SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
APRIL 2019 PART 2
Could you please explain the benefits of reciting the Heart Dharani and the Mantra of Universal Protection?
— Warren, South Africa
The Heart Dharani or the Heart Sutra is one of the most widely recited sutras in Mahayana Buddhism. It is called Prajna Paramita Hrdaya in Sanskrit and Xinjing in Chinese. It described the Enlightenment of the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, or Guan Yin Bodh Satt in Chinese.
There are many versions of the Heart Sutra, and the one translated by the great monk Xuan Zang who lived in the 7th century, has only 260 Chinese characters, but it gives the gist of Buddhism.
The Mantra of Universal Protection is the recitation of "Om Mani Padme Hum", which means "Homage to the Jewel in the Lotus". This mantra is very popular in Vajrayana Buddhism. This mantra is also attributed to the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, or Guan Yin Bodh Satt in Chinese.
It is hard for many people to believe, but reciting the Heart Sutra or the Mantra of Universe Protection will release the person reciting it from all his or her sufferings! The sutra and the mantra are both attributed to the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, who has vowed to help whoever who calls upon the Bodhisattva for help.
Also, I'd very much like to know if Buddhism views faith in the same way as Christianity does. Many Christians seem to find the idea of God having a plan for them comforting. Does Buddhism allow for the same?
The Buddhist belief in faith is quite different from the Christian concept of God having a plan for people.
The Buddha teaches that one should access any belief based on the person's understanding and experience, and not on the reputation of the Buddha himself. The Buddha never asserts that his teaching is the only right teaching. In fact, the Buddha says that anyone who does not find his teaching beneficial, can discard it.
Why does practicing chi kung overcome illness? I have practiced chi kung for many years, but I still have back pain.
— Emma, France
According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, all illness is due to energy blockage. Once the energy blockage is cleared, good health is restored. Good health is natural.
Practicing chi kung generates an energy flow. The flow of energy clears energy blockage, hence restoring good health. Thus, practicing chi kung overcomes illness.
Many people may not understand traditional Chinese medical philosophy. Most people are used to modern Western medical philosophy, which is very popular in almost all civilized countries in the world. In other words, most people are used to modern Western medical philosophy.
It is applicable to point out that both modern Western medical philosophy and traditional Chinese medical philosophy are paradigms. A paradigm is a special way of looking at things or events. Thus, we may say that back pain is caused by the way bones, muscles and ligaments at the back of a person's body failing to work together in a coordinated manner, which is a Western medical way of looking at back pain. Or we may say that energy blockage causes back pain, which is a Chinese medical way of looking at back pain.
To argue which paradigm is correct, is fruitless. A paradigm is a way of looking at things or events. In this case, both paradigms are correct. It is true that when bones, muscles and ligaments at the back of a person's body fail to work in a coordinated manner, the person has back pain. It is also true that if energy is blocked from harmoniously flowing to the affected area, the person will have back pain. It is fruitful to use the paradigm that helps us to overcome the problem.
It is also applicable to mention that true chi kung is rare today. What is practiced by most people today is gentle physical exercise using chi kung forms. There is no energy flow in gentle physical exercise. Hence, although you say that you have practiced chi kung for many years, you still have back pain, because what you have been practicing is gentle physical exercise, although you use chi kung forms.
I say this in good faith. The intention is to help you to practice genuine chi kung so that you will overcome your back pain. In the past I used to ask sincere seekers to practice genuine chi kung. But now, to help them to save time, I ask them to practice chi kung taught in our school, Shaolin Wahnam.
If you practice chi kung taught in Shaolin Wahnam, you will sure to have energy flow. In fact the energy flow experienced by our students is so strong that we have to advise them not to practice at their potential.
What illness is the Monkey Play particularly useful for?
— Olga, Russia
The Monkey Play is particularly useful for illness that is associated with the spleen system or the stomach system.
Diseases of such illness in Western terminology include peptic ulcer, duodenum ulcers, indigestion, diarrhea, autoimmune syndrome, anxiety and phobia.
However, in our school if you practice any other of the Five-Animal Play besides the Monkey Play, you can also overcome any illness, including illness associated with the spleen system or the stomach system. This may sound boastful, but it is true because it is ultimately chi flow that overcomes illness, and any animal play will generate a chi flow.
On the other hand, even when you perform the Monkey Play but have no chi flow, you may not overcome illness related to the spleen system or the stomach system.
How often do I practice Bone Marrow Cleansing at the Muscle Level so that I don't over-train?
— Javier, Spain
Those who performed Bone Marrow Cleansing at the Muscle Level at my regional course would appreciate how powerful this exercise was. The more powerful an exercise is, the greater the need to guard against over-training.
Whether a person over-trains depends much on how he trains as well as his level of attainment. But generally speaking, practicing Bone Marrow Cleansing at the Muscle Level once a week is sufficient.
Even for those who have reached a high level of attainment, and those who have deep understanding of force development, i.e., those who are unlikely to over-train, practicing Bone-Marrow Cleansing at the Muscle Level once a week will provide them more than enough energy for their daily needs. We practice our arts to enrich our and other people's lives, not just to increase our internal force.
Those who are less advanced, should train less, like once in 2 weeks. Those who are relatively new, should train Bone-Marrow Cleansing at the Muscle Level only once a month. At other times, they can train other less powerful chi kung exercises, like exercises from 18 Jewels or from 5-Animal Play.
Is it alright to send a person good, radiant energy even though he disagrees? It's like when we forgive or give thanks to someone whom we might not be able to reach personally, but then we do it spiritually at mind or heart level. Will it work similarly?
— Sifu Angel Perez, Shaolin Wahnam Puerto Rico
I am not sure whether it is right to send chi to someone if he disagrees. Normally I don't do that. It is different from forgiving.
When you send chi to someone, it is directly giving him something. If he does not want that something, it is, in my opinion, not right to force it upon him.
When your forgive someone, you release or lessen your grudges against him. He may or may not know of your forgiving. The one who forgives is the one who benefits the most.
Yesterday I had a very interesting experience during my morning session. At one point during a pause while my body is completely relaxed, my arms started to move in circles, my right arm circling counterclockwise and my left one rotating clockwise. I did not just feel the spiral chi flow internally but it manifested externally as well.
Your experience of circling hands was very interesting. It was an indication of your progress, which was of a very high level.
The next step is that you can use mind to move chi to move form. In other words, you perform your kungfu set, like the Wudang Kungfu set, using mind. At first your form may not be picture-perfect, but gradually with practice it will be. This level is regarded by many Taijiquan masters as the highest.
What will be your advice if I want to reach the highest level of Wudang Kungfu?
The highest level of Wudang Kungfu may be interpreted differently by different people.
Many people regard using mind to move chi to move form as the highest level. Others regard the highest level as responding against or initiating any attack at the speed of thought.
But now personally I regard the highest level of Wudang Kungfu as providing us good health, vitality and longevity. It is great that we can achieve all these different aims in our school.
Set your aim and work towards it joyfully. You will eventually reach the highest level of Wudang Kungfu.
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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