Respecting the Master

We must always respect our master

Question 1

Is there a way to overcome the problem of being disrespectful to one's teacher?

— Franz, Austria


It is simple to be respectful to one's teacher. Just be respectful to the teacher. It is our first Shaolin Law. It comes from the heart, not from the head.

But it is not easy, though it is simple. Many people are disrespectful to their teachers, their parents and the elders.

Some people even call their parents and teachers by names! A person's father should be called "Papa" or "Dad", and his kungfu or chi kung teacher "Sifu". He may one day be wiser than his father, or more skilful than his teacher, which indeed is the aim of a good parent or a good teacher, but that does not mean he can be disrespectful.

Editorial Note: Franz' other questions can be found in the March 2017 Part 2 and March 2017 Part 3 issues of the Question-Answer Series

Question 2

A monk said that the acquired mindfulness was used in meditation to remind the mind when it wandered away from the observed object, like using the observing mind for very short periods of time to intentionally relax muscles and emotions, and sweep away thoughts by separating only emotions and thoughts from the observing mind,


What the monk said was for monks like him who had renounced worldly life for perfect Enlightenment. It is not meant for you.

This is an excellent method for those who aim for perfect Enlightenment, but it is not for you and all those not ready to leave this phenomenal world for perfect Enlightenment.

zhan zhuang or stance training

Zhan zhuang or stance training is an effective way to train mindfulness

Question 3

Is this to intentionally get rid of bad habits to reprogramme the mind?


This is an excellent method for those who aim for perfect Enlightenment, not merely to programme the mind.

For us in the phenomenal world there are other excellent methods to programme the mind. The methods taught by your sifu are amongst the best. Just practice them according to what your sifu has taught you, and forget about separating your mind from your body.

Question 4

Should I separate body and mind when performing techniques?


In our school, we regard the mind and body as one unity. If you separate them, you can be in big trouble.

body and mind in kungfu training

Body and mind as one unity is very important in kungfu training, especially weapon training

Question 5

Is this using insight? I do not want to abuse insight intentionally and can't think of a way to do it.


You are using insight wrongly. Now that you know your application of insight is wrong, if you continue to do so, you will be abusing insight intentionally.

It is easy to use insight correctly. If you want to be healthy, learn from someone who is healthy, provided he is willing to teach you. If you want to fight well, learn from someone who can fight well. If you want to have mental clarity, learn from someone who has mental clarity. If you want to be happy, learn from someone who is happy. Don't try to be smarter than him. Respectfully practice what he teaches you.

Question 6

How can insight be used for bad things?


Insight by itself is neutral. It is its application that becomes good or bad. A lot of bad things result from the bad application of insight.

Indeed, if a person has no insight, his action, I believe is more likely to be good than bad. Humans are naturally good.

Sinew Metamorphosis

Sinew Metamorphosis

Question 7

Can we practice Sinew Metamorphosis and Five-Animal Play at the same time?

— Harry, United Kingdoms


Yes, we can.

We can combine any exercise with any exercise, and in any order. For example, we can perform Tiger Play and then Deer Play. We can practice Bird Play followed by Pushing Mountains in Eighteen Lohan Hands and Dancing Fairy in Eighteen Jewels.

We can practice Jerking Elbows from Sinew Metamorphosis followed by Swallow Flying through Clouds from Eighteen-Lohan Art. We can also combine any chi kung exercises learned in our school with any chi kung exercises learned elsewhere.

A useful concept is to regard practicing chi kung exercises as a physical mixture. Unlike in a chemical compound where the ingredients have to be combined precisely in a particular order, in a physical mixture the ingredients can be mixed in any way in any amount and in any order. When we make coffee with milk, which is a physical mixture, you can put coffee powder or sugar first, pour in hot water any time, and add little or more milk. We can mix the ingredients in any amount and in any order.

This concept is praticularly important in chi kung practice as some "masters" specify that their chi kung exercises must be practiced in a certain way following a strick order and not to be mixed with other types of chi kung. This concept does not apply in our school.

However, if a chi kung exercise produces powerful results, practitioners must be careful not to over-train. Sinew Metamorphosis as practiced in our school is very powerful. It is not advisable to combine a Sinew Metamorphosis exercise with another chi kung exercise as this may lead to over-training. However, if practitioners purposely perform Sinew Metamorphosis exercises at a low level, they can be combined with any other exercises, including those from other schools.

Question 8

I am Alex Garshin's student, and Alex has invested much time and effort in me. After six chemotherapy courses I am focused on life.

I love practicing chi kung and moving along the road of pure mind and enlightenment. I would like to thank you for sharing you precious experience in your books. I am reading "The Complete Book of Zen" in Russian and really enjoy it.

I would like to ask you to advise me on particular chi kung exercises which are most useful for cancer. I would be very grateful for your directions.

— Marina, Russia


I am very happy that you are now focusing on life. Life is indeed very beautiful.

Alex is an excellent teacher. You are in good hands. You should address Alex as "Sifu", and address me as "Sigung".

You did not mention whether you have recovered from cancer, or are recovering. Cancer can be cured, and a lot of people have been cured of cancer after practicing chi kung learned from us.

If you are recovering from cancer, or have just recovered, I would strongly advise you to practice "low-level" chi kung exercises, not powerful ones. The term "low-level" refers to the types of chi kung practiced in our school. To other people, chi kung that overcomes illness, like cancer, is considered high-level.

You should not practice powerful chi kung at this time. Doing so is like a sick person running a marathon or lifting weight. Her physical body is not strong enough for powerful chi kung. It is a big mistake by people who do not understand chi kung deeply that sick people should practice powerful chi kung. This is a big mistake.

By "low-level" chi kung exercises I mean simple exercises like "Lifting the Sky" and "Carrying the Moon" that can generate a chi flow for you. As long as you have a chi flow, you will be alive. The chi flow will overcome your illness, any illness, if you still have any. If you are already healthy, the chi flow will maintain good health and give you vitality.

If you can, although it is not essential as you already have an excellent teacher in Alex, you should attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. You can get available dates on my website, I have an Intensive Chi Kung Course coming up in Sabah. Please see the Sabah website for details, and contact Sifu Bernie Kissey for enrolment if you are interested.

The Intensive Chi Kung Course is comprehensive, ranging from beginners' to masters' levels. If you attend the course, focus on the beginners' level, practicing the intermediate and masters' levels once awhile to maintain your skills.

Editorial Note: Marina replied that she had recovered, and that her sifu had said the same things Grandmaster Wong said.

If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.



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