Category Archives: family

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS AUGUST 2017 PART 1 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans17b/aug17-1.html)

The Buddha

The Buddha has taught that we can never repay the debt owed to our parents

Question 1

My relationship with my father has always been tense. But since a couple of years, my father has tried to get closer to me, my brothers and sisters and our children. Last week, my boys and I went to my father’s house. We had a tremendous time.

— Nikita, Russia

Answer

It is great to know of your improving relationship with your father. Not only you should make full use of this opportunity, you should also subtly encourage your other brothers and sisters to do so. It is a wonderful blessings you must not miss.

You must do so subtly, certainly not overtly. For example, whenever topics of conversations touch on your father, and he is not physically present, or on anybody’s father, mention that one must be grateful to his parents even when the parents might not have been caring to the children.

The Buddha teaches that even when someone carries his invalid father or mother on his back and takes him or her about everyday for 500 lifetimes, he has not repaid the debt he owes to his parents. What a blessing you have when your father is still healthy. Your relationship with your father should be such that when the time comes for him to leave this phenomenal world, you can with satisfaction say to yourself that you have been kind to your father.

Question 2

On another issue, my daughter is in love with a man who is extremely abusive, emotionally and physically to my daughter. A couple of days ago I had the chance to talk to a very good friend who has the ability of clairvoyance and she told me she could see that my daughter was under a black spell of voodoo. She said she could see black candles and some black strings attached to her.

Her advice was to wake next morning at sunrise and perform some form of ceremcny with a sword to cut off those strings, which I did. Can you please advice how I can continue helping my daughter from these very bad influences?

Answer

It is an excellent idea to use a sword to cut off the invisible strings that tie your daughter. You can also extinguish the black candles with the sword or by blowing with your mouth.

You can also do the following. If you can, chant some blessings onto some clean water, and sprinkle it around her room and house. As you sprinkle the sanctified water, say a mantra, any suitable mantra like Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodh Satt, and ask in a firm way whatever bad spirits or influences to leave your daughter, your family and the house, and bless the bad spirits or influences. You can perform this holy ritual three times.

If the above is not feasible, you can do the same thing in any suitable place you can find. Enter into a meditative state of mind, and visualize you are performing the ritual in your daughter’s house.

Shaolin Kungfu

Sifu Tim Frankklin and Grandmaster Wong demonstrating Shaolin Kungfu

Question 3

I was very afraid of attacks because I experienced a childhood with physical violence . I took some classes in T’ang Soo Do but also quickly found your book “The Art Of Shaolin Kung Fu”.

I did the exercises especially ones producing spontaneous chi movements. I found the exercises tamazing. Within one year I had given up alcohol and cigarettes. My body was becoming fit and strong and my mind was getting clear.

Unfortunately, something happened to me around that time. Suddenly my body could no longer do the stretches needed for high kicks and I stiffened up and became full of pain. Naturally that was very frustrating as I had decided on martial arts as my life path

I became sad, angry and depressed I tried to talk to many doctors, including Chinese medical doctors. I tried to find helpful teachers but I met only men who loved fighting and violent harm. I could not find someone like you who I knew understood what he was talking about and understood the Way.

— Ciaran, Ireland

Answer

Congratulations for your success in learning from my book. I am also sorry to hear of your later happenings.

From your description, I am sure you can overcome your problems. I suggest that you leave aside martial arts for the time being, and return to it later when you have become healthy and strong. Meanwhile you should practice chi kung to heal yourself.

I would strongly recommend that you attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course Please see my Website for information.

Many people may wonder what one can learn in just a few days. I can say from experience that you will learn a lot, in fact, more than what you need at present, and you will be able to practice on your own when you return home. Please apply to my secretary for registration.

Practicing on your own at home is important. In a few months, you will be well enough to resume your martial art. I would suggest you give Shaolin Kungfu taught by me a try.

Question 4

I would like to know how is the Instructor Training for the Shaolin Wahnam Institute. I have been reading in the website and I found the regional and intensive courses. But no reference for a long term training to become an instructor. If there is one, could you please indicate how many forms, weapons, style, cost, place for the training?

— Reyes, USA

Answer

In our school, potential instructors are chosen from our students who have been training with us for some time, and are not open to application from the public. The choice is based on the following factors:

  1. They practice the Ten Shaolin Laws in their daily life.

  2. They have good character.

  3. Their performance in their arts is good.

  4. They show leadership potential.

  5. There is a need for instructors in their area.

  6. They have attended at least once but often a few times, my intensive courses they are going to teach, as these courses provide the basic philosophy, techniques and skills practitioners of the relevant arts should know.

Seniority is also an important consideration in our choice of instructors.

Interestingly, the factors you have mentioned, like how many forms, weapons, and styles they know are not important in our consideration, although our potential instructors normally know many forms or kungfu sets, a few weapons and a few kungfu styles.

The cost students have spent before they become instructors, and the places they have had their training vary. But all our instructors have expressed, openly or tacitly, that the benefits they get from our training are many times more than the money and effort

Bone Marrow Cleansing

One must become a good student first, before thinking of becoming an instructor

Question 5

Can we eat our breakfast before chi kung practice?

— Melanie, Spain

Answer

Many masters recommend that practitioners should abstain from eating a meal half an hour before and after chi kung practice. It is because the food in the stomach may interfere with chi flow.

