CHI FLOW, CASH FLOW AND A MEANINGFUL LIFE
In your teaching you often mention similarities between chi flow and cash flow, and furthermore that the most cost effective way is to generate a lot of chi flow in a short period of time, similarly as to generate a lot of cash flow in a short period of time. As well as that it is the chi flow, similarly to cash flow, that keeps us alive. On the other hand you often mention that our Arts help us to live a meaningful life.
What is a meaningful life? How can we lead a cost-effective and meaningful life? And how could VIPs learn to lead a meaningful life during the upcoming course?
Sifu Anton Schmick
The analogy between chi flow and cash flow is very useful to help us understand many important points about chi kung.
Today, many people practice chi kung to overcome illness, especially so-call incurable diseases. Many readers, especially at the early stage of my Question-Answer Series, asked me to provide them with suitable chi kung techniques to overcome cancer.
My typical answer was that if cancer could be overcome by practicing some chi kung techniques learned from an e-mail, cancer would not be such a deadly, wide-spread disease. I explained that the essential factor was chi kung skills, not chi kung techniques, and skills needed to be learned personally from a competent teacher. I gave the examples of swimming and driving. One might learn swimming and driving techniques from books, videos or the internet, but without the necessary skills, he would not be able to swim or drive.
At that time, I did not have the analogy of chi flow and cash flow. Then, in a flash of inspiration, I realized their similarities. It is not the types of jobs that one does that provides cash flow, which leads to a comfortable economic life; it is how skillful he is in his job. In the same way, it is not the technique that one does that provides chi flow, but the skills he has in his practice, and the chi flow overcomes his illness.
The analogy does not end here. It does not matter what caused a blockage of cash flow, and also what are the symptoms of the blockage. When the blockage is cleared, a smooth cash flow is restored, and the person can carry on his normal economic life. For example, it does not matter whether his boss paid his salary late or the cheques of his clients bounced – which are causes of his cash flow blockage; and it does not matter whether he cannot pay his house rent or cannot go for a holiday – which are symptoms of his blockage. Once the blockage is cleared and his cash flow resumes, he can overcome his economic ills.
In the same way, it does not matter whether he is attacked by viruses, or is exposed to severe stress – which are the causes of his illness. According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, if his chi flow is normal, the normal function of chi flow will clear the viruses and stress. It does not matter whether his blood pressure is high or he is clinically depressed – which are symptoms of his chi blockage. Once the blockage is cleared, he will resume his normal good health as a matter of course.
On the other hand, it is not necessarily true that the most cost-effective way is to generate a lot of chi flow in a short period of time in chi kung, and a lot of cash flow in economic life. It depends on the needs of the person involved. In our case, because we have become unbelievably cost-effective, we have to tell our students to slow down their chi flow, but not necessarily their external chi flow movement, so as not to over-train. There are reports on the internet, like those who had won lotteries with a lot of money, led miserable life, showing that a lot of cash flow in a very short period may not necessarily be a good thing.
However, it was true that in my early years of chi kung healing when I gave consultations to students to overcome their illness, I modified exercises from the 18 Lohan Hands to help them have a chi flow faster. This was because I found the chi flow from the 18 Lohan Hands took a longer time to generate a chi flow (but I later found that the chi flow was more powerful), and the students needed a chi flow to clear their chi blockage. These modified exercises are now grouped into the 18 Jewels.
Our arts certainly enable us to live a cost-effective and meaningful life. As far as I know, we are the only school in all chi kung and kungfu history that systematically and progressively teaches our students how to transfer the techniques, skills and philosophy of our arts to enrich their daily life.
What a meaningful life is, depends on different individuals. Generally, to those who are very poor, a meaningful life is to have a shelter over their heads, and sufficient food for their stomach. To those who are rich, a meaningful life is to have spiritual joys, like being peaceful and happy.
Nevertheless, it can be said for all people that good health and happiness contribute to a meaningful life. Irrespective of whether a person is poor or rich, if he is sick and unhappy, his life cannot be meaningful or cost-effective.
From the traditional Chinese medical perspective -- the perspective that has maintained the health and sanity of the largest population of the world for the longest period of known history and prehistory -- all illness is caused by energy blockage. All our chi kung and kungfu generate energy flow that clears energy blockage. Hence, by practicing our chi kung or kungfu, or both, we have good health.
One of the most wonderful discoveries in my chi kung training was that if we open our heart we will be happy – irrespective of our financial and social positions. We do this every time we practice our chi kung and kungfu – we smile from our heart. It is a very cost-effective way to make us happy.
It may be useful for some of our students to know that when we smile from our heart, our heart opens. When our heart opens, we become happy. It is not the other way round. It is not that we become happy, then our heart opens.
When a person smiles from the heart, his heart opens and becomes happy. But for most of the time, he may find it difficult to smile from his heart, especially if he does not have the opportunity to learn this skill from us. But he will be happy if he can fulfill his needs or aspirations.
I also have discovered from experience that happiness comes from fulfilling needs and aspirations. When the very poor have sufficient food to eat, they become happy because their heart opens. The opening of their heart is not because they have the skill to smile from the heart, but because they have sufficient food to eat.
The rich have fulfilled their basic needs, like food and shelter. Happiness to them comes from fulfilling aspirations. They may want a better job, or to accomplish a mission in life.
Regardless of whether they are rich or poor, two requirements for fulfilling their needs and aspirations are energy and mental clarity. Without energy and mental clarity, they cannot fulfill their needs and aspirations; they have to depend on other people or on their government. A life of dependence is not a cost-effective, meaningful life.
Our arts provide us with a lot of energy and mental clarity. Irrespective of whether we practice chi kung or kungfu, or both, our chi flow gives us a lot of energy. To generate a chi flow, we have to clear our mind of all thoughts, which provides us with mental clarity. Our methods are extremely cost-effective. As a reminder, we must always use our energy and mental clarity for good, never for evil.
During the upcoming VIP Chi Kung Course in China, VIPs will have a rare opportunity to learn how to lead a cost-effective and meaningful life. They will learn how to smile from their heart and to generate energy flow which will provide them with a lot of energy and mental clarity.
They have fulfilled their basic needs like shelter and food, so the focus will be on fulfilling their aspirations. They will develop mental clarity so as to know that they need to have planning, perseverance and generosity in order to fulfill their aspirations. They will develop a lot of energy to carry out their aspirations. They will also learn wholesome philosophy that their aspirations are for good – for their own good, the good of other people, or both.
VIPs will learn that, leaving aside altruism, having a noble philosophy is for their own good, because abusing their energy and mental clarity will inevitably bring evil to themselves. This is not moralization or superstition; it is a great universal truth. What the future of the VIPs will be, is a function of their mind. Even the whole phenomenal world is a function of the mind.
The VIP Chi Kung Course is a rare opportunity for VIPs, or those who want to become VIP. Even those who may not want to become VIP will find the course useful, as it will provide them good health and happiness, making their life cost-effective and meaningful. It is a course that under-graduates do not learn in Harvard.
The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Special Chi Kung Course for VIPs.