Tag Archives: Buddhism

CHI KUNG AND CHRISTIANITY

(reproduced from https://shaolin.org/answers/sp-issues/alex.html)

Qigong, Chi Kung

Chi kung can be practiced by people of different religions or of no religion



Question

However, I am a Christian and believe one should develop mind, body and soul to be a better person. Whereas, it seems chi kung and meditation divert more into Buddhism. Do you think I could still learn and practice chi kung and meditation and benefit from them without mixing both religions?

— Alex, Malaysia


Answer

Definitely you can learn and practice chi kung and meditation and benefit from them without mixing Christianity and Buddhism. Many people did, have done, are doing, and will do that. Many Shaolin and Taijiquan masters expert in chi kung and meditation were, and are, pious Christians.

Due to history and culture, some people mistakenly think that chi kung and meditation are Buddhist or Taoist practices. Similarly some people in remote parts of Asia mistakenly think that all those who speak English are Christians! As many of their early practitioners were Buddhists or Taoists — just as many of the early Christians who came to Asia were English speaking — it was easy to make the mistaken connotation.

Actually chi kung and meditation were practiced by the early Christian Fathers in classical Europe, although they did not call the practices “chi kung” and “meditation”. Faith heeling by Christian priests, which was a major form of medical treatment in Europe during the Middle Ages was a form of chi kung. Reflection on God, which was a major part of training of Christian monks, was a form of meditation.

Chi kung and meditation are non-religious. People of any religion or no official religion can practice and benefit from them without distracting from their religion. On the contrary, many people have become more pious in their own religion after practicing chi kung or meditation because their practice confirms for them by direct experience the validity of some of their beliefs. For example, in deep moments of Standing Meditation in my Intensive Chi Kung Course when they personally experienced tremendous joy as they felt their spirit expanding, many participants suddenly realized the beauty and majesty of God.


The above is taken from Question 7 of May 2003 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.

 

Advertisements

A LITTLE GIFT FOR SUNG CHAN

(reproduced from https://shaolin.org/general/legends-of-southern-shaolin/legends49.html)

Taoist priests

Taoist priests, picture taken from Thinklink Oy (FI) on the internet



Black Bone Cheong’s father, Sung Chan, was anxious for his son. But he could not cure him despite being a kungfu master treating injuries. When he heard from his wife that she had invited Hoong Hei Khoon to treat their son, he doubted that Hoong Hei Khoon could do anything. So he did even bother to have a look at them.

However when he heard that his son had recovered completely, he was very surprised. However, if Hoong Hei Khoon were to spread the news, he felt that his future livelihood would be threatened. So he decided to eliminate Hoong Hei Khoon.

He invited Hoong Hei Khoon to his martial school. When Hoong Hei Khoon entered the school, he was surprised. He found a large group of people in martial dress, all ready to have a deadly fight.

Sung Chan gave a greeting and said, “My son suffered a serious problem, if not for sifu’s help his soul would have visited the underworld. I am very grateful, and just regret that we meet rather late.”

“Sifu Sung is well known in the Flower District. For a few hundred miles your big name is on the top. It is an honour to meet you.”

“You need not be courteous,” said Song Chan. “Your theit-ta (i.e. medical treatment for injuries due to falling or being hit) comes from Shaolin. I suppose that before learning theit-ta, you must have practiced kungfu. Your kungfu must be from Shaolin too.”

“I was lucky to learn from the Venerable Chee Seen of Shaolin.”

“I have a question, and wish Sifu Hoong would enlighten me. Although I have entered martial forests (i.e. martial circles) for many years, I am slow and could not find the answer. What is the essence of combat?”

“In front of Sifu Sung, how dare little brother here exercise an axe in front of Pan’s house (i.e. be arrogant by showing my little knowledge. Lu Pan was regarded as the father of furniture making, and he used an axe making furniture.)

Sung Chan pleaded again and again. So Hoong Hei Khoon explained.

