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?
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)
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.
(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/happy-family-life/life04.html)
Grandmaster Wong, his wife and children
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?
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.
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.
(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
(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/nov15-1.html)
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
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
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.
Fabienne’s other questions can be found at Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 2 and Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 3.
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?
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.
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.
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, one of the four most beautiful women of China
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?
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.”
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?
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
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?
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
Can children practice the Five-Animal Play?
— Konchia, Spain
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 firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.
(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/oct15-3.html)
Women are women, men are men. Happy women and men at a marriage blessing in Hawaii
I just wish to be myself, the person I am working hard to cultivate and to improve on every level. The person you called “of a high calibre”, the person you were kind enough to call talented and beautiful. The wonderful woman I’ll be in only a few years’ time. And once I find my future husband, we will hopefully create a wholesome and harmonious relationship together, based on awe, spirituality, respect and love.
— Fabienne, Switzerland
I am very happy that many students of our schools, male and female, have explicitly stated that our training has made them the best persons they can be.
You have all the potential to be this wonderful woman. The only hindrance I can see in you now is your concept of women equality. It is a fact that many male students who make excellent husbands have told me that they are scared to get married because they are scared that their future intelligent and liberated wives will argue with them on every thing. If your sense of women equality dictates that it is your right to argue with them and to you that is not oppressing them, and that they should not be scared of you, it is unlikely that you will meet these lovable men as a potential husband.
It is your choice. You can choose to believe that they should not be scared, although they have explicitly said they are scared, and choose to believe that even when you strongly express your views which oppose theirs, you can still have a happy marriage. As an analogy, in internal force training you can choose to believe that you can tense your muscles, though internal force masters have explicitly said that you should relax, and choose to believe that even when you use muscular strength which opposes the view of internal force masters, you can still develop internal force.
Actual experiences have repeatedly shown that wives who strongly express their views that oppose their husbands’ views, although the wives claim that it is their right, do not have happy marriages. Actual experiences also have repeatedly shown that students who tense their muscles, when internal force masters advise them to relax, although the students claim that it is their right to practice in a way they want to, do not develop internal force. If, knowing these facts, you still persist on doing what you think is right although actual experiences have shown that you will not have a happy marriage or develop internal force, you are not only unwise but also stubborn, despite your intelligence.
Fabienne’s other questions can be found at Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 2 and Questions-Answers November 2015 Part 1.
Or should I cast all that honour and potential aside once I marry? Should it really be my goal to hide my lively and talkative character? Turn doe-eyed and meek and become a master at manipulating and tricking the person I love into doing what I want, instead of being upfront, sincere and loving with him? And have my husband return that sentiment, out of respect and love.
You have jumped into conclusions that are irrelevant.
No one asks you to cast your honour and potential aside once you marry. You are advised to use your honour and potential in a way that will make your marriage happy and successful, and not to use them in a way that will confront your husband resulting in an unhappy and unsuccessful marriage.
No one asks you to hide your lively and talkative character. You are advised to use your lively and talkative character to make your marriage happy and successful, and not to use them in a way that may dominate your husband resulting in an unhappy and unsuccessful marriage.
No one asks you to turn doe-eyed and meek and become a master at manipulating and tricking the person you love into doing what you want. You are advised to be doe-eyed and meek or eagle-eyed and demanding or whatever is appropriate, and be sincere and loving in persuading the person you love into doing what you want for mutual happiness and benefit.
You should be upfront in all your dealings with your husband, and never deceive him. But your approach can be straight-forward or circular depending on the situation and his character. You should have your husband return that sentiment out of respect and love, and definitely not out of deceit, fear or cunningness.
Our training in Shaolin Wahnam makes us the best person we can be
Why can’t women be equal to men? Why do women have to adhere to the sensibilities of men (them being scared of our opinions, strength or maybe even superior intelligence), whereas men have a horrifying sense of entitlement as soon as we dress attractively, smile or talk with them? Again, I speak from personal experience.
If men are scared of women having an opinion and being strong, shouldn’t they practice Kung Fu and grow a real spine instead?
Don’t you think that we women aren’t afraid of men, too? When men are scared of dominant women, then women like me are scared of having to submit and give up everything for men like them.
It seems that your concept of women being equal to men means women being the same as men. Women are women, and men are men. They are not the same. It would be a very dull world if they were the same.
It is also worthwhile for you to realize that women equality is a modern concept. In the past women were considered inferior to men. In the same way, all men are equal, meaning all men have equal rights, is a modern concept. In the past, even in Athens, the birthplace of democracy, men were not equal. Women and slaves had no rights.
