SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
JANUARY 2021 PART 1
I will be very careful and will prioritize my care with internal force. Is this the 100th time you've told me (and many others) the exact same thing? I think it's time for me to finally learn and honor Sifu.
— Brian, USA
AnswerIt is not uncommon for me to repeat my advice many times before students can actually understand their actual meanings. A good example is over-training, or adding more internal force. It is natural for dedicated students to want their best, and telling them that their best, or their potential, is too much for their physical body to bear is something that they may not want to hear.
Another example, which is not so common, is to tell students that they have a lot to learn from a genuine master. Most "masters" we call out of respect are mediocre, and students soon surpass them.
The greatest attainment anyone can achieve is to merge with Cosmic Reality, called variously as return to God the Holy Spirit, Enlightenment, or attaining the Great Void. All the greatest spiritual or religious teachers teach the same truth. Many students fail in this test or hurdle.
We live in the phenomenal realm, and when students surpass their teachers the students think that they are great, which is true when compared to the great majority of people. The students become arrogant and disrespect their teachers. We must always respect our teachers even when we surpass them.
I was reading about the 18 jewels, the 18 lohan hands and the 18 lohan art.
— Bala, India
In our school, of the three arts "18 Lohan Art" is the most advanced, next are "18 Lohan Hands", and the art that produces the least energy is "18 Jewels".
"18 Lohan Art" is our medium range chi kung. It generates a lot of internal force.
"18 Lohan Hands" and "18 Jewels" are our elementary chi kung. "18 Lohan Hands" is for health, and "18 Jewels" is for overcoming illness.
It does not mean that "18 Jewels" is the least useful. In fact it is generally the most useful because most people want to overcome illness. It is a fact many people may not appreciate.
The public usually think, wrongly, that chi kung that overcomes cancer and heart problems is the most powerful. In fact it is the type of chi kung that produces the least energy. Asking a patient with cancer or heart problems to perform chi kung that generates a lot of energy is like asking a person to lift weights or run a marathon; it may kill him.
I attempted to search on google for any suitable Lion Dance Troupes or Groups or classes in the London area. I felt I could train with them in the meantime until such time as I could attend one of your courses in future. I found a lovely and friendly group who were very welcoming. They taught me with open hearts. They specialise in Lion Dance.
Sifu, could you please share any beautiful and wonderful memories and stories you have from your Lion Dance days?
— Mohammed, UK
It was in Malaysia that "nam si pak mou" (Cantonese pronunciuation) or "southern Lion danced in a northern way" was first introduced. It was by a great Choy-Li-Fatt master, Sifu Cheng Choy, whom I know personally. Northern Lion is usually acrobatic guided by a kungfu knight whereas southern Lion is solid in stances guided by a Laughing Buddha. Sifu Cheng Choy made his southern Lion acrobatic.
Malaysia was the international champion for Lion Dance for many years. I think it is still the international champion as the runner-up was far behind, but I am not sure as I left Lion Dance since my world travels. Nowadays, most Lion dancers do not have solid stances though they are still very acrobatic.
An important real story about Lion Dance was how I learned an important lesson. Uncle Righteousness chose me as the Lion Tail for an important Lion Dance performance where the southern Lion of the Buddha Mountain and the southern Lion of the Crane Mountain unofficially competed.
In southern Lion, there are two schools, known in Cantonese Chinese as "fatt san si" or the Lion of the Buddha Mountain, and "hok san si" or the Lion of the Crane Mountain. There were only two Lion Dance schools at that time, the Lion of the Buddha Mountain and the Lion of the Crane Mountain. Soon Tuck Wooi Koon or the Clan Association for the people of Soon Tuck, which is a county in China, was the authority for the Lion of the Buddha Mountain, and Cap For Hong which means the Grocery Association, was the authority for the Lion of the Crane Mountain.
Just before rehearsal of the Lion Dance, I left the Soon Tuck Association. It was easy to know the rehearsal of the Lion Dance as the Lion music was very loud. After the rehearsal had started I went back to the association. Uncle Righteousness could not wait, and he had to choose another classmate to be the Lion Tail. Ah Weng, my junior classmate, was chosen. I thought I was smart, but Ah Weng was smarter. He wanted to learn Lion Dance from Uncle Righteousness. He performed the Lion Tail so well that later for the competition he was chosen. At the height of Lion Dance where there were more than a hundred kungfu schools in Penang, and many of them taught Lion Dance, Ah Weng was known as the "Lion King". Of course I am very proud of him.
Another real life story of Lion Dance concerned a big boss in Tikam Batu, a small town near Sungai Petani in Malaysia where I now live. He bullied my Lion Dance troupe from Kuala Muda, another small town. I was then teaching Shaolin Kungfu and Lion Dance in Shaolin Wahnam Association, and the Kuala Muda Youth Lion Dance troupe was under me. I went to see the big boss. He closed the door so that I could not escape. But he was very courteous and no harsh words were uttered. Later he apologised and gave a sumptuous dinner with traditional gifts of oranges and a big red packet with money. I became famous after the incident.
