SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
NOVEMBER 2013 PART 1
First let me say how blessed I feel to be able to practice these treasured Shaolin Arts! I had my first lesson with Sifu Anthony Korahais when he came to NYC. It was unbelievable, exceeding all expectations.
— Ausar, USA
It is indeed a great blessing to practice genuine Shaolin arts. There is a saying as follows (in Cantonese pronunciation):
- Hok tak sil lum chen miao fatt
- Ho pei tim sek ping chen kam
- If you have the opportunity to learn genuine Shaolin arts
- It is better than the ability of changing stones to gold by touch
Many people may think the above saying is a hyperbole, but it is factually true. If such a choice were possible, many people may choose changing stones to gold by touch, but having experienced the benefits Shaolin Wahnam students would choose the Shaolin arts.
Changing stones to gold by touch can make you fabulously rich. Practicing genuine Shaolin arts gives you good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys.
But today it is rare to find genuine Shaolin arts, and the Shaolin Temple now is a tourist attraction. Your sifu, Anthony Korahais, is one of the best teachers of genuine Shaolin arts.
I felt I never generated so much force as I did yesterday. I literally thought my hands and arms were going to completely burst with force.
The chi also seemed to move at the bone level (or may be it was just squeezing the bone). Leaving the hands in the extended positions, I thought of my dan tian so all the force could travel there.
I realized that I could send the force anywhere actually. If I thought that my arms and hands were powerful, it went back there. If I thought of my legs, it traveled down there.
It is unbelievable but true that even masters take at least a year or two to develop internal force if they are lucky enough to learn it, yet students in my Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan courses, or even in my chi kung courses feel internal force the very first day they learn from us.
Many masters themselves have no internal force, and do not believe in internal force. It is no surprise, therefore, many people call us liars. But what surprises us is why don't they find out for themselves whether our claims are true by just attending a class. But, as I have often said, that is their business and their problem. We have been so ridiculously generous.
Being able to direct chi to whether you like is considered a master's skill, but many of our students can do so. I am glad you have this skill despite having just learned from Anthony only recently.
But it looks like that you have over-trained. Indeed, our concern is not to ask our students to train more, but warn them not to train too much.
Dancing Crane, Dancing Fairy (my heart opened again during this), Lifting Water and Clouds Hands (trying various footwork in the latter), Chi flow and Standing Meditation.
Everything took about 40 minutes. I'm not worry about the time, and the length never seemed to be a problem before.
Most chi kung students elsewhere train for about one hour, but our recommended training time for our beginning students is only 15 minutes. Some people may think 15 minutes is too short, but it is sufficient as our arts, even at the beginners' level, are very powerful.
Training for 45 minutes is too long. It generates more energy than your physical body can take. Generally you need to practice only one exercise, not four as you reported.
Choose any one of the following: Dancing Crane, Dancing Fairy, Lifting Water and Cloud Hands. After performing the chosen exercise, enjoy your chi flow, and complete with standing meditation. Remember that it is the chi flow, not the exercise itself, that gives you benefits.
Throughout the dynamic exercises I used shen and breathing to direct chi, which in turn took care of the form. I was very relaxed throughout and had my mouth open. Often, I felt pulsation at the baihui point and the third eye.
I felt incredibly energized after and could hardly sleep so I tried to develop my one-pointed mind by concentrating on the dan tian while lying down and I experienced some vibration/pulsation at that point.
However, the next morning everything seemed to be upside down. My elbow that I had sprained quite badly more then half a year ago started hurting again and my whole body felt warm, with feverish-like symptoms, though I don't have a fever.
Your practice procedure is excellent, but such a procedure with emphasis on shen and chi, or mind and energy, is meant for advanced practitioners. At your stage, it is sufficient to focus on perfect form.
I am quite sure this is not the way your sifu asks you to train. As you see him only once a while, he would have taught you a lot of techniques and skills in a short time, but he would have asked you to spread out your practice and progress gradually.
The problem is not that you have practiced the dynamic patterns wrongly but you have practiced them too well, with the result that you generate more energy than what your physical body can handle. In other words, your excellent practice leads to your over-training.
It is quite easy if you want to sleep. Perform Lifting the Sky about 15 times while lying in bed. Then just go to sleep.
The symptoms you experienced the next morning are typical of over-training. It is Nature telling you to slow down.
I went through some of the dynamic exercises quickly emphasizing flow and although there was temporary relief it seemed to get worse after that. I slept for three-hours in the afternoon, something I never did before.
You should do less, not more, exercises. In fact you should take a day or two off to rest.
Your chi flow erases the pain you felt, but it was only temporary relief because there is too much energy in your body. Your sleeping is Nature's way of making you rest so that your physical body can adjust to the new energy level.
I still feel really fatigued and heavy in the head. In addition my muscles slightly ache and when I go into a room with air conditioning, I start shivering a lot. Cosmic Shower seems to only help temporarily.
You felt fatigued because you had too much energy! People can understand that they feel tired when they do not have enough energy, but why is it that you feel tired when there is too much energy?
The concept of yin-yang harmony explains this situation well. Here, yin represents your physical body, and yang represents your energy level.
When a person has too little energy, it results in yin-yang disharmony due to insufficient yin. When he rests, he conserves energy so that his physical body and energy level will adjust themselves to restore harmony.
When a person has too much energy, it also results in yin-yang disharmony, but in this case the disharmony is due to excessive yang. When he rests, the excess energy will be converted to yin, like in clearing away bad cells and replacing them with healthy cells. This restores yin-yang harmony.
Editorial Note : Ausar's questions will be continued at November 2013 Part 2 issue of the Question-Answer Series.
Why do we walk about before and after each chi kung practice?
— Sharif, Jordan
Walking about before chi kung practice enables a practitioner to be relaxed. It also helps him (or her) to clear his mind of all thoughts. Being relaxed and cleared of all thoughts are two essential requirements for practicing chi kung.
If a practitioner spends a little time walking about before starting his chi kung proper, he will have better results than if he starts straight-away. Here is a good example of starting later but arriving earlier.
Walking about after a chi kung practice helps to bridge the gap between a chi kung state of mind and the everyday state of mind. It makes the transition smooth.
It also helps to spread energy derived from the chi kung practice all over his body instead of just concentrated at the relevant parts of the body involved in the chi kung exercise. This contributes to the process of normalization, i.e. making the benefits of chi kung a normal part of his life instead of just after a practice session.
Is there any difference doing chi kung exercises in the morning versus at night?
— Goh, USA
Philosophically, practitioners training in the morning get energy influenced by the sun, whereas training at night get energy influenced by the moon. The difference, however, is not important in practical terms except in some specific situations.
If a woman wishes to be regnant, for example, her chances are better if she practices at night. If a man wishes to increase his energy level for some sports events, he would have better result practicing in the morning.
- Looking at Diseases from the Chinese Medical Perspective
- Four Versions of Shaolin Kungfu or Any Kungfu
- Chi flow and the Quality of Life
- Where a Buffalo Lies
- Kungfu Techniques against Western Boxing