NOT TO WORRY, NOT TO INTELLECTUALIZE, AND ENJOY THE PRACTICE
Sifu, I am curious to know if the way I am training at the moment is giving me maximum results in all aspects such as force and acquiring better combat skills. I want to gain maximum results in a day's training.
— Chris, Australia
The best advice is to enjoy your practice and not to worry whether you are practicing correctly. This advice applies to all those who have attended my intensive courses as well as all those who train in regular classes with certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors. This advice does not apply to other people who have not trained with us. For them they have to ensure that they are practicing correctly.
Why is it that those who have not learnt from us have to make sure they are practicing correctly, whereas we in Shaolin Wahnam need not, and should not, worry about it. The answer is simple and straight-forward, though it is easy for others to misconstruct the answer and accuse us for being egoistic and boastful.
Those who have attended my intensive courses and those who are training with any of our certified instructors, would have learnt the correct methods to practice. So it is unlikely they will derive adverse effects from their training, unless they commit the following two serious mistakes. One, they purposely go against the instructions. For example, they have been reminded again and again to be relaxed. But if they purposely tense their muscles, in the mistaken belief that this will give them more power, they are obviously asking for trouble.
The second serious mistake is that they worry unnecessarily. They have been repeatedly told not to worry. If they choose to worry, they are also asking for trouble. If they worry about their practice even though their methods are “technically” correct, they may developed serious side-effects. This is because our chi kung works at the mind level.
If a practitioner starts to worry or to intellectualize, not only he will not be in a chi kung state of mind but also he places much stress on his mind. Hence, even though his physical forms and breathing are correct, he is not performing the exercise correctly because his mind is under much stress. He may, or may not, get some good results from his correct forms and correct breathing, but he will get harmful side-effects from his incorrect mental state. As the mind level is the most powerful, the balance is usually negative.
Therefore, for those students who purposely do not follow our instructions, like tensing their muscles when we tell them to relax, or closing their mouth when we tell them to open it, and for those who choose to worry or intellectualize even when we repeatedly tell them not to, we have to ask them leave our class. Sometimes we may have to tell them to get out forcefully. We may have to be harsh to be kind.
It is important to note that the serious mistakes mentioned here are purposely made. These students know that they should relax, keep their mouth gently open and do not worry, but they choose to tense their muscles, keep their mouth close and worry. They purposely go against the instructions. This is different from not following the instructions due to forgetfullness or carelessness.
If a practitioner tenses his muscles, closes his mouth, or worries about his practice once a while, not because he purposely chooses to do so but becausse he forgets or is careless, it is perfectly alright. I repeat, it is perfectly alright. He may have some side-effects due to his forgetfulness or carelessness, but these side-effects are negligible and can be easily overcome by the safety mechanisms already in-built in our chi kung practice.
In other words, if a properly trained Shaolin Wahnam student once a while tenses his muscles, closes his mouth or worries during his training, he will not only not have harmful results, but also he will have benefits, even without him doing any remedial exercises to overcome his mistakes made due to carelessness or forgetfulness. Of course, if he is constantly careless or forgetful, it is a different matter.
The safety precaution is already in-built in our chi kung exercises. This is one of the two main reasons why Shaolin Wahnam members need not worry whether they are practicing correctly. This is not to say that they need not make any effort to practice correctly, but they need not worry about it. The other main reason is that they have been trained to practice correctly. What they need to do is to practice as best as they comfortably can what they have been trained to do.
These are precisely the same two reasons why most other people have to ensure they are practicing correctly. Most other people are not practicing chi kung correctly. At best they practice chi kung forms as gentle, physical exercises. Worse, they are often tensed physically and mentally during training, resulting in energy blockage instead of energy flow. The second reason is that they do not have remedial exercises to overcome the harmful side-effects which they often are unaware of.
The following is some good advice for those who say they cannot stop worrying. To stop worrying is not a difficult thing. It is not like carrying a very heavy weight, overcoming an illness overnight, or increasing your incomre manifold. You just stop worrying. It is that simple. If you worry habitually, you may not succeed immediately, but you can make a start. But if you really cannot stop worrying, then you should not practice our Shaolin Wahnam arts. As an analogy, if you cannot stop dashing across a busy street before looking, then you should not cross a busy street.
The above is taken from Question 1 of October 2007 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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