Chi kung can be practiced by people of different religions or of no religion
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
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.
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).
What is the difference between spiritual cultivation and morality, and between spiritual cultivation and religious education?
— Abram, New Zealand
Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
Spiritual cultivation is cultivating the spirit. Morality is practicing high moral values. Religious education is being knowledgeable in religions matters.
They are all different, though related; just as an orange is different from an apple, and an apple is different from a pear, though they are all fruit. Many people, however, do not realise the difference between spiritual cultivation, morality and religious education, though they can tell the difference amongst an orange, an apple and a pear.
Some people may be highly cultivated in spirit, but lack morality and may not believe in a religion. Black magicians are examples of highly cultivated in spirit but lack morality, and even if they believe in a religion they do not practice it, as all religions teach people to do good. Asuaras, who are powerful supernatural beings, are highly cultivated in spirit but lacking in morality and do not practice the good teaching of religion.
Some people with high moral values, like they are compassionate and caring, but may not be spiritually cultivated. For example, they are afraid of ghosts, which show that their spirit is week. They are usually religions, from whose teaching they develop high morals, but some may not believe in any religion.
Some who know a lot about religion may not be spiritually cultivated. They are depressed, for example, which shows that their spirit is not high. Some may use religion to cause harm to society.
Nevertheless, highly spiritually cultivated persons usually have high morals. Not only they know much about religion, they celebrate with followers of other religions.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at email@example.com stating your name, country and e-mail address.
One must be properly train to be a chi kung teacher. The above chi kung exercise, for example, is very powerful; untrained teachers may bring harm rather than benefit teaching it.
I’ve gained a lot of benefits from the chi kung class. Can I teach my friends to help them?
— Javier, Costa Rica
No, you should not. You may be able to practice chi kung, but you are unable to teach it effectively. As an analogy, having undergone a surgical operation does not qualify you to be a surgeon.
You may cause harm to them instead of bringing benefits if you try to teach them chi kung techniques as chi kung. It is because you are not trained to teach chi kung.
If you teach chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, which you are likely to do, you will give your friends a wrong concept of chi kung. They will think that they practice chi kung when they actually practice gentle physical exercise. They will not get any chi kung benefits, like good health, vitality and longevity. This in fact has happened to more than 80% of chi kung practitioners all over the world.
As many people may not understand the explanation here, it is helpful to elaborate. More than 80% of chi kung practitioners practice chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, and not as chi kung which is energy exercise. Hence, they get benefits of gentle physical exercise like loosening joints and muscles, and not chi kung benefits like overcoming pain and illness, and getting good health, vitality and longevity.
Most of these practitioners do not realize this fact. Why are they ignorant of the fact? It is because the forms are the same in gentle physical exercise and chi kung. They use genuine chi kung techniques, but lack the skills to practice them as energy exercise. They only practice the forms as gentle physical exercise.
The same situation happens in Taijiquan. More than 90% of Taiji practitioners practice genuine Taijiquan techniques as external dancelike movements, and not as an internal martial art. They have no internal force, and cannot defend themselves.
The same situation happens in other martial arts. More than 90% of martial artists today practice their art for demonstration or as a generous exchange of blows, but not as an art of sefl-defence. They lack the necessary skills to use their marital art techniques to defend themselves. In free sparring they even take being hit and kicked for granted!.
I had just finished performing the Cosmic Consciousness exercise when a horrible feeling came over me suddenly, and then my heart felt like it contracted and became cold, and then my entire body became so cold as if i had been put into a freezer. I tried thinking of my dan tien to reduce the shock.
My joints all started to ache like I was suddenly becoming very ill. I felt so horrible and this haunted feeling was growing, My fear and anxiety started going through the roof and I could not stop it no matter what I tried. Amongst other things, I tried doing a few simple Lifting The Sky exercises without qi flow
Though not asleep, at one point, I saw an image of a woman’s skeleton with only some flesh left on it and no head being dragged across the room on some sort of trapeze-like device — she was flung over it. I was intensely alarmed! This image came out of nowhere, and did not help my state of mind. Eventually my body warmed back up and after some time I fell asleep.