Some time ago you advised that I focused on more advanced exercises instead of Golden Bridge. You mentioned Sinew Metamorphosis or Bone Marrow Cleansing. Is it also fine if I focus on the Small Universe?
Strangely enough, I can practise the Small Universe every day without overtraining. I do a few times of Abdominal Breathing, Submerged Breathing, the Forceful Universe and then the Gentle Small Universe. I feel happy and peaceful. I don't experience any spiritual things apart from the happiness and that is actually great.
— Sifu Roeland Dijkema, Shaolin Wahnam Netherlands
The Small Universe is wonderful. I practice the Small Universe often.
It is said in the classics that if one has attained the Small Universe, he will never be sick. Because of our high level chi kung, we upgrade it to "when we have attained the Small Universe, we live beyond a hundred years". Health is our greatest wealth as we live in the phenomenal realm.
If I try some other exercises, like 15 minutes of Golden Bridge, or Bone Marrow Cleansing, or Cosmic Shower, I may experience deeper levels of peace or spiritual expansion. However, I over-train quickly and I can't train them every day. I don't want either as it feels too much even though the exercises are of a relatively lower level.
I think this is because I am relatively less proficient in the Small Universe and generate less energy, thus I don't over-train. Is this assumption right, if I may ask?
If all things were equal, if we focus on the more advanced exercises, we develop more benefit, or if the more benefit may lead to over-training, we take a shorter time. If we take two exercises, Horse-Riding Stance and Flicking Fingers, we take 1 hour to develop 1000 units of internal force if we perform Horse-Riding Stance, but 10 minutes to develop 1000 units of internal force if we perform Flicking Fingers. The amount of internal force is the same, but the more advanced exercise takes a shorter time.
Actually there is some difference in the internal force generated. For me, Horse-Riding Stance will root me to the ground, whereas Flicking Fingers generate internal force all over the body. But we are very advanced, and the small difference would not affect us.
You are very good at Small Universe. In fact you are very good in all the exercises. Perhaps you may be less efficient performing the Small Universe compared to performing Golden Bridge or Cosmic Shower. That may explain why you feel more internal force which may lead to over-training when performing Golden Bridge than when performing the Small Universe.
Do you keep the tongue on the upper palate when breathing in or out when you do the Forceful Small Universe? I tend to keep the tongue at the palate when breathing in, but not out, is that all right? Is this also the same for the Gentle Small Universe?
You are more efficient than most people, including genuine masters. Most masters may not know the underlying philosophy; they just know how to perform the exercises.
You can keep the tongue up when breathing in, and keep the tongue down when breathing out. This is to bridge the two gaps. But in your case, chi will pass through the gaps irrespective of where your tongue may be. In other words, you need not worry about the position of your tongue as chi will still pass through the gaps. The same applies to Gentle Small Universe and all other exercises.
I have found that the most effective method to help our little girl when she is upset is to have a gentle Chi Flow with her in my arms. The usefulness and power of this is truly astonishing! Once again, I have to thank you for Chi Flow, the hallmark of our school!
— Dr Steffen, Germany
You can perform chi flow while carrying your baby girl in your arms. Do it for about once or twice a day for about 10 minutes with plenty of hours in between.
The chi around us is good. Animals such as dogs and cats like to gather around us when we perform chi kung. I am talking about genuine high-level chi kung; most other people perform only gentle physical exercise.
As I sometimes take care of her by myself, I was wondering if it was harmful for our baby if I practised my regular Chi Kung or Kung Fu with her in the same room. My question arises because my girlfriend, who has been practising Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung for around four years now, tells me that she needs to be two rooms away when I practise. Otherwise, she feels uncomfortable because of my pressing energy.
You can do a simple experiment. Have a sheet of paper. Ask your girlfriend to be in the same room when you practice your chi kung. She needs to fill in only "comfortable" or "uncomfortable". Do it for a week and find out the answer.
Then she can be about two rooms away when you practice chi kung. Fill in whether she feels "comfortable" or "uncomfortable". You can have the experiment the same week. When you practice chi kung, she can be in the same room and another time she can be two rooms away.
The same may apply to the baby girl. If your chi is pressing to other people because we are powerful, you can have a very gentle chi flow when carrying her in your arms. Notice how she feels when you carry her in your arms, whether it is "comfortable" or "uncomfortable".
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
- Uncle Rigteousness Winning Sequences
- Shaolin Wahnam Lion Dance in the 1980s
- Golden Bridge
- Great Importance of the Small and the Big Universe
- Viewing the Atlantic