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“程平真,海外传道人”- 海航舱内刊《东方养生》2012年第11期 专访

(2013-07-10 11:16:46)
  1. 引文)在神州大地拜访明师,融汇多家武学精华;在异国他乡弘扬太极文化,门下桃李芬芳;汶川地震后毅然回国,常年游历各地传播禅武精神;他待人宽厚不失赤子之心,他博闻疆志又诲人不倦;他是“明心武学”、“明心禅”的代表人物, 太极禅的最早倡程平真,他坚信千年积累的悠久武学文化,可以修养身心, 改造先天气质; 可以益家益国,提升民族素质

    程平真   海外传道人

                                                                                                                                   文:吴昊
    (正文)

                程平真先生,颇有古人之风。
    很多人知道程平真先生,多是从朋友处辗转听说,都会被他武学、禅学的修为所钦佩;  见过程先生的人,又都会被他亲切、大气的性格所吸引。他总是谦和的对每个人说,“叫我平真吧。” 谈起武学禅学,程先生就会滔滔不绝地倾囊相赠,没有丝毫保留,用他自己的话来说,“文化是天下的公器,人是道器,我们都是传承传统文化的道器,有觉性的工具,如此而已”

    海外弟子桃李芬芳
    程平真先生虽然谦称自己也是“学生”,实际上他在欧美传授的弟子们,很多都已自成一家、桃李满门了。说到中国武学在美国的传播,程先生不感慨:“墙里开花墙外香”。在北美华人区,多数华人为了子女适应美国主流社会,愿让其学习空手道、跆拳道。而在大部分非华人社区,从七十年代开始,传统武学就已被视为东方文化之精华,为主流社会所崇。程先生的弟子中,就不乏西方世界的名

    多年前,程平真先生曾任教于纽约自然疗法大学,并担任中医研究生院东方体育系系主任(NY College of Health Professions的前称nycollege.edu)。在其任教期间,他将传统武学结合中医经络学与禅修原理后,成功打入美国研究生院之必修课程中。这套体系严谨的武学课程,使诸多学员在短期内变化气质、改造自身并开发人体潜能。多家英文媒体也对此进行了报导,为此学院又开设了新的专业认证项目与考核制度“中医太极拳养生教练”。

    中国有句古话,“授人以鱼不如授人以渔”。在程先生离开这所大学之后,这套体系完备的课程,直到现在依然在良好地运作中。程先生的弟子目前遍及欧美各国,共开有三十多家专业武道、太极、瑜珈、禅修中心。弟子中多是空手道、跆拳道的高段位者,后来跟随程先生改修中华武学。

    前加拿大跆拳道国家队领队John Millio,美东著名职业搏击赛教练Ray LongoLuke Cummo等多位名人都曾经受教于程先生. 在众多美国弟子、学员中,很多位都是全美套路、推手、甚至UFC搏击赛冠军,包括Jim Ransom, Narcyz Latecki老师等。Narcyz老师还有2位高徒代表美国国家队数次来华参赛,并战胜包括中国强手在内的多国选手取得冠军,被《功夫》,《太极》等英文专业武学期刊报道。

    启蒙恩师武学卓群
    程先生祖籍河北武术之乡,自幼随父母移居美国,课余时间系统学习多家海外武学体系后,又多次回国深造;如今门下桃李芬芳,自身也是师从众多明师。回忆起自身学艺的经过,平真先生以禅宗“依法不依人”的教法,来看待老师:老师都是人,但传承的某些精神与某些素质却是超越个人的。山西车派形意拳代表人物之一,程氏八卦、戴氏心意的传人李泰良先生,是程先生的授业恩师之一。李泰良先生曾任北京武警总队格斗总教练,少林武僧团,北京武术队散打教练, 后移居纽约传薪办学.

    程先生从学于李泰良先生,时值改革开放初期。李师面对这“外国留学生”,不仅毫不避嫌的接纳入门,还在自身经济条件也并不宽裕的境况下,为其安排吃、住,且分文不取。甚至在身无分文的”美国留学生”返美时, 连“机场建设费”都是李泰良先生代出的。每念及此,程先生总是感怀师恩深重;事过多年,仍不免心潮起伏。在武学技艺上,泰良先生又是真正能做到博采众长而又融汇贯通的导师,让程先生最获益的就是一个“广”字。

    浙江名医叶瑞椿先生对程先生的影响也极为深远。叶瑞椿先生是叶大密先生体系的传人。叶大密先生是民国时期全国首家太极拳社,“上海武当太极拳社”的创始人。叶氏拳兼采杨氏太极拳、武当剑和印度瑜伽导引术,而叶师本人又选择专攻太极,深造自得, 后来亦移居纽约传薪。在叶师身上,拳学的“广中精”之道表达得淋漓尽致,这种精神在程先生后来的教学中,得到了详尽的发挥。

