IMPORTANT QUESTIONS REGARDING PRACTICE AFTER INTENSIVE CHI KUNG COURSE
Chong Baa Chuah
Industrial Manager, Malaysia
It has been about more than one and a half months ago since I joined your Intensive Chi Kung Course in mid April 05. I would like to express my heart-felt satisfaction and honor to have joined a group of equally eager students from many countries in SP to learn the genuine art of Chi Kung from Sifu. It is rather amazing to experience CHI for just attending a 3-day course. In fact a fellow lady student from Ireland (Sorry! I cannot remember her name now) felt chi immediately on the first day and at the beginning of the lesson. Quite unbelievable! Thank you for this experience.
I have practiced other types of Chi Kung in KL for a few years, with result below my expectation. In the course of practice, my health has not improved much. In fact on some areas, health has deteriorated. My kidney has not been in tip-top condition since 1994. I have protein in the urine and managed to improve and stabilized my condition with Chinese medicine. I do not take Chinese medicine daily since 4 years ago, the medicine is only taken once or twice a year. My kidney remains the same with no improvement. My cholesterol level is getting higher and of late, blood pressure is also at hypertension to high blood pressure level. Because of this, I decided to join Sifu's chi kung course with the view to improve my overall health rather than got stuck in the rut.
For better understanding, I have done a short review on what I have done so far, my progress to-date. I hope that this feed- back will allow Sifu to assess my performance and to seek your advice or comment. I still remember Sifu's set objective for all the students in the course. The objective is to achieve good results and improve health after 3 months of continuous practice.
After the course in SP, I returned to KL and continued my practice 2 times a day ie morning and night without fail so far and even when I am traveling out station. I make it a point to find a place in the hotel surrounding to practice chi kung.
What benefits do I get so far?
I feel happier, enhance relationship with family, more energetic, not getting irritated easily than before and also I find that I do not have to take a nap after a hard day's work. I have more stamina now and I can climb hills and be ahead of younger colleagues without excessive panting or loss of breath.
After each Chi Kung practice session, apart from tingling sensation on some parts of the body, my palms and fingers are normally full and pinkish. When my fingers pressed on the stomach, it is firmed and bouncy. I may also yawn several times at the beginning of chi kung practice (during standing and at chi kung state of mind) or at the end of chi kung session during standing meditation. Tears normally flowed out from the eyes.
How I practice?
Regarding daily chi kung practice, I start with chi kung state of mind about 3 to 5 minutes. Sometimes I yawn a number of times till tears flow out of both eyes but do not feel sleepy. I do feel some tingling sensation in the body at times.
This is followed by either  Lifting the Sky repeated 10 to 20 times, or  Pushing Mountain repeated 30 to 50 times or  Carrying the Moon repeated 10 to 20 times. The duration normally takes 2 to 3 minutes. I only do 1 of the 3 patterns on each session.
Then I continue with Induced Chi Flow. Normally this takes about 20 to 30 minutes. I end with Standing Meditation and massage for about 5 to 10 minutes. The total time taken is about 35 to 40 minutes.
Because of my kidney problem, after ending the above chi kung practice, I continue with hula- hoop for 30 to 50 repeats on clock wise and anti clockwise rotation.
The whole session is considered ended and I do the same for morning and evening everyday.
I hope Sifu will allow me to ask a few questions. I am sure your wise words and advice will help me to further develop and enhance my understanding about Chi Kung.
Kindly advise whether the entire practice is too long. If I am not mistaken, Sifu said that 15 minutes a session was good enough. So far, I do not feel sleepy. I did have once or twice my chest/heart feel anxious, I am not sure this is due to over training? If it is over training, please advise how to achieve the 15 minutes.
So far, my health in term of blood pressure, cholesterol and kidney problem are still there. I hope to achieve some success soon with regular practice. However, should I continue with Hula-hoop daily?
Induced Chi Flow experience. Sometimes and or some days, I do feel stronger i.e. tingling sensation flowing at some parts of the body. At other times, I do not have this sensation but only body movement, rotating both hands like wind mills, or moving about in the confine of the garden. Sometime my body moves in circles and causes head spinning and near loss of body balance. I have to slow down to regain balance. Please advice whether I am on the right track?
During induced chi flow, I am not sure whether I have fully let go myself as I move about. I worry on knocking into flowers pots, fence wall and pillars. I do need to open my eyes to check my orientation and position regularly. What is your advice on this and does this affect the effectiveness of practice?