“According to little brother, the most important factor in combat is life and death. If a combatant cannot overcome this hurdle of life and death, he will be troubled by many worries. Even when his kungfu is good, he can be defeated by his opponent.

Of course, it is not easy to overcome this hurdle. Some people go into a deep mountain to learn kungfu, hoping to find a solution from the philosophy of Zen, so that at times of life and death, when myriad thoughts arise, he can leave aside everything and does not have a single thought. When the hurdle of life and death is overcome, his heart spontaneously becomes clear and wide, without a single thought. Then, even when he is faced with a million armies, he is not afraid.”

“Well said, well said,” replied Sung Chan. “I’ve benefited deeply.

They then talked about other things. Suddenly, Sung Chan asked, “According to the way of combat, from ancient till now, people of the world mention monks, priests and nuns. I wonder whether Sifu Hoong can comment on one or two things regarding this?”

“To go back would be lengthy,” replied Hoong Hei Khoon. “Since the Shaolin First Patriarch, Bodhidharma, invented Eighteen Lohan Hands, many people learned it. They regarded it as the main school of martial art (as distinct from deviated schools). Those from the house of the Buddha (i.e. the Buddhist system) regarded it as a top treasure. Added to research, the Eighteen Lohan Hands spread profusely and many ultimate arts developed from the house of the Buddha.

“Regarding monks, priests and nuns, they either stay in houses of emptiness (i.e. places of spiritual cultivation, like temples) or they wander like clouds in four directions (i.e. wandered everywhere, especially in natural surroundings). Their heart is focused on one. They have no longings, and no worries, their heart is bright and their spirit full, easy to attain the marvelous.

“Thus, when we read legends and discuss tradition, and listen to the transmissions of people, those who have ultimate arts, and bequest their names to prosperity, are mostly monks, priests and nuns. There may be secular disciples who attain similar achievements, but many of them were nurtured inside Zen houses (i.e. monasteries or temples for spiritual cultivation), and then established their own schools.

“Eventually they came from the house of the Buddha. Now, when people of the world talk about martial art, they frequently mention these three families (i.e. monks, priests and nuns). I believe these are the reasons.”

The two of them discussed a lot of topics, but never about crossing hands (i.e their own combat). Those people surrounding them were astonished. The main purpose of Sung Chan tempting Hoong Hei Khoon to the kungfu school was to give Hoong Hei Khoon some severe harm, but now they didn’t move their hands (i.e. didn’t act), but the two only talked and talked.

Some people showed eye-signs to Sung Chan, but he didn’t act. He continued talking courteously. The others were anxious. Some of them stepped their legs. Some of them coughed. Hoong Hei Khoon observed them. He was concerned that a deadly fight might occur. So he asked for leave, and Sung Chan escorted the guest to the door.

When Sung Chan returned to the group, they asked, “Sifu, you have tempted Hoong Hei Khoon to come, why didn’t you act but sent him away.”

Sung Chan replied with a smile. “The thinking of your heart, how can I not know? If we do not know his depth or shallowness, but just move our hands (i.e. act according to our plan), it may be disadvantageous. So, first I used words to test his kungfu. Moreover, we actually have matched!”

Everyone was startled. “Sifu just talked with him, but did not attack.”

“You are still not deep in your experience, so you may not realize it. Just now, while sending him off, he was in front and I was behind. I executed a kick from behind, yet he did not even realize it. Now you can know the extent of his kungfu. You can now go after him, without me doing the attack.”

The students of Sung Chan took their weapons and rushed out of the school after Hoong Hei Khoon. Just as they were outside, a small boy ran forward and passed something to Sung Chan.

The small boy said, “Sifu Hoong thanks Sifu Sung for his hospitality. Sifu Hoong asks me to hand this little gift to Sifu Sung.”

“Where is Sifu Hoong now?”

“He’s at Three-Spring Hotel,” the boy answered.

