rules.
- Rule 1 - Don't worry.
- Rule 2 - Don't think of anything.
- Rule 3 - Just enjoy your practice.
How not to worry? Simple and straight-forward. Just don't worry. How not to think? Just don't think. How to enjoy your practice? Just enjoy your practice. In principle it is like asking how you walk or how you stop walking before a steep cliff. Simple and straight-forward. Just walk, or just stop walking before a steep cliff.
You should not make any tremendous and consistent efforts to relax, let go, not think or smile form the heart. Just do it. It is easier done than said.
I have overcome a wrist injury that plagued me for 2 years beofre practising Chi Kung. A few weeks ago I enjoyed tennis for the first time and did handstands without even thinking about it while playing in the sea on holiday with my family. I have tried to get a happy family life, and have spread chi kung to my family with some success, although naturally I would not teach it.
Congratulations. All these remarkable occurances show that you have very good chi kung skills.
All my efforts in becoming a good person seem wasted if I cannot achieve what less scrupulous people around me find easy. I have learnt to follow the rules and later to let them go, but still I am far form happy or successful.
Your efforts in becoming a good person certainly did not go to waste. You are successful in many ways most people do not even dream possible, like what you have stated here.
In this case, the reason why you are not happy is not because you are a good or bad person, and also not because you are successful or not successul. The reason is because you do not let go. You can let go, but you do not. If you do not let go, you will never be happy. This is a great cosmic turth not many people realize. And the first step to letting go is not to intellectualize.
It may appear to some that I have achieved quite a lot with chi kung, in terms of personal development, but why can I not turn this in to results that are concrete, for example at university? I have performed instant healing, distant chi transmission and several other feats that I thought would be years away. As I said, I have learned the point when the rules no longer apply, and even been forced to teach self-manifested chi movement very successfully without wanting to. My overflowing energy heals everyone around me, except myself.
It is not a matter of appearing. You actually have achieved a lot with chi kung. But these acievements, which are remarkable by themselves, become ironical when you fail to perform simple duties.
Think of a man who is very accomplished in his public life, but he does not eat or go to the toilet because he thinks these simple things are below him. He prefers to use the time needed for eating and going to the toilet, to do great things like founding schools and building hospitals. In the end he destroys himself through hunger or poisoning.
Your faults, as explained above, are as follows:
- You have upset your priorities. You have placed aspirations before duties.
- You intellectualize and worry too much and unnecessarily.
The remedy is to strike at the root causes.
- Set your priorities right. Do well in your studies. Enjoy yourself with your friends. (Find a girlfriend if you haven't got one yet.) Spend quality time with your parents. Only after you have done these simple things well, should you aspire to greater things like healing others or awing them with your overflowing energy.
- Don't worry. Don't intellectualize. Just enjoy your chi kung practice.
I suppose many of these achievements are wonderful, and I have been happy to see myself almost complete the first 5 levels of our Wahnam kungfu training programme. But I don't want these things. All I want is to treasure my blessing of attending Cambridge University and doing well in Law as everyone around me hopes I will.
Don't you find it amazing that despite your high intelligence, you fail to see how simple you can overcome your “problem”?
If you don't want to eat an apple but want to eat an orange, simple, just don't eat an apple, eat an orange.
If you don't want to practice kungfu but want to study law, simple, just don't practice kunfu, but study law.
The crucial point is: Don't intellectualize. Just do it.
After this emial I will try one more time to study without thinking.
This is one of the best things you have said in this e-mail. But it will be better if you change it to:
“I shall study without worrying or intellectualizing.”
I apologise for being such a poor student. My greatest problem now is my realisation of my mind's ability to distort my perception of the world. This continually wastes my time, misguiding my efforts.
You are certainly not a poor student, but a mis-guided one (by your own unnecessary intellectualization).
Your realization of your mind's ability to distort your perception is not a problem but a revealation that helps you to dispel perverted views.
Your time is not wasted. Once you have changed your perverted views to right understanding, you are on the way to become a great student and later a benefical leader.
Sifu, you are a great man. Thank you for your teachings. I have seen enough to know and understnad why and how everything you say is true. I have been so, so lucky: I even believe I had a very privileged meeting with the Monkey God, and think he might even have given me the incredible honour of being his disciple. But I do not understand this great honour bestowed on me.
Don't attempt to rationalize or intellectualize your fortune. Just count your blessings and share your blessings with others.
Will my life ever be my own?
Of course your life has always been and will always be your own. The question is how rewarding you are gong to live your life for yourself and for other people.
Is there any chance I may one day teach chi kung? Even at the most basic level that would be mine it would be an honour for me to do it when I am in a postion to assume the responsibility.
Yes, I hope you may one day become a Shaolin Wahnam chi kung instructor. But first of all you must be a good student. A good student follows instructions from his teacher. And one of the most important instruction is “Don't worry. Don't intellectualize. Just enjoy your practice.”
Is there any chance I may one day be lucky enough to also learn Kung Fu from you? I am quite passionate about learning to defend myself and others. I have experience of about 3 years of kunfgu gymnastics and Kick-Boxing.
I have read and practiced many principles from your books, learned the Dragon-Tiger Set, and can perform the form reasonably well A week ago when I performed “Hungry Tiger Catches Goat”, I was surprised to find my internal force filling my arms and hands without even me having had to think about it.
I would love to have a kungfu student like you, and hope one day you may become a Shaolin master.
But I don't teach students who may found schools and build hospitals but cannot eat meals or go to toilet. Pass your law exams in Cambridge well, fulfill your daily duties happily, spend quality time with your parents, only then apply to attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course. I shall then be very proud of you.
I`m an older man I am 39 years old. I am interested in and have trained for 27 years in Wing Choon and Mizongquan. When you visit Germany I would like to learn Choe Family Wing Choon from you.
— Malek, Poland
Being 39 is not old. I am almost twice as old as you, but I still feel very young.
I m glad you would like to train with me when I visit Germany. Please check my website at http://shaolin.org for the dates of my Germany visit.
Sifu Kai Uwe, who is a former international all-style free sparring champion and lives in Germany, is a very good teacher. You can learn and benefit much from him. His website is http://www.shaolin-wahnam.de/ ande-mail address is email@example.com .
Both Wing Choon and Mizongquan are excellent arts. I am glad you wish to learn from me, and hope you may teach them in your country and keep these arts alive.
Recently I offered a special course to help practitioners of other styles of kungfu to develop internal force and use their own kungfu techniquesfor sparring. Today, these are two major problems facing kungfu practitioners, including advanced practitioners, and my offer is a golden opportunity unprecedented in history. Unfortnately not many people were interested, so I had to cancel the course. Either they did not believe in my claims or they were not humble enough to learn.
- Stance Training and Becoming a Scholar Warrior
- Following the Opponent's Momentum
- Free Sparring at the England Summer Camp of 2005
- Experiencing Satori at Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course — Joshua Lawson
- What is Wahnam Taijiquan
- Personal Experiences of Internal Force — Sifu Anthony Korahais
- Counters against Various Throws