You said about chi kung state of mind i.e. do nothing, happy, relax, peaceful and think of nothing. During the induced chi flow, the mind is "thinking" or telling the body to do movements, for example the body feels good to rotate hands, body shakes, laughing etc. Can this be considered as "thinking of nothing". The reason for asking this question is because I want to ensure that your instruction is correctly followed to achieve maximum result with least time and effort i.e. maximum effectiveness in which Sifu always emphasized.
Generally, I do feel that I had strong chi during the chi kung course than now. Why is it so in spite of my practicing for about 40 to 45 minutes each session? Is there a way to increase it or leave it to wu-wei?
Thank you very much and I hope to meet you in KL or SP. Good luck, good health, and happiness!
7th June 2005
Sifu Wong's Answers
Dear Baa Chuah,
I am glad to receive your e-mail and to know that you are continuing your daily practice. I am sorry I could not reply earlier. Keep up your daily practice and you will be amazed at even more wonderful results. Perhaps by now your kidney and other health problems may have been overcome, or at least there is a clear sign of recovery.
Here are the answers to your questions.
Your training procedure is excellent but it is a bit too long. Yours is not over-training; there is no harm in your present training time. Don't worry about the once or two occasions when your chest or heart feel anxious. This is quite normal. Yet, interestingly, if you practice less you will get more benefits!
This is something that many people find it hard to accept or even believe, but it is true. A simple, straight-forward answer is that our chi kung is very powerful. A rough analogy is that if you are efficient in a high-paying job, you will get better results in three hours than other people get in twelve hours working at three different jobs.
In your case, there is no harm to practice for 35 to 40 minutes per session, but you will get more and better benefits if you reduce your practice time to about 15 minutes per session, two sessions per day. There is no harm to add "Hola Hoop" to your practice, but you will get more benefits if you leave it out. The chi flow generated by your practice is more than enough to overcome your kidney problems.
You can reduce your practice time in any way you like, but a useful suggestion is as follows. Spend about a minute or two in the chi kung state of mind when you smile from your heart. Take about 5 minutes to perform "Lifting the Sky" about 15 times, or "Pushing Mountain" about 30 times, or "Carrying the Moon" about 15 times. You can change the chosen pattern for each session, or you may repeat the pattern the following session if you like it. There are no hard and fast rules.
Next, enjoy your induced chi flow for about 6 to 8 minutes. Sometimes your chi flow may be gentle, and sometimes it may be vigorous. Just go along with the flow and enjoy it. Once a while if you like, you may direct your chi to your kidneys to massage them. Or on another occasion you may enjoy a cosmic shower from chi flowing through you from the Cosmos above.
Then go to Standing Meditation for about 2 minutes. At times when you particularly enjoy your meditation, or when you want to perform some special tasks during meditation, you may extend the time to about 5 or more minutes. These special tasks include gently visualizing yourself as healthy and happy, enjoying tremendous peace and freedom, letting your spirit expand into the Cosmos, speaking to God or whatever term you call the Supreme Reality, giving a blessing or forgiving someone whom you think has wronged you.
These special tasks are only performed on special occasions. In your normal practice, it is sufficient just to do nothing and think of nothing in your Standing Meditation. When you perform any of the special tasks, you will get better results if you just focus on one task in one session, although at times, like forgiving and blessing, you may perform two or more tasks. As I have said, there are no hard and fast rules.
I am confident that if you carry on with your daily practice, about 15 minutes a session, two sessions a day, you will soon overcome all these health problems. You will also discover that your health problems are actually a blessing in disguise; they are stepping stone to your attaining more wonderful benefits.
You need not continue with Hola Hoop daily. As I have often mentioned, the many exercises described in my chi kung books are meant for those who do not have the opportunity to learn from me personally. They would have to do more exercises in more time to compensate for the lack of high quality practice learnt in my intensive courses. For you and those who have attended my intensive chi kung courses, you need to practice just one exercise for about 15 minutes per session, two sessions per day.
You can practice less than what I describe in the programme in Answer 1 above, and still get a lot of benefits. But you should not practice more than what I have described. You should not, for example, add more exercises, or add more time.
Our school is noted for being simple, direct and effective. You need not wait for a few years to see results. If you just follow my simple instructions directly -- that is, without adding any frills -- you will feel the effects of the exercise immediately during your practice, and see remarkable result in a few months.
