SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MAY 2012 PART 1
Sigung, I practice in the morning and at night, and have wonderful benefits. How do I have benefits for the whole day instead of just in the morning and at night?
— Janelia, Venezuela
The benefits of your chi kung practice are not just during the practice itself but spill over the practice session. In other words, if you practice for 15 minutes, the benefits are not just for 14 minutes, but may last for an hour.
Gradually the spill-over effect of the chi kung benefits will increase. Although your practice is only for 15 minutes, your benefits will last for an hour and a half, then for two hours, and eventually the whole day and beyond.
The benefits are spontaneous. You don't have to do anything special. For example, when you read a book or perform any physical task, you will find that without making any special effort, you can comprehend better in your reading, and have more stamina in your task. .This is what we would call the reactive benefits.
You can also have proactive benefits, where you make some special but easy effort. This can be achieved by applying one, two or all the three aspects, namely mind, energy and form.
Just before doing anything, gently enter into a chi kung state of mind. You will find that you can produce better results no matter what you do. Initially you may need to make some effort to enter into a chi kung state of mind, but gradually you will find that it has become quite natural.
The second aspect is energetic. Gently sink your chi to your dan tian. Relax and let your chi do the work for you, irrespective of whether it is mental or physical. For example, when you work out a solution to a problem, let your chi flow. When you run up a flight of stairs, let your chi do the running.
Thirdly, let you physical movement be graceful and elegant in whatever you do, including intellectual tasks, just as when you perform your chi kung exercise. Do not tense any muscles and use your flowing internal force. For example, when you write a report, let your mind flow in your thoughts and your energy flow in your writing. When you get into your car, move gracefully and elegantly without muscular tension.
It is no wonder that life becomes not only more effective but also more joyful.
What exercises from the Eightee Lohan Hands and the Eighteen-Lohan Art I can use to enhance my Catholic belief?
Again we can use the reactive approach and the proactive approach. Or we may see the holistic approach and the thematic approach.
As chi kung is spiritual, the same principles and methods also apply to other faiths. In other words, irrespective of whether one is a Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim or of any religion, by applying the principles and methods described below, he or she will enhance his or her own religious beliefs.
In the reactive or holistic approach, practicing any one of the exercises in the Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Eighteen-Lohan Art as well as any chi kung exercises in our school will enhance your Catholic belief.
Even before we start our practice we affirm our Ten Shaolin Laws. This gives as a solid moral foundation. It also provides us with practical guidance to lead a highly moral life, which is much emphasized in the Catholic belief.
As we begin any chi kung exercise, we smile form our heart. This sets our spirit free. We become joyful and have a wholesome attitude in whatever we do. This feeling of spiritual joy will enhance your Catholic belief.
There are so many exercises in the Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Eighteen-Lohan Art that can enhance your Catholic belief in a proactive or thematic way.
Two cardinal points in the Catholic belief are faith and love - faith in Jesus' teaching and love for God and all His creatures.
One needs a lot of courage to have faith, and it should not be just blind faith, but faith confirmed with understanding and experience. "Reverse Hanging of Double Hooks" from the Eighteen-Lohan Art is an excellent exercise to generate internal force and mental clarity for the needed courage and understanding.
For example, Jesus teaches that one should be kind to his neighbours. Internal force gives the courage to be kind, which will in turn enable us to experience spiritual joys as taught in the Catholic faith.
"Carrying the Moon" from the Eighteen Lohan Hands is excellent for purification, especially when you have learnt the skills of cosmic shower. After clearing your blockage with cosmic shower generated by "Carrying the Moon", you let the grace of God blow through. Not only will you feel the love of God but also you feel the love for all His creatures, which you yourself experienced during the course at Caracas.
How do we visualize chi during chi kung practice?
— Beat, Switzerland
We do not normally visualize chi during chi kung practice. We just practice the chi kung exercise.
But in some exercise, we need to visualize chi. In Cosmic Shower, for example, we visualize, or have a gentle thought, that good cosmic chi is flowing through us in a shower. We just do it.
But those who do not have the skill and the experience will not be able to do so even when they try to.
Let us take an analogy. Suppose you have to visualize yourself standing in front of the lake in Zurich. You would have no difficulty of doing so as you have the skill of visualization and have seen the lake in Zurich. But someone who has no visualization skill or never been to Zurich will be unable to do so.
I have a responsible job as the top manage of a large company with more than a thousand employees. I haven't been a top manager before. How do I know I can do well as a top manager?
— Julio, Venezeula.
There is always the first time in anything, regardless of being a top manager or making love.
A good ;piece of advice is to apply the three golden rules of practice:
- Don't worry
- Don't intellectualize
- Enjoy your practice
Don't worry about how to be a good manager or to make love. Just do it.