— Elizabeth, USA
Congratulations. Your experience was a deep cleansing of your bad karma. Some gentle chi flow will help to ease you of the terror and get you back to normal pleasant living. This deep cleansing was due to your practicing too deeply. Expanding into the Cosmos, which you called Cosmic Consciousness exercise, is very advanced and to be practiced by those at an advanced or master’s level.
It is alright if you practice it once a while, like once a month, but certainly you should not practice it too often until you have become advanced. Even for those at an advanced level, they need not practice it often, though they would not have severe cleansing symptoms if they practice often.
For us, i.e. the great majority of people who live in the phenomenal world, the most useful exercises are those taught on the first day of my Intensive Chi Kung Course, which are meant to overcome illness for those who are sick, and to give good health, vitality and longevity when they are already healthy. Even for our advanced practitioners, it is not easy to realize how powerful our advanced exercises are.
“Expanding into the Cosmos” is a very advanced skill, and should be practiced undert the supervision of a master
Can I learn to become a best fighter in your school?
— Pranav, India
You have come to a wrong school to learn to be a best fighter. Although we are combat efficient, and many of our students are international free sparring champions, fighting is low in our priority.
High in our priority in our aspirations for our training is to have good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity, peak performance and spiritual joys irrespective of religion. Nevertheless, not to make a mockery of ourselves in training a martial art, we pride ourselves to employ our arts in combat.
We also have helped many people overcome pain and illness, including so-called incurable diseases. We take this as a stepping-stone. In other words, overcoming pain and illness is not a fundamental aim for us to practice chi kung and kungfu. A fundamental aim is to have good health. Having good health means we are free from being sick or in pain.
It is legitimate to ask that if we do not take fighting as a top priority in our training, why do we train combat efficiency. It is mainly because our combat training enriches our daily life without us having really to fight.
Practicing chi kung also enriches our daily life, but practicing a martial art makes it more immediate. For example, attaining good health is the climax of many schools of chi kung, but it is only a starting point of a martial art. In other words, chi kung practitioners would consider their practice successfully completed when they have attained good health. But martial artists would consider having good health the start of their training.
As another example, chi kung practitioners generally have more time in making wise decisions. But for martial artists, like when a punch or a kick is coming from an opponent, they have to make fast and wise decisions on the spot.
I was lying in bed and suddenly “it/he” was there again, for the third time now. But this time it was much more powerful. In my ear I started to have something that I would call a tinnitus. Although the sound was very brief and not loud, it had this powerful vibes.
I did recognize it immediately again and then I could literally feel how it was lying next to me, right at my back. I felt like paralyzed and got a shock and wanted to scream but was not able to. I did not know what was happening and without thinking I simply started to recite Guan Yin Boddhisvattva’s name over and over again.
I then got calm and fell asleep. This happened to me twice before. But when it happened earlier, I never felt this tinnitus and it/he would be on the other side of the bed, like there would be a distance between us. And I remember it always felt powerful and somehow also “frightening”, but I had never really big fear or a shock and was rather easily able to go back to sleep.
But this time it stays with me. I have no idea what this thing/being is. I can only humbly say that I really think it is for real and not any imagination in my head.
How do I know if I have to protect myself and how could I do it? If I don’t consider the moment when it happens, I don’t really feel like I am in danger but I feel a lot of respect and uncertainty as I do not know what this is.
— Abelle, France
The being was real. But you don’t have to be afraid. You can attain confidence with the following facts and action:
Your chi flow is powerful — not powerful when compared to your sifu’s but powerful compared to most other people. Other beings would be repelled by your powerful chi; it is like electricity to them. If you are frightened, it is because of your own emotions.
You can chant the Guan Yin mantra, which is very powerful. Not only the mantra will repel the being, it will also sooth you.
You can apply One-Finger Zen onto the being. This is a drastic step and may hurt the being, so don’t use it unless necessary, and usually it is not necessary. Even if you had to use it, warn the being first. If the being did not heed the warning, point your One-Finger Zen at the being with your index finger pointing upward, not pointing at the being. The being would flee away. If it still didn’t, then point your index finger at it and visualize powerful chi shooting from your One-Finger Zen at the being.
