SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
JANUARY 2010 PART 1
Wishing all Shaolin Wahnam Family Members and Friends
Happy New Year 2010
What are the different aims and objectives associated with each of the two Big Universes we learned?
— Alex, USA
As their adjectives indicate, the main objective of the "Medical Big Universe" is to activate chi flow through all the twelve primary meridians, and its main aim is for radiant health, vitality and longveity, whereas the main objective of the "Spiritual Big Universe" is to develop and expand the spirit, and its main aim is to experience the presence of God and at the supreme level to return to God the Holy Spirit, or whatever term people of different cultures call the Supreme, like Tao, the Buddha and Brahman.
What are the aims and objectives associated with practicing Small Universe in Wuji stance as opposed to Goat Stance?
When we first learn the Small Universe, as well as the Big Universe, we use the Wuji Stance because this is easier. Standing upright with the legs straight instead of with the legs bent in a Cosmos Stance minimizes mental stress and physical tension.
When we have attained a reasonable good standard, we can progress to the Cosmos Stance, which is more stable physcially and mentally than the Wuji Stance, thus giving even better results in spiritual cultivation.
It is called the Cosmos Stance instead of the Goat Stance, which is not only more poetic but is also qualitatively different though the outward appearance may look the same.
Do I need to do the preliminary exercises (Abdominal Breathing, Submerged Breathing, Long Breathing, Forceful Small Universe) for Small Universe, or can I just go right to the Gentle Small Universe? I feel energy flowing along the Ren and Du meridians without need for the preliminaries. Perhaps I could alternate days: first day do the full series of exercises, second day do only gentle Small Universe.
The preliminaries are for effective learning and progress. When you have attained the Small Universe, it is not necessary to perform the preliminaries; you can straight-away go to the Gentle Small Universe. Of course whenever you like you can perform the preliminaries for fun or for other specific objectives.
These preliminaries are my innovations, though not my inventions. In other words, the exercises for Abdominal Breathing, Submerged Breathing, Long Breathing and Forceful Small Universe were already there, though not performed in the orthodox exercise for Small Universe.
In the past, masters attained the Small Universe by practicing only Abdominal Breathing. They filled their abdominal dan tian with so much energy that the energy overflowed and gradually filled up the ren and du meridians, completing the Small Universe. It took a long time, about 10 years.
My own attainment of the Small Universe was by a different route. My sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, taught me the Forceful Small Universe. He did not call it Forceful Small Universe, and it was also not the specific aim or objective of the exercise to attain the Small Universe.
As it was the custom of masters in the past, he taught me the art without telling me its name or what it was for. But I knew it was a very special and exclusive art because he did not teach me in the regular class, but he took me aside and taught me alone and in private. Although he did not specifically say so, but by convention and by the secretive manner he taught me, I knew I was not to disclose the method with others or discuss it even with my senior classmates.
When I asked my sifu what the art was called, he said it was Cosmos Chi Kung. I was not sure whether he refered to the particular exercise he was teaching me or to the whole art of chi kung in our school. The exercise gave me tremendous internal force, mental clarity and spiritual expansion.
It enabled me to attain the Small Universe. I discovered that whenever I used this particular exercise in my breathing, my Small Universe Chi Flow was very powerful. But when I used any other ways to breath, expecially Abdominal Breathing, my Small Universal Chi Flow was gentle. I learned Abdominal Breathing earlier from my classmates in another school, that of Sifu Chee Kim Thong who taught Wuzu (Five Ancestors) Kungfu.
Later when I taught the Small Universe many years ago, I discovered that I could speeded up the students' progress remarkably if I introduced two other advanced breathing exercises, namely Submerged Breathing and Long Breathing, which I learned from some chi kung classics. Submerged Breathing was meant to enhanced one's sexual performance and enjoyment, and Long Breathing to develop the intellect, and they fit in very well with the set of exercises we now use in our school to attain the Small Universe.
The Small Universe is a master's art. Past masters took about ten years to attain it. I took only three years. My senior students took about a year. It is indeed amazing that you and your course mates at my Small Universe Course learned the art in only three days, with many already experiencing the Small Universal Chi Flow during the course itself. One important factor was that those invited to the course already had some good foundation. The techniques learnt at the course activated the flow.
Can I do Small Universe from Cosmos Stance? I feel energy flows more natural with arms at sides, and the Goat Stance makes the energy build more powerfully and the energy flows naturally very nicely between dan tian down to hui yin, up the du meridian, and back down to the dan tian in this stance for me.
Yes, you can.
In fact the standard mode for the Small Universe is at the Cosmos Stance, and many people use the Cosmos Stance right from the beginning when they learn the Small Universe, while some others use the Wuji Stance and then progress to the Cosmos Stance. I find that starting with the Wuji Stance is more cost-effective.