However, as our chi flow is powerful, we need not follow this instruction. In fact, my Intensive Chi Kung Course is held at 8 o’clock in the morning. Students usually have their breakfast just before the course.

In my book, “Chi Kung for Health and Vitality”, one of the dont’s is not to take a meal about half an hour before and after a chi kung session. The book was written about 20 years ago in 1997 when my chi kung attainment was of a much lower level than now. Moreover it was written for people who might not have a change to learn from me personally. But now, those who learn from me personally, and hence their chi kung attainment is higher, have the luxury of enjoying a meal before or after chi kung.

It is the same with having a shower. Many masters advise against taking a shower about half an hour before and after chi kung practice. But as our chi kung is powerful, we may not follow this instruction. We can have a shower before and after chi kung.

Question 6

I attended a course with Sifu in England a few years back. I experienced tremendous joy after the final stage of Bone Marrow Cleansing.

I have been practicing “Lifting the Sky” for depression and anxiety. Should I include Bone Marrow Cleansing in my routine? If so, how often should I do it?

— Jussi, Finland

Answer

You should practice “Lifting the Sky” most of the time, about 8 out of 10 days. You practice Bone-Marrow Cleansing only once a while, about once or twice out of 10 days.

Follow the three golden rules: don’t worry, don’t intellectualize, and enjoy your practice. Depression can be overcome quite easily with our chi kung.

Lifting the Sky

Dr Daniel of Belgium performing “Lifting the Sky” during a kungfu course

Question 7

How many cigarettes in a day do you consider to be too much? I am struggling with depression and smoke about 20 in a day.

Answer

For me, even one cigarette a day is too much.

For you, I suggest 5 cigarettes a day. Within 3 months, you cut down to zero cigarettes a day. Note the phrase “within 3 months”. You may accomplish the task in 1 month.

Whenever you feel like having a cigarette more than the number you have allotted yourself to, practice “Lifting the Sky” followed by chi flow. The total time of your practice should just be about 5 minutes, not 10 minutes as in a regular practice session.

If you really want to eliminate your cigarette smoking and depression, just follow this plan. You will succeed.

After you have quitted smoking, if you wish to enjoy a cigarette, you can do so any time. By then, you smoke because you enjoy it, not because you are addicted. .

Question 8

You told me once that my depression could be cured in three months of chi kung practice. How can you be so sure? Can you see to the future?

Answer

I am very sure because overcoming depression with our chi kung is actually easy. Many people have done that. If you follow my plan you will succeed.

My plan is simple, and is as follows. Practice “Lifting the Sky”, or any chi kung exercise, followed by chi flow, three times a day — once in the morning, once in the evening, and once at night. Each session should just be about 10 minutes. During your practice, don’t worry, don’t intellectualize, and just enjoy your practice.

I mentioned that you would overcome your depression in three months. This means any time within 3 months. You may accomplish the task in just 2 weeks.

Sometimes I can see into the future. But the future is not fixed. It depends on some variables.

In your xase, for example, I can see that in a month you can quit smoking and in 2 weeks you are free from depression if you really want to. But if you don’t want to, though you may say you do, you will be unable to quit smoking and overcome your depression.



If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at secretary@shaolin.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.

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Dealing with Betrayal – Happy Family Life Question and Answer 10 – Part 2

reproduced from https://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/showthread.php?12571-10-Questions-on-Happy-Family-Life.

This thread is facilitated by Ollie from our Shaolin Nordic family. Thank you, Ollie!

Happy Family Life Question and Answer 10 — Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

Yes, even in a good, long term relationship, a betrayal sometimes happens, and it causes a lot of pain. But with wisdom and compassion, which we learn from our school, we can much minimize the pain. At an advanced level of our development, we may even change this problem of betrayal into an opportunity for development!

My own experience may serve as a useful lesson. You can read the details from my autobiography, “The Way of the Master.”

About 30 years ago in the 1980s I was bitterly betrayed by a chi kung master and some senior students of Shaolin Wahnam Association. I helped the chi kung master in some difficult situations, and offered him a post as a chi kung healer in a company I set up with two other partners. Yet, he betrayed me – bitterly.

I taught senior disciples of Shaolin Wahnam Association secrets that most masters would keep as top secrets. One of the senior disciples told me, after just a few months of training, that his assistant instructor was very surprised when he countered a seemingly formidable attack. Another senior disciple, whom I gave money to in his difficulty, became famous for lion dance, and he performed a spectacular lion dance just one week after an appendicitis operation. I helped another senior disciple to become a kungfu and lion dance instructor in another school, and shared with him some highly paid remunerations in teaching kungfu and lion dance in another school.

Yet, they all betrayed me. I transformed from a highly respected master to a bad guy in town, especially when I supported a world known master, Sifu Yan Xing of China, in distant chi transmission.

But I forgave all of them. I changed their betrayals to opportunities for improvement. These senior disciples were the push factors for my travels overseas and subsequently established Shaolin Wahnam Institute. Chi flow, a hallmark of our school, was much influenced by the chi kung master who betrayed me.

I forgave all of them and wished them well. One of the betrayers, who is not one of the three senior disciples mentioned above, but whom I specially taught Choe Family Wing Choon Kungfu when he requested it, would have died if not for my chi kung healing – at a time when his betrayal was still fresh.