    此后程先生转益多师,在拳理上、国学心法上,从学于通备武学的代表人物马明达老师、孙氏武学名家张烈、刘树春、童旭东老师等。谈起诸位让自身得以脱胎换骨的师长,程先生感慨至深,这份尊师重道的情谊,溢于言表。程先生说,在武学前行的路上,太多人给予他帮助,在为人为学各方面,意义非凡,可惜采访所限,不能为记者一一介绍。


    武学传播往事难忘
    回想起自己多年为武学文化传播所做的努力,最让程先生难忘的是05年的台北一行,那也是他第一次在台北教学的经历。当时,程先生受到出版《台湾武林》杂志的逸文出版社,和蒋经国先生贴身护卫金立言警官的共同邀请,为包括台北警官学校在内的多位学员授课。因为对台湾武术的传承历史了解较少,程老师曾感到莫名的压力,尤其是怕给大陆的师父们“丢脸”。

            那次台湾授课深受好评,这让程先生真正体会到大陆师父们多年来在艰难的外在条件下,传承武学精华的良苦用心,更让其内心感动不已的是,人为的政治因素,无法阻挠武学文化的交流传播。相信在历史上,政治的割裂只是短暂的一瞬,但是文化、精神上的交流,却是具有永恒深意的。

           类似的,印证着武学文化不受地界限制的例子不止于此,程先生把内家拳和中医对三丹田的诠释相结合,并引用现代快速心理疗法NLP的某些治疗手段, 构建起能平衡作用于身体、情绪、思维三面向的快速养生锻炼法,并发表在美国主流的《功夫》杂志上。这篇文章刊载后近十年,依然还有很多网站转载并讨论,程先生也因此更加坚定了在中外各地,弘扬武学文化的信心。

    在弘扬武学文化的这条道路上,程先生作为太极禅的最早倡导者,特别注重传统武学在现代生活中的应用,纠正不良的生活方式,重塑健康。根据现代人时间紧迫、压力大的特点,程先生将中医、道医、藏医瑜伽中的心法系地融入了杨式、孙式、吴式和简化太极中,将拳法套路动作压缩至7至13式,甚至二、三式,看似简单,其实深合拳理。这种作法并非无端,孙禄堂祖师晚年也是由繁化简,主要以静坐为主,叶大密晚年也曾把整个太极浓缩为纯阴纯阳二式习练。

    由于内炼心法的加入,经过国内外许多学员的亲身体会,程先生推广的快速身心整合法,其数分钟锻炼的效果即可超过平常普通锻炼半小时的健身效果。比如体系中的办公室禅坐式太极,能有效纠正肩颈腰等慢性劳损,效果和大众太极拳相比可以说是天壤之别。纽约哥伦比亚大学建筑系女教授Pamela Jerome,由于工作繁忙,经常往返世界各地讲学,但下榻酒店后,日常表的第一件事永远是站10分钟形意拳的三体式桩功,用以恢复体能缓解疲劳。在“时间贵于金钱”的纽约,这位女教授之所以会对武学文化如此“上瘾”,正是因为多年来自身实实在在的受益。

    甚深心法切身体悟
    谈到“上瘾”,说到“痴迷”,又有谁能像程平真先生这样,视传统武学文化如生命,不惮漂泊与孤寂, 身体力行武学心法。对内家拳自有一番领悟的程先生,认为内家拳的“内”,真正的含义乃是“精华”、“根本”。太极、形意、八卦三大家如同儒、释、道的关系,论体为一,论用则各有所长,变化万千, 只因入手处不同,才有不同的呈现和发挥,但其根本处的诸种素质三家都是兼备的。很多优秀拳种如通备、意拳大成、六合八法等都可从“外”向“内”深化、开发潜能,变化气质。否则,即便标榜“内家”,如果无法超越后天的局限和习气,也不能归入“内家”一门。不管其人标榜自己是“哪氏哪家”的哪代传人,都只是“伪传人”、“伪功夫”而已。

    相 对于外家拳,内家拳对传统文化和中医经络学的基础要求较高,程先生在美国近二十年的教学中,学习内家拳的学员主要是心理医生、医务人员等高级知识分子,还 有兼学佛、道的天主教、基督教的神职人员。这些人一旦学习会长期习练,许多已坚持了十多年之上。程先生一直非常感谢这些弟子对中国传统文化的支持,就如同 这些弟子感激中国传统文化,改变了自己的生命一样。

