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  • #16
    Originally posted by doc View Post
    Sounds like the typical Shaolin experience.

    You're learning gong fu, you're not learning how to kick someone's ass. This is not western mentality karate school type of thing. Don't try to confuse the two, and certainly, don't expect one from the other.


    Get your basics down, and learn a few forms over the next month or two. That's what you're there for. The basics, and some forms to get you in the mode. Remember, the forms are important. Forget what everyone else tells you. The forms are important. They're a method to keep your health, a method to remember the basics, and an exercise to keep the basics flowing in your body and mind. It's also a great way to meditate. Once you get into the mode after doing it for a while, you'll feel it and you'll see what I mean.


    Do some hikes up to Tai Shi Shan. Get your ass up to the top of the mountain one day. It's great exercise, and it's beautiful.

    This is information that is all too rarely knowledge. Good points!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by doc View Post
      Do some hikes up to Tai Shi Shan. Get your ass up to the top of the mountain one day. It's great exercise, and it's beautiful.
      And smell the shit of Dengfeng.
      you could have probably merged these two sentences.

      its an especially grimy view from up there.

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      • #18
        LOL.

        Yes, but it is a beautiful hike, you have to admit.

        I'm starting to miss the place already. Oh hell, time to go to the beach...
        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

        (more comments in my User Profile)
        russbo.com


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        • #19
          Thankyou, that's just the kick in the arse I needed. I will be in touch soon.

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          • #20
            even though i dont think i would need de cheng to teach me the apps or care really, i would be upset to if he wasnt there, id have to go when i was sure he would be there.

            but regardless, your still at shaolin, u should do everything u can. alot of people like to be pushed, when in reality, u need to push yourself otherwise u become a yan ming lol

            have fun
            "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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            • #21
              Yan ming seems pretty driven to push himself...

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              • #22
                Despite getting cold feet two weeks ago, I'm glad I've stuck it out. Not getting what I wanted challenged me to rethink my outlook regarding the role of a teacher and that of a student. When I came here I expected unwavering attention and discipline; when I didn't get it I got shitty with myself and felt resentment for the school. At the end of that week I lacked the motivation to care about the techniques and the routine, my mind was focused on finding somewhere else where my wants could be met. I believe the coaches were aware of this in some capacity, even if in my lack of enthusiasm; I passed it off as being tired.

                Really considering why I came here, which, upon leaving Australia I thought I was sure of, I resolved that I want to come away from this experience as a man, the truth of this for me I won't get into, make of it what you will. Whether realistic or no, it is the ambition for my Shaolin journey.

                What I thought I wanted was a teacher who would give me all the answers, the killer moves, the zen. Arriving here to find there wasn't anyone here to match the description and that the answers I would have to work out on my own was the major let down of the Shaolin fantasy high. Though you can read, take all the advice anyone and everyone has to give, coming here and seeing what it's all about no one can really prepare you for; I bought into the dream despite the warning.

                After pondering your response I realised that I had an opportunity to learn from this experience and make something of the time and the resources that are available to me here. I could have easily walked away with disappointment, bitter about wasting my time and money here, in fact I was very much prepared to do just that. I now believe that I can't find the answers and the teachings with a great teacher alone, though I was willing to do the hard yards, I wasn't prepared to motivate myself. This I have taken from my experiences here.

                I have since put my all into the training, explored the town and the mountainside in my mornings and come away with a valuable lesson.

                As for my thoughts on Dengfeng living, I no longer feel like a tourist now and have made some great friendships both at the school and around the town and province; though I am beginning to experience the frustrastion of long term overseas living both linguistically and culturally.

                As far as the training is concerned I have learned two barehand routines and a cudgel form, stylistically very different from Southern Fist but a great challenge. The kids are very busy practicing their forms at present, there is a competition between all the kung fu schools in Dengfeng next Monday which will be a blast to watch; it's also another opportunity to see the talent of the other schools.

                On a side note, I found De Yang's school during a walk one morning, it's pretty run down, all I saw was one of the students at the gate which was locked, it didn't look very inviting.

                I hope all is well in Thailand Doc, and for the rest of the Russboians that you're training hard. Take care, be in touch when I can

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Josh x View Post
                  I resolved that I want to come away from this experience as a man, the truth of this for me I won't get into, make of it what you will.
                  You'll be spending the rest of your life "becoming a man". Don't try to do it all in one year. You'll be in that process until the day that you die. And I've met people in their sixties and seventies that still haven't learned.