What you have described is perfectly normal. The kinds of induced chi flow movements depend on a few variables, like the type of exercise your perform, how you perform it, your bodily needs, your developmental stage, and your mental state.
Induced chi flow movements may be broadly classified into two types -- free and directed. You can go to "wu-wei" and let the chi flow wherever it flows and however it flows, and you just enjoy it. Or you can direct the chi flow using the skills you have learnt at the intensive course. You may, for example, slow down your fast chi movement, change moving in circles to swaying like a happy tree, direct your chi to any part of your body, let your chi clear some negative emotions or drink in cosmic energy to enhance your internal force.
Generally you should go to "wu-wei" and enjoy free flow. On occasions you may take over to direct your chi flow.
It is advisable to open your eyes to check your orientation and position if your chi flow makes you move wildly. This is being aware of your chi flow. This is different from worrying.
If you find that your chi flow is causing you to move into a wall, and you do not want to, you can redirect your flow to change the movement. This is taking control over your chi flow. This is different from worrying.
"Not worrying" means just that -- not worrying. When you feel that you have not fully let go of yourself, you can let go of yourself more, or you can let go of yourself fully, or you can let go of yourself just a bit, or you can take over control and direct your chi flow instead of letting go yourself, or you can do many other things. All these have nothing to do with worrying or not worrying.
But when you let go of your self, you start to think what would happen had you not let go of yourself, or what extra benefits you can get by letting go of yourself, or any other thoughts, then you start worrying. To overcome that is quite simple, and easy for you because you have been trained to do so and you actually did so reasonably well during the course, though it may be very difficult for untrained people. When you let go of your self more, or let go of yourself less, and when any thought enters your mind, just clear the thought immediately without fuss and without question.
There are various levels of the chi kung state of mind. At the most fundamental level, the practitioner is focused and relaxed. He may be focused on one thought or action, or he may be focused on nothingness.
Focusing on one thought or action is an excellent way to "tame" the mind. When he is performing "Lifting the Sky", for example, he may be focusing on the very action as he is performing it, or he may be focusing on his breathing. The focusing must be gentle and intuitive. When he is skillful in taming his mind, he can focus on nothing. In other words he mind is crystal clear -- without any thoughts to distract him.
When a skillful practitioner is in a chi kung state of mind, irrespective of whether he is focusing on one thing or nothing, he may be doing something, like performing "Lifting the Sky" or engaging in vigorous combat, or he may be doing nothing, like just enjoying his spontaneous chi flow or appreciating the presence of God. Whatever he may be doing or not doing, focusing on one thought or on nothing, he is happy, relaxed and peaceful.
So, during chi flow when you are in a chi kung state of mind, your mind can be "thinking" or telling your body to do something.
We should be aware of the limitation of words. “Thinking" here is very different from what ordinary people mean by thinking. To ordinary people, thinking is a process of intellect"alization. They may, for example, think of how to relax, what chi flow is, and other questions. This is not correct in a chi kung state of mind. It will bring the person out of his chi kung state of mind back to his ordinary everyday consciousness.
When in a chi kung state of mind, you "think" of your body rotating your hands, or your chi massaging your kidneys, or you will be free form pain and illness, this "thinking" is not an intellectualization process, it is an intuitive one. This is what we do in chi kung.
When you perform "intuitive thinking", like directing chi to massage your kidneys, this can be said to be "thinking of nothing".
But remember that in high level chi kung, words often show their limitations. The "thinking" in "intuitive thinking" is different from the "thinking" in "thinking of nothing". To put this in other words, you can be successful in using your mind to direct chi or perform other intuitive tasks only when you do not intellectualize.
As I mentioned during the course itself, it is expected that your result when practicing on your own at home might not be as intense as the results during the course, but even if your result at home is only one-eighth of what you experienced at the course, it would still be more than sufficient for your needs in overcoming health problems and maintaining good health and vitality.
There are many factors at work why the result at the course is extraordinary. One, the course itself is intensive. Two, you have the advantage of my giving the best instructions at the best time. The same instruction given at a different point in time during a student's training will give different result. Three, much of my teaching during the intensive course was transmitted from heart to heart.
But you need not have to worry about all these. Yes, leave it to "wu-wei". Carry on with your daily practice and enjoy yourself.