    视武学如生命,每日勉力修习的程先生,认为武术的心法,尽在一个“中”字,“中”即不执两边,“中”即“和谐这种和谐不只局限于拳学动作的流畅与大美,她游刃于动静开合,是武学乃至人类文化所追求的最高境界:可以至柔——“上善若水”;也可以至刚——“虽万千人吾往矣”;更可以刚柔相济——“不战而屈人之兵”。这种和谐性虽成型于华夏,但并不局限于华夏文化,而是与所有人类文化的精华一起共生、共荣,这种和谐的精神将会以身心灵全方位成长途径为载体,为人类的整体健康的蓝图服务;这种和谐的精神,也正是武学典范孙祿堂先生在民族最痛苦、最混乱的时刻所提倡的“中和之道”。

    面对现代体育和大众武”术”的不尽人意之处,回望中华民族的智慧先贤,程先生难抑心中的感慨,告诉记者:“古代先哲体悟到改进社会人生的基础是改造个人气质,而武学的真正内涵即是改变气质,从岳飞、王阳明到津门八卦掌弟子周恩来先生,都是极佳的践行者。这是一门综和的学问,需要用“中和”之心法来指导符合中医养生、生理学、心理学的武术动作,所以武学也曾被称为“国术”,否则只是一种连富有美感的“花架子”都算不上的、“损伤性、消耗性”的现代体育,甚至连“育”也算不上!
     
    程平真先生在推广武学的同时,还有着另外一个身份,系为数不多的在海外推广禅宗和金刚乘禅法的指导师之一,他是虚云法师的第二代弟子,诺那祖师的第三代弟子, 在多所佛学院,国学书院客座教学. 这使程先生在教学中更加突出“禅武合一”,对武学文化的认知,也较他人更为深刻。“灭山中贼易,灭心中贼难”,这句阳明先生的话,是程先生最愿意引用的。程先生自道开始希望禅修能帮助自己的武学提高,做个“超人”,后来发现错了,因为所有的痛苦来源于对自我的执着,想做超人、高手也是执着。后来反而运用武学来辅助禅修,在行住坐卧中,平等的体会、契入、展现禅的本性。如今的程先生真切感悟到“体用不二”,练拳、禅修已然无分别。

    禅修与武学的关系,说起来似乎有些玄奥,却是程先生最为强调的修学关键。他反复强调武学和禅修之最大共同点,乃是在“术”、“艺”阶段之后,对于“道”的求证。二者皆是在个体自我与外在环境(主体与客体)的相互对立、甚至激烈冲突中,以“无可逃脱于天地之间”的大无畏勇气与智慧直视冲突、化解冲突,契入主客圆融,从而超 越对立冲突之痛苦,最终实证“心物一元”、“烦恼即菩提”的境界。由于中国武术界多年来种种条件所限,近代能较清楚了解,并掌握此训练原则的老师少之又 少,多数尽是空谈。程老师在讲武学文化落实到具体训练时,向来都是从禅修与超个人心理学的高度,来为武学修证过程中生理、心理乃至潜意识层面的纠偏,提供 简单易行的体系或方法。众多学员在迷途中有了心法的指引,自然达到了变化身心的目的。


    原文链接:

    海航舱内刊 东方养生 2012年第11期 专访:"Ping Zhen Cheng, oversea carrier of the Tao", 
     a feature interview from China Hainan Airline's "Oriental Wellness" Journal, Nov, 2012

    程平真 海外传道人—《东方养生》—2012年第11期—龙源期刊网

    他待人宽厚不失赤子之心,他博闻疆志又诲人不倦;他是“明心武学”“明心禅”的代表人物程平真,他坚信千年积累的悠久武学文化,可以修养身心,可以变化气质,可以益...
    www.qikan.com.cn/Article/gren/gren20... 2012-11-01 百度快照



    明心禅问答 Q&A:

     

    国内教学 China Teaching Centers:

    西北大学佛学研究所 Northwest University Buddhism Institute,Xi'An

    北京朝阳寺禅修营 Beijing Chaoyang Temple

    中佛协北京广济寺 Beijing China National Buddhism Council
    http://www.eguoxue.com/090624.html

    上海 Shanghai    

    天津 Tianjin

    广州 Guangzhou    

    深圳 Shenzhen




    附:Martial Enlightenment and traps along the path-a

       brief glimpse of the modern applications of Sun

      Lutang’s teachings in both martial arts & spirituality

      expanded from feature article of Kung Fu/Taichi Magazine Sep 2005

    Enlightenment or transcending above the ego-centric self, attaining inner actualization and joy has been the shining light of Chinese Zen and Taoism Practice, However, through  out the martial arts history of East and West, only a few great beings had glimpses of certain stages of Enlightenment through the means of practicing the martial arts. One of the most influential masters of all times is Sun Lu Tang, the Martial Sage of China. As the pioneer of integrated internal arts, a reformer of all three styles of  the Internal Family, Xingyi, Bagua and Taiji, his teachings on Marital enlightenments is not only systematic but also can be validated by both Taoism Alchemy principles and Jung’s theories of “Actualized SELF”  and “collective consciousness”, as well as certain components of Chan(“Zen”) and Vipassana Meditation. 

