SIMPLE, DIRECT, EFFECTIVE
Also, in my practice, I have much mental chatter. May you prescribe a way or offer advice on how to endure, phase out this chatter and earn entering into a qigong state of mind?
— Jordan, USA
I am not surprised that you have this mental problem after reading your mention about Sifu Anthony’s list of relaxation exercises. This mention indicates not only your problem with chi kung practice but also with other aspects of your daily life.
This actually is a common problem with many people in the West. Have you wondered why many people in the West are stressful and unhappy despite the West having all the facilities like financial and social security to provide people with a stress-free and happy life?
Not many people realize the reason. It is because these people intellectualize excessively and unnecessarily. This discovery is not made through philosophizing but through direct experience.
A noticeable feature of our students in Shaolin Wahnam is that they are stress-free and happy – certainly more stress-free and happier than most people. Even if you have not met them personally, you can sense these qualities by reading their posts in our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.
Many of our students were also stressful and unhappy before. But after practicing our arts they become stress-free and happy. In fact I was pleasantly surprised that the largest number of e-mails of gratitude I received was not from those whose lives I literally saved, and I have saved many from so-called incurable diseases, but from healthy people who told me that their life had changed from merely existing to joyful living.
And you have been taught by your sifu this priceless lesson. Do you know what it is? It is not Lifting the Sky or Carrying the Moon, though these are excellent exercises, but simply relax and smile from your heart. It is wonderfully simple, direct and effectice.
If it is simple, direct and effective, why don’t other people do it so as to be stress-free and happy? In the first place, they may not know this teaching. Even if they do, like reading about it in our literature, they only know the techniques but they lack the necessary skills to carry out the techniques. In other words, they may know and believe that by relaxing and smiling from their heart they can be stress-free and happy, but they do not know how to relax and smile from their heart.
To help our students, we have three golden rules of practice. These golden rules apply not just to chi kung but to any practice, including your daily activities. The three golden rules are:
1. Don’t worry.
2. Don’t intellectualize.
3. Enjoy your practice.
Let us take an example. Some people may think the rules outlandish, but they clearly illustrate the important principles involved.
Suppose you are going to have bread and butter for breakfast. Just eat your breakfast and enjoy it.
Don’t worry how you are going to spread the butter over your bread, whether you are going to hold your bread with five fingers or just two, whether you are going to smell the bread or the butter first before putting them into your mouth.
Don’t intellectualize why the bread is made from wheat and not from corn, whether the farmer who produced the butter has a wife or two wives or none at all, and what will happen to the bread and butter when it has gone into your stomach.
Don’t complain why you have bread and butter for breakfast and not bacon and eggs, which means you are not enjoying your practice of eating your breakfast. Just eat it and enjoy your eating.
If you prefer bacon and eggs instead, change your bread and butter if it is within your means, without worrying like how you will do it, and without intellectualizing like whether you should do it, and enjoy the practice of changing your breakfast, regardless of whether it happens half and hour or five days later.
In the same way, if you want your mother to recover from her many health problems by attending my Intensive Chi Kung Course, send her to the course in a simple, direct and effective manner, instead of worrying and intellectualizing unnecessarily like how she would get on a plane and whether she would be a good or bad student. If these problems like getting on a plane and becoming a good student really occur, then solve them in a simple, direct and effective manner. But don’t worry or intellectualize and create the problems in your mind when they do not really exist.
If you just relax and smile from your heart, and be simple, direct and effective in whatever you do, you will soon find life easier and happier.
The above is taken from Question 7 May 2014 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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