When I finish my practice, after face massage/combing hair/point massage I open my eyes and feel for a moment just how wonderful it feels just to be alive, like you taught in the Small Universe course.
And often when I do this I feel an immediate surge of energy from all around me flowing around my meridians, and I feel very good. This is one of the high points of my practice, and reminds me to always think the best thoughts, always, because it is clear in that moment how powerful my mind is.
I am very glad of your results. Wonderful. Carry on.
I feel a powerful connection to God, the higher power, the Force, the magic of life. Just the other day after doing Merging with Cosmos (Flicking Fingers) for my qigong session in the morning, and then later doing an evening kungfu session with a lot of Golden Bridge, I couldn't stop saying to myself, for about 20 minutes straight, "Thank you God for all that you have blessed me with." Merging with Cosmos really opens my heart. It's just amazing sometimes.
What you experience are the expected results of practicing these arts correctly and diligently. Many of us in Shaolin Wahnam, me included, feel the way you feel.
I am now (16 August 2009) in Portugal. Just yesterday I told Riccardo, the Chief Instructor of Portugal, how very blessed we are, and how grateful we are to God, or whatever terms we call the Supreme, for such a wonderful life we have. And just now over a delicious dinner, I told Riccardo that I honestly felt luckier than past emperors in China.
There is an issue which has puzzled me for some time: How important is it to practice a kung fu style or set which best suits both your psychological and physical make-up?
— Warren, South Africa
Given ideal conditions, it is best, but not essential, to practice a kungfu style or set that best suits one's pyschological and physical make-up.
If he has a psychological make-up of a tiger, for example, i.e. he is courageous and ferocious, it is best that he practices a Tiger style or set. If he practices a Crane style or set, he would not be able to bring out the best of his psychological potential. Worse, it may create conflict in his pyschological make-up.
If he has the physical make-up of a monkey, for example, i.e. he is small-sized and agile, it is best that he practices a Monkey style or set where his physical atributes become his advantages. If he practices a Lohan style or set, where size and weight are advantageous, his physical make-up can be a set-back.
However, conditions are not absolute. If the psychological make-up of a tiger-like person is excessive, practicing a Crane style or set would not only minimize his excessive tiger attributes but also bring balance to his kungfu as well as daily life. If the physical make-up of a heavy, big-sized person makes him slow and clumsy, practicing a Monkey style or set could change his set-back into an advantage.
Conditions are also not ideal. If a Tiger person does not have the opportunity to practice a Tiger style or set, practicing any style or set is better than not practicing at all. Similarly, if a big-sized person is unable to practice Lohan Kungfu, practicing any oher style, including Monkey Kungfu, is better than not practicing any kungfu.
I would very much like to attend one of your intensive courses held in Malaysia. However I worry about the environment and try to avoid travelling by air. I live in the UK, so this would be unavoidable.
May I ask, do you think I am right to worry about global warming, and trying to avoid travelling by aeroplane?
— Mark, England
Your worrying about traveling by car or plane and about global warming is unnecessary.
In fact I just returned from UK, after teaching a very rewarding UK Summer Camp at Brighton. I was twice at what Londoners call "the biggest car park in the world", which is Motorway 25, once driving from Heathrow Airport to Brighton, and again returning from Brighton to Heathrow for my flight home. Both rides were very enjoyable, not because of the heavy traffic but because of the company I had with me.
My flight home was very enjoyable too, though I flew alone, leaving London Heathrow Airpot at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, stopping over in Bangkok on transit, and arriving at Penang about 10.30 p.m. on Thursday night.
A crucial factor why I enjoyed my flight though I flew alone, and my rides through "the biggest car park in the world" apart from the lovely company with me, was because I practice high-level chi kung. You will learn the same high-level chi kung I practice that enables me to enjoy myself in whatever I do when many other people may find it boring. High-level chi kung will also free you from worrying unnecessarily about global warming.
Brighton is at the southern-most part of England, and I was there in July, amongst the hottest months in England. But I did not find the weather hot. In fact it was refreshing. Hence, global warming is not a problem. Indeed, when I was at the sea-front in Brighton, many people obviously found it rather cold, as they put on their pull-overs. For them, global warming should be quite welcome.
When I landed in Penang at night, the weather was about 30 degrees Celcius, but I did not find it hot. Hence, global warming is not a problem too.
An excellent way to overcome your worry and start enjoying your life is to practice high-level chi kung. Attending my intensive course held in Malaysia where high-level chi kung is taught, is a very wise choice.
- A Best Gift of the Year
- Getting the Best Benefits from your Training
- How to Plan a Training Schedule
- The Mechanics of Fa-Jing
- Patterns and Sequences in Lion Dance Music