                  Consider your time in Shaolin a learning process. Don't set goals that you need to meet; that's the certain way towards disappointment. Just being there is an education, just living at the school and being around all the gong fu workouts is a way of learning zen, whatever the hell that really is. Picking up on people's attitudes there, the way that they approach problems, the way that they live, how they interact, all of this is far more of a learning experience than sitting down with some great Buddhist master and talking about Buddhism. Many years ago I spent some significant time with Shi De Ren, and a translator, talking about Buddhism. De Ren was THE Buddhist teacher of Shaolin for many years, before YongXin expelled him in the great cleansing. It was fun, I saw him many times over the years, we became friends, and I learned nothing. I picked up more about Buddhism and life from the massage girls in the basement of the Feng Yuan than I did from any monk master.

                  The place is a learning experience. It's frustrating. It's dirty. You get to hate it after a while. But, always remember, that no matter how bad it seems to get, you're still getting an education. You may not realize it at the time, but one day, you'll look back, and you'll see that you have learned some very important lessons about yourself and life in general.

                  I remember many many years ago, back in 1995, after my first foray into Shaolin land, I had returned back to the operating rooms in the US, as a physician. One of the techs had come up to me, and had made a comment that has stuck with me for many, many years. It was a telling comment. It went something like this:

                  "When you left, you were like a glass marble. Kind of smooth, well thought out, functional, effective, with the occasional defect here and there. But now you come back, and you're a steel ball bearing. Perfectly rounded, shiny, strong, precise, calm and powerful".
                  Well, I'm still shiny. But, you get the point. This experience, regardless of how bad it eventually gets, will change you.

                  It's up to you what that change is.
                  Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                  "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                  (more comments in my User Profile)
                  russbo.com


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                  • #24
                    Vajrayana emphasizes the need to find and serve a master to end up as fast as possible the suffering of every being.

                    These days i ve been relistenning a teaching of Venerable Ribur Rinpoche about the technique of exchanging oneself with other, a technique that was kept secret by Atisha.

                    Rinpoche starts by saying that as life is short we should know what is more important to learn and practice and he says the most important thing is bodhicitta, the altruistic mind of awakening for the sake of every being such as animals.

                    I think it is indeed important to have a plan to end up every suffering, to have priorities in body, speech and mind.

                    There are 9 steps to the technique of exchanging oneself with other

                    1 Equalizing oneself with others

                    Just like you every being wants to be happy. Does a chicken or a pig want to die? We spend most of our times thinking about ourselves, our needs, pleasures. We should think at least the same amount of time about other beings which are much more numerous

                    2 Seeing the disavandtages of cherishing oneself

                    3 Seeing the advantages of cherishing other

                    4 Exchanging oneself with other

                    5 Practicing taking and giving

                    U take the suffering of every being inside u, let the causes of their suffering appear in u and in turn u give them happiness.

                    6

                    7 Reciting mantra to make the energy flow

                    8 Devloping universal responsability

                    The suffering of every being in the universe at all ages is my responsabilty and i should act in a way to end it. For instance consider animal suffering

                    9 Generating bodhicitta, the alstruistic awakening mind


                    Peace and love
                    Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Josh x View Post
                      .
                      As for my thoughts on Dengfeng living, I no longer feel like a tourist now and have made some great friendships both at the school and around the town and province; though I am beginning to experience the frustrastion of long term overseas living both linguistically and culturally.
                      in all my travels, i've found cultural weightlessness to be the factor for enjoyment and learning! wherever i am i try to see myself as part of the local group, understand them, live like them, etc.. even if i dont really understand, thats the culture i have to be in at that time. being stuck in my own culture while in such a foreign place makes for a long vacation in hell.

                      especially in china- if you want to cross the street just go for it. they're pros and wont hit you. but if you hesitate for a second you're dead. everything just goes over there... including kids on the sidewalk who dont bother finding a "toilet".

                      ironically, some lady walking by told a buddy and me to eat our watermelon over the grass so it wouldnt make the sidewalk sticky.......... ?

                      On a side note, I found De Yang's school during a walk one morning, it's pretty run down, all I saw was one of the students at the gate which was locked, it didn't look very inviting.
                      where were you walking? thats pretty far out. there's nothing over that way but the zhongyue (daoist) temple. you cant really see anything from the gate of master deyang's school though. its all around the corner, and slowly being fixed up.

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                      • #26
                        Well i think the chinese driving is really insane and shows how unmeditated is the precept of not killing, bu sha sheng. But i guess most chinese are like animals, fed on animals and probably coming from and going to animal reincarnation so u cannot expect them understand that.

                        For instance the uncle of my wife had two car accidents. Last one he fell asleep while driving. I tell him he has a problem whith the precept of no killing but he says he hasnt. He eats all kind of meat, smokes a lot, do not sit upright like a depressed person, watch all this violent programs on tv and could have killed himself, his partner and other people on the road but he says he understand the doctrine of not killing....

