COSMIC SHOWER AND SPIRITUAL CULTIVATION
In (1) Cosmic Shower energy in the practitioner generally flows from above to below. In (2) Abdominal Breathing energy flows in a cycle above-below-above similar to (3) Small Universal Flow. In (4) Cosmic Breathing energy pulsates to and fro the dantian. In (5) Transcendental Big Universe energy expands away from the dantian.
For a spiritual cultivator, if all things were equal, aiming to be detached from relative distractions in the phenomenal world below to investigate the heaven above or merge with the Void, are the above arts (numbered from 1 to 5) less to more efficacious in ascending number to achieve the aim?
Considering that Zen Masters focus their energy or attain no-mind and Taoist spiritual cultivators build and nourish their energy and move their focus from the lower to upper dan tians gradually before expanding out of the bai-hui above, would Cosmic Shower, with the downward energy flow, make us energetically have a downward tendency to the lower dan tians (eg 2-3 inches below navel, hui-yin and yong-quan etc) and hence more attached to and rooted in the phenomenal world (which is not necessarily bad, depending on one's aim)?
Dr Damian Kissey
Thank your for the sharp observation. I am very impressed with the question. It gives the five arts a new perspective which, I believe, past masters did not realise before, and which will contribute to the understanding and benefit of future practitioners.
All the five arts — Cosmic Shower, Abdominal Breathing, Small Universe, Cosmic Breathing and Transcendental Big Universe — are advanced. It is rare just to have the opportunity to practice one correctly. It is simply ridiculous, in a good way, that we in Shaolin Wahnam have a chance to practice all of them and in a relatively very short time.
How do we know we practice the arts correctly? This is quite simple. There are records of how these arts were practiced by masters in the past, and we do exactly as they did.
More importantly, how do we know we have similar results? This is a more important question any practitioner should consider. It is alarming that many practitioners do not consider this question, irrespective of the arts they practice, with the consequence that not only they do not derive the benefits the arts they practice are meant to give, but sometimes they even derive harm. There is glaring evidence in the vast number of people who practice chi kung and martial arts today, although many of them do not realise the evidence, or choose to ignore it.
Actually, for the sake of discussion, even if the methods we practice the arts are not the same as what past masters did, but the benefits are similar, we are justified in our practice. In our case both the methods and the results are similar. Indeed, we started using the methods past masters did, and when we had the results we compared them with the results of the past masters.
You are right in your observation, or more probably your experience, of the nature of energy flow in the five arts. In Cosmic Shower, energy flows from above to below. But the energy does not stay below at our feet. It flows out, generating a continuous flow from above to below linking heaven, human and earth, attaining the Confucian concept of triple unity.
In Abdominal Breathing a practitioner takes energy from the Cosmos and stores it at his dan tian, or central energy field. Thus he becomes more powerful. He also attains a one-pointed mind as he focuses on the in flow of cosmic energy.
When the energy at his dan tian is full, the energy overflows along the ren and the du meridians, thus completing the Small Universe whereby the energy flows round his body in a never-ending circle, giving him good health, vitality and longevity as well as remarkably good luck.
This normally takes more than 10 years. But my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, shortened the process to about 2 years by teaching me to use Reverse Breathing to bring the energy from my hui-ying up to my bai-hui.
I further shortened the process to a few days of learning the necessary techniques in five stages! But students selected to attend my Small Universe course already had sufficient energy in their dan tian for the small universal energy flow. They just learned the techniques to activate the flow.
In Cosmic Breathing energy pulsates to and from the dan tian. A practitioner literally pulsates with the Universe. In our Cosmic Breathing courses I was able to grasp this opportunity and led course participants to merge their personal energy inside their body with cosmic energy outside, thus expanding into the Cosmos and attaining a spiritual awakening.
This incredible experience is the Transcendental Big Universe. Energy not only expands from the dan tian, which many of our students, particularly those who have practiced Abdominal Breathing, have attained and which is still in the phenomenal realm, but also the personal energy of a practitioner merges with the cosmic energy of the Universe, attaining the transcendental where there is no differentiation.
Yes, if all other things were equal, Cosmic Shower, Abdominal Breathing, Small Universe, Cosmic Breathing and Transcendental Big Universe are in ascending order of efficaciousness for a spiritual cultivator to be detached from relative distractions in the phenomenal world below to investigate the heaven above or to merge with the Void.
It should be noted that the lowest art in this order, Cosmic Shower, by itself is efficacious in attaining the transcendental. Many on our school, because of their high-level skills, can employ Cosmic Shower to expand into the Cosmos. It would, of course, be more effective, when they use a method at a higher order, like Cosmic Breathing.
It is also helpful to note that all the above arts refer to skills and not to techniques. In Cosmic Shower we have the skills to let cosmic energy shower down our body. In Abdominal Breathing, we have the skills to drink in cosmic energy into our dan tian. In Small Universe we have the skill to let our energy flow along the ren and the du meridians around our body. In Cosmic Breathing, we have the skills to pulsate with the Cosmos. In Transcendental Big Universe we have the skills to expand into the Cosmos.
In theory we can use any technique to activate any of the above skills. We may, for example, if we try to be funny or to be innovative, use Horse-Riding Stance to have cosmic energy shower down our body or to expand into the Cosmos. Of course, if all other things were equal, when we use a better technique, we shall be more effective.
Some of the best techniques to activate the respective skills are Carrying the Moon for Cosmic Shower, dan tain breathing for Abdominal Breathing, dan tian breathing for Small Universe, dan tian breathing for Cosmic Breathing, and dan tian breathing for Transcendental Big Universe. It is no wonder that dan tian breathing, which is used in four of the above five arts, and can also be used for Cosmic Shower if we want to, is sometimes called natural breathing, although most people today, except children, find it unnatural.
In this connection, it is heartening to remind ourselves that it is natural to be healthy, and we are naturally a Buddha, or undifferentiated with the Cosmos, although most people are ignorant of these facts.
Zen masters aim at no mind whereby they merge with the Cosmos. Taoist cultivators emerge from their bai-hui as immortals and roam the heavens, but they still exist in the phenomenal. This is a main reason, amongst the known who of course constitute only a mall minority, why Zen cultivation is considered higher than Taoist cultivation. Taoist masters who wish to attain the highest achievement practice sitting meditation to merge with the Cosmos.
For most other practitioners Cosmic Shower, with its downward energy flow, may abide them to the phenomenal world. It will cleanse their blockage and nourish them, giving them good health, vitality, longevity as well as peace and happiness.
However, we are different. Because of our high-level skills, we can use Cosmic Shower to expand into the Cosmos. Strictly speaking, it is not Cosmic Shower. Our practitioners may start with Cosmic Shower, employing a suitable technique like Carrying the Moon, but when they expand into the Cosmos they will have to use the skills of expanding into the Cosmos.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Cosmic Shower in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.
Courses and Classes