Dharma, Qigong & Martial Arts
Ever since the practice of Energy Yoga (Buddhist Qigong) and the doctrine of the Chan (Zen) tradition of Buddhist Dharma were introduced into China by the Great Indian Master Bodhidharma (Damo) to the monks of the Shaolin Monastery to strengthen their body, mind and spirit in the pursuit of Buddhist studies, the fusion of Buddhist Meditation, Qigong (Tsa Lung) and Martial Arts have evolved into a unique branch of Dharma practice that focuses upon the attainment of a state of Unified Oneness of the Single-Pointed Equipoise of Chan Meditation with that of the Physical Discipline of Energy Yoga and Martial Arts - a process which is characterised by the heightening of insightful awareness of the true state of reality and the realisation of one's original nature.
The ultimate goal of the practitioner of Buddhist Dharma is to generate the Awakening Mind of Compassion and Mindfulness with which the greatest benefit for the greatest number of sentient beings can be realised. This journey of awakening begins with the embracing of discipline over the body, speech and mind which leads to the stability of these three doors of expression. Without the stability of body, speech and mind it is not possible to bring harmony to oneself. Without harmony in oneself it is impossible to bring peace to the world.
Likewise, the highest pinnacle of Martial Art study is totally non-violent and cannot be reached by physical practice alone. If we examine the Chinese character of the word ‘martial’, you will see it is composed of two separate words: 1 – to eliminate; 2 – halberd, an ancient weapon of war. Together, they reflect the true meaning of what ‘martial art’ stands for - the way to bring harmony to worldly conflicts. The physical aspect of martial arts study is thus never meant to be separated from that of the spiritual. In truth, martial art in its purest form is a spiritual approach to bring peace to the world. This explains why the lineage founders of Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Lui Ho Pa Fa, Bagua Zhang and Taiji Quan, such as Bodhidharma (the first patriarch of Chen Buddhism), the Buddhist nun Ng Mui Shi Gu, the great hermit Chen Hsi Yi, Tung Hai Chuan and Cheng San-Feng were all either Realised Buddhist Masters or Solitary Realisers of the Spiritual Path. This is the reason why the original goal of all Classical Chinese External and Internal Arts was to harmonise the expression of the Body, Speech and Mind with that of the Qi, the Spirit and the Movement of Heaven and Earth in accordance with the Way of the Absolute Reality. Their unified principles of wu-wei (natural, non-interference) are the direct development of implementing the principle of the Spiritual Path – the Path Of Living Dharma That Brings Harmony to the World.
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