There was an interesting episode. A few years ago, students of former Shaolin Wahnam Association organized a dinner in my honour. As I entered the door for the dinner, an elderly, cheerful man came out to greet me. He looked familiar but I could not remember him. Later, another disciple told me that the elderly, cheerful man was the one who betrayed me, the one whom I saved with chi kung healing. He renounced the world and dedicated himself to spiritual cultivation. I was glad that he was happy. 30 years ago when he was my student, he hardly smiled.

Whether it is wise to keep a relationship despite a betrayal for the sake of their children, depends on numerous factors, some of which are the life philosophy of the victim, how serious was the betrayal, and the age and understanding of the children.

Suppose a wife had sexual affairs with another man, and the husband found it out, the husband may forgive his wife if he loves her dearly and the wife stops the affairs. After all, in modern societies there is no guarantee that a man or a woman does not have prior sex before marriage. If the husband has a poor philosophy of life and dislikes her, it is a valid reason, or an excuse, to divorce her, irrespective of whether they have children.

If the husband is sexually inadequate but loves his wife dearly, and the other man is good, it is wise to keep the relationship, not only for the sake of their children, but also for the pleasure of his wife and the other man, as well as his own happiness despite his inadequacy. If they have no children, or if the children are big and understanding, he can divorce his wife after making sure the other man will marry her.

If their children are small and the husband is sexually capable, but the wife finds it more pleasurable to have sex with another man, it is wise to pretend not to know although he knows of his wife extra-marital affairs. He can have sex with his wife whenever he can, or have sex with other women when his sexual urge is demanding.

Such wisdom is rare. Most husbands will quarrel with their wives, and everyone involved suffers.

Dealing with Betrayal – Happy Family Life Question and Answer 10 – Part 1

reproduced from https://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/showthread.php?12571-10-Questions-on-Happy-Family-Life.

This thread is facilitated by Ollie from our Shaolin Nordic family. Thank you, Ollie!

Happy Family Life Question and Answer 10 — Part 1

 

 Question 10 by Karol

How to deal with betrayal?

It happens sometimes even in good, long term relationships, and causes a lot of pain.

Is it wise to keep it going in reason of children?

Karol


Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

There are different types of betrayals. Betrayals can be between friends, between husband and wife, between father and son, and between master and student.

Although there are different types of betrayals, dealing with betrayals can be the same, but different people may deal with the different types of betrayals differently. In other words, three persons, A, B and C, may have three different ways of dealing with betrayals between friends, between husband and wife, between father and son, and between master and student, but each of the three persons will deal with the different types of betrayals the same way.

A may forgive his friend, forgive his wife (or husband), forgive his son (or father), and forgive his student (or master). B may be indifferent at his friend, indifferent at his wife, indifferent at his son, and indifferent at his student. C may be angry at his friend, angry at his wife, angry at his son, and angry at his student.

To be forgiving, indifferent and angry represents three typical responses to a situation, which are good, average and bad. In real life, when betrayed, very few will be forgiving, almost none will be indifferent, and almost all will be angry. Some may want to take revenge, and a few, if not angry, will be sad.

But I have classified the responses into three categories because they are the usual responses to situations. In some situation, such as health and attitude towards chi kung, most people will be indifferent, some good and some bad.

Whether one’s response to betrayals is good, average or bad depends much on his philosophy of life. Most family members in our school will be forgiving, because that is how we have been trained. Two cardinal values in our school are wisdom and compassion. It is wise and compassionate to be forgiving.

Although forgiving betrayals in our school forms the majority, it is a rare minority in general. As mentioned earlier, very few people in societies will forgive betrayals, almost all will be angry, and almost none will be indifferent.

Why is it wise and compassionate to forgive? Leaving aside fine points of Cosmic occurrences which actually happen, betrayers may not know whether victims forgive them, but the victims will harm themselves if their response is bad, will be indifferent if their response is indifferent, and will be good if their response is good. It is wise to be good, foolish to harm themselves, and mediocre to be indifferent.

How do victims harm themselves if their response is bad, if they are angry or want to take revenge against betrayals? The negative energy resulting from their bad response will clock up their natural energy network and bring about illness. In fact, in my many years of chi kung healing, I have discovered that a lot of so-called incurable diseases are due to blocked emotions. Even if the victims are not clinically sick, the energy blockage will affect many aspects of their daily life. Obviously, it is unwise to be sick or to have poor results in daily life..

When a victim is angry, wants to take revenge or has any manifestations of a bad response to a betrayal, he (or she) not only negates compassion but actively approaches cruelty. It is not just subjective, i.e. cruel people may argue that to be cruel is better than to be compassionate, but cruelty brings harm as it causes energy blockage. Obviously, it is foolish to cause harm to himself.

On the other hand, leaving aside altruism which we believe in and value highly, wisdom and compassion bring benefits. Indeed, many people have kindly commented that I am wise and compassionate. I owe these desirable qualities to being forgiving.

(Part 2 follows)

Happy Family Life Question and Answer 9

reproduced from https://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/showthread.php?12571-10-Questions-on-Happy-Family-Life.

This thread is facilitated by Ollie from our Shaolin Nordic family. Thank you, Ollie!

Happy Family Life Question and Answer 9

Question 9 by Sifu Markus Kahila

What advice might you give for successfully balancing work obligations and a fulfilling happy family life?

Parents with children all have the responsibility to provide for their families, but also to spend time with them and to establish a nurturing and a happy family life. However, for many people all over the world, just to provide for their family is a full-time job (or multiple jobs) which leave little time to their families.

