SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
AUGUST 2022 PART 1
Note: The Q & A Series will end on Apr 25 Part 1, but the Series will carry on as usual.
Note: The Series Q & A will end on Dec Part 3 but the Series will carry on as usual.
The benefits of my kung fu and chi kung practice constantly show themselves in daily life. For that I am always grateful to you. I was wondering if I could practice certain breathing methods or concentration techniques while I do my job sitting at my desk? Would it be possible for example to conduct Small Universe breathing or Abdominal Breathing or simply concentrating on my breathing as I go throughout my work day at my desk? Sitting at a desk all day for week, in my opinion, could be a good meditative opportunity, but I was wondering if Sigung had any advice for me and of course other students who work at a desk for their day job.
— Sifu Miguel Spariosu, Shaolin Wahnam Utrecht, Netherlands
AnswerIt is great that your small universal breathing is showing at your work. Congratulations, it is a progress.
Many people would like to have the "Small Universe", but they don't have his achievement. Many people consider the "Small Universe" as "the chi kung". You don't have just the "Small Universe", but you have the "Small and Big Universe" Course.
You may have to think of the "Small Universe" at times. If you find that the "Small Universe" is not flowing or is too vague, you can use "Abdominal Breathing" to start your "Small Universe". Once it is yours, it remains yours already.
It is not necessary to perform the "Forceful Big Universe", though you may want to recall the five steps once a while -- namely, "Dan Tian Breathing", "Submerge Breathing", "Long Breathing", "Forceful Small Universe" and "Gentle Small Universe". Remember that "Dan Tian Breathing" and diaphragmatic breathing, "Long Breathing" and chest breathing, are different.
"Small Universe" breathing is probably the best breathing method in our daily life. It gives great health, vitality and longevity, and will also make you very lucky.
I feel bountiful, full of unconditional love, be in bliss and yet see others suffering including Joel, family etc. This may appear to be a noble Bodhisattva path, however through the process of helping people to overcome their suffering and guide them to awakening their true nature.
— Parveen, England
The world is actually full of individual entities in the phenomenal, though it is actually a spread of universal energy in the completely transcendental.
We live in the phenomenal realm. In the phenomenal realm we help others if we are powerful. Right now you need to rest. You must rest for some time, say a month. You have to be strong to help others. Do so gradually. You can start with daily chores, like finding beauty in your daily duties.
You can make Joel and your family happy by being happy yourself. Live every day joyfully. Life in the phenomenal realm is full of wonders, but we need to find beauty in the wonders while realizing there is much ugliness.
I like the poem you wrote:
Still like a mountain
Watch the clouds float by
Embracing the ebbs and flow of the tides
Welcome the arrival of the blossoming dew drop pearls
I am really enjoying the reading of your book. And also I like the way "In Quest of Cosmic Reality" is written: the original in Chinese, literal translation, interpretation and commentaries.
If you won't do Qigong classes through the internet, at least you could offer some Buddhist teachings. It is precious the way you do.
— Sifu Rafael Castro Vargas, Shaolin Wahnam Colombia
Asvaghosha's "Awakening of Faith in Mahayana" is a great book. He is a Bodhisattva. My book, "In Quest of Cosmic Reality" is a translation, interpretation and commentaries of his great book. It gives an explanation of Mahayana Buddhism, or of any spiritual cultivation.
Personally I do not teach online classes; I prefer to give courses face-to-face.
Be kind to others, and find beauty in your daily life. Being kind is one of the best ways to cultivate spiritually. You should remain kind when you become more wealthy.
What are the differences in general? Our arts are characterized as high level. But even in our arts there are techniques that have a lower level in comparison. How do they differ? Are there situations where lower level techniques are more useful than high level ones?
— Sifu Marc Harnisch, Shaolin Wahnam Germany
The most basic application of kungfu is that a kungfu practitioner must be able to use his (or her) kungfu for combat even if he (or she) loses in the combat. He should also be healthy and full of vitality. A low level kungfu practitioner in our school should be able to handle strikes and kicks. He should be able to complete his low level attack and defence in a year.
A medium level kungfu practitioner in our school should be able to learn some classical weapons, like the staff and the sabre in Shaolin Kungfu, and the sword and the sabre in Taijiquan. He should complete his classical weapon in his second year.
