SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
SEPTEMBER 2021 PART 1
I have always followed your advice regarding the length, while teaching on a much lower level. In chi kung, I hardly experienced over-training in my students.
— Sifu Leonard Lackinger, Shaolin Wahnam Wien
AnswerI am glad that your students do not experience over-training.
At your level you can practice at any length of time and at whatever level, but 10 minutes is sufficient for our needs.
Over-training has become an issue in our school, though I did not over-train when I was a student. The main problem is that our students do not differentiate between my intensive and regional courses from their regular classes. This problem will become clear when I answer your question below.
How long should a practice session of a beginning regional student currently be? When he learns to implement body, energy and mind, should he then practice for 15 or 10 minutes?
How does a chi kung practitioner come to an advanced level? Anyone who attends my intensive courses (or regional courses for those attaining kungfu course) is at an advanced level as he (or she) has the state of our arts.
But if he is a relative beginner, he is advised for his own sake to practice at about 30%, which is very high when compared to other students. This point is in fact what I emphasize in my intensive or regional courses.
Hence, a beginning regional student should practice at about 30%, following the three golden rules of practice. If it is too high a level, he can further reduce it to 20%, 10% or even 5%. Please remember that I took years when I was very accomplished, whereas our Shaolin Wahnam students take only hours.
The 30% is different from people to people and from time to time.
Your 30% may be 500% of a relative beginner. For the relative beginner, his 30% now may be his 300% two years later. In other words, two years later he still practices at 30% but he is 3 times better if he were to practice at 100%.
It is just incredible how much we have progressed. The fundamental point is getting into a chi kung state of mind. You can get into a chi kung state of mind very easily, but most people, including genuine masters, can't.
When a student has learned the aspects of energy and mind, he is no more a beginner; he becomes an advanced student. In my intensive courses, a student can generate an energy flow within half an hour, and can regulate his mind by the end of the course. In other words, he becomes an advanced student by attending my intensive courses, including Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course and Intensive Taijiquan Course.
Why do I have to accomplish all these in my intensive courses? Why do I have to teach at 100% and ask students to practice at 30%? There are many reasons. One important reason is that I have to complete the course in 3 days, or 5 days for my regional kungfu courses.
Many of our instructors can accomplish these. But because their students stay for a longer time, they have the luxury of delaying the progress longer for the students' interest.
Buddha has always been teaching the nature of mind and many people can benefit from this. People pay more attention to the physical than the spiritual where all dis-ease originates.
— Parveen, England
According to the Buddha, the three factors that cause karma are thoughts, deeds and speech. In other words, the mind is the most important in deciding karma than what we do and speak.People, especially in the West where science is predominant, tend to regard the physical more important than the spiritual. In Western medicine a doctor treats the physical body. Even many psychiatrists regard psychological problems as brain disorders, forgetting that psychology means "a study of the psyche". But in traditional Chinese medicine, all diseases start from the heart, which means the mind. It is interesting to know that what we see is actually an illusion. The word "phenomenal", like the phenomenal world, means "what appears to be". In other words, a bacterium and a human being see what they imagine as reality very differently.
How can I teach Buddha's teachings without having some authoritarian title such as "nun/monk/spiritual leader" etc?
We do not need some authoritarian titles such as a nun, a monk or a spiritual leader to teach.
We often teach by examples. When we see a person lost in his ways, we teach by showing him some good examples, like being kind, having noble thoughts and positive actions.
How would Taoist Immortals train their fingers? Would the immortals use purely internal methods?
— John, Ireland
The immortals used Taoist magic when they fought. The clutch kicks, famous in the kungfu of Immortal Li, our patron immortal, were not used by the immortal in daily life. We name the clutch kicks, as well as other features of the other immortals, in their honour.
I remember an interesting event when Immortal Li made Pok Kai, my siheng or elder kungfu brother in Sifu Ho Fatt Nam's lineage, drunk. Pok Kai is a good drinker, but the immortal, while drinking, let the alcohol go to Pok Kai's body. In other words, it was Pok Kai drinking all the time.
I do finger push-ups against a wall but my middle-finger is less strong than my index-finger. How do I make them the same length?
Your fingers are already powerful. There is no need to let your middle finger the same length as your index finger, which is against health. Remember that kungfu is to make our lives, and other people's lives, meaningful; it should not enslave ourselves.
While you should also practice your kungfu, spend your time to complete your Ph.D successfully, get a beautiful wife, and raise a lovely family.
Can I ask if it is heat rising from the liver or fire in the heart which causes the problem or blockage?
I believe it is rising heat from the liver, and not fire from the heart. In Chinese medical philosophy, rising heat from the liver can cause anger.
If someone with high blood pressure sees a doctor trained in traditional Chinese medicine, the doctor would lower the rising heat from the liver. High blood pressure can be overcome. In fact there are no "incurable" diseases in tradtional Chinese medicine.
The heart is the source of joy. Someone whose heart is closed, may not feel joy. Smiling from the heart, which we do every time when we practice our arts, is a wonderful way to open the heart.
I just enjoyed very much reading Sifu's article Is Shaolin Kungfu too Flowery for Combat?
The article, Is Shaolin Kungfu too Flowery for Combat, is one of my early articles which I like very much.It was written at a time when kungfu was a laughing stock, when practitioners of other arts like Karate and Taekwondo were beating kungfu practitioners in free sparring.
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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