SHAOLIN ARTS AND PHILOSOPHY

Sholin Tantui

Shaolin arts and philosophy



Question

I discovered the Shaolin arts and philosophy, and I am strongly attracted to the original traditional Shaolin lifestyle. Although my age is 59, I like to gain strength, solace, flexibility, health and fitness and spiritual health, and longevity and vitality at old age.

I am a physician in cardiovascular medicine and general medicine. I encounter a lot of fear, anxiety and stress in my patients.

So, it is good and wise to acquire Shaolin training myself and develop myself in order to help others for a very long time. I am convinced that Shoalin Kungfu, qi gong and Zen will help. I am aware of the holistic principle and combat form and meaning of the movements as well as universal energy.

Could you recommend to me where and how I can have the best and genuine Shoalin training? How do I start?

Please take into account that I am just starting and a beginner. I will read all your books in advance to get maximum information. I am also aware of the need to persevere.

At present I am reading your book, "The Complete book of Shaolin". The other books will follow. But I understand that one doesn't learn from a book, one learns from practice, instruction and repeating even blindly.

-- Dr Joe, Netherlands


Answer

It is inspiring that you intend to have good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness and spiritual joys (irrespective of one's religion) starting at 59. Indeed many of my students over 60 told me that they were healthier and fitter than they were at 30.

It is also inspiring that you wish to give confidence to your patients. When you are proficient in chi kung, you can teach your patients some simple chi kung exercise to give them confidence and increase their energy level as a supplement to the normal treatment you give them.

I would take this opportunity to explain that when you teach your patients simple chi kung exercise, you must not teach them at the same level that you practice, because doing so would cause them harm rather than benefit. You must teach them at a much lower level that is suitable for them.

Will you have harm instead of benefit if you practice at a high level? No, you will not. You will have more benefits.

Why is this so? This is because you attend my courses not only to practice chi kung at a high level but also learn remedial exercise to overcome harmful effects if you unknowingly make mistakes. But your patients do not have these benefits. So you only teach them at a low level of chi kung that is safe for them even if they make mistakes unknowingly. When you meet me in person, please remind me to show you about teaching and performing chi kung at different levels.

I would also take this opportunity to explain that what many chi kung instrucrtors teach nowadays is not chi kung but gentle physical exercise although they and their students use chi kung techniques. This statement is made in good faith, and not meant to belittle these chi kung instructors, who are usually kind and have good intention, but they themselves may not realize this important fact. Similarly, many Tai Chi instructors and students today do not realize that what they teach and practice is not Tai Chi Chuan, which is an internal martial art, but some external Tai Chi forms although they use genuine Tai Chi Chuan techniques.

Gentle physical exercise does not give confidence and increase energy level. That is why many chi kung practitioners today are still weak and sick because actually they practice gentle physical exercise, and not chi kung, which is meant to make practitioners strong and healthy.

To attain these two aims:

  1. To have good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness and spiritual joys for yourself

  2. To be able to teach simple chi kung exercise to your patients, if you want, as a supplement to your usual medical treatment so that they can be confident and have more energy

I suggest the following option.

Attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. Continue to practice on your own at home. It is sufficient if you practice just about 15 minutes daily. If you can, join a regular chi kung class taught by one of our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors. If this is not feasible, you can practice on your own at home.

You should be able to achieve the two aims above in about 6 months.

Please see my courses and time-table on my home page. Please apply to the respective honorary organizer as soon as possible.

You can attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course without any prior chi kung experience. But if you wish to learn Shaolin Kungfu or Tai Chi Chuan from me, you need some prior experience. You can first learn some Shaolin Kungfu or Tai Chi Chuan from any of our certified instructors, or from any competent instructors outside our school. Then attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course or Intensive Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) Course.



Reproduced from January 2016 Part 1 in Selection of Question-Answer Series

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