So what advice would you give for a parent or parents whose time is mostly spent working just to make ends meet and to fulfill the basic requirement to provide for their families, leaving little or no time for actually spending time with them?

Sifu Markus Kahila

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Enjoying a happy family life does not negate work obligations and does not take extra time. In fact, a happy family life will contribute to work obligations and making it happier to spend time for any thing.

As an analogy, we can take health. When a person is healthy, it does not negate his work obligations and does not take extra time. In fact,, if he is unhealthy, it will affect his work obligations negatively and it will take him extra time to get well.

In other words, the time with his family, without spending extra time, can make his family life happy, indifferent or sad. For example, when he interacts with his family, if he practices the five guidelines which I provided in another answer, which are 1. getting together regularly, 2. saying truthful things that his family members like to hear, 3. letting them live their own lives, 4. supporting them in times of difficulties, 5. encouraging them in words and deeds, he will have a happy life.

If he is indifferent to them, his family life will be mediocre. If he says things they don’t want to hear, or forces his views on them, family members will dislike him.

To have a happy family life, the person may not do all the five suggestions at the same time. At any one time, he may do only one suggestion, leaving the other suggestions for other times. Gradually he will find his family life become happy.

Nevertheless, as a happy family life contributes to effective work performance as well as joyful living, it may be worth his while to spend some time a day to cultivate my five suggestions – not necessarily all at the same time. In other words, by spending an extra 10 minutes to cultivate my suggestions, he will find that he will work less hours but produce better results, and he is happy more often than he is indifferent or sad in his daily life.

Of the five suggestions to have a happy family life, only the first suggestion takes some time. But even if a person does not spend time organizing for family get-togethers, he will waste his time elsewhere.

Hence, your statement that for many people all over the world just to provide for their family is a full-time job, is not valid. The fact that they provide for their family shows that they care for the family. If other things were equal, they are more likely to have a happy family life. Indeed, those who do not provide for their family, usually have a poor family life.

My advice for parents to have a happy family life, irrespective of whether they have little time or much time, is to practice the five suggestions mentioned above, namely have family get-together regularly, say truthful things that their family members like to hear, let them live their own lives, help them when they are in difficulties, and encourage them in words and deeds.

Providing for the family is important. Having a happy family life, and having good health are also important. One must set priorities correctly. If parents spend all their time just to provide for the family, and neglect their happy family life or neglect their health, they are unwise. Similarly it is also unwise to neglect providing for their family or neglect their health.

HAPPY FAMILY LIFE DESPITE DIFFERENT NEEDS AND ASPIRATIONS

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/happy-family-life/life04.html)

Happy Family Life

Grandmaster Wong, his wife and children



Question 4

One of the most wonderful things that I have been gifted through our trainings and especially through Sigung’s wisdom and help is to enjoy a happy family life. It is one of the greatest gifts, I think, to love and feel loved within a family.

I would like to contribute the following question:

We are all different. We think, act and feel differently i.e. have different needs, aspirations, walk of lives etc. Apart from sharing our love and joy with our family members (family in a narrow and more wider sense), what are the skills and how can we train them to understand the other person better in order to be able to nurture them more effectively?

Binia


Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Indeed, having a happy family life is one of the greatest gifts in life. It is also one of the values we cherish in our school. As I have said often, we do not just practice chi kung or kungfu, we apply what we have learned to enrich our life and the lives of others.

We think, act and feel differently i.e. have different needs, aspirations, and walks of lives. It is precisely important to realise this fact in order to have a happy family life.

Let us look at the needs, aspirations, walks of lives and other relevant factors of our blood family and our Shaolin Wahnam Family.

We are all different. We think, act and feel differently i.e. have different needs, aspirations, and walks of lives etc. Apart from sharing our love and joy with our family members, both in a narrow and more wider sense, what are the skills and how can we train them to understand the other person better in order to be able to nurture them more effectively?

The first skill is to realise this difference. For example, we in Shaolin Wahnam have enjoyed the benefits of our arts, and naturally we want our immediate family members to have these benefits too.

It will be foolhardy and bring a lot of unpleasantness to force our arts on them. Although they are our brothers and sisters, fathers or mothers, nieces and nephews, they live their lives differently. Let them live the lives the way they want. Do not try to force them to live their lives the way we want. It is their lives.

But we can show by examples. If you happened to have an illness and recovered by practicing our chi kung, tell them not only the effect but also the joys of your practice. Remind them that you need to put in effort. If they do not listen, that is their choice, and also their right.

You now live life healthy and happily. Tell them that it is the result of your practicing chi kung. If they want to have this health and happiness, they can practice our chi kung. They have to pay the fees for the training, and most importantly they have to practice everyday. It won’t take up too much of their time. they need to practice just about 10 minutes a session, twice a day.

If they do not spend the time practicing our chi kung, they would waste the time anyway, and probably remain sickly and unhappy. But it is their choice. Don’t pay the fees for them, or force them to practice if they do not want health and happiness. Realising this difference in choice is very important in sharing love and joy with them, or at lease avoiding dislike and unpleasantness.

An excellent way to develop this skill is mental clarity and realisation. Our arts give us mental clarity. What is needed is to realize the different needs and aspirations.. You also show by personal example. You yourself, practice our arts everyday.

Another important skill is to talk about things that they like to hear, not about things you want to talk about or you want them to hear. What you say must be truthful. Don’t lie to them to make things pleasant.

