Thursday, August 06, 2009

Shaolin - A Year On

So I started this Shaolin Workout book last July sometime. It's been about a year now. Took me the best part of three months to work my way through the book and perfect the moves. The book encourages you to commit yourself to doing it every day, and I've managed to do it almost every day this year - I've missed only 20 days since January 1st.

Apart from the physical benefits, each exercise or group of exercise has a meditation that goes with it as you progress. I summarised them and put them in a document as a little reminder, but they make interesting reading.


Shaolin Workout Meditations

1) More chi! Train harder!
Tackle things head on. Relax your body and your mind, extend your body and your mind and train harder.

2) As I go through my day today, I ill remind myself to relax. Stay loose. Be flexible in my body and mind.
Your mind your heard and your body are inseparable. Kung fu is action meditation.

3) If I want to do it, nothing is difficult. If I don't want to do it, nothing is easy.
Nothing is easy or difficult in itself. You make it difficult or easy on yourself. The master opens the door; then the student must go through it on his or her own.

4) My heart is in harmony with my mind. My mind is in harmony with my chi. My chi is in harmony with my power.
You can't separate your heart from your mind, or your mind from your body. A relaxed mind in a relaxed body allows the chi to flow and releases your power.

5) Everyone is handsome. Everyone is beautiful.
Live positively, seriously, honestly, understanding and expressing 100 percent of your true beauty, every moment.

6) Dripping water bores a hole in the rock.
Your improvement may be so gradual you don't even notice, but don't give up. Be as patient as the rain.

7) Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Why limit your happiness to just those few special days of the year? Be that happy every day, every hour, every minute. Celebrate your beautiful life every day, whatever it brings.

8) Flatten your heart.
To flatten your heart means to not let those external forces yank you around and distract you from your goal of polishing an perfecting your life. Keep it simple.

9) My body is a gift from my parents and from Buddha. I was given it to use. I will not waste this precious gift.
Get up! Life is for living. Life is action. Life is exercise. We express ourselves through our actions.

10) Everyone has Buddha inside him or her.
There are as many paths to enlightenment as there are living beings. Love and respect each and every person, just as you love and respect yourself.
11) If I run away from my problems, they will only follow me and defeat me.
Stand and face your problems and challenges, whatever they are. Don't turn away from it. Don't think about it - just do it.

12) My life is a work of art, and I am the artist.
Living is an art form. You're polishing your body, polishing your mind, and polishing your life. What kind of artwork do you want to be? Create it!

13) Paradise is inside me.
Each of us has the power to create our own paradise. You make your own destiny. You create your own life. When you open your heart and mind to the world, the whole world opens up to you. You're living in harmony and balance, wherever you are. That's paradise.

14) Confidence is the key to success.
Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Face your day with the confidence that you can handle any task, solve any problem, and overcome any obstacle.

15) Life is sometimes bitter, sometimes spicy, sometimes sour, sometimes sweet. But it is always beautiful.
The beauty of life, that it is always changing, always moving. Learn to appreciate the change and richness that is life, in all its moods, all its flavours, all kinds of weather.

16) I can't love others if I don't love myself. I can't expect others to respect me if I don't respect myself.
In mastering your body and your mind, you will master your life. In respecting your body, you learn to respect yourself.

17) Beautiful birds always land on the top of the tree. Brilliant people always express their journeys up higher.
In your life you should be reaching for the top as well. Express yourself through your body. Express your beauty, inside and out. Live your whole day with the same level of dedication, focus, and energy you're putting into your Shaolin Workout.

18) You can't break bricks with just your mind or just your hand.
Physical, mental, and spiritual powers are one and inseparable, like the body and the head. You can break the bricks only when your body, mind, and spirit are in complete harmony.

19) Tiger head, snake tail.
We often start out with lots of energy, but we lose enthusiasm as we progress. Whatever task or project you're engaged in, don't make excuses for giving up along the way. What the going gets tough, train harder.
20) The person who has a little wants a lot. The person who has a lot wants even more.
True happiness comes from a life that is fulfilled, not just filled up with things. Happiness comes from spreading peace and love to the people around you. That's the warrior's way.
21) Every action can be a form of action meditation.
There are unlimited ways to meditate. You simply bring to each action the same focus and discipline you bring to your kung fu kicks and strikes. No moment in your life is trivial. Every moment is a gift.

22) Chi can be used positively or negatively.
Chi flows through the entire universe. Chi is an extremely powerful force, but it is neither positive nor negative in itself. We can put it to positive or negative use. Let positive chi flow and connect you to those around you, spreading peace and love, not anger or hurt.

23) Action becomes no-action. No-action becomes action.
Whatever helps you cleanse your mind and your heart is your way of meditating. The action is the philosophy and the philosophy is the action. Keep it simple. The simple way is the beautiful way. Create your own destiny, and your own way to express your beautiful life.

24) The true warrior uses the martial arts to spread peace and love.
The true value of learning kung fu is the calm, confidence, and respect you develop from being the master of your own body, mind and life. The real goal is to achieve harmony and balance in your life, and help others by your example to seek the same qualities.