Pushing Mountain

Pushing Mountain is a technique that can operate any of the skills of Bone Marrow Cleansing. We cannot illustrate skills but we can illustrate the technique of Pushing Mountain.


Is Bone Marrow Cleansing a skill or a technique or both?

I believe Bone Marrow Cleansing belongs to the highest level of Chi Kung training. Why is this so?

Sifu Andrew Barnett


Bone Marrow Cleansing is a skill. This skill can be attained using different techniques. This was a main reason why there were no records of how Bone Marrow Cleansing could be performed, which in turn set a long debate whether Bodhidhara actually taught Bone Marrow Cleansing.

Bodhidharma taught three arts at the Shaolin Temple, namely Eighteen Lohan Hands, Sinew Metamorphosis and Bone Marrow Cleansing. There was no debate on whether Eighteen Lohan Hands and Sinew Metamorphosis were taught by Bodhidharma. This was because as Eighteen Lohan Hands and Sinew Metamorphosis refer to techniques which have form, there are records of how these arts were practiced.

Let us take as an example "Lifting the Sky", which is the first technique of Eighteen Lohan Hands. We can show in pictures or words how "Lifting the Sky" is performed. Similarly, as "Flicking Fingers", which is the first of the twelve exercises in Sinew Metamorphosis, is a technique and has form, we can show how it is practiced. But Bone Marrow Cleansing, being a skill, has no definite form. Hence, we cannot show how it is practiced.

An analogy will make this clearer. Executing a punch using the technique "Black Tiger Steals Heart" can be recorded in a picture because "Black Tiger Steals Heart" has form. But executing a punch using internal force cannot be shown because using internal force is a skill and has no form.

We in Shaolin Wahnam are quite clear about the difference between techniques and skills. But most other chi kung and kungfu practitioners may not differentiate between techniques and skills.

The advantage, of course, goes beyond understanding why there were no records of how Bone Marrow Cleansing was practiced. Because we appreciate the difference, we are able to get a lot of benefits in a very short time. Others who are not aware of the difference may practice the techniques correctly but derive no benefit because they lack the necessary skills. This, in fact, is what happens to most chi kung and kungfu practitioners today.

There are five levels of energy flow: at the levels of the skin, the flesh, the meridians, the organs and the bone marrow. Bone Marrow Cleansing works at the highest level.

We should note that "bone marrow" in this context does not refer literally to bone marrow only. It includes the nervous system and the brain. Hence, Bone Marrow Cleansing is cleansing the whole nervous system.

Bone Marrow Cleansing belongs to the highest level because energy flowing along the bone marrow or nerves is the highest level of a practitioner's normal energy flow development. When he first generates an energy flow, it flows at his skin level. He may feel as if insects are crawling over his skin.

Then the energy soaks into his flesh, making him charged with energy. Then he progresses to energy flowing in his meridians, overcoming illness and giving him good health. At the next level, energy flows into his organs, giving him vitality and longevity. At the highest level, energy flows in his bone marrows, giving him mental clarity and spiritual joys.

The above question-answer is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong on Bone Marrow Cleansing and Eighteen-Lohan Art in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum

Flicking Fingers

Students employing the technique of Flicking Fingers to develop internal force