For example, your brother may want a better paying job. Don’t tell him that he has no money. It is not what he wants to hear though it is truthful. Don’t tell him he can strike a lottery. It is what he wants to hear but it is unlikely to be truthful.

Tell him that he can find a job that he likes and pays better, but he must make the effort to find it. If he just continues doing his job, it is unlikely his boss will give him more money, or a better paying job will come to him. But, if he chooses not to look for a better paying job, it is his choice. He chooses a low-paying job over putting effort to find a better paying one. Don’t nag him saying that he has no money or that there are plenty of better-paying jobs outside..

Another excellent way to share your love and joy with your family members, irrespective of whether they are in your immediate family or part of the Happy Shaolin Wahnam Family, is to have regular get-togethers. Such get-togethers may be picnics, outings or dinners.

For your immediate family, you may have to organise such get-togethers. It is easier for our extended Shaolin Wahnam Family. Your regular class is a good get-together where you can practice your skills of sharing love and happiness. You can also attend my regional courses or intensive courses to share love and happiness with other members in other countries.

It is common, especially in immediate families, that family members spend their time playing with their mobile phones instead of with other family members. You may have to suggest a rule that mobile phones are not allowed in such family gatherings. If anyone has to take an important call, he (or she) must do so briefly away from the gathering, and come back to the gathering quickly. If he does this often, he has to shut off his mobile phone. Taking calls is not as important as sharing love and happiness at a family gathering.

A better way is to lead the conversation so skilfully that other people voluntarily shut off their mobile phones. The topics of conversation must be so interesting that they involve everybody in the gathering. And you must be ready to be a good listener, not speaking most of the time.

You may, for example, start the interesting conversation by saying, “Mom, tell us how you keep our family together when we were small”, or “Dad, how ddi you spend time with our family when we were tiny children?“ If anyone is disinterested, for which you must be on the lookout, you can ask that someone what he thinks of the conversation. If his answer is short, like “Interesting”, ask him to tell the gathering what he finds interesting.

You may need to pay for the gathering to get it going. Paying some money is certainly worthwhile for you to share your love and joy with your family members. Later, you may suggest that family members pay a share of the gathering, or take turns to pay for the gathering. If any of your family member is unable to pay his share due to financial difficulty, you may secretly pay for him without others knowing so that he will not feel embarrassed.

If anyone does not attend the gathering, you can suggest a heavy fine. You may say something like “The gathering is in honour of our dad and mom who sacrificed much for our well being. It is insulting to them if you don’t attend.” Of course you dad and mom won’t be paying for the gathering.

If you follow these golden guidelines, you will make your family members more loving and caring for one another. The guidelines are:

Recognize that different people, even your family members, have different needs and aspiration. Let them live the lives they want. Do not force them to live the lives you want.

Say something pleasant and truthful in their presence. Do not say anything that may hurt their feelings or sensitivities. Organize family gatherings regularly. Mobile phones are not allowed in such gatherings. Lead the conversation so that everyone will enjoy the gathering.

But how would you develop these skills or abilities. These skills or abilities are related to mental clarity and internal force. If you have mental clarity, not only you realise the importance of having a happy family, you are also in a better position to acquire the skills or abilities for it.

You need internal force to learn the skills and carry out the abilities. If you just know that having a happy family is important, that is not enough. You must be able to make your family happy. Internal force will give you the necessary energy.

The training in our school gives us mental clarity and internal force. They will make our family happy if you carry out the suggestions mentioned above. Having a happy family life is a wonderful value to cherish. But you need to put in some effort to be successful.

Happy Family Life

Grandmaster Wong, his wife his son and daughter-inlaw and grandchildren


The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Happy Family Life in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

ADDRESSING FAMILY MEMBERS

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org)

I made a mistake regarding addressing family members, and of course it is not late to correct it. Chee Seen’s students, like Hoong Hei Koon and Lok Ah Choy, addressed Ng Mui, who was Chee Seen’s sijia (elder kungfu sister) as sipak (elder kungfu uncle) and not as siguma (elder sister of father).

Hence, you should address the senior female kungfu sister of your sifu (kungfu teacher) as sipak, and the junior female kungfu sister of your sifu as sisook, and not as siguma and sigujie as we have been doing. For example, the students of Leo (Sifu Leonard Lackinger) would address Joan (Sifu Joan Browne) as sipak. Joan’s students would, of course, address Joan as sifu.

We are proud (in a good way) that we are one of the very few kungfu and chi kung schools today that keep this tradition, which, amongst other benefits, contributes to our effectiveness in learning and in everyday life. It is rude to call your sifu by name, whether talking to him or her personally, or talking to other people. Your sifu, who has brought you good health and happiness, is always addressed, with a sense of pride and gratitude, as “Sifu” when talking to him or her, and as “my Sifu” when talking to others.

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
1st December 2016

 

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS NOVEMBER 2015 PART 1 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/nov15-1.html)

Happy Family

It is a great joy to be a husband and father — an old picture showing Grandmaster Wong, his wife and their three eldest children in the garden of the house where they are still staying

Question 1

You said that becoming a wife/husband and mother/father is one of the most spiritually fulfilling things in this world. But spiritual fulfillment isn’t a given if I have to sacrifice so much and the man doesn’t. A relationship is made of two people, so both should strive to be the best they can be and sacrifice all they can. Not only the women, and not only the men either. How can a relationship be wholesome if that were so?