Wong Kiew Kit
16th January 2018, Sungai Petani

LINKS

Overview

THE ADVANCED TEACHING OF THE VENERABLE CHEE SEEN

(reproduced from https://shaolin.org/general/legends-of-southern-shaolin/legends38.html)

Half lotus poise for Zen sitting

An old picture showing Grandmaster Wong in a half-lotus position for silent Zen sitting



One day the Venerable Chee Seen (which meant “Extreme Kindness”) asked Luk Ah Choy to his meditation chamber, and said, “Ah Choy, at what stage do you think your kungfu performance has attained?”

Luk Ah Choy replied, “Sifu, I dare not say that my kungfu is perfect, but I am quite satisfied with my progress.”

Chee Seen said, “There are unicorns and phoenixes among living things. Human have meridians and energy points. Unless we have experienced it, it is difficult to discuss our attainment. Those who don’t have direct experience, can say how advanced their arts are, though they are actually not advanced.“

Luk Ah Choy knelt down and said, “Student does not understand the depth of sifu’s explanation. Can sifu please point and dot (i.e. enlighten)?”

The Venerable Chee Seen asked Luk Ah Choy to stand firmly at his stance, then with his dragon-form fingers (formed by bending the thumb, the fourth finger and the small finger, and letting the index finger and middle finger pointing forward) gently dotted at an energy point called “yun men” (at the joint where the arm joined the shoulder). Luk Ah Choy felt his body numb and was thrown back a few feet.

Chee Seen transmitted chi, or vital energy, into Luk Ah Choy to clear the blockage he caused with his dim-mark, or dotting energy points, technique. After a while, Chee Seen took a wooden staff , hit Luk Ah Choy’s head, and said, “Do you understand now?”

Chee Seen sat on a mat in a lotus poise, and said, “Buddhism is very deep. At its shallow levels, there are explanations on various topics. At its deep levels, it is difficult to explain. Our patriarch, Bodhidharma, transmitted the art knowledge and the art without words. He pointed directly at the heart (which means ‘mind’ in English, and is different from brain).

“Seeing Nature (i.e. transcendental Cosmic Reality, often called God in Western culture), one becomes Buddha (i.e. merges with transcendental Cosmic Reality without any differentiation). This is Chan (or Zen).

“Chan values silent understanding, and cherishes liberation (i.e. the personal soul is liberated to meet the Universal Soul). The art is entering silence (called “meditation” in Western languages), with direct experience as the spiritual gate (i.e. in his training, one has to directly experience its result).

“Only then, can you say you are enlightened. Thus, your nature must be quiet, and your heart empty (i.e. to experience transcendental Cosmic Reality, you must be quiet, and you must not have any thoughts), be liberated from all worries, and overcome the hurdles of life and death.

“Then you are majestic, without any blockage and without any fear. Your enter Nirvana, where there is no spiritual ways, no me and no entities.”

For a time Luk Ah Choy understood, for a time he did not. He remained kneeling on the floor, dazed and bewildered.

The Venerable Chee Seen continued, “The training of external art is the business of the physical body, bones and tendons. The cultivation of internal art is the nourishment of life, essence and spirit. It is difficult to separate the two, but it is also the ultimate of ‘steams and lakes’ (i.e. martial art circles). When the two arts are united, it is the ultimate, marvelous art.”

These words were like morning bells and evening drums (i.e. words of enlightenment, as bells and drums were sounded in temples in the morning and the evening to enlighten people). The heart cavity (i.e. the mind and understanding) of Luk Ah Choy opened and became clear. Again he knelt and thanked the Venerable Chee Seen three times.

Since then, Luk Ah Choy increased his diligence and benefits. Within two years, he gradually understood the three tastes of internal art (i.e. all of internal art). He practiced well the genuine techniques of Shaolin, like dragon traveling, bear claws, eagle eyes, monkey paws, crane steps, snake movement, bird jumping, cat dodging, dog avoiding, leopard fists, rabbit running, lion catching, and tiger charging. Whether it was long fist or short strike, attacking or defending, moving forward or retreating, there was nothing that his heart reached essence and ultimate attainment (i.e. he did them excellently).

Wong Kiew Kit
13th January 2018, Sungai Petani

LINKS

Overview

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.