THE ROLES OF PATTERN, SKILL, CHI FLOW AND MEDIATION DURING CLEANSING, BUILDING AND NOURISHING
My experiences with cleansing lead me to understand that the pattern (Lifting the Sky) and the skill (generating a chi flow) are used to start the process, but the real "work" of cleansing takes place during the self-manifested chi flow. At the end, the standing meditation seems to help the healing set in and take hold.
My experiences with building, however, are a bit different. With Iron Wire, my experience tells me that the "work" of building takes place during the patterns (Iron Wire) with the skill (Force or Flow method). Self-manifested chi flow, in this case, seems to be used as a safety valve to counter any blockages. Again, standing meditation seems to help the building set in and take hold.
I do not have much direct experience of nourishing, so I cannot comment on that.
Can you please elaborate on the roles of pattern, skill, self-manifested chi flow, and standing meditation during cleansing, building, and nourishing?
Sifu Matt Fenton
Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for your sharp and accurate observation.
What you have described is true for your experience. It is also true for many people in our school, but it may not be so for other practitioners outside our school. This will become clear as the answer unfolds.
Before addressing your questions in some detail, it is helpful to examine the concepts of experience and philosophy from the Eastern perspective and from the Western perspective.
In Easter culture, experience comes before philosophy.
For example, when the Buddha said that the phenomenal world is composed of four greats, namely fire, water, earth and air, he experienced the reality first, then described his experience for the benefit of posterity which eventually constitutes the philosophy.
In other words, the Buddha did not sit down in a lotus position and start thinking, “What actually is the phenomenal world made of? Well, it is made of earth, fire, water and air.” Rather, in his deep meditation he saw the phenomenal world reduced to its finest aspects, and he used the symbols of fire, water, earth and air to describe these aspects with their different characteristics. A modern scientists using very sophisticated instruments may describe the same reality as matter being composed of quarks with up-spin, down-spin, top-spin and bottom-spin.
In Western culture, philosophy comes before experience.
For example, when Plato said that the perfect form is the sphere, first he philosophized on the perfect form and rationalized that it was the sphere. Only then he or his students went into the real world and found examples to justify the philosophy.
The lucky or unfortunate thing, depending on one’s perspective, is that the world is so large that one can always find enough evidence to justify whatever philosophy he has formulated. For example, if you were to say that a cone or an irregular stone were the perfect form, you could also find enough evidence and arguments to justify your claim.
In our school as we practice traditional arts first developed in the East, we use the Eastern approach from experience to philosophy. We also find this approach very useful.
What you have said describes your experience. And when a lot of people have similar experiences with similar descriptions, which is the case in our school, the explanation becomes the philosophy.
This, indeed, is how our philosophy of cleansing, building and nourishing evolved. At present it is a philosophy peculiar to our school because other schools without our advantages and benefits do not have our experiences, and therefore our explanation.
Just as you have excellently described, when our students practice chi kung patterns like “Lifting the Sky” and “Carrying the Moon”, they succeed in generating a chi flow. If this chi flow becomes vigorous we call this experience self-manifested chi movement.
At first we called this chi flow a result, as it is a result of performing chi kung techniques like “Lifting the Sky” and “Carrying the Moon”. Now, having various experiences and deeper understanding, we call this chi flow a skill, reserving results for other experiences like overcoming pain and illness, and attaining good health and vitality.
Whether we call the experience of generating chi flow a technique, a skill or a result is a matter of semantics. And in line with the Eastern perspective, we use language, irrespective of whether it is a Western language like English or a Eastern language like Chinese, for convenience and benefit, and not for limiting ourselves into compartmentalization. In the same way, we can use the term, “Black Tiger Steals Heart” or “Fierce Tiger Speeds through Valley”, to refer to a pattern, a sequence or a set.
Here we refer to generating chi flow as a skill because it is convenient and gives us a lot of benefits. We know, for example, why thousands of other practitioners using the same techniques like “Lifting the Sky” and “Carrying the Moon” but do not get the results of overcoming pain and illness or attaining good health and vitality because they lack this skill.
We also know that a lot of people practice the same techniques in Iron Wire but do not have the result of internal force because they too lack this skill. Further we know that a few masters using the same techniques of Iron Wire and have internal force but only after many months or even years because they are unaware that unknown to them, they have generated chi flow which eventually consolidate into internal force. For us, knowing the philosophy and being able to apply it every time we practice, we can have similar results after a few days.