— Fabienne, Switzerland

Answer

Ask not what your husband and children can do for you. Ask what you can do for your husband and children. You and not they practice our elite arts.

Spiritual fulfillment is not a given attainment. You have to make effort and sacrifice to attain it.

While a relationship of husband and wife is made up of two people, and ideally both should strive for family happiness, you need not wait for the other person to make this come true. As an elite person who has practiced our Shaolin Wahnam arts, you take the lead.

If your thought, speech and action are appropriate, the other will follow, and both will contribute to the family happiness. It does not matter even when the other person does little work, or not at all, but you still need him to make a rewarding relationship.

Editorial Note

Fabienne’s other questions can be found at Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 2 and Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 3.

Question 2

While doing further research in Buddhism and its origins, I didn’t have to look far at all to find other offending examples of women being treated like lesser beings and/or being reduced to tools of convenience and satisfaction.

Can you please tell me what you think about these examples?

Answer

My main comment is that society and customs at the time of the Buddha were vastly different from those of ours. By the standard of Buddha’s time, what the Buddha did to women was extremely generous.

My other comments follow each of your examples.

Your Example (1) The most advanced Buddhist nuns had to sit behind the most novice monks simply because their body was deemed inferior. It is our body that is able to grow and give life.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhuni#Discriminating_against_nuns

My Comment: At that time in India, no matter how accomplished women were, they were still considered inferior to males.

Your Example (2) The Buddha himself was against teaching women at first. He refused to teach his own aunt, the woman that nursed and raised him when he was but a small and defenceless child. If it weren’t for the Venerable Ananda, women probably never would’ve been taught by the Buddha himself, and I am forever grateful for that. If “not teaching women” was for the sake of monks not being distracted or tempted, then the monks were much more at fault than the nuns. Men should be able to control themselves, a sentiment which is blissfully ignored by many males in our society.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahapajapati_Gotami#Ordination_of_the_first_woman

My Comment: It was a custom at the time to teach only males. The Buddha’s teaching of women was unprecedented.

Not teaching women for the sake of the monks was only one of a few reasons. The main reason for not teaching women was due to culture and custom.

If a beautiful woman temptingly stripes in front of a man, it is not easy for him to resist the temptation even when he can otherwise has good control of his sexual desires.

Xi shi

Xi Shi, one of the four most beautiful women of China

Question 3

Past kings and emperors had multiple wives. What purpose did that serve except prestige? The beauty of women as a means of manipulation is even present in the 36 Strategies (“From Nothing is born Something”). Don’t you think that men who are easily manipulated by the beauty of women are disgraceful?

Answer

The purpose of having multiple wives was more than just prestige. A Chinese emperor was required by rites and customs to have more than a thousand wives, irrespective of whether he liked it or not, but it so happened that usually he liked it.

One important reason, besides the obvious variety of sexual pleasure an emperor could enjoy, was to ensure he had a male heir to succeed him.

There is nothing wrong to use the beauty of women in strategies. Some women, like the famous beauties of China, Xi Shi and Diao Chan, were proud to be able to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the country, and the people sincerely honoured them.

A well known strategy of the 36 Strategies is simply called “Beauty Strategy”. Many famous strategists used this strategy elegantly and successfully.

You may be pleased to know that there is a Chinese saying as follows. “Even heroes may not escape the temptations of beautiful women.” When heroes can fall to beauties, mere mortals stand little chance of survival.

I don’t think that men who are easily manipulated by the beauty of women are disgraceful. I think they are normal.

The great sage, Confucius, advises, “Food and sex are normal instincts.”

Question 4

While talking to a very close friend of mine, it occurred to us that certain monastic rules and explanations of Buddhist cosmology and reincarnation state that people are born a woman because of some bad karma. Is this true? If so, that’s heart-breaking.

I try hard to be the best I can be, so I try and look at this as a blessing in disguise. As a woman, I might be better suited to clear deep-rooted, emotional or even karmic problems. According to my friend, a senior instructor in our school mentioned that women tend to be more sensitive and able to pass certain “milestones” in Kung Fu and Qigong more quickly. But still, it sucks to be told that I might be inferior.

In any case, I feel torn between righteous fury because of this caveman-ish injustice being prevalent to this day (sometimes even in Shaolin Wahnam, of all places), and grief for all the oppression and lost potential that women had to deal with ever since known history. Will it boil down to the fact that, as a woman, I have to make a very hard choice? Either reach high achievements or become a wife and mother?

Answer

It was true that in the past at a time when women’s position was inferior to men’s, many people believed that to be born a woman was due to bad karma. But this was relative. It was bad karma compared to being born as gods, or even as men. But it was good karma compared to being born an animal, or even a very beautiful female titan. Yet the very same people would probably think that being born a woman in a noble family was due to better karma than being born a male slave.

But conditions are different today. Even when Chinese culture prefers sons to daughters, many Chinese families I know prefer to have daughters than to have sons. When they are married, daughters with their husbands stay with the parents; or at least return home frequently, whereas the sons when married together with their wives are lost to their in-laws.

Hence, you should not be heart-broken, but instead take being born a woman as a blessing.

Indeed, to be born human, male or female, is a great blessing. He or she must have accumulated a lot of good karma in the past. To be born wholesome is a greater blessing. The blessing to be born in a highly civilized society like yours is even greater. And the greatest blessing is to be born human, male or female, wholesome in a civilized society and be exposed to spiritual teaching like ours in Shaolin Wahnam. We have a lot to be grateful for.

Don’t just try to be the best person you can be, do it. Don’t strive but enjoy your cultivation. While whether women are better suited than men to clear emotional and karmic problems, and pass milestones in kungfu and qigong training is debatable, there is no doubt that women today, especially in Western societies, enjoy privileges men normally don’t, like having their heavy luggage carried by men, and their food served to them first while their man friends may still mouth-water, provided that these women don’t mistake women equality to be female chauvinism.

Your righteous fury, sense of caveman-ish injustice, and grief of oppression and lost potential of women, are all the result of your imagination. Since known history, women never had such opportunities and benefits as they have today. Women in the past did not go to school or even out of their house, had no opportunities of employment, and could not choose their own husbands. Now you can reach high achievements and at the same time become a wife and mother. You should celebrate instead of groan over your opportunities.

I love my wife for who she is, not what I want her to be

Question 5

Sigung, may I please know how you feel about this issue? Do you feel like females are worth less than male beings, be it animal or human? Or did I just misunderstand your intentions behind the article you wrote about becoming a good wife? Do you love your own wife so much because she manipulated you into doing what she wants (even if she did it sweetly), or because she was supportive, sincere, loving and strong?

Answer

My feeling about this issue is very clear — to myself as well as to others. Definitely I do not feel females are worth less than males, animal or human. I regard them as equal, but not the same.

During question time, for example, when both male and female students asked questions about the same time, I always practiced “lady’s first”.

During demonstration I usually chose male students or instructors. Some people mistook this gesture as my disregard for women. It was just the opposite. It was my regard for them that I chose male demonstrators. I did not want to take advantage of their feminine beauty, or let other people have this impression, especial in the West where many masters, unfortunately, exploit their female students.

These may be little gestures, but they demonstrate my high regards for women.

You misunderstood my intentions behind the article I wrote about becoming a good wife. My intentions are noble, and are aimed at helping women get the men they love. They are too many eligible, loveable but unmarried women, as well as too many unmarried men who are scared to get married, in the West.

I love my wife very much for what she is, including her many faults. She did not manipulate me into doing what she wants, even in a sweet way. If she did, I would have sufficient ways to counter it, also in a sweet way. She does not need to do so because she is appreciative, sincere, loving and strong.

She has to be very strong, bringing up five lovely children at a time when I was financially poor, not only without any complaints but also with love and devotion. Now I earn more money, I like spending it on her to make her happy, but she spends it on our children and grandchildren, and that wisely and not lavishly, and our children have to say, “Papa and mama, we have enough money to be comfortable.”

Question 6

While with Shaolin Wahnam, I learned that we are all part of the same universe and that our world is an illusion, influenced by our perception. Why can’t this simple principle be applied to such a natural, sacred and simple bond as marriage, for example? Shaolin Wahnam gets so many aspects about daily life perfectly right, yet misogyny is still observable. Shouldn’t we stand above this petty differentiation?

For example, we are making the difference between hard and soft chi for the sake of understanding. We can do that with the concept of men and women, too. But only for the sake of understanding and explanation. It should flow into each other and ultimately be one. Men and women can’t be without each other in the long run (for the simple sake of continuously populating this planet), so let’s make it an equal business. Based on love and respect, not on superiority and manipulation.

Answer

You have highlighted a very important point that can bring meaning and happiness to our daily life. Our phenomenal world, which is an illusion, is much influenced by our perception. My article on Perception and Reality illustrates this very important point.

Paradoxically, your problem in this issue is due to your perception. The reality is the same, that men and women can’t be without each other, and their mutual well-being should be based on love and respect, and not on superiority and manipulation. This is the theme in my article you mentioned, How to Trap a Good Husband and be a Good Wife, as well as in the teaching of Shaolin Wahnam.

However you interpreted my article from a different perspective. I advise that to get a husband whom she has found lovable and eligible, the woman should fulfil the qualities that he wants in his wife. He wants his wife to be attractive, feminine and yielding. But you thought, wrongly, that if a woman conforms to these qualities, she would make herself inferior as well as manipulate him to marry her.

Although you may not have explicitly said it, you imply that to demonstrate your superiority, or at least your equality, you need not confirm to his likings. If you are already attractive, feminine and yielding, that is fine. You already process qualities that he likes. But, for the sake of illustration here, if you were unattractive, dominating and demanding, you need not make yourself attractive, feminine and yielding to win him. He has to accept you for what you are.

You consider, again wrongly, that if you have to make yourself attractive, feminine and yielding to win him, you will be manipulative. This is your flawed perspective. A better perspective is that you make a sacrifice to attain a greater mutual goal.

An example will make this point clearer. Suppose you are a manufacturer producing red T-shirts. A customer orders blue T-shirts. This is his likes. But you think that if you conform to his likes, you are demeaning yourself and accepting your inferiority. But if you conform to his likes, you are manipulative to win his sale. You can choose to be stubborn and clinch onto your flawed perspective, but you will lose the sale or your man whom you feel will make a good husband. Your perspective is flawed because you confuse woman equality with being dog-headedness, and confuse sacrifice with manipulation.