A high level kungfu practitioner should be able to use his kungfu skills and techniques for the four categories of attack and defence, namely striking, kicking, felling and "chin-na", which is a special way of gripping. He should have completed his classical weapons, and use some tactics and strategies. A high level practitioner should have completed his study of kungfu in his third year.
The most basic requirement of a chi kung practitioner in our school is to be healthy. This can be attained by "entering into a chi kung state of mind", i.e. to be relaxed and focused at the same time, and to have energy flow. He progresses to a medium level and to a high level by attending my intensive and regional courses, such as taking courses like "Internal Force" and "Mental Clarity" in a medium level, and courses like "Small and Big Universe", and "Sinew Metamorphosis" in a high level.
In both chi kung courses and kungfu courses the aim is to be healthy. A chi kung master would consider his job well done if his students attain health, whereas a kungfu master starts with health. If a kungfu master finds a student not healthy, he would ask him to practice chi kung first, only when he is healthy he can start with kungfu. This makes a huge difference.
Low level techniques are sometimes preferable to high level techniques. If a person is sick, we should teach him (or her) low level techniques. Teaching him high level techniques may cause him harm. It is like teaching a sick person lifting weights or running a marathon. But what is "low" level in our school is "high" level elsewhere.
When testing an opponent, a kungfu exponent many use low level techniques. If he uses high level techniques, such as defence-cum-attack or without-defence-direct-attack, the opponent may change his attack halfway. It is worthwhile to remember that when he uses low level techniques, he repeats his stances, footwork and right spacing and timing which he learrned at the start of his kungfu carrrer.
I really don't mean to be presumptuous, but our arts are really very high level. Before my world travels about 25 years ago, I couldn't believe we could achieve such high levels. Other "chi kung" practitioners merely practice gentle, physical exercise, and gentle, physical exercise cannot give health, vitality and longevity. Many "chi kung" practitioners are weak and sickly.
It is usual that many martial art teachers use physical strength. They tense their muscles and myriad thoughts occur in their intellect. Tensing their muscles and myriad thoughts occurring in their intellect cause energy blockage and bad health.
The theory of the 5 elemental processes relates the basic emotions to organs/organ pairs. What are these basic emotions and what organs/organ pairs do they relate to? With those questions answered, what is the relevance of the "negative" emotions and how can they be useful in healing and daily living?
It is important to note that the five animals of "Five-Animal Play" and the five animals of Shaolin Kungfu are different. The five animals of the Five-Animal Play are "deer", "bird", "monkey", "tiger" and "bear", and the five aniamls of Shaolin Kungfu are "dragon", "snake", "tiger", "learpard" and "crane".
The 5 elemental processes of Five-Animal Play relate to different emotions of organs. Different emotions occur because the organs are different, and from centuries of observations Chinese doctors have found the following relationship.
There are five "xang-organs" and six "fu-organs". The sixth "fu-organ" is called the "triple-warmer", and it contains all the other organs. Hence, there are actually five "xang-organs" and five "fu-organs". The relationship is as follows: animals, "xang-organs", "fu-organs", or their English equivalents, emotions, counterparts.
1. "deer" -- "liver" -- "gall bladder" -- "anger" -- calmness.
2. "bird" -- "heart" -- "intestines" -- "joy" -- melancholy.
3. "monkey" -- "spleen" -- "stomach" -- "anxiety" -- certainty.
4. "tiger" -- "lungs" -- "colon" -- "grief" -- contentment.
5. "bear" -- "kidneys" -- "urinary bladder" -- "fear" -- courage.
It is important to know the animals and perform the necessary forms to unblock the emotions. As we practice at a very high level, any forms will do though the incorrect forms may take a longer time. Usually those who practice Five-Animal Play, practice only the respective animal or animals.
The "negative" emotions or counterparts can be used in healing or daily living. For example, if a person's liver or gall bladder system is blocked, we can unblock it and make him calm. After unblocking his liver or gall bladder system, it is better if we can let him practice the "bird" form to make him joyful.
If a person's heart or intestines system is blocked, we can unblock it. Having unblock the person's heart or gall bladder system, we can continue to let him practice the "bird" form to make him joyful. Many people's heart and intestines system is blocked though they may not realize it.
