SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
JANUARY 2018 PART 2
I can't figure out how to keep out distractions. If I didn't practice when I was distracted I would never practice, so I practice and keep trying to follow my breathing. But I only last one breath cycle or maybe three. I'm capable of focusing on active work tasks for long times but during qi gung all kinds of hope, plans, conversations and things invade my space.
— Lee, USA
The instructions for practicing our chi kung are very clear. Don't worry and don't intellectualize. Practice for about 10 minutes a session, once in the morning and once in the evening or at night. (I used to advice 15 minutes a session in the past.) For those who value laziness more than their chi kung practice, even one session any time of the day, except noon time, is sufficient.
No one says that the instructions are easy. Indeed, most people outside our school find not to worry and not to intellectualize difficult. But as these are fundamental instructions, you have to follow them if you want benefits from our chi kung. If you cannot follow the instructions, or do not want to follow them, our chi kung is not for you.
Suppose you have 50 thoughts coming to you in 10 minutes, or in 10 minutes you intellectualize about 50 times. Reducing the 50 thoughts or 50 times of intellectualization to only 4 or 5 thoughts or 4 or 5 times in one day, may be difficult.
But if you make an effort not to worry and not to intellectualize, you can succeed in reducing 2 or 3 thoughts or intellectualizing 2 or 3 times less each time you practice chi kung. If you follow this method consistently, you should be able to practice chi kung without worry and without intellectualization most of the time in less than a month. There may still be some thoughts or some intellectialization coming to you, but it is different from previously when you constantly worry and constantly intellectualize.
How do I deal with the very real issue of distance/cost of your teaching?
You don't have to deal with this issue, as you can practice what you already learned at home or at any suitable place you like. If you value my teaching more than the distance or the cost, you can readily find the means to attend another Intensive Chi Kung Course. Some students borrow money to attend my courses.
Some friends have suggested abandoning this and pursuing a less effective method that has further instruction available.
You are free to follow your friends' suggestion.
The phrase, "further instruction available" does not apply to my Intensive Chi Kung Course.
Why does spontaneous chi flow cause the kidneys to get weaker at this point? I thought it should be clearing blockages regardless? Why does chi increasing exercises cause more problems at this stage?
You are wrong to think that spontaneous chi flow cause kidneys to get weaker. You are right to say that it clears blockage.
Thinking that chi increasing exercises cause more problems is again, wrong. Of course, the increased chi should be at a level an organ, like your kidney, can take. If there is excessive chi, which is over-training, it is also wrong,
There is a lot of wrong information, especially on the internet. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can act like an expert and give wrong information online.
Sometimes even masters may not know certain facts. It is commonly but wrongly believed that if practitioners practice certain techniques correctly for some time, they will derive the benefits the practice will give.
This is obviously not so in chi kung. Chi kung is meant to give good health. Today, many chi kung masters, whom we call "masters" out of respect, are sick and weak. Their chi kung techniques are correct, but they lack the skills to generate an energy flow which makes practitioners healthy and strong.
It is also not so in Taijiquan today. Taijiquan is an internal, martial art. But there is nothing internal, and nothing martial in more than 90% of what Taijiquan practitioners practice today. Their techniques are correct, but they lack the skills to make their Taijiquan internal and martial.
In the past I asked for explanation of this but never got any answers from you or your instructors. What are the signs of over training? How do you know when you are? What specific steps do you take when you have?
As I mentioned earlier, I always answer questions from students, and I believe my instructors also do.
You also have not followed our teaching or read our webpages. These topics -- signs of over-training, how do you know you have over-trained, and what steps do you take -- have been amply explained.
I shall leave you the pleasure -- it needs some effort but you will be richly rewarded -- to find the answers yourself. For a start, go to https://www.shaolin.org.
The intensive course showed that it was unrealistic to give individual attention to so many people and I know you have many more people than that requesting your attention.
It may be odd to you and other people, but experience, confirmed again and again, has shown that the bigger a class is, the better the results the course participants will get. Some of my best classes involved more than 100 course participants. Many of them reported to me their excellent results.
No matter how good a course is, if you do not practice regularly, you will not derive the results. It is made worse when you harbour wrong information.
You do not mean to be disrespectful, and your e-mail shows much respect, but without your realization you attempt to be smarter than me in chi kung. I have mentioned many times in my courses for students not to worry and not to intellectualize when they practice, but you tell me that you can't stop worrying and you can't stop intellectualizing when you practice.
The solution is very simple. If you do not want to follow instructions, then the chi kung I teach is not for you.
I have mentioned in my courses that chi flow is the essence of chi kung, that it is chi flow, not the techniques, that gives chi kung benefits of good health, vitality and longevity, but you tell me that chi flow is bad for you.
Over-training is an important topic in our school, and I have explained it profusely. Now you tell me that you have asked me questions on over-training but have received no answers, despite the fact that I answer every question students have asked me.
How can I catch this monkey mind?
You can't catch your monkey mind by intellectualizing. This is what you are doing. You will make your mind more monkey-like.
Not only you can catch your monkey mind, but make your mind strong and focused by practicing our chi kung correctly and regularly. Just do it.
Editorial Note: Lee's other questions can be found in January 2018 Part 1 and January 2018 Part 3 of the Question-Answer Series.
One of the training methods of someone who trains in another system (quite early in his training development), is to think of the "mingmen". I was curious as to why someone would train this instead of the qihai, especially as a relative beginner? I imagined this to be quite an advanced chi kung method. Could you tell me more about this dan tian?
— Sifu Tim Franklin, Shaolin Wahnam UK
Thinking of the "mingmen" (an energy point located at the back opposite the navel) is an advanced as well as an ad hoc method.
Generally, and specially at a beginners' stage, a practitioner should think of his "qihai" (an energy point about two inches below the navel), or think of his abdominal dan tian (which means energy field). Even this, he should do it quickly, in just a second or two, like what we do when we complete our chi kung exercise.
When a practitioner is quite familiar with chi kung, he can think of his "mingmen" as an ad hoc method, not as a general method. "Ad hoc" means for a particular purpose. He may use this ad hoc method for some time, like a few months.
Thinking of the "mingmen" as an ad hoc method can be used to improve the functions of the kidneys, to enhance sexual performance, or to overcome fear. In our Small Universe, we use this ad hoc method to focus chi at our "mingmen" so that we can later bring the chi up the du meridian, or the governing meridian at the back of the body from the anus up to the top of the head and down the face to the upper lip.
"Mingmen" means the "gate of life". It is the energy point where a foetus receives energy from his mother when he is still in his mother's womb.
One must therefore be very grateful to his mother. He is very lucky if his mother is still alive, and should spend quality time with her. He should still be very grateful to her if she has passed on.
Does the energy passing through the "mingmen" also contain the personality traits and ancestral information, or does this come from another source or method? This is in reference to the similarities we get from our mother, separate from learnt methods of behaviour. It appears that we get more than just our mother's information, but ancestral too.
The energy from the mother to the foetus through the "mingmen" is called pre-natal energy, i.e. energy before the baby's birth. Pre-natal energy decides the baby's personality, like the colour of his hair and strength of his organs.
In Western terms, it is his DNA. This pre-natal energy, or DNA, does not only contains the mother's information but also the ancestors'.
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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