This principle of fulfilling the needs of the other person and making sacrifice for greater mutual benefit can be applied to marriages as well as all other aspects of life. To implement this principle successfully, you have to be clear in your vision and direction, and noble in your perspective. Marrying any man that comes your way is not being clear in your vision and direction. Being stubborn even when your views are flawed and mistaking sacrifice to be manipulation is being unclear in your perspective.

Misogyry, or hating women, is definitely not a trait in Shaolin Wahnam. We have many perfect husbands in our school. Some men in our school may not be perfect husbands, but certainly they don’t hate women. If you feel that misogyny is observable in our school, for your own sake, you really have to examine your mind-set. Ironically, it is you who need to clear yourself from this mess of petty differentiation.

Besides better understanding, differentiating between hard and soft, or men and women, also enables us to be cost effective and bring us a lot of benefits. You are the one who can’t differentiate between men and women. Although you may differentiate them by sex, you fail to differentiate them by their roles and aspirations. You seem to treat women as men.

Men and women cannot ultimately be one. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. It is utterly unnatural if anyone of them become a man-woman, or for the female chauvinists, a woman-man. Playing their roles and fulfilling their aspirations also cannot be equal business. Whether in love making, rearing children or any other aspects of family life, men perform their roles and fulfil their aspirations as men, and women as women. In love making, for example, by instinct, a man’s aspiration is his immediate pleasure, whereas a woman’s aspiration is to have love.

Five-Animal Play -- the Monkey

Five-Animal Play — the Monkey

Question 7

Sigung, you are the greatest person and teacher I have ever known and probably ever will. Your opinion matters a lot to me. This subject is very dear to my heart and highly important for my own future. I am terrified that you might push a very out-dated opinion of women and marriage onto students who won’t think twice about the wisdom you generously share and will simply accept it as fact.

I know at least three married couples in Wahnam where the wife does not adhere to your standard of what a “good wife” should be like. Yet they are all wonderfully happy. On the other hand, I see many Wahnam women with high achievements being unmarried to this day. I don’t know if that is their personal choice or simply their adapting to current circumstances.

They are all inspirations to me, yet I absolutely do wish to get married and have children one day. But not when things are still like this. The status quo scares me and makes me hold onto my personal freedom and joy and open way of expression even more.

I guess I just wish to know why these kinds of things are still happening the way they are. It breaks my heart to think that, no matter how high my achievements might be in the future, I’ll never be deemed “as good” as male students, simply because I’m a woman.

If that were the case, and knowing my passion and deep emotions, I might just become that bitter kind of “liberated” woman you said men are scared of. As of now, I am still very young, optimistic and eager to learn. I hope this issue can be resolved. If not in today’s society, then at least let it be resolved in my heart!

Thank you very much for your patience and I will be forever grateful (even more so than I already am) if you could help me break through this blockage. I also hope that my sincere, yet still somewhat critical inquiry won’t result in me not being welcome in Shaolin Wahnam anymore.

Answer

Thank you for your very kind words.

One of the proudest achievements of our school is that our teaching has enabled our family members, single or married, to enrich their daily lives. This achievement is more important than being extremely combat efficient, developing tremendous internal force, or even overcoming pain and illness and attaining good health, vitality and longevity.

Our teaching, including that of happy marriage, is successfully time-tested. You view the issue in a matter of 30 years; I view it over many centuries. Even in a short period of 30 years, your perspective has proven to be unsuccessful, resulting in many people remaining unmarried though they are eligible and lovable.

I do not push my teaching onto our students. I always encourage them to assess any teaching to the best of their understanding and experience.

You have misconceived my advice on what a good wife should be like. You wrongly think that a good wife should abandon her ability and wisdom and follow her husband blindly. I advise that a good wife should use her ability and wisdom to make her family happy.

Even if we presume that the three married couples you mentioned do not adhere to my advice on being a good wife, if they and their husbands and children are happy, I am happy for them. In fact I would advise them to carry on what they have been doing, and don’t follow what I mentioned in the article. The article is not for them. It is meant for women who want to but have not accomplished a happy family.

If those Shaolin Wahnam women with high achievements choose not to have a family they need not follow my advice in the article. If they wish to have a happy family, my advice will be very useful.

Getting married and having children is a woman’s instinct. It is also a wonderful thing to do. Never before in history have women this golden opportunity to be married and have children, and still have freedom, joy and open way of expression. You are living in this golden age but you don’t realize it.

Your problem and heart-breaking situation is the result of your own faulty imagination. Change your perspective from a negative way to the Shaolin Wahnam way and you may see the golden age you are in.

Why should you choose to be a bitter liberated woman whom men are scared of, when you can be a sweet liberated woman whom men adore? Becoming such a sweet, liberated and adorable woman is not by fancy. You have to put in a lot of hard work. Following my advice in the article you mentioned, after you have realized your previous faulty perspective, will provide a practical way to achieve your goal.

Of course you will be welcome in Shaolin Wahnam, more so after you have raised these interesting questions that will benefit many men and women.

Question 8

Can children practice the Five-Animal Play?

— Konchia, Spain

Answer

Yes, they can if they have competent teachers. Nowadays, competent teachers teaching Five-Animal Play or other types of chi kung are rare. Most teachers teach chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, and not as chi kung.

Gentle physical exercise works on the physical body, whereas chi kung works on energy. Gentle physical exercise cannot overcome pain and illness, and cannot enable practitioners to have more energy and mental clarity, but chi kung can.



If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at secretary@shaolin.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.