If a person's lungs or colon system is blocked, we can unblock the system. Having unblock his lungs or colon system with the "tiger" form, we can let him practice the "bird" form to make him joyful.
If a person's kidneys or urinary bladder system is blocked, we can use the "deer" form to unblock the organ system. Having unblock it with the "deer" form, we can let him practice the "bird" form to make him joyful. Indeed, it is better to be joyful than to be sad.
"The 18 Lohan Hands" is a continuing thread. Everyone can share their experiences, ask questions, paste in links, benefits, quotes, success stories and further information on this set of exercises
The "18 Lohan Hands" is a set of 18 exercises as follows:
- Lifting the Sky
- Shooting Arrows
- Plucking Stars
- Turning Head
- Thrust Punch
- Carrying the Moon
- Nourishing Kidneys
- Three Levels to Ground
- Dancing Crane
- Carrying Mountain
- Drawing Knife
- Presenting Claws
- Pushing Mountain
- Separating Water
- Big Windmill
- Deep Knee Bending
- Rotating Knees
It is indeed a surprise that when I started teaching to the public about 40 years ago, I found a classic listing the "18-Lohan Hands" in the same order I have listed them above. I fancied that I was at the Shaolin Monastery in a past life or a divine being taking pity on me to spread health and happiness.
It is a common misconception that chi kung overcoming so-called incurable diseases are of a high level. In fact, chi kung that can overcome so-called incurable diseases, like "18 Jewels" and "5-Animal Play", and that provides health, vitality and longevity, such as "18-Lohan Hands", are of the lowest levels in our school. Teaching medium or high levels chi kung are like asking people to run a marathon or to lift weights.
This is because to overcome so-called incurable diseases and maintaining health, vitality and longevity to people in general are to use low level chi kung, i.e. chi kung that produces the least amount of energy. Chi kung of a medium level and chi kung of a high level should be taught in kungfu for peak performance and spiritual joys irrespective of religion.
"The 18-Lohan Hands" is our set of exercises to train instructors. In my Intensive Chi Kung Course I teach only "Lifting the Sky" to generate energy flow, "Pushing Mountain" to create a ball of energy for daily living, and "Carrying the Moon" to have a "Cosmic Shower" to cleanse
and strengthen internal organs. Although there are only three techniques, many skills are taught in the course.
I have started to take chi kung class with Sifu Leo two months ago and the first results have been fantastic, both on a psychological and a physiological levels.
I do have a question regarding your statement about incurable diseases and more specifically genetics. If I understood correctly, you are saying that genetic disorders can be cured by practicing genuine chi kung.
— Dr. Stefen, Austria
Sifu Leo (Sifu Leonard Lackinger of Shaolin Wahnam Wien, Austria) is my disciple. He will pass the wonderful benefits of chi kung (and kungfu) to posterity.
One of the best things to do is to practice genuine chi kung, or "qigong" in Romanized Chinese. It is even better if a practitioner practices genuine, high-level chi kung. Most other people practice gentle, physical exercise, and they don't realize it. That is the reason why other people who practice "chi kung" are weak and sickly, and they don't know it.
Why are other people still weak and sickly if they practice "chi kung", or more correctly, what they think is chi kung. This is because chi kung gives good health, vitality and longevity, but gentle, physical exercise does not. The main reason is to enter into a chi kung state of mind, i.e. to be relaxed and focused at the same time.
The crucial factor is that the forms or techniques are the same, but the skills are different. Most other people practice for a short time, and they become teachers. Their students also become teachers. But they miss the most important factor, that is entering into a chi kung state of mind. In other words, if practitioners enter into a chi kung state of mind, they practice chi kung; if practitioners do not enter into a chi kung state of mind, they practice gentle, physical exercise which does not bring good health, vitality and longevity.
The crucial factor is to enter into a chi kung state of mind, which are skills and have to be learnt from a master or at least a competent instructor. The difference is entering into a chi kung state of mind. The difference is skills and not just forms or techniques.
I used to think that if a person practices the forms or techniques for a long time, he would develop the effects of chi kung, i.e the techniques would bring good health, vitality and longevity. Most people, including genuine masters, think in that way. They think wrongly that if the techniques are correct, they will eventually have the effects of chi kung. But that is not so. The most important factor is entering into a chi kung state of mind, which are skills.