Let us have fun, as well as insight, examining what most other practitioners experience in their chi kung and force training, and how they describe their experiences which constitute their philosophy, which is an explanation of what happened, and what is likely to happen when the same procedure is followed.
Most of other practitioners today perform chi kung patterns but they do not have any chi flow. They may loosen their joints and muscles, and enjoy a sense of well-being. But if they are sick, they would be unable to overcome their sickness. So their philosophy, usually verbal but sometimes may be written on the internet, is that chi kung cannot overcome illness. At best it gives a sense of well-being.
If they have the opportunity to read chi kung classics that clearly recorded that chi kung could overcome illness, they would be puzzled. If they are smart as well as honest and courageous, they will examine their own practice and seek other masters for help. If they lack honesty and courage, they will overlook the classics, tell themselves that such chi kung benefits are no longer true today, and continue with their classes for socialization if they don’t have more worthy things to do.
A few of these other practitioners may have chi flow though they may not realize it. If they practice long enough, they can overcome their illness if they were sick, and attain good health and vitality, though it is nothing like the good health and vitality we enjoy in our school.
They will attribute the benefits they get to the techniques they practice. In fact this is also the idea commonly expressed in chi kung literature, i.e. practice and practice for years and results will eventually appear. Sometimes it is also mentioned that only a very few will succeed in their practice.
Although the term “chi flow”, which is “xing qi” in Chinese, is mentioned in chi kung classics, it is never explained explicitly that it is a skill, in contrast to techniques, and that without this skill, practitioners will not succeed in obtaining the desired results even when they perform the techniques correctly.
These students have no concept of chi flow even when it has occurred in them haphazardly, because they were unaware of it. They will not understand if we tell them that it was the chi flow, not the techniques they performed, that helped them overcome illness, and attain good health and vitality. Some of them may ridicule us when our students become instructors after practicing for just a few years. To them, just to be a chi kung student will take years.
Your description of how you developed internal force in Iron Wire training is clear and correct, but it applies only in our school. It does not apply to most other practitioners even when they have developed internal force using Iron Wire training. The philosophy, which is an explanation of what happened, and what will happen if the same procedure is followed correctly, is new and revolutionary.
It is new and revolutionary even when it is correct because it applies only to a small, elite group of people. The great majority will use the orthodox philosophy which will be explained below.
Let us see how the training of Iron Wire will be when practitioners practice it the orthodox way. Internal force is developed when practitioners work on the patterns of the Iron Wire Set, where flowing energy is consolidated. Their process is similar to ours except that theirs is not as pronounced. Their process is spread over many years, whereas ours take only months.
Chi inside their arms must be fluid, or else the practitioners cannot convert it into internal force. If they tense their muscles, they will lock up their chi, resulting in building muscles instead. This is what many practitioners do. They practice Iron Wire as isometric exercise and build up big muscles. They have much muscular strength which they mistake for internal force.
A big difference between the orthodox method and our method is that we have a chi flow after performing the patterns, which may sometimes progress to self-manifested chi movement, but they don’t
The chi flow achieves two important functions. If we have caused some blockage due to incorrect practice, our chi flow will clear it away. Hence, with our chi flow, we will not practice it wrongly as isometric exercise. If we do so unknowingly, our chi flow will clear the muscles and convert it to flowing energy.
The second important function is that the chi flow greatly speed up our progress. Not only the chi flow process enables the energy to be fluid, it also substantially increases its volume. This makes it easier and faster to consolidate the energy into internal force.
Just like the case of practicing “Lifting the Sky”, those practicing Iron Wire correctly and succeed in building internal force may not realize the actual processes going on inside them. The concepts of cleansing, building and nourishing do not occur to them, though they happen without their conscious knowing. Hence, their explanation or philosophy is that by practicing the patterns of Iron Wire they develop internal force.
Of those who use this orthodox philosophy, only a very small proportion will succeed. But in our school, the proportion that will succeed is much higher, though the actual number of persons practicing the art will be much smaller.
Let us estimate that in the whole world there are 10,000 persons who have the rare opportunity to practice Iron Wire. Of these 10,000, only about 50, or 0.5%, will succeed in developing internal force from their Iron Wire training, not muscular strength from isometric exercise. These 50 rare persons with internal force derived from Iron Wire, will have practiced Iron Wire for more than 10 years, and are rightly regarded and respected as masters of Iron Wire.