Women adhere to the sensibilities of men, and men adhere to the sensitivities of women for mutual respect and benefit. You can choose not to adhere to men’s sensitivities, like not dressing prettily, but it will be to your disadvantage. Similarly, a man can choose not to adhere to women’s sensitivities, like being rough with them, but it will be to his disadvantage.
Your thinking that men are afraid of women who have their own opinions and are strong is again jumping into a wrong conclusion
I have noticed more men wanting women to have opinions on their own and be strong than men being afraid of women having opinions and are strong. Many men complain that women, rightly or wrongly, are flicker-minded, and no matter how strong women are, they are generally not as strong as men, physically or emotionally.
Only by practicing genuine kungfu can men and women develop mental clarity and internal force that enable them to be tolerant of others’ opinions and be strong physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and figuratively have a real spine.
But genuine kungfu is very rare nowadays. Kungfu is so debased today that practitioners become dull and intolerant of others’ beliefs. Though they may be stronger physically, they are weak emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Don’t you think that we women are afraid of men, too? When men are scared of dominant women, women like me are scared of having to submit and give up everything for men like them.
In the past women submitted themselves and willingly gave up everything for their husbands. Because of their submissive nature, they were happy. Divorce was unheard of, though some people argue that the absence of divorce was due not to happy marriages but to the unavailability of divorce opportunities.
The submissiveness of wives as well as their inferior position were a blessing in disguise. They became tolerant of their husbands’ shortcomings, and even if their marriages were not particularly happy, they were not particularly quarrelsome.
It was a sharp contrast to today’s marriages. Because women are liberated, they demand equal rights, which result in frequent quarrels or at least disagreement between husbands and wives.
Herein lies an interesting debate. Would you prefer wives to be submissive which results in a peaceful family, or wives to have equal rights which results in a quarrelsome family. Men’s preference is quite obvious. Usually choices have to be made by modern women.
Chi kung for health and vitality
Let me make an example. Let’s say that, hypothetically, I found a boyfriend. Both he and I are dedicated martial artists, talented and spiritually advanced. Who do you think will have to make the bigger sacrifice in order to achieve this perfectly wholesome family life you were talking about?
Me. I would offer my body, stop practicing high level Kung Fu and Qigong for at least 9 months, bear the pain of childbirth and ideally submit to my husband to not “make him feel bad” by being my true self: intelligent, sharp, outspoken and kind-hearted.
This is your perspective as a wife who is unwilling to make sacrifice for a happy family. The perspective of your husband, who is also unwilling to make sacrifice for a happy family, will be different. It will be as follows.
Who do you think will have to make the bigger sacrifice? Me. I would offer both my body and my time, and work like mad with hardly any time to rest, and of course not to practice high level kungfu and qigong, especially during the 9 months when my wife is pregnant, bear the pain of anxiety and ideally submit to her whims and fancies to make her feel good, and not to be my true self: spending time with by buddies and bearing their cruel jokes as my wife’s handy man.
Both perspectives are unlikely to contribute to a happy family. If you value your family happiness more than your mis-conceived women rights, your perspective will be as follows.
I am grateful to be able to sacrifice for my family happiness. I shall gladly offer my body, and continue to practice high level kungfu and qigong. It will be a privilege to be pregnant, and to bring forth my children, who will be a joy to both my husband and myself. I shall willingly submit to my husband’s wishes, and make his life happy. I shall employ my intelligence, effort and kind-heartedness to be my true self as a loving wife and mother.
Your husband’s perspective if he values family happiness over male chauvinism will be as follows.
I am grateful to be able to sacrifice for my family happiness. I shall gladly offer my body and my time, continue to practice high level kungfu and chi kung, and to work hard to provide well for my wife and children. I shall willingly submit to my wife’s wishes, and make her life meaningful. I shall employ my intelligence, effort and time to be my true self as a loving husband and father
All of this is worth it, but the man needs to be upright, smart, handsome and worthy, too. Not everybody is a husband who appreciates his wife and works extraordinarily hard like you do, Sigung.
What is the point of me practicing martial arts and thus developing elegance, grace, mental clarity, confidence, courage and tremendous strength if I shall have to submit all my ambitions and everything I’ve achieved to a man the moment I get married and wish to have children?
It is certainly worth it. You need to find the man who is upright, smart, handsome and worthy. As we practice elite arts in Shaolin Wahnam, we are the leaders. We take the initiate to build a happy family. We are not followers. We do not hope someone will take the lead and follow him.
Thinking that you have to forego all the benefits of your training for the man you will marry is a negative way of looking at your things. The Shaolin Wahnam was is as follows.
My practicing elite martial arts enables me to develop elegance, grace, mental clarity, confidence, courage and tremendous strength. With these benefits I can find a wonderful and appreciative man whom I will get married and have children. I shall continue to practice the elite arts to make my family happy and meaningful.