Most people practice gentle, physical exercise which does not bring good health, vitality and longevity. A few practitioners practice genuine chi kung, and they eventually become masters but they do not realize the difference between skills and techniques. We in Shaolin Wahnam practice very high level chi kung. At first I did not realize how very high our level of chi kung was.
It is the skills of entering into a chi kung state of mind, and not the techniques of entering into a chi kung state of mind, that is crucial. You need to learn the skills and not just the techniques of entering into a chi kung state of mind from a master or a competent instructor.
In your regular practice you have to guard against over-training. You have to practice far below your potential, not at your potential, which is very "high" to others who practice gentle, physical exercise.
On the other hand Jing (or DNA as regarded from a Western perspective) cannot be changed. Do I understand correctly that you cannot change the genes themselves, but you can correct defects/mutations within those genes that were caused by bad Karma of previous generations?
First we need to differentiate between pre-natal chi and post-natal chi. Pre-natal chi was your father's sperm, your mother's egg, the arrangement of heavenly bodies in the sky, and whatever nutrients your mother brought to you before you were born. It is what I would say the DNA in Western terminology. Post-natal chi started the moment when you were born. It includes the very high level chi kung you learn from Sifu Leo.
You can change your post-natal chi, but you cannot change your pre-natal chi. You can have good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys irrespective of religion, but you cannot change, for example, from a Caucasian to a Negro.
Genes belong to post-natal chi, not pre-natal chi. Because of bad karma in a previous life or lives, your genes might have changed. In chi kung practice, when your chi flow is harmonious, you can change your genes. In fact, it has been discovered that when a person is sick, his DNA is not normal. But when he becomes well, his DNA becomes normal.
So there is a possibility (obviously no guarantee) to cure for example Marfan Syndrome by having the Chi work on the gene mutations that cause the energy blockage (creates faulty connective tissue from a Western perspective)? What about for example of the Down Syndrome. I have read on the communication forum that this is basically a de-facto condition, Chinese medicine has no cure for either. Is this correct? Where can we draw the line of what is a "de-facto condition" and what is possible to heal with genuine, high-level Chi Kung?
I have overcome Down Syndrome (a congenital condition characterized by physical characteristics and some degree of limitation of intellectual ability and social and practical skills). I may have overcome Marfan Syndrome (a condition characterized by skeletal changes such as elongation of limbs and displacement of the eye), but I don't know.
In genuine, high level chi kung healing, there is no such a thing as an incurable disease, as to be healthy is our natural birth-right. If all your cells, tissues, organs and systems are working properly, you will be healthy. Practicing chi kung and chi kung healing call that harmonious chi flow. I am proud that I have never been sick for more than 50 years.
Traditional Chinese medicine prescribes medical treatment to ensure harmonious chi flow. In other words, a herbalist, an acupuncturist or a traditional Chinese massager finds out which herbs, acupuncture points or tendons that block the chi flow so that he can unblock them. Chi kung healers are even more immediate. As chi flows to all parts of the body, he just ensures a harmonious chi flow.
Western medicine is very prevalent today. Pharmaceutical companies and Western trained doctors can create sugar-coated pills with different flavors instead of practicing chi kung or do chi kung healing. They will both be financial and spiritual rich.
Chi kung healing and practicing chi kung are quite different. A chi kung healer prescribe some chi kung exercises, and the chi kung is usually "low" in Shaolin Wahnam, though it can be very "high" to other people. In practicing chi kung, the practitioner himself (or herself) practices the chi kung exercises. As Sifu Leo is himself a master, you are likely to progress to high level chi kung. Hence, you will progress to the de-facto condition in your genuine, high-level chi kung practice.
It is people like you who practice genuine, high level chi kung who value health, which is our greatest wealth. I know of students who wake up at five in the morning to practice chi kung as well as kungfu, not for one or two days but every day. The benefits are tremendous. They are full of good health, have vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys irrespective of their culture and religion, and find every day peaceful and happy.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
- Great Importance of the Samll and the Big Universe
- Bring Out the Best in People
- Buddhism and Science -- Physical Sciences
- Difference between Techniques and Skills
- Lovely Faces