In our school when we have 100 persons practicing Iron Wire, about 60 persons, or 60%, will succeed in developing internal force from their Iron Wire training. But they need not train for more than 10 years, they may train for only 10 months.
Orthodox practitioners would not believe us. Some of them would ridicule us, arguing how could we attain in 10 months what masters need more than 10 years. That is their problem and their loss. It is their loss because they never bother to find out whether what we say is true, and if so how we can achieve such results.
These 60 students of our school will not be regarded as Iron Wire masters although they have similar internal force that the recognized 50 world Iron Wire masters have, mainly because our students have not trained for more than 10 years, which is the very minimum time what most people would conceptualize a master should have trained. Further, our students do not belong to a school where most people would expect Iron Wire to be practiced as an advanced art.
What justification do we have to claim that our 60 students have similar internal force that these 50 world Iron Wire masters have? We do not seek justification from the number of years in training or the reputation of the school where the art is learnt from. Our justification lies in the fact that what these masters can do with the internal force derived from their Iron Wire training, our students can do too with the internal force derived from our Iron Wire training.
For example, if these masters can break the bottom of two bricks without breaking the top one, our students can do that too. If these masters can spar for a few hours without feeling tired or being out of breath, our students can do that too.
Frankly, some of these genuine masters may not be able to perform these two feats. This does not mean they do not have sufficient internal force for the feats. More importantly, this does not reduce our respect for them as masters.
How is it that when they have the required force, they still could not break the bottom brick or spar for hours without tiring. It is because they lack the particular technique or skill for these feats. This particular technique or skill can be picked up quite easily. It is like you have sufficient money to buy a particular fountain pen, but you do not know how, or where, to buy it.
More significantly is that these masters have radiant health and bouncing vitality due to the internal force from their Iron Wire training. Our Iron Wire students also have radiant health and bouncing vitality. A difference, perhaps, is that our students are younger than the masters.
But this setback can be compensated by the fact that many young people the age of our students do not have the radiant health and bouncing vitality the masters and our students have. In internal arts, one can only get better. I have no doubt that when our students reach the age of these masters, if the students maintain their training, their radiant health and bouncing vitality will even be better.
Nourishing comes after building, which in turn comes after cleansing. Usually, but not necessarily always, the processes are from cleansing to building to nourishing. The processes are cyclic or spiral, not linear. Hence, after nourishing, cleansing may occur again.
Cleansing, building and nourishing are phenomena peculiar to our school. Although these processes also occur to other practitioners in other schools, they are spread over a long time and are not obvious. Hence other practitioners do not normally explain these phenomena. In other words they do not have the philosophy of cleansing, building and nourishing that we have.
As Iron Wire is a more powerful art than “Lifting the Sky” and other chi kung dynamic techniques, the results of cleansing, building and nourishing in these different arts are quite different.
In “Lifting the Sky”, cleansing clears blockage, resulting in overcoming pain and illness. Building increases energy volume, resulting in vitality. Nourishing enriches the quality of energy, resulting in being peaceful and happy.
In Iron Wire, where practitioners are already healthy, cleansing ensures smooth energy flow, preparing the stage for consolidating energy into internal force. Building increases the amount of energy so that more internal force can be developed. Nourishing enhances the quality of energy, resulting in mental clarity and spiritual joys.
For convenience and better understanding of the roles of pattern, skill, self-manifested chi flow, and standing meditation during cleansing, building, and nourishing, let us classify them into methods and processes.
Patterns, skills and standing meditation are methods to operate the processes of cleansing, building and nourishing.
We shall change the term “self-manifested chi flow” as mentioned by you to “self-manifested chi movement” so as not to be confused with other types of chi flow. It is included in the category of skills. Self-manifested chi movement is one of many skills. Another skill is generating energy flow.
In the classification above, we have placed “standing meditation” as one of the three methods listed, the other two being patterns and skills. Here “standing meditation” is allotted a category by itself to reflect the importance you have given it in the question.
In other context, it may be grouped under patterns or skills, depending on the situation. Thus, it is obvious that the classification is for convenience. It is not a rigid compartmentalization as in science.
The classification is also for better understanding. It will enable us to think about the question, describe the happenings, ponder on the expected results, and draw general conclusions more easily, clearly and systematically.