Martial art chi kung
In contemplating your Intensive Chi Kung Course, I recalled you had said there was an intensive amount to learn, and something about remembering even a fraction of it would be invaluable.
I wonder if you have learning materials for class review that you supply with the class, like workbooks and/or DVDs. And if not, do you permit students to take notes?
— Elizabeth, USA
You can find a lot of my teaching material of the Intensive Chi Kung Course on my webpages, like the following
You can take notes during the course if you like, but are advised not to because
Taking notes will get you out of a chi kung state of mind, and it is in a chi kung state of mind that you get the best benefits of the course
A video recording of the course will be presented to you with compliments before you leave
You will probably find that what I teach during the course is very different from what you and most people have in mind about chi kung. It may sound ridiculous but you don’t have to remember anything if you can generate an energy flow.
You will learn and be successful in doing this in the first half an hour of the course, and you will practice doing this throughout the course, except when you sit down to listen to chi kung philosophy which will enhance your practice, and to my answers to students’ questions.
If one cannot generate an energy flow, he (or she) will not be performing chi kung even though the exercises he performs are genuine chi kung techniques. More than 80% of chi kung practitioners all over the world today are in this situation, i.e. they use genuine chi kung techniques to perform gentle physical exercise, and not an energy art, just like more than 90% of Taiji practitioners use genuine Taijiquan techniques to perform external dance-like movement and not an internal martial art.
If you can’t generate an energy flow by the end of the course, you should ask me for a full refund of the course fee, which will be refunded without question
You have said the forms of qigong that I have done are not high-level qigong, but I have experienced the following:
I feel intensive energy flows.
I have led some very sick people in these exercises, and they feel much better immediately
People have healed many things like cancer, Lupus, etc.
It focuses on body, mind, soul, and spiritual development.
Would it be accurate to say that my current qigong is high-level because of the 4 things listed above, but Shaolin Wahnam qigong is a more advanced and of a higher level. I feel a bit sad thinking of my teacher’s as low level qigong.
But of course the question is why am I not well fully yet. I have healed a lot of other people but they have to do this qigong 2-3 hours a day, for a few years to be completely healed. I have not yet been able to sustain this level of practice for extended periods of time.
And I have some concern that the practice itself is too complex and not balanced. I am really excited to experience a vastly more powerful and succinct practice in the hopes of complete recovery soon!
Whether a certain type of qigong (chi kung), or any art, is high-level depends on various factors, and the assessment is often subjective. It is best that you compare different types of qigong and make an assessment yourself.
Many of my students honestly thought that the qigong or kungfu they previously practiced was high-level. When I later asked them about their assessment, after having practicing qigong or kungfu in our school for some time, without a single exception they told me it was incomparable.
I usually let their assessment stop at that. I did not persist further to ask which type was of such a higher level that they were incomparable. Their continuing to practice our qigong or kungfu, instead of their former types, clearly gave me the answer.
Before assessing whether a certain type of qigong or kungfu is of a high level, it is useful firstly to consider whether it is genuine. In other words, first we consider whether a certain type of qigong or kungfu is genuine. If it is not genuine, we need not proceed. If it is genuine, we assess whether it is high-level or low-level.
An excellent way to decide whether a certain type of qigong or kungfu is genuine is to examine whether it gives the benefits it is meant to give. A fundamental benefit of qigong is good health, and a fundamental benefit of kungfu is self-defence. If a practitioner after practicing his art for a reasonable period of time, like a year, is still sick or unable to defend himself, then the qigong or kungfu he practices is not genuine.
Please note that the issue here is whether the art he practices is genuine, and not his character. He may be a very kind and lovable person, but if he does not derive the benefit that his dedicated practice is meant to give him, his art cannot be said to be genuine.
Unfortunately, this is the situation of qigong and kungfu practitioners today, including world-known masters. Many qigong practitioners have to take medication on a routine basis. Most kungfu practitioners cannot defend themselves. If they need to fight or spar, they use Boxing or Kick-Boxing, and are still being punched and kicked by their opponents.
Qigong masters since classical times have classified qigong into the following five progressive levels, from the basic to the most advanced.
Medical qigong — to overcome pain and illness.
Health qigong — to promote good health, vitality and longevity.
Scholars’ qigong — to promote scholarly qualities, like mental clarity.
Martial art qigong — to develop internal force, like for peak performance.
Spiritual qigong — to attain the highest spiritual fulfillment, or at low levels to experience spiritual joys like being peaceful and happy.
Kungfu masters have classified kungfu into the following three levels:
For combat efficiency.
For good health, vitality and longevity.
For spiritual cultivation.