(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.