In line with the approach from experience to philosophy, we shall first examine how chi kung and kungfu are practiced in the orthodox way, and the roles these methods of patterns, skills and standing meditation play in the processes of cleansing, building and nourishing. Then we compare the orthodox way with our Shaolin Wahnam way. We can then draw general conclusions from the experience to formulate a philosophy for the benefit of posterity.
A pattern constitutes a technique. Depending on the type of chi kung practiced, practitioners may perform one or more patterns a number of times, after which they complete the training session. This is a typical session. The patterns may be different, and the numbers of repetitions vary, but the structure of the session is the same.
Let us take an example of a chi kung style called Eight Pieces of Brocade. Practitioners perform each of the eight patterns about ten to twenty times. Then they complete the session. Sometimes they may select one or a few of the patterns instead of all the eight.
For kungfu training, let us take an example of a Triple Stretch Set. There are different versions of the Triple Stretch Set, but they have a common structure. Some sets may not be called Triple Stretch but by other names, like Five Animals or Taming the Tiger. Some triple-stretch exercises are performed at the start of the set, followed by combat sequences.
Practitioners usually perform the patterns as routine. Often they use muscular strength. The session ends with completing all the patterns in the set. There is no chi flow or standing meditation after the set.
This is the usual way how chi kung and kungfu are practiced. Practitioners perform their chi kung or kungfu patterns at a physical level. A few of them, if they have performed their patterns well, may generate a chi flow during their performance, but they are usually unaware of the chi flow. They also do not allow their internal chi flow to manifest into self-manifested chi movement externally.
They also do not progress to standing meditation after their chi kung or kungfu performance. Had they stood for a while, those who had performed their techniques well, might have a gentle chi flow manifested as a gentle sway. Because they do not understand what is happening, should this happen they would stop their chi flow by physical means, usually by tensing their muscles unconsciously.
These practitioners, who form the great majority, do not differentiate between techniques and skills. So the rule of skills is marginal. They mistakenly think that if they practice their techniques long enough, they will derive benefits from their arts. They do not realize that skills are necessary.
If they ever think of skills, it is the skills of performing their techniques correctly and beautifully, which have no significant role in cleansing, building and nourishing. In other words, even when they have good skills to perform their techniques correctly and beautifully, their practice will not result in cleansing, building and nourishing, which in turn give them benefits like overcoming pain and illness, attaining good health, vitality, and developing internal force and mental clarity.
This is a crucial fact that most chi kung and kungfu practitioners do not know. Hence, they may have practice chi kung or kungfu techniques for many years, yet remain sick, weak and stressful, or have no internal force and mental clarity.
The skills that result in cleansing, building and nourishing which in turn give benefits of good health, vitality, longevity, internal force and mental clarity are generating chi flow, which may become vigorous and result in self-manifested chi movement, or which may be consolidated into internal force. The great majority of chi kung and kungfu practitioners have no concept about these skills.
Most practitioners also do not think of standing meditation as part of chi kung and kungfu training. Hence, they do not have purposeful experiences of entering a chi kung state of mind, entering Zen, entering Tao, building internal force at the dan tian, and enjoying inner peace as part of their chi kung or kungfu training.
Nevertheless, such experiences sometimes occur haphazardly to a few of these practitioners, but not on purpose of their training. On occasions when a few of them have performed their techniques ideally, they may enter into a meditative state of mind, generate a chi flow, and consolidate chi into internal force, all of which without their conscious knowing.
Because these occur haphazardly without the practitioners consciously and purposefully working on these results, the results take a long time to materialize. It usually take years, and it happens only to a very few, who would then be regarded as masters. With results accumulating haphazardly over many years, in chi kung these rare masters would have radiant health, and the rare kungfu masters would have internal force.
These rare chi kung and kungfu masters would not refer to entering into a meditative state of mind, generating a chi flow and consolidating chi into internal force as skills. They cannot actualize these processes on purpose. These processes occur spontaneously when they have performed their techniques in ideal conditions, and they are unaware of these processes going on inside their body. They are only aware of the end-results as radiant health and internal force.
In other words, for the great majority of chi kung and kungfu practitioners, patterns, skills and standing meditation do not play any significant roles in cleansing, building and nourishing. They are only aware of patterns, and are not aware of all the other factors. To them, their arts are just practicing patterns. Because they do not experience cleansing, building and nourishing, they do not have the benefits of good health, internal force and mental clarity.
However, a very few of these practitioners do attain the skills of chi flow and a meditative state of mind, and experience cleansing, building and nourishing, with the result of good health, internal force and mental clarity. But they are unaware of the skills and the processes, which occur haphazardly and spontaneously without their conscious knowing. They are only aware of the end-results which have taken them a long time to attain. They are regarded as masters for their achievements.
I myself went through the same processes. Because I was (and still am) a fast learner and had excellent teachers, my progress was much faster than most other masters. I also had (and still have) an inquisitive mind and a large collection of chi kung and kungfu classics, enabling me to investigate into the underlying principles of these processes.
My turn-over of classes I teach is very large – larger than that of most masters by a big margin. Most masters may teach two or three classes a year, I teach more than a hundred. This has enabled me to improve my teaching methodology tremendously.
Chi flow and entering into a meditative state of mind were two of the earliest skills I discovered in my early years of teaching. They are also crucial skills that bring about cleansing, building and nourishing, which result in good health, internal force and mental clarity.
I remember my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, once told me that entering into a meditative state of mind was very important. If my mind was wandering, he told me, I might as well don’t train for there would not be any benefit in the training.
Sometimes I also experienced internal chi flow, like while performing One-Finger Shoot Zen or while standing still after performing some chi kung patterns. But my sifu did not encourage chi flow! I developed chi flow, including self-manifested chi movement, druing my teaching.
In my early teaching, there were no special methods to enter into a chi kung state of mind or to generate a chi flow. I just taught students the patterns of Eighteen Lohan Hands, and asked them to be relaxed and not thinking of anything while performing the exercise.
As many students could not relax, I devised a simple routine to help them to relax from head to toes at the beginning of a class. I still use this method in beginners’ courses.
Having the mouth gently open is an important step to relaxation. I found that many students had their mouth close. So I asked them to open their mouth, like smiling. Then I told them not just to smile from their lips but from their heart.
“Smile from the Heart” was then introduced into this relaxation routine at the beginning of a class. Many students have since told me that “Smile from the Heart” is the best lesson they have learnt from our school.
My early students took about four to six months before they had their first chi flow. At first their external chi flow movement was gentle, but with encouragement from me the movement became vigorous. The gentle chi flow became self-manifested chi movement. I found out from experience that those who had chi flow had good results.
To help students speed up the time needed to have some vigorous chi flow, I devised some techniques for this purpose. Some of these techniques are now found in the chi kung set called Eighteen Jewels. The resultant vigorous external chi flow was initially called self-induced chi flow, but as other types of chi flow were also self-induced, I changed the term to self-manifested chi movement.
At first the term self-manifested chi movement referred to a particular technique. By performing a set of patterns vigorously, practitioners could generate a vigorous chi flow that manifested as vigorous external chi movement. But as we improved in our teaching methodology, we could use different techniques to produce self-manifested chi movement. Thus, we now refer to self-manifested chi movement as a skill. This is an example of using classification for convenience and better understanding, and not to limit ourselves.
At first, chi flow was not a part of our standard practice procedure. The standard procedure, like what the great majority of chi kung practitioners have practiced since ancient time, was just performing chi kung patterns. But as more and more students enjoyed their chi flow and obviously derive much benefit from it, chi flow gradually became an established part of the practice session. Later I discovered that this session of chi flow was actually more important in bringing benefits to practitioners than the session on performing techniques, and accordingly told the students so.
Like chi flow, standing meditation was initially not an integral part of the standard practice procedure. At the end of performing patterns, students stood still for a short while, but not long enough to justify calling it standing meditation, to let chi accumulate at the dan tian. With chi flow gradually becoming part of the standard practice, this standing still for a short while became longer for chi to be focused at the dan tian. Eventually it formulated into standing meditation, which also brought more benefits.
Once I remembered reading some good advice from a chi kung classic that at the end of a practice session, practitioners should gently and intuitively think of themselves attaining good health physically and spiritually. I also recalled the triple cultivation of chi kung, namely jing, qi and shen or the physical, the energy and the spirit. Performing techniques would take care of physical cultivation, chi flow would take care of energy cultivation, and standing meditation, together with a gentle noble thought, would take care of spiritual cultivation.
The concepts of cleansing, building and nourishing emerged later in my teaching, though the actual processes were present right at the beginning. At first, like most other practitioners now and in the past, we were not consciously aware of cleansing, building and nourishing. We just practiced patterns, later added skills and standing meditation, and enjoyed desired results. But gradually, various experiences from students focus our attention to these processes of cleansing, building and nourishing, and a philosophy gradually emerged to give us better understanding and more benefits.
