The Complete Book of Shaolin

Lifting the Sky

Question 1

I am a very fond follower of your Chi Kung books which I have a number of them and have been following them for some years. I have a number of questions and concerns regarding my health, and I would be most grateful for your guidance.

I currently face chronic hepatitis since birth. I have been living in relatively good health and have not had much symptom of it. However, one year ago I had some blood tests which showed significant elevation in my liver enzymes, and also that my hepatitis B viral load was elevated.

My liver specialists have been pressing for me to go on medication but I have refused due to the side effects of those medications, in order to seek other alternatives.

Since this issue arose, over the years my blood tests have continued to show my liver enzymes fluctuating rather significantly, but I still feel no symptoms of this. I also have some skin spots/pigmentation, particularly on my chest area which are not itchy.

I also have constipation and haemorrhoids. It has improved somewhat in recent years though I still continue to get this problem occasionally.

I have cold hands quite often, and as I use my hands quite a lot for playing piano, typing for legal work and other things, the need for me to maintain my hands warm is beneficial.

I have ganglion on my right hand wrist. It has become rather painful or discomforting only when I have to lower my wrists downwards significantly at an angle.

I am short sighted. I have had issue for many years and I wear glasses. This does not bother me too much as the degree of my short sightedness is rather mild.

As for my chi kung practice, over the last few months and based on selections of what I have recently read in your Complete Book of Shaolin, I have been practicing the following movements everyday or alternate day: Lifting the Sky, Big Windmill and self-manifested movement which comprises of Lifting the Sky, Big Windmill, Kicking Crane, Double Dragons, and Fish-Flip.

I do not use visualization in any of the movements. There are days when I can feel some chi flow, and days where I feel less or possibly none. Considering my circumstances, I would be most grateful if you can kindly give me some guidance as to how I should proceed with my chi kung practice and also in relation to helping me with any of the health conditions I have outlined above.

— Cameron, Australia


The exercises you have chosen from my books to overcome your health problems are correct, but your problems are still not overcome because you lack the skills.

This is very common among chi kung practitioners. More than 80% of chi kung practitioners all over the world practice genuine chi kung techniques but lack the necessary chi kung skills. Hence, despite practicing for many years, they do not derive the benefits that practicing chi kung will give, which are good health, vitality and longevity.

Good health, which is a major reason why people practice chi kung, of course includes and surpasses overcoming illness. Overcoming illness is only a stepping stone One has to overcome illness, any illness, before attaining good health.

My book, The Complete Book of Shaolin, was written about 15 years ago. You will find my other book, The Art of Chi Kung, very useful, and it was written about 20 years ago. Although I mentioned the necessity of having chi kung skills when practicing chi kung, I did not emphasize it simply because this concept was not crystallized at that time.

Yet, skills need to be learned personally from a master, not read about in books. I would highly recommend that you attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course, where you will acquire, not just learn, these chi kung skills. You can see information about the course at my webpage. It may be hard to believe, but with the correct chi kung skills, you would overcome your health problems using any chi kung techniques you practice, though some techniques are more effective than others. Please apply to my secretary for registration.

Question 2

I've been thinking a lot about thought processes and feelings. Sometimes I get a feeling that I know what someone is thinking, and I'm not completely sure if it is just my imagination or the truth.

Thoughts and feelings arise that suggest to me to do something and I don't always know what to do with the thoughts. How can I know when to trust my thoughts, feelings or instinct?

I have been continuing my practice and have noticed an improvement in my overall mood during the last few days. I will carry on and hope for the best.

— Jussi, Finland


Carry on thinking a lot about your thought processes and feelings if you want to suffer from the common problem many people suffer from, i.e. their mind is unnecessarily thinking of myriad thoughts and they become mentally and physically tired as a result.

It is quite easy to find out whether the thoughts that come to your mind are true or just your imagination. Just wait to see if your thoughts happen in real life. A better and subtle way is to ask the people involved whether they feel like doing what you have thought.

Having thoughts that will happen in reality is a result of our chi kung training. Our students have been warned, for their own benefit, that they must be discrete about the thoughts. They must not unknowingly let our "heaven's secrets", i.e. secrets that are meant to be kept secret from the divine perspective.

I don't know whether you have learned from us. If you haven't, it is to your benefit that you should. Markus and Nessa are excellent Shaolin Wahnam certified instructors in Finland. Among the many benefits is the ability to free your mind of all irrelevant thoughts.

Congratulations for the improvement in your overall mode the last few days due to your chi kung practice. Remember that practicing our chi kung on your own may give you some initial success, but you are open to wrong practice in future. It is certainly worth your time, effort and money spent to learn from our certified instructors. You will find improvement in everything you do.

element of threat

There must be an element of threat in our attack

Question 3

How do we increase our threat level?

— Sifu Eugene Sitamen, Shaolin Wahnam USA


Three factors contribute to the threat factor, namely, force, speed and intent.

If your attack lacks force, even if it connects, it is not threatening. If it lacks speed, even when the attack is forceful, it allows opponent to escape. So it is not threatening.

There must be intent to hurt. If your opponent knows that you are going to stop your attack before it hits him, he does not feel threatened. However, we do not really want to hurt our opponent, unless in serious combat. So we actually stop an inch or two from contact. But he should feel that if he fails in his defence he will be hurt.

Hence, for an attack to be threatening, it must have force, speed and intent. You can increase your element of threat by increasing your force, speed and intent.

You can sometimes see my increase of threat when I demonstrate a combat application on a student. Normally I do not want a student who acts as an opponent in a demonstration to feel threatened. I want him to feel perfectly safe when I apply a combat application on him.

But sometimes when a student tried to resist the shown application, I increased my force or speed to confirm the application, and he might feel threatened by the application. For example, when I applied a chin-na technique using "Old Eagle Catches Smake", a student might try to escape. So I applied some extra force to press him down.

Or I demonstrated striking him with a palm strike. If he warded off my attack, I would cover his defending hand, and applied the same attack a second time faster on him. If he moved away when I first attacked him, I would move in faster and applied the same attack a second time. Often the student felt threatened, but I always stopped an inch or two before target so as not to hurt him.

Question 4

How do we use the chi kung state of mind in daily life?

— David, USA


The fundamental level of the chi kung state of mind is to be relaxed and mentally freed of all irrelevant thoughts.

In whatever you do, including in combat or sports, if you are relaxed, you can perform better than when you are tensed. Similarly if you are mentally freed of all irrelevant thought, you can focus better, which will give better results in whatever you do.

If you are relaxed and focused at the same time, you are in a chi kung state of mind, which means that whatever you do you will have better results.

If you practice chi kung for six months, you will be trained to be in a chi kung state of mind for six months. Without being in a chi kung state of mind, one cannot perform chi kung. Hence being in a chi kung state of mind, or being relaxed and focused, becomes habitual. This leads to better results in whatever you do.

The better results come spontaneously. You need not have to worry about how to channel your chi kung state of mind to produce better results.

Chi flow

Question 5

Is the chi kung state of mind the same as chi flow?


No, they are different.

We need to be in a chi kung state of mind to have a chi flow. But being in a chi kung state of mind does not necessarily lead to a chi flow.

"Chi kung state of mind" is a modern term used in chi kung terminology. In the past it was called "entering silence". In Shaolin Kungfu, it was "entering Zen". In Taijiquan, it was "entering Tao".

In Western culture, it is called "entering into a higher level of consciousness".

Question 6

If chi kung benefits like good health and longevity come from chi flow, and we can generate a chi flow using just one technique, why are there so many chi kung techniques?

— Dr Larry, USA


Not many people, including chi kung masters, know this fact, that chi kung benefits, like good health and longevity, come from chi flow. People may practice chi kung techniques, but if they do not have chi flow, they do not derive chi kung benefits, irrespective of for how long they may have practiced these chi kung techniques.

Many chi kung practitioners think, wrongly, that if they practice chi kung techniques they will derive chi kung benefits. This is not so. The chi kung techniques generate chi flow, but if there is no chi flow, there will be no chi kung benefits. If these practitioners have chi kung benefits, like good health and longevity, it is because of other factors, and not because of their chi kung practice.

The ignorance of this fact is an important factor why there are many techniques although any one technique can generate chi flow that gives these chi kung benefits.

Another important reason is that the type of chi flow that we have in our school, which consists of vigorous external movements easily visible by others, is uncommon in most other types of chi kung. The chi flow in most other types of chi kung is internal, with little external body movements. Hence, many practitioners think that it is the different techniques that give the benefits of chi kung.

If a person wants to overcome his kidney problems using chi kung, he will practice techniques that focus chi flow at his kidneys. If another person wants more energy for his daily living, he will perform techniques that generates more vitality.

History and geography also contribute to the many techniques in chi kung. Certain types of chi kung developed in certain regions in certain times, resulting in many different techniques. Students at these regions and at these times, therefore, learn particular techniques of the types of chi kung taught in these regions and at these times.

Availability of resources is another factor. Students learning from teachers who know certain techniques will only learn those techniques. This results in a great variety of techniques.

Pushing Mountain

Pushing Mountain

Question 7

What are the benefits of Pushing Mountain?


We can divide the benefits of Pushing Mountain, or any chi kung technique, into two categories, which are holistic and thematic.

The following are the holistic benefits of Pushing Mountain or any chi kung technique:

  1. Overcomes illness and pain.
  2. Maintains good health.
  3. Promotes vitality.
  4. Ensures longevity.
  5. Increases mental clarity.
  6. Enhances spiritual joys.
  7. Attains peak performance.
The following are the thematic benefits of Pushing Mountain:
  1. Overcomes diseases related to the kidneys.
  2. Overcomes phobia.
  3. Overcomes sexual inadequacy.
  4. Enhances intellectual performance
  5. Increases vitality
  6. Develops internal force.

Question 8

Can we use the same chi kung technique, like Pushing Mountain, for healing and cleansing, and also for vitality and attaining a Zen mind?


For us, yes; but for most others in other schools, no. We may appear to be arrogant, but it is the truth. I shall explain why.

We can use the same chi kung technique, like Pushing Mountain, for different purposes, like for healing and cleansing, and for vitality and attaining a Zen mind, because we have the necessary skills. Other people cannot do this because they don't have the necessary skills.

It is like asking whether we can use Taijiquan techniques to counter a kick, or a felling attack, as well as enhance peak performance and mental clarity. We can, but many other people cannot. Those who haven't practiced Taijiquan, for example, cannot use it for these purposes. Those who have practiced Taijiquan, but only its external forms and never as a martial art, cannot use Taijiquan for these purposes too.

Chi kung is an art of energy management that can be used for healing, cleansing, vitality and attaining a Zen mind, besides other benefits. Pushing Mountain is a chi kung technique. When we practice Pushing Mountain correctly as chi kung, we can achieve the purposes of healing, cleansing, vitality and attaining a Zen mind, as well as other benefits.

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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