The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds — The Shaolin Arts and Daily Life .started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 2nd August 2007

Jonny Say Sifu Jonathan Say
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Scotland
6th August 2007

Good Words

The next part of the teaching I would like to discuss is Good Words.

Another quote from Sigung demonstrating the importance of this teaching is the following from Questions and Answers:

We are what we say, do and think; when our words, deeds and thoughts are noble, we are noble.

What does it mean to have noble words? Part of this concept is described by Sigung in The Complete Book of Zen pg 44:

Right Speech, which means to abstain from telling lies, backbiting, slandering, using abusive language, and indulging in foolish gossip

So part of Good Words is to identify the areas in our lives where we may be guilty of any of the above, and overcoming/letting go of the blockages which cause this to happen. In my culture it is very common for people to indulge in these negative words. I think practices such as gossiping are the cultural norm in the West. I have found two ways that I have improved this:

One is through my training I can now feel the negative energy associated with , for example, slandering. My brother Hubert talked about this on another thread, describing the feeling of being unable to lie.

The other way is being mindful of my speech and observing when I may be prone to drift away from Good Words. And to either replace bad words with good, or smile from the heart and let go.

I have also found inspiration within the 10 Shaolin Laws to help me manifest Good Words. For example:

3. Required to be filial to parents, be respectful to the elderly, and protective of the young.

From this law I try to ensure that I manifest respect towards my family, friends and especially the elderly.

5. Forbidden to be ungrateful and unscrupulous, ignoring the Laws of man and heaven.

This has inspired me to feel and express genuine gratitude when someone helps me in some way.

9. Obliged to be humane, compassionate and spread love, and to realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people.

So we must aim to have our words manifest compassion and love from an open heart.


10. Obliged to be chivalrous and generous, to nurture talents and pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples.

We can be very generous with words if we say compliments that we really feel. These words will nurture the talents of our friends and family, which links to spreading love. My brother Innes has made a very good thread on this subject:

Good Words can be seen as a manifestation of Good Thoughts. I shall discuss Good Thoughts, the most important part of this teaching (as it initiatives the Karmic process), in my next post.

All the best

Sifu Jonathan Say
Shaolin Wahnam Scotland

I would like to share with you a great cosmic truth. What you are and will be, is what you think. If one constantly thinks of himself as being sick and unhappy, he will be sick and unhappy. It is very important that you must always have noble thoughts — of yourself and of others. And especially when your mind has become powerful, you must always use it for good.
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Alex McArdell Alex McArdell
Shaolin Wahnam Wales
6th August 2007

Nice thread Bro!

Originally Posted by Jonny Say

We can be very generous with words if we say compliments that we really feel, these words will nurture the talents of our friends and family, which links to spreading love

This is an excellent technique and one that can have quite miraculous effects. It is so simple to find something to honestly appreciate about someone, yet so few people take the time to do it, often out of fear or embarrassment.

But it must of course be real appreciation, not empty flattery. This reminds me the words of Dale Carnegie and his famous book "How to win friends and influence people".

"Flattery is from the teeth out. Sincere appreciation is from the Heart out."

"All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...."

Shaolin Wahnam USA
7th August 2007

Dear Johnny Sihing,

Thank you for your wonderful posts. I wanted to bring up that good thoughts about others especially family can make a tremendous difference. I try to consciously steer my mind away from dwelling on my family's negative qualities as Sifu has taught and although I'm not at my best right now I'm confident that my heart will open more in a few more days.

Also I wanted to raise the issue of good thoughts regarding yourself as a vital way to develop courage and self-confidence. I am, still in the practice stage regarding this as well ^^. But I felt that this was a useful topic to raise.



Hubert Razark Sifu Hubert Razark
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam France
7th August 2007

Dear Jonny,

This is a great thread, well done!

It is fascinating to see how our life changes, thanks to our training and according to our choices. In fact, with our training, the results of our choices become more obvious, because everything we do is amplified.

Like Pete and you described, I've also seen my tastes in movies and music change quite a lot. I used to really be into "arty" movies, usually visually and emotionally very disturbing. A few months ago it occurred to me that I hadn't seen such movies for some time, and I didn't really feel the need to.

However, I tried, just to see. To my surprise, I actually felt physically sick during the movie. I was taking so much negative energy in that I really had to completely disconnect from the movie to carry on watching.

So, nowadays, I'm more into the big harmless blockbusters, and your average Hugh Grant movie.


Hubert Razack
Shaolin Wahnam France


Shaolin Wahnam Slovenia
7th August 2007


Thanks Jonny for starting this thread. I think it's a very good one. I also have similar experience regarding the taste in movies and music.

With the training I became more sensitive. Before I really liked movies with bloody battles and a lot of violence but now the same movies make me sad. After watching them I feel "impure" and sense a lot of negative energy. I also prefer Hugh Grant now.

I would like to add that such movies create in me negative impressions, impressions influence my daily thoughts and at the the end my thoughts cause my deeds. So now I try to get as less negative impressions as possible.


All you need is love



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