Even in my early teaching, students complained of rashes and pimples appearing on their skin, bad breath coming out of their mouth, and passing out gas at their bottom. This reminded us of the process of cleansing going on inside us.
Later, advanced practitioners told me of pain and discomfort after a long period of good health and vitality due to chi kung practice. This gave us the concepts of over-cleansing as well of cleansing, building and nourishing as cyclic, and not just linear, development.
Students reported that their vitality improved remarkably, and kungfu practitioners could break bricks even without any prior hard conditioning. These achievements gave us the concept of building.
Our students were peaceful and happy, while other practitioners in other schools remained stressful and agitated. Many of our practitioners even experienced spiritual expansion into the Cosmos. These achievements gave us the concept of nourishing.
With direct experience from our training and invaluable knowledge from chi kung and kungfu classics, we are able to formulate a philosophy that enables us to be very effective in our practice. Hence, our practice procedure is quite different from that of most other practitioners.
For convenience, our practice session, or a part of a practice session, may be divided into three sections -- introduction, body and conclusion.
In chi kung, the introduction consists of entering into a chi kung state of mind. The body is of two parts. The first part is performing patterns, and the second part is chi flow. Standing meditation forms the conclusion.
In kungfu, the introduction consists of entering Zen or Tao. The body consists of force training or performing sets or combat sequences. Chi flow and standing meditation form the conclusion.
This classification of a practice session, or part of a practice session, is guideline for efficiency and comprehensiveness. It should be modified according to expedient needs.
We can now recapitulate by relating how the methods relate to the processes and what results are produced.
Patterns or techniques are the physical form to operate skills. The resultant process -- whether it is cleansing, building or nourishing -- depends on a few factors, especially our developmental stage and intention. Standing meditation consolidates the benefits.
Let us have some examples to understand the roles played by the method and process chosen.
Let us choose our most popular pattern, Lifting the Sky.
If we just perform Lifting the Sky without the skills of entering into a chi kung state of mind and chi flow, we would be performing gentle physical exercise. Its role will be to loosen muscles and joints, and provide some relaxation.
If we want chi kung benefits like overcoming pain and illness, and attaining good health, vitality and longevity, the roles played by appropriate skills like entering into a chi kung state of mind and chi flow, including self-manifested chi movement if needed, are crucial.
In normal circumstances, i.e. without using our mind to influence the process, chi flow due to performing Lifting the Sky will result in cleansing. If we have any pain or illness, the cleansing process will remove it. If we are already healthy, cleansing will ensure that we will not be sick or in pain at all.
When we go into standing meditation, chi flow will result in building. This will give us vitality and longevity. After building, chi flow while in standing meditation will result in nourishing. This will make us peaceful and happy.
Let us now examine the roles played by these factors in kungfu practice. We shall use One-finger Shooting Zen and Lifting Water as examples for our Shaolin and Taijiquan practitioners.
If we practice One-Finger Shooting Zen or Lifting Water without entering Zen or Tao, and without chi flow, we shall perform them as isometric exercise in the case of One-Finger Shooting Zen, and as gentle relaxation exercise in the case of Lifting Water.
If we enter Zen or Tao, and have chi flow, we shall emphasize the process of building in both One-Finger Shooting Zen and Lifting Water. Cleansing and nourishing are also present, but are secondary.
The building process will develop a lot of internal force, which will give us good health, vitality and longevity. In One-Finger-Shooting Zen, the internal force is consolidated, but still flowing. In Lifting Water, the internal force is flowing. If a practitioner wishes to use this flowing force in combat, he needs to consolidate and explode it, as in Single Whip.
When we enter standing meditation after performing One-Finger Shooting Zen or Lifting Water, we enhance the process of building and progress to nourishing. We attain mental clarity and spiritual joys.
If a practitioner is sick or in pain, and practices One-Finger Shooting Zen or Lifting Water, he can overcome his sickness or pain, but it will take a longer time because cleansing is a secondary process in this exercise. However, if he goes into chi flow after performing the exercise, like going into self-manifested chi flow movement, his recovery will be speeded up.
Understanding the philosophy here makes us extremely cost-effective -- often to a ridiculous extent. But if you are not clear with some points, just follow our three golden rules of practice -- don’t worry, don’t intellectualize, enjoy your practice.
The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread Stages of Cleansing, Building and Nourishing: 10 Questions to the Grandmaster in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.