18 Lohan Arts for Building vitality

When the techniques get more difficult the Mind training becomes even more important.  Relax and enjoy standing on one leg and be wowed by how fast you feel balanced and strong - physically, mentally and spiritually.  Powerful exercises bring enhanced results when you are ready for them.  As you build your bank at Dan Tian through daily practice you are building your capacity for handling larger and larger amounts of energy and these exercises provide it.

 
 
Photo by SIphotography/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by SIphotography/iStock / Getty Images

energetic Strength

18 Lohan Art techniques like "Big Boss lifts Urn" or "Lohan Worships Buddha" are the top of the line for developing Energetic Strength, or Internal Force.  This internal force is what allows a small woman to best a larger man or an older opponent to easily outclass a younger one.  Internal energetic force is a type of strength that anyone can develop, regardless of age, gender or stature, that enhances physical well being and deeply strengthens the clarity of your mind and intellect.

 
Photo by simoningate/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by simoningate/iStock / Getty Images

Physical & Emotional Balance

If you can relax your muscles and your mind while standing on one leg - you can glimpse the serenity of mind that is possible at all times - even the most stressful.  This type of training wildly enhances your ability to find balance in all areas of life including your thoughts and emotions.  These exercises will keep you strong and confident even in advanced age ranges and will help develop the young spirit into a lovely balance of spiritual lightness and grounded strength.

 
Photo by kschulze/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by kschulze/iStock / Getty Images

Spiritual Flexibility

Some of the 18 Lohan Arts are particularly well suited for spiritual cultivation and can be used for catching a glimpse of Ultimate Reality.  Regardless of your faith or religion or even lack thereof, experience of a deeply meditative state leaves you happier, refreshed and more compassionate and generous than before.  This is considered a positive result of Spiritual Cultivation in most traditions. 

Take yourself lightly, step consciously through your life, revel in the beauty of the truth and let it set you free.

Pearls of Wisdom

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Question and Answer series as printed on www.shaolin.org

 
 
 
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QUESTION

I would like to ask you some questions about the horse stance. I do not understand what and how I must meditate or imagine chi during horse stance training. I have trained for one year and am able to hold only 3 minutes..

— Denazs, Latvia

ANSWER

You need not meditate on anything or imagine chi while practicing your horse stance.

If you have been training for a year and can hold your stance for only three minutes, your progress, if any, is slow. You probably made the following three common mistakes during your practice. You were tensed. You tried to meditate or imagine chi. You worried unnecessarily.

Practicing the horse stance is simple, but not easy. Follow the two steps. First, make sure your posture is correct. Then follow the three golden rules of stance training. The first rule is to relax. The second rule is to relax. And the thrid rule is to relax.

Even the instructions are clear and simple, you may not follow them correctly, and often you do not even realize your mistakes despite knowing the instructions. It is best that you learn stance training from a competent instructor.

If you learn from any one of our certified Shaolin or Taijiquan instructors, you will derive more benefit in one week than what you can derive practicing on your own for one year. Understandably, you and many other people may not believe this is true, but it is easy for you find out.

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Beginning Shaolin Kung Fu & Tai Chi Chuan Training

Welcome to the next level of Zen Arts.  You are healthy - now you can begin to build vitality - gaining the energy to do everything you need to do as well as all that stuff you want to do!  Even better you will learn to enjoy whatever you do to the fullest.  Vitality training is the way to longevity and true internal joy.

The following features will be highlighted in all Vitality level courses.  Click the pictures or titles below to visit our mother school page shaolin.org for information specific to these skills and techniques.  Explore the Shaolin Wahnam website for videos as well as incredible insight and advice from a living Grandmaster of the Art of Zen and the Shaolin Arts of Chi Kung, Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan.

Shaolin Stance Training

Build Strength and Nourish Dan Tian while challenging your body to relax the muscles and allow flowing energy to hold these positions for you.  Develop tremendous energy and ground yourself at the same time.  

Standing Zen Meditation

 

Whether attaining a one-pointed mind or a zero pointed mind - the highest heights of Zen meditation are yours to enjoy without the pretzel position you fear!  We end all of our session in a few quality moments of standing Zen.

Stand or Sit?

Article by Sifu on why we practice Standing Meditation rather than seated meditation.

Zen Methods

Article by Sifu Wong on the difference between Tatagata Zen and Patriarch Zen approaches to meditation.

Koan?

Is Zen a religion?  What is the sound of one hand clapping?  Read here

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Paradigm Shift

 Photo by photonewman/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by photonewman/iStock / Getty Images

 

Those of us born in the West get taught a specific paradigm of disease that encompasses some understanding of biology; we have muscles, bones, joints and tendons and organs and a brain, and all of these can get sick or cause us pain and suffering.  We may "know" we have hormones and neurotransmitters and genes and life experiences all of which may cause us to be sick or in pain if there are too many or too little to go around.  We may believe that there is very little we can do to alter these substances or events other than taking medication or trying a diet or talking to someone who knows more about these areas like a doctor of the body or mind.

 

From my perspective this representation of the human condition is only one paradigm, or way of thinking of disease.  A single perspective can only offer answers within that way of thinking and may miss opportunities that only exist within a different perspective on physics, biology and the human condition.  In some traditional perspectives on medicine, like Chi Kung Theory and Traditional Chinese medicine, the most fundamental aspect of our physiology and biology - is flowing energy.  This energy movement ensures the continued functioning and renewal and restoration of all tissues and is ultimately intertwined with our thoughts.  In this system the constant repetitive nature of useless or even worrisome and negative intellectual thoughts has a  profound effect on our physical and mental wellbeing.  

 

Modern physics in the West has finally caught up with the ancient Chinese understanding of the Cosmology of Physiology.  What?  The nature of the Cosmos (Universe) is the same as the nature of the Human Being.  We are flowing energy creating mass, continuously growing, renewing and disintegrating in a never ending cycle.

 

Not only do we continuously renew and regenerate the very cells in our body all the time, our lives also follow this path of growth and we can in fact renew and even reinvent ourselves every day - or truly in any moment. 

 

This is why we need this system of "medicine" or "healing" that enables us to directly address this "energy" body we are made of in the Traditional Chinese paradigm.  More importantly it allows us to develop the innate skill of self regeneration by harnessing the power of our deeper Mind, not just our intellect.  Chi Kung teaches us the skill of letting go of the Western representation of muscles and nerves that plague us with pain - Calming the Mind and Opening the Heart to release the trapped energy and tension anywhere in the body and encouraging a healthier flow of energy through the area. Treating the root cause in this perspective we eliminate the "symptoms" experienced due to this blockage to flowing energy.  Regardless of whether the blockage is due to stress and tension tightening muscles or trauma injuring nerves or even poor diet, enhancing the amount and the flow of energy through the body will restore it to optimal functioning.

 

My Sifu always says "Life is a meaningful flow of Chi".  The practice of Chi Kung is how we work on developing and growing this flow both within our bodies and throughout our lives and relationships ensuring happiness and health for a long time.  

 

If you understand that a paradigm can be validated by its results - and you believe Western physicists that describe the reality of our "energy" being influenced by our mind and thoughts.   (It is well known now that a particle can be a wave or a point depending on how the experimenter thinks of it.)  Then you learn that ancient masters understood this concept and developed a system to train the mind to control the energy - that gives clear and consistent results of health and happiness. So, wouldn't you be interested in learning this simple, direct and effective way of restoring yourself naturally in an enjoyable 10 minute daily practice?  

 

As for me, oh yeah.