                        Many chinese people will just not respect the traffic lights or will cross any traffic line with no wonder. I dont know but i think it is again the affirmation of the ego regardless of other, in a madhyamaka view the grasping to the idea of an independant self, and a use of the force.

                        I dont know, just my ideas.

                        So Josh, have u found a plan to end the suffering of every being such as animals? Do u have monk discipline while training shaolin and avoid killing animals or making them suffer by being vegetarian and taking the chance of a rebirth out of the ignorance of the animal realm?

                        Peace and love
                        Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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                        • #27
                          The Chinese drive like shit for a few reasons, one of which is their lack of education, and their lack of education in driving. If you look at other countries, people tend to learn how to drive from their parents. In China, the current driver's parents were on bicycles. IMO, they tend to be the worst drivers in the world, and they get no better when they move to other countries. Part of it also is the self centered nature of these drivers when they get on the road, the other part is the concept of "if there's space, fill it". Whomever gets to a spot in the road first has the right of way; accidents are decided by "who hits whom" and not "who's right".

                          Be careful in the streets over there. They will hit you, but not out of malice. I've seen, and been involved in the medical care, of one little guy who got wiped by a tuk tuk, and it was a horrible situation, one which I've been wanting to write about, but have not been able to bring myself to do so.
                          Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                          "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                          (more comments in my User Profile)
                          russbo.com


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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by LFJ View Post
                            in all my travels, i've found cultural weightlessness to be the factor for enjoyment and learning! wherever i am i try to see myself as part of the local group, understand them, live like them, etc.. even if i dont really understand, thats the culture i have to be in at that time. being stuck in my own culture while in such a foreign place makes for a long vacation in hell.
                            Very astute. I've dealt with this in China, and I'm dealing with it now in Thailand. But one thing really needs to be mentioned here.

                            Don't ever think that this new culture and people will fully accept you, or your culture. You're in their country, not yours.

                            Now, it doesn't seem to work that way in America anymore, and the various immigrants to America and the various European countries seem intent on hijacking the cultures that they are out****ing and taking over, but when you're a foreigner in one of their countries, you don't get accepted. Regardless of how understanding you might be of theirs.
                            Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                            "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                            (more comments in my User Profile)
                            russbo.com


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                            • #29
                              a whitey is a whitey after all....

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by liutangsanzang View Post
                                So Josh, have u found a plan to end the suffering of every being such as animals? Do u have monk discipline while training shaolin and avoid killing animals or making them suffer by being vegetarian and taking the chance of a rebirth out of the ignorance of the animal realm?
                                I can't say that was my reason for coming, nor is it any intention of mine to make it so. In fact some of the money I made that got me over here was from abattoir work so at this point in time vegetarianism isn't a priority.

                                LFJ and Doc, you both make valid points. I never imagined that I would or could ever fully integrate into their culture, especially given the living arrangements and standards at the school. How can you expect I could be considered on par with them when I have a room to myself, eat a much better quality of food and can leave whenever I so choose. Those kids don't have the options I have and the MO with regard to foreigners is that whatever the domestic situation, the loawai have priority. That's not to say I'm living it up at their expense, if I'm waiting for rice or wanting to wash my dishes and they move aside to let me in I just walk away now. Though I understand there are differences I do my best not to promote them.

                                As I said, I've made friends with the kids at the school, there isn't the tension and wariness when I approach them like I experienced in my first few weeks there. Though, often in the evenings I join in with the kids when they play their games. Currently they like playing a game not disimilar from one in Australia called 'murder in the dark'. A person is 'it' and blindfolded, that person must catch someone and upon doing so correctly call out their name so that they become it. One of the younger kids caught me and the others urge him to guess who he's caught, he says 'laowai'. Bear in mind these kids know and use my name.

                                As for the driving, it's chaotic and I've heard some wild stories from some of the expats I've met, though I will say of the Chinese drivers I've had the 'pleasure' of driving with, they have a good attitude. I've not yet seen a Chinese driver get upset with a situation, instead they get innovative and use the oncoming traffic lanes and any other area available.
                                I don't feel particularly safe without seatbelts, especially when the taxis have buried the backseat inserts under a rug for aesthetic purposes. My lonely planet says 450 people die everyday on Chinese roads which is a sobering figure. All I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best.

                                And finally LFJ, I was walking for an hour or two for the first two weeks to get my bearings and stumbled upon the road with De Yang's school. Though personally I don't think it's that far out, just on the fringes of Dengfeng city centre. For such a notable master (I would say of the Shaolin DVD's I've seen in Dengfeng maybe 10-15% are his) it's sad his school is in the sorry state it is. Then again this is only what I could see from the outside and through the gate, I might check it out and inquire about the school, if and when I've got some free time.

                                Be in touch when I can, Josh

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