SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
SEPTEMBER 2010 PART 1
This question is a broad one and may not be responded to if it is considered superfluous. My question is simply what does Master Wong Kiew Kit see for the future of this entire planet and how does he think that his life and life for people in the future will be.
— Yaroslav, Canada
Your questions are interesting and important for the future of humanity.
Our training has made me and those in our school very optimistic. Not only we wholesomlely enjoy the present, we forgive the wrongs that others may have done to us in the past and look towards the future with hopes and aspirations. If we feel we have wronged oursellves, we forgive ourselves
It is not that we are irresponsible with our past, licencious with our present or uncaring with our future. In fact we hold high moral valuses, as guided by our Ten Shaolin Laws, and cultivate spiritually every time we train, and we train conscienciously every day.
The wonderful benefits that we get are not just extrinsic, due to verbal or written teaching. More significantly they are intrinsic, due to our dedicated training that results in a purification of our body, intellect and soul. It is pertinent to mention that these are no empty words. These words accurately describe the benefits our students are getting.
Many schools also say that their training purifies the body, intellect and soul. Even some schools teaching the most brutal form of martial art where students seem to take pride in causing hurt to their opponents or sparring partners also say that their training is spiritual. But an intelligent observation of the students' results will tell whether the claims of the schools are true.
If the students become more unhealthy as a result of their training, then it is obviously not true that their training purifies the body. If the students do not even realize that they are not getting the benefits their arts are purported to give despite having trained for a long time, it is obvious their training does not purify their intellect.
If the students become more dull and depressed, it is obvious their training does not purify their soul. These conclusions are obvious, yet it is shocking that thousands of students all over the world are getting unhealthier and depressed as a result of their training, and are unaware of it.
How do we justify our claim that our training purifies the body, the intellect and the soul. After practicing for some time our students overcome their pain and illness and attain good health. This justifies our claim that our training purifies our body, as a pure body is naturally healthy. When the body is chocked with impurities, like toxic waste, viruses and locked emotions, it fails in its natural functions and become sick or in pain.
After practicing for some time our students have much mental clarity. They are clear about the aims and objectives of their training, and how well their training helps them to attain their aims and objectives. If you examine how and what they write in our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum, their mental clarity is quite obvious. This justifies our claim that our training purifies the intellect, as a purified intellect results in mental clarity.
The writings of our students in our Discussion Forum also show that they are happy and peaceful with themselves and with other people. In fact, many of our students often expressed how grateful they are for having practiced our arts which make them find life and the world so beautiful. This shows that their practice has purified their soul, for a purified soul will find beauty in life and the world.
What has this explanation of purifying the body, intellect and soul to do with your question. It has everything to do with the question. Firstly, it explains how members of our Shaolin Wahnam Family and I look at the world now and in the future. We are grateful for the many good things in our world now. And we are confident that the world in future will be even better.
We are living in a golden age. Many people may be surprised at this statement. They think the golden age was a few hundred years ago. No, a few hundred years ago you didn't even have electricity or tap water, things that we take for granted now but forget how important they are in making life comfortable. A few hundred years ago most people did not have a chance to go to school. Now you can assess amazing information via the internet at the tips of your fingers!
More significantly the above explanation will affect how you and many other people see our world in future -- whether you will see it as a beautiful home or a doomed place where resources run out. This will become clear as I answer your other questions.
I personally believe that things such as mass resource consumption, limited energy availability and the consumerist culture that exists today will create an incredibly impoverished world in the future which will make it difficult for the billions of people in this world to survive.
It is helpful to have an understanding of reality and perception. Please see my webpage Perception is often More Important than Reality for details.
What you have expressed above is your perception, not reality, and it is an unhealty, gloomy perception. Unfortunately this perception is quite common. But fortunately with clear understanding this unhealthy perception can be changed to a healthy one.
Comsuming resources is a reality. But whether this resource comsuption is massive, as you believe, or little is a perception. Similarly, energy is avilable, comsumerist culture exists and will create a new world in future, and billions of people in this world will survive are realities.
Whether the availablity of energy is limited or unlimited, whether the new world to be created by the existing consumerist culture will be incrediably impovished or incrediably enriched, and whether it is difficult or comfortable for billions of people in this world to survive are perceptions.
You as well as many other people have chosen negative perceptions. But you as well as all of us have a choice. We can choose to be positive or negative about the future of our world.
Why do some people choose positively whereas others choose negatively? In other words, why do you as well as many other people choose to percieve the future world as gloomly with resources run out, whereas we in Shaolin Wahnam as well as many other people too choose to percieve the future world as happy with unlimited resources?
People who have bodily, intellectual and spiritual blockage choose negatively, whereas those whose body, intellect and spirit are purified choose positively. In other words, if a person is sick, faulty in his thinking, and depressed in spirit choose to view the future world as gloomy, whereas one who is healthy, has mental clarity and is highly spirited chooses to view the future world as bright.
Can a sick, dull-minded and depressed person view the wrold as bright? He may, but it is an exception. Similarly, a healthy, mentally clear and highly spirited person may view the world glommily, but it is an exception.
Someone may say, this has nothing to do with health, and nothing to do with the spirit. It is all based on facts. Energy is limited, massive consuption of energy will soon deplete it, and the world will be doomed.
As mentioned earlier, these are not facts, they are perceptions. "Energy is limited" is not a fact, "massive consumption of energy will soon deplete it" is not a fact, and "the world will be doomed" is not a fact. Not only the perceptions are negative, they are also based on faulty reasoning. And the faulty reasoning is due to intellectual blockage caused by or at least much influenced by bodily and spiritual blockage.
It is comforting to note that such gloomy perception of the future world occured many times in history. Not only humankind overcame it but each time the world became better and brighter.
As a form of energy resource, we as a human race first used wood, not just to frighten away animals but also to keep warm and cook our food. Then we used coal to keep our whole house warm, to drive our locomotives as well as to work our early industries. Now we use oil which not only drive liners and aeroplanes but also generate electricty that produces benefits our fore-fathers never even dreamt possible.
Oil may or may not be depleted. There is actually a lot of oil reserve that has not been touched yet. But we can be quite sure that just as oil replaced earlier sources, it will be replaced by newer sources of energy like solar and atomic power. Solar power is much cheaper than oil, and atomic power is more powerful. Just as oil gives us benefits that our fore-fathers could not think of, solar and atomic power may give us benefits that we cannot even imagine. Our world in the future will certainly be a better place than now.
Numerous things such as monetary collapses, energy and oil collapses and resource problems seem to create a picture of a future which will not be hospitable for all the people of the world as most of society today is based on finite resources which will one day be exhausted in the future. Things which people are dependent on for food or transportation such as oil will not always exist and as a whole the world seems to be mostly based on perpetual consumption and poor resource usage which are promoted in the money making society.
Again, what you have said is your negative perceptions of the future. Perceptions are not reality, but they greatly influence future reality. In other words, what your future will turn out to be, is greatly influenced by your perception of the present.
By extension, what the future world will turn out to be for humanity is greatly influenced by the way people see the world today. And how they see the world today is affected by their health, their mental clarity and their spiritual development. When people are healthy, have mental clarity, and are peaceful and happy, they will see the present as an opportuniy and the future as a realization.
With some mental clarity, we can see that your presumptions from your perceptions are flawed. It is flawed to presume what you perceive as monetary collapses, energy and oil collapses and resource problems will seem to create or actually will create an inhospitable future world.
In the first place, it is even debatable whether there are actually monetary collapses, energy and oil collapses and resource problems. We still use the monetary system and energy and oil that have brought us great prosperity, compared to an earlier culture for example where people used barter and human labour. Thus, it is not true that there are monetary collapses, energy and oil collapses.
Your perception of resource problems is also incorrect. Resources are still being used. Our consumption of resources has increased manifold, with a corresponding rise in our standard of living. In fact the more a society uses resoruces, the more prosperous that society is. And the less a society uses resources the less prosperous it is. The problem is not with the resources. The problem is its lack of competitiveness in acquiring and using resources. In other words, a society uses little resources and therefore becomes backward not because resources are lacking, but because it fails to compete with more advanced societies in acquiring and using resources.
Your presumptions that people must depend on oil for food and transportation are also flawed. Oil is now used for food production and transportation because it is available and most economical. When oil was not availble yet, people used other resources, like human labour, wood and coal. Although there was plenty of human labour, wood and coal then, the world at that time was gloomy and inhospitable compared to what we enjoy now, though the people at that time did not think of their world as gloomy and inhospitable.
If oil becomes unavailable in the future, we shall use other resources of energy which are even more powerful. We can't be sure if our future generations will look back and say what a gloomy and inhospitable world ours was, in the same way we now perceive the world of our fore-fathers.
In the end as a whole I am wondering what Master Wong sees for the future and what his ideas in general are for what will be held in store. Does he see the future as a bright or dark one.
Due to our training, we in Shaolin Wahnam see the future world as bright and hopeful, even better and more comfortable than our present world.
We believe that the concern for the depletion of resources, not only of energy but also of food, water and land, is due to negative perceptions as a result of faulty presumptions. Many times in history men (and, of course, this includes women) worried about over-population. They were seriously worried whether there was enough food and land to feed and house the increasing population.
Population not only increased, but exploded. Yet, we have much more food now than any time in the past. There may be famine in some parts of our present world, but it is not caused by lack of food due to increasing population, but caused by poor management of availbale resources. There was a time when there were few people on our planet; that was also the time when food was scarce.
Many people are worried that if the world population continues to increase, there will be shortage of water. This again is a perception, not a reality. A different perception is that the supply of water is infinite. Water that has been used by humans flows to the world oceans where it evaporates, becomes clouds and drops as rain to become pure water again. This cycle goes on infinitum.
So we have two perceptions. Which one is correct? As an optimist, of course I choose the perception that the water cycle provides us with an infinite supply of water. Based on facts about water today, this perception is more reasonable. Those who are worried about our water supply would be happy to know the following facts.
Only 3 percent of the world's water is fresh water, 97 percent is found in the oceans. About 70 percent of this 3 percent of fresh water, i.e. about 2 percent of the world's water, is locked in ice as glaciers and at the ice-capped poles. Of the remaining 1 percent, 0.7 percent is underground. In other words, all the water in all our great lakes, rivers and stream forms only 0.3 percent of the world's supply of water. And we use only a small portion of this 0.3 percent, which is renewable by our water-cycle.
This does not mean that we can waste water or be careless in our consumption. But these facts show that any negative perception about water being depleted is unfounded. The perception that the bulk of the world's water in the ocean is unuseable is also unfounded. Even now man has the technology to turn ocean water to fresh water. Then why is this not done on a large scale? The reason is that we still have a lot of untouched fresh water, and it is easier and cheaper to use this source though at present it is not necessary.
Another factor that causes concern to some people is the scacity of land. This is also a faulty perception. Your country, Canada, is well known for having a lot of land and too few people. Even in Europe, where the population densities are high, or in China, which houses a quarter of humankind, if you take a ride in the countryside, you will be impressed with the fact that there is actually still a lot of land presently avaliable for people to live in.
It is true that unlike water which is renewable, land is finite. In other words, in theory there will come a time when all land on our planet will be used up if the world population comtinues expanding ad infinitum. But in practice if that even happens it surely will be a long, long, long time away -- too far way in the infinite future for us to justify concern when your neigbours utilize more land or your friends produce more babies.
Instead of worrying over what you perceive may happen but actually may not happen in the forseeable future, you should wholesomely enjoy your present and be grateful for the wonderful benefits the world today has given you. You will be in a better position to do so if you practice high-level arts that purify body, intellect and soul.
I have heard that Sifu Wong teaches on a regular basis in Maylasia. Is there a way to study qigong with Sifu Wong on an ongoing basis?
— Tom, USA
I have not been teaching regular classes for some time. Now I offer intensive courses in Malaysia and regional courses in many parts of the world. These intensive and regional courses, which are more convenient and more effective for both the students and me, take only a few days to complete.
You need not take on-going lessons from me. You can attend one of my intensive courses or regional courses. The intensive courses are of a higher level and are offered a few times a year. Regional courses are offered once a year in various countries. Please see my website for any announcement.
You may wonder what you can learn in just a few days of an intensive course or a regional course. Actually you can learn a lot. But it is important that you must continue to practice at home what you have learnt at the course.
But if you wish to take regular classes from any of our certified instructors, please see our List of Certified Instructors.
I am dealing with some health issues and understand that Sifu is emphasizing this aspect.
Yes, we have always emphasized good health, vitality and longevity in our teaching and practice of chi kung as well as Shaolin Kungfu and Wahnam Taijiquan. When you have good health, your health issues will disappear as a matter of course. You will also have vitality and mental clarity to enjoy your daily work and play.
Who would be the contact person to discuss logistics and costs? E-mail would be fine.
The Shaolin Wahnam Secretary is the best person to contact concerning logistics and costs. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
Is it true that most Taiji instructors only teach Taiji movements and not qi? What caused this to happen?
— Tan, Singapore
Yes, it is true, not only in your country but all over the world, including in China today. This happens not only in Taijiquan but also in qigong (chi kung). In other words, today most Taiji and qigong instructors teach only external forms but not qi (chi).
This situation occurs not because the instructors do not want to teach qi, but they do not know how. Indeed, most of them do not have any experience of qi. Some of them do not even believe qi is real!
What caused this situation? There were many reasons, but an important one was that most of these instructors as well as Taiji and qigong students did not realize the difference between techniques and skills. They wrongly thought that if they knew the techniques, they would have the results these techniques were purported to give.
In other words, they wrongly thought that if they knew Taiji techniques, they would have internal force and be able to defend themselves, and that if they knew qigong techniques they would be able to experience qi. This was not true. They did not realize that they needed the skills to do so. They needed to practice the Taiji techniques and qigong techniques with the right skills in order to develop internal force and defend themselves, and to experience qi.
I want to learn qi, not just Taiji movements. How do I know whether the teacher teaches qi?
A good way is to ask his students whether they have experienced any qi from their practice. If they have, they will have no doubt about qi from their direct experience.
As an analogy, if someone has eaten a durian, he will have no doubt what a durian is. He will tell you directly that he knows what a durian is because he has eaten one. He needs not describe to you what it is or how it tastes.
Similarly if someone has experienced qi, he will know it from his direct experience, though he may or may not be able to describe it accurately in words. On the other hand, if he tells you in theory that qi is energy or vital force, and explains to you what it can do, and stresses that it is important in genuine Taijiquan, but he has no experience of it, then what he says are just empty words. And beware that some Taiji and qigong instructors may just tell you empty words.
Another good way is to learn from a teacher or a school that is well known for qi. If you learn from Sifu Zhang Wuji, our certified instructor in Singapore, you are sure not only that he teaches qi but also you will soon be able to experience qi from his teaching. His website is at http://www.wahnamsg.com/, and you can send him an e-mail by clicking here.
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