I've been a Shaolin student for more than thirty years and I've been a teacher for more than twenty years. Since coming to the West, I'm saddened to see so much myth and magic surrounding the Shaolin Temple. My aim is to clear away the myth so that you can get to the heart of the practice. Whatever your view of The Shaolin Temple, this is not important. It's the teachings that are important. The teachings originate from the founder of Zen, himself, known as Damo or Bodhidharma.
The Damo ( Bodhidharma) Is Your Teacher
The Buddha said, do not rely on the teacher, rely on the teachings. In many ways, I see the Bodhidharma as my teacher more than the Buddha because he showed us how to use Kung Fu and Qigong as a medicine to give us wellness from the inside out.
Each person who learns from me, either in person or with my programs is also a student of the Bodhidharma. I am only a conduit, passing down what my master taught me.
The Essence Of Shaolin
A common misperception is that Qigong is just for older people or Qigong is a gentle exercise. The integration of Qigong and Kung Fu is the essence of Shaolin. From the age of about thirty, not only do our organs shrink but also our tendons, muscles and bones. In my Bone Marrow Cleansing Qigong Program, the Qigong is not soft but physically challenging. This is what gives it it's transformative power. Without that power, it wouldn't be possible to quite literally make our body become its own doctor.
Take Action Now
Now that I'm in my forties, and having trained for so long, I know that it's increasingly important that we practice Qigong. Doesn't matter whether we are a martial artist or not. Qigong is the Longevity weapon that the Damo gave us.
In the West we tend to get wrapped up in our minds and over complicate things. My master never allowed me to do this. Coming from a Zen Temple meant I wasn't allowed to ask my master many questions because if he gave me answers then they would be his answers and this would cloud my direct experience.
The Nike slogan is nicked from the Zen philosophy: Just Do It. What does this mean? Stop thinking, stop making such a big deal, stop procrastinating. Make your health a priority. If you start thinking too much when you practice - where is the Qi? What am I feeling? Should I focus on my Dan Tian? - Just stop.
Just Do It
In Shaolin the focus is not on our Dan Tian. Shaolin is a holistic way of working with our body. Our body is made up of not just a Dan Tian. This is why the focus is on the breath and the movement. Simple. Always keep it simple. Just Do it. Combine internal with external, Qigong with Kung Fu. Practice movement and breath, breath and movement, train intelligently, don't over complicate. Just do it. This means you a disciple of the Bodhidharma. This means you are training in Zen.
To find out more about Bone Marrow Cleansing Qigong click here.
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