I once used the One-Finger Shooting Zen on a monster, which was much more powerful than a ghost or natural spirit and which was disturbing a student. It fled away immediately.
While we train combat efficiency, we place higher priority on other benefits like good health, vitality, longevity and peak performance in our kungfu training
I remember when I had the opportunity to take courses for the first time with you, I later saw a ghost (according to my Sifu after hearing my descriptions) here in my apartment.
The ghost was wandering around somehow and was here for quite some time. Only later I asked him to leave and did send him blessings according to the instructions I gladly received as it started to disturb me. But he never ever felt so strong as this being now. This being now feels to be much stronger than me.
This being was likely to be an asura, or a titan. A titan is much more powerful than a ghost. Asuras are as powerful as dewas, or gods, but they did not become gods because of their negative emotions. The principal emotion of male asuras is anger, whereas that of female asuras, who are very beautiful, is jealousy. On the other hand, the principal emotion of gods is joy.
Ghosts are less powerful and of a lower spiritual level than humans. Many humans are afraid of ghosts because of ignorance and uncertainty. The fear is due to their own emotions. Ghosts actually shun humans but if a ghost was severely wronged, it might risk its own comfort to seek revenge from the responsible humans.
Our attitude towards ghosts should not be fear, but pity. Ghosts are pitiful. They are usually hungry and often lost. If you see one, like when it could not leave you in time, send it blessings and let it leave.
I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but I did indeed cancel in a very short notice, on my day of departure, a trip over New Year’s Eve and stayed for almost two weeks unexpectedly at home. I experienced two weeks of very deep rest and peace and beautiful moments with uplifting thoughts. Maybe this is a coincidence.
If not, maybe this being is even visiting me for some good and I should feel gratitude? But why would it then have this powerful, frightening touch?
Sigung, how can I know about the intention of this being?
There are three ways to find out the intention of the being:
Ask the being itself. You should do so only when you feel confident facing the being. Don’t do so if you feel afraid.Don’t promise the being anything, even if its requests are reasonable and within your means. Say that you may try to help but tell it that you can’t promise anything. If its requests are unreasonable, tell the being firmly but calmly that they are unreasonable. If the requests are beyond your means, tell it that they are beyond your means and it has to find help elsewhere.
You may ask Guan Yin Bodhisattva for the answer and guidance. Go into a chi kung state of mind, pay homage to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, then ask your question and request for guidance. Conclude by thanking the Bodhisattva.
You may ask the Cosmos. Go into a chi kung state of mind. Ask your question and seek for guidance. Conclude by thanking the Cosmos.
High-level chi kung gives us radiant energy that lower spirits are afraid of
Why do we see these beings?
These beings as well as higher spiritual beings are around us all the time, but most of us cannot see them, nor they see us because our energy and theirs vibrate at different frequencies. It is just like we do not see waves of energy that carry information across the world until these waves manifest on our computers.
Years ago when I was a student under my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, he told me an invaluable lesson. He said in Chinese (Cantonese), “Khui tau sam chet yow shen meng”, which means “When you raise your head to look up three feet, there are gods.” He mentioned this when he was explaining a moral value to me that we must be righteous and have a clear conscious all the time.
When we practice chi kung, we open some psychic points that are normally close to most other people. This enables us to see such beings.
I would like to take up my Kung Fu training again. I do love my own Chi Kung training but I do indeed also miss my Kung Fu and the possibility to train with other people. Kung Fu has always been a big challenge for me, but I also feel it’s a big opportunity for me and many good things that happened during the last years are due to my training I feel.
Sigung, am I allowed to take a Kung Fu class with a Sisook if he would accept me? I hope that the question is not disrespectful. Taking classes with my Sisook wouldn’t change my gratitude and respect I feel towards my Sifu whom I indeed honor for everything that he has done for me and for the way he spreads the Shaolin Arts.
It is good that you have decided to resume your kungfu training. The Shaolin Kungfu practiced in our school is so wonderful. Not only it will give you a lot of benefits, it will also enhance your femininity. Indeed, it is a golden opportunity for women to practice our Shaolin Kungfu, though most of them do not realize it, and some are too lazy to do so. Most other kinds of kungfu or any martial art practiced elsewhere make women rough.
It is best if you learn from your sifu. He is an excellent teacher and has the interest of his students at heart. But if this is not feasible, you can learn from your sisook.
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.
My Tai Chi Chuan class is progressing to level 4 now which is called “Tactics of Pushing Hands”. We already worked through all the pushes from all sides in level 3.Which tactics should I now put special emphasis on in the Pushing Hands practice?— Sifu Leonard, Austria
Congratulations for doing well with your Tai Chi Chuan class.
You should put equal emphasis on all the tactics. After students have learnt the tactics individually, you may combine them in suitable situations.
There are four tactics to be taught in Level 4. Two are proactive tactics, which means a practitioner initiates the tactics. The other two are reactive tactics, which means a practitioner uses these tactics when reacting to an opponent.
The two proactive tactics are “continuous attack” and “confusing attack”.
In “continuous attack” a practitioner attacks an opponent continuously without giving the opponent a chance to counter attack. It is important to pay attention to “safety first” when implementing this tactic.
In “confusing attack”, a practitioner confuses an opponent when attacking him. He may, for example, pretends to attack the opponent’s top, then attacks his bottom.
The two reactive tactics are “instantaneous counter” and “interception”.
In “instantaneous counter” a practitioner counter attacks an opponent immediately after the opponent has made an attack, without give a chance for the opponent to recover from his previous movement.
In “interception” a practitioner intercepts an opponent’s attack, i.e. without letting the opponent complete his attack, and counter-attacks the opponent. It is a development from “immediate counter”.
In “immediate counter”, the practitioner counter-attacks as soon as an opponent completes his initial attack. In “interception” the practitioner counter-attacks before the opponent completes his initial attack.
It is useful to tell students the difference between a technique and a tactic. If you use “Fierce Dragon Across Stream” to strike an opponent, it is a technique. If you use this technique in a particular way to gain some advantage, it becomes a tactic.
For example, an opponent attacks you, and you ward off his attack. When he has recovered himself, you attack him with the technique, “Fierce Dragon Across Stream”.
Now, instead of letting some time pass, you counter-attack him immediately after he completes his attack, giving him no time to recover. You may use the same technique, “Fierce Dragon Across Stream”, but you apply this technique in a tactic of instantaneous counter. Your chance of striking him will be higher than in the earlier situation when you allow him to recover after his initial attack.
In the first situation if your opponent knows an appropriate defence technique, he can defend against your attack. In the second situation even when he knows the defence technique, he may be unable to defend against your attack because your use of tactic has put him in a disadvantageous position.
Suppose your opponent is skillful. Despite his disadvantageous position, he can defend against your attack. So you raise your tactic to a higher level. Instead of counter-attacking as soon as he completes his initial attack, you counter-attack in the midst of his attacking movement. You use the tactic of interception. Your chance of striking him is higher.
Suppose he is very skillful. He can defend against your interception. As soon as you complete your first counter-attack, or even before it, you continue with a second attack. You may use the same attacking technique, “Fierce Dragon Across Stream”, or you may use another technique. You chance of hitting him is much higher using this tactic of continuous attack than had you used the same two attacking techniques separately.
Or you may use the tactic of confusion. You pretend to attack his face with “Fierce Dragon Across Stream”, and when he tries to defend against your facial attack, you suddenly change your attack to his abdomen using the same attacking technique.
You should also teach your students the use of these tactics in their daily life. It is very important to inculcate in them that their uses must always be for good.
Do you have any recommendations for Pushing Hands exercises to train those tactics?
Before telling students about the tactics, it is helpful to give them a demonstration. Attack a student with a certain technique, and let him defend against it. Then attack him again using the same technique. He will be able to defend against it again.
Next, attack the same student using the same two techniques continuously. If you apply the tactic of continuous attack well, it is likely that he can’t defend against your second attack, though earlier he could when you used the same attacking techniques individually.
Explain to the class that the student could not defend against your second attack, not because he did not know the defence technique, but because you had placed him in a disadvantageous situation using the tactic of continuous attack.
In the unlikely event that your student could successfully defend against your continuous attack, compliment him. Explain that most other people could not defend against this tactic of continuous attack though they may be able to defend against the same attacks when applied separately.
After students have practiced Pushing Hands using the newly learned tactics, tell them that the same tactics can be used to enhance our daily lives. Emphasize that their use must always be for good, and never for evil.
Divide the class into groups, and ask them to discuss how to apply the tactics in daily life. Let each group describe their applications and let the others comment on them.
Grandmaster Wong applies the tactic of interception on Edwin
Can you please elaborate on their application in real life situations?
The tactic of continuous attack can be fruitfully used in an argument. Suppose a friend argues that eating ice-cream is not good.
Ask him a question. As soon as he answers, ask him another questions. Continue asking him questions to lead to a conclusion that he says eating ice cream is good.
Here is an example of using the tactic of continuous attack.
“Have you eaten any ice-cream?”
“Yes, I have.”
“Did you enjoy it?”
“Yes, but …”
“Well, it shows ice-cream is good. It brings you enjoyment. Were you sick after eating the ice-cream?”
“No, but …”
“You were not sick, and you enjoyed it. Ice cream is good for you.”
It does not matter what his answers are, though sometimes you may have to modify your subsequent question to suit the answer he has just given. Similarly, in combat it does not matter how your opponent responds to your attack, though you may have to modify your movement for your subsequent continuous attack.
For example, he may answer “No” to your first question.
Then you modify your next question.
“I’m sorry you have missed out something good in life. Most people have eaten ice cream. Do you think they enjoy it?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“You’re mistaken. They enjoy eating ice-cream or else they would not have eaten it in the first place. Were they sick after eating ice cream.”
“Er, I don’t know …”
“Of course they were not sick, and they enjoyed it. You might be an odd exception, but ice-cream is good.”
I recognized that I somehow executed the frequent closing pattern “One Finger Stabilizing Empire” differently to what I now found in all your videos.
I used to have the open palm of my left “One Finger Zen hand-form” facing me like in the chi kung exercise “Shooting Arrows” before advancing to the end position.
Is this incorrect or just a variation?
Should I change to the typical way?
What are the differences? The typical way feels more forceful to me now.
Your way of performing “One Finger Stabilizing Empire” is not wrong. It is a variation.
For convenience we shall call the way performed in “Shooting Arrows” the chi kung way, and that in “One Finger Stabilizing Empire” the kungfu way.
As a teacher is a model for his students to follow, it is advisable for you to change to the typical way, which has been established as the best way for its particular purpose. Hence you use the kungfu way when teaching “One Finger Stabilizing Empire”, and the chi kung way when teaching “Shooting Arrows”.
The main difference is that the kungfu way consolidates energy, whereas the chi kung way lets energy flow. Hence you feel more forceful when you perform the kungfu way, and more flowing when you perform the chi kung way.
Editorial Note: Sifu Leonard’s other questions will be continued at August 2015 Part 3 issue of the Question-Answer Series.
Ours is a chi kung and kungfu school, not a retreat for religious or spiritual curiosity or a centre for experimentation
In standing meditation a few weeks ago, I had a sudden “realization” that divine and enlightened entities were grand foci of energy and thought from countless beings. I “saw” Guan Yin Bodhisattva in her usual portrayal as a Chinese noblewoman, but when I “looked,” I did not see a soul, an intellect, or guiding consciousness behind the image; it just seemed like energy wearing a certain form.
— Fred, USA
I do not know enough to say whether divine and enlightened entities are grand foci of energy and thoughts from countless beings.
But I believe that the energy or consciousness of Guan Yin Bodh Satt is the energy or consciousness of Guan Yin Bodh Satt, and not of other beings.
If you did not see a soul or an intellect or guiding consciousness in Gaun Yin Bodh Satt, it was because you did not see it, and not because it was not there. In the same way when kungfu practitioners do not experience internal force, it is because they do not experience internal force, and not because internal force is non-existent.
For some reason, I thought of “borrowing” some of the energy from the collection of energy that made up the image of Guan Yin Bodhisattva and felt it enter my body. It felt very deep and subtle, making my body vibrate as I gave a blessing for the continued health and happiness of some friends and family members before “returning” the energy back to the collection of energy making up the image of Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
I would not recommend that you do this, not because it is not a good thing, but because it is unknown.
In our school we learn what has been established, and we are grateful to past masters for passing on their legacy to us. Even if we can accomplish just a small portion of their legacy, it is more than enough to fulfill our needs, which are good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness and spiritual joys. We should not try to be smarter than them and commit the mistake expressed by the proverb, “fools rush in where angels fear to thread”.
This does not mean that we are not innovative, but we must know what we are doing, and also we must know our limitation. Many people have been very kind to use the expression, “tang fong cho kaik”, on me, which means “having reached the summit of present development and ready to create new limits”. Indeed, many things we practice in our school are innovations based on the legacy of past masters. But I am always conscious of my limitation, and am humble enough to accept it.
But you are venturing into the unknown, and you do not know what you are doing. You presumed that the energy was from Guan Yin Bodh Satt. But your presumption could be wrong. It could be some energy from an imposter, and you would be in serious risks, despite some initial benefit to tempt you.
Even if it were the energy of Guan Yin Bodh Satt, it would be disrespectful to freely take the energy from Her, and return it at will as if returning a cooking pot to a neigbour. You may request Guan Yin Bodh Satt to bless you or other people, but not take Her blessings or energy as if it were your right or your own property.
Using kungfu to handle other martial artists should not be difficult
The experience left me very curious about the nature of religion and spirituality. The idea of “everything is just energy” has been in my mind a lot lately; so, too, the curious idea that divine and enlightened beings just being collections of energy and thought. Earlier tonight, I did the same thing as before for the first time in a few weeks, “borrowing” energy for a blessing and then “returning” the remaining energy. It felt much the same, and I have to admit I felt very happy and at peace afterwards.
Remember that ours is a kungfu and chi kung school, not a retreat for religious or spiritual curiosity, and not a centre for experimentation.
What you did deviated from the aims and objectives of our school. You are still a student, though you have good potential to become a master one day. You are not in a position to experiment, not even in a position to make innovation.
Take heed of the saying, “First practice the established. Then respond to its variation.” You are still at the first stage of the saying. Leave the second stage to masters.
Excel in what is taught in our school. Learn, for example, to handle other martial artists comfortably and elegantly, no matter how ferociously they rush at you. Be healthy, live life joyfully and be an inspiration to others.
I wanted to ask for your wisdom and advice about these experiences. I would like to know if this is something I should avoid doing, or if I can continue, and if it would be all right, if you could share your insight regarding the “realization” I had that divine entities are “just” foci for energy and thoughts. Having no experience at all in a matter like this (I’m used to just practicing qigong and kungfu to cultivate my own energy, not using anyone else’s) I want to make sure I’m not doing any wrong or harm with this.
It is good that you ask me for advice. Many students who had great potential to be masters fell at this stage of their development. They reached a stage where they were far ahead of other students in other schools, a stage where they themselves had not imagined possible before, but without their knowing they were still far from what our arts could bring them.
Some became arrogant, and many started to experiment. But unlike you, they were not humble enough to ask for advice, or follow the advice real masters who had gone through the same path kindly gave them. These students thought they had accomplished much, when actually there was a lot more our arts could give them. It was a real pity seeing them fall.
Yes, this is something you should avoid doing. Not only it would waste a lot of your time and bring you no benefit, it could bring you much harm.
Yours was not a realization but an illusion. Divine entities have a distinct personality and identity of their own. They are not just foci of random energy and thought.
If you have no experience and have no competent teachers to guide you, it is not only unwise but dangerous to indulge in such matter. After all, does it really matter to your daily life that divine entities are just foci of random energy and thoughts, or have a personality of their own? Spend your time in more fruitful and meaningful activities, like enjoying meals with your parents, or enjoying tea yourself while admiring a sunset.