Don't intellectualize on how you know you are a good manager or you are making love. Just do it.
Enjoy being a good manager or making love. It is much better if other people or your partner also enjoy your practice.
May I ask your advice, as to what you think about this statement?
"Remember, you can't fight effectively, if you can't spar effectively. Because only intelligent sparring teaches your mind how to program your conditioned reflexes, so as to effectively utilize your offence through defence, and learn, most importantly, the skills of timing and distance, and balance against a combative opponent "
— Mike, Germany
This is excellent advice. Effective fighting is an art, and systematic sparring with practice in timing, spacing, balance and employing appropriate techniques is an excellent method to master this art of fighting.
We use this method in our school, and it has proven very effective for us. This does not mean that we will win in every fight (though this is usually true, but it is due to another reason). We have no illusion that we can be defeated if our opponents are more skillful (not necessarily know more techniques) than us. But we can proudly claim that we can employ our Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan for combat, not employing kick-boxing or bouncing about.
You may be interested to know the reason why we always win in fighting. This is because of our scholar-warrior principle. We fight -- really fight, where we are ready to hurt if necessary, not just spar in a friendly manner -- only when we have already won. The fighting is just to confirm victory.
You may be very surprised if I say that most martial artists today, including some masters, do not know how to fight! But make no mistake about it. Many of these martial arts can hurt their opponents badly, especially when their opponents also do not know how to fight. They can kill an ordinary person with just one punch or kick.
Then, why do I say that they do not know how to fight. They have no defence; they only know how to kick and punch. Often, and this is shocking in a real martial art, there is total disregard of their own safety when they attack. Hence, being hurt themselves is a norm. This is not fighting as a trained art. A good fighter does not want to be hurt -- not even once.
Nevertheless, while it is true that one cannot fight effectively if he cannot spar effectively, the reverse may not always be true. In other words, those who can spar effectively may sometimes not be able to fight effectively. This is because they lack experience and presence of mind. Real fighting and friendly sparring are quite different. One who can spar well may be panicky in a real fight. To overcome this problem, I have recommended a training programme where one fights from opponent 1 to opponent 30. This is a close secret, but you may learn it from your sifu.
I would like to know about the advantages for kungfu including qigong when somebody is happily married and have a daughter or a son? If he or she enjoys a family life, he or she will spend less time for daily training. Is this a disadvantage?
— Roger, Switzerland
Being married is not a disadvantage in practicing kungfu, both Shaolin and Taijiquan, in our school. Indeed it is an advantage. There are are at least four good reasons why practicing our kungfu will enhance his or her family life.
Firstly, our school pays great importance to having a happy family. We aim to be scholar-warriors, which include being a good father and husband or a good mother and wife.
Secondly, one of the first skills our students learn is to be focused and relaxed at the same time. This will make married men and women very cost-effective in what they do. In other words, they can achieve more results in less time. so, although they spend some time in their training, which means less time for the family, the quality of the time spent with the family is much enhanced. Anyway, other people would have wasted their time even if they don't train kungfu.
Next, because they focus on training kungfu, which is a wholesome activity to improve their daily life, including their family life, they won't have time for unwholesome activities like gambling, smoking and drinking.
Fourthly, raising a family needs much mental clarity and energy. Our kungfu training provides this.
One must not be dualistic when considering my advice above. Saying that practicing our kungfu is good for married people, it does not mean it is not good for those who are unmarried. Indeed, I would strongly recommend young women looking for husband to train in our school. They will find men who are healthy, caring, responsible and love family life. Unmarried men looking for women to marry should train in our school too. Our training makes women healthy, elegant and beautiful.
What is the difference in development for kungfu between a married and an unmarried person? For example the luckily married person spends 30 minutes and the unmarried person 60 minutes for their daily training session. These two persons were at the same level before the first got a family. Is it possible that this married person practices the exercises more effectively and gets more energy and benefits with his or her family luck?
If we presume all other things were equal, and consider only the time for training, then unmarried people because they do not have to spend time for their family will progress faster than married people.
But other things are not equal. Generally married people are more settled than the unmarried, and therefore have more progress in their kungfu training even when they have less time to train.
Further, unmarried people may spend more time looking for marriageable partners than married people spend on their family. Spending time chasing after prospective husbands and wives is also more energy-consuming than nurturing a happy family.
You are a happy family father. How do your wife and your sons and daughter benefit in their personal development? Do you have any special observation about their life?
I am proud that many of our students regard me as a role model as a good husband and father. My wife and all my children practice what I teach.
Many people have kindly remarked that my wife is beautiful and looks much younger than her age. This is due to a great extent to the chi kung she daily practices.
My children are healthy, full of vitality and have a wholesome philosophy towards life. Many people also have remarked that they are respectful and responsible. This is due to a great extent to the philosophy and training of our school.
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