     

    Master Sun’s work had un-measurable value in marital arts history. Nevertheless, modern readers are finding difficulties in grasping the essence of his writings mainly due to two reasons.  One was the language he used was a combination of both ancient and modern terminologies which requires a certain literacy level in ancient Mandarin.  Secondly, certain basic knowledge of Taoism and Buddhism alchemy as well as TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine) is needed to understand the relationship of body postures and inner alchemy.

     

    Due to the hardship of grasping the essence of Sun’s teaching, Master Tong Xudong, one of  Sun Jianyun’s top disciples,  spent years of traveling and research, interviewing the other living successors of Sun’s legacy, composed a series of articles in modern China’s top Martial arts magazines and conferences, exposed many of the Sun’s secret teachings that can benefit martial arts practitioners from any styles.  Tong is considered by many as today’s most influential authors of the internal martial arts in China. This article is an attempt to introduce some of Sun Style Xingyi’s core teaching through summarizing some of Master Tong’s writings as well as other’s.  Some of the teachings in this article come from Sun Jianyan lineage while others are from Sun Cunzhou lineage which does carry certain flavors different from Sun Lutang’s well-known books.

     

    During an individual’s limited existence, three issues have been causing major conflicts towards living a balanced and joyful life-those issues are conflicts between the body, emotion, and the mind, or disharmony between the lower, the middle and the upper Dantians, or the 3 centers.  The greatest obstacle preventing reaching oneness and Enlightenment has always been the constant struggles-struggles caused by random energies or opposing “Needs” and “Wants” between the body, the emotion and the mind, In theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine, different “Qi Patterns” or “Karmic Patterns” are always trying to influence and pull a person in opposite directions.  Making any major or minor decision in life is ALWAYS a confrontational challenge of persuading the 3 centers to work together as one unit, and many times, the persuasion fails.   

     

    In marital arts training as well as in the school of life, the three Dantians are never willing to co-operate. At least one of the 3 is constantly fighting the interests of the other 2.  Much energy is wasted during the conflicts and very little is accomplished.  As a result of the ego’s disappointment, loss on the war of “Mastering and Conquering the self”, the ego’s only choice is to create a substitute of “False mastery”-trying to master the outside, controlling others, becoming a “Great fighter” or “Great something else”. The outcome is a never ending cycle, all knowledge, all martial arts training will be constantly turning into painkillers to feed the ego’s artificial symptoms instead of reaching oneness and removing the root of suffering.  During this process, much positive energy is wasted and much negative emotion is produced as a major cause of the practitioner’s unhappiness and internal suffering.  Realizing that much of the life’s energy is wasted during this never-ending vicious cycle and fact that the precious life is very, very short, sages from all spiritual traditions have been creating “PATHES”, to observe, balance and unify the 3 Dantian’s or Chakras. Sun Lutang is simply a Master with martial art as a skillful mean to serve the purpose of Inner Liberation.

     

    Failures toward unifying the 3 centers lead to failures in all areas of life. In the martial arts area, during the application of any technique, many times, even the best technique would fail because of the lack of coordination between the 3 centers. Lack of coordination in the body simply reflects inner disharmony of the psych as well as imbalances in the channels, meridians and organs, which are all connected with the 3 centers.  Sun style Xingyi’s core training, Using Santi Stance to align the upper, middle, and lower Dantian is one of the most direct path to solve this basic human dilemma.  The “Enlightened Martial Way” is based on self-observation and inner communication through movements, movements that create effects directly on the Channels and the 3 Diantians.  Overall, Sun Style corresponds with the teaching of Taoism Alchemy and I-Ching during the early stages, and merge towards certain stages of Zen (or Chan) and Vipassana during its later developments.

     

    Xingyi practice starts with the Santi Standing.  The first stage of Santi training is: Creating an Observer: In Neidan practice this is called LianJi, meaning the Alchemy or Practice of the self, transform from a scattered, non-unified self to a balanced SELF, in order to serve the later stages of deeper meditation and realizing the freedom of no self. This stage utilizes a self-diagnosis methods to observe while practicing the Santi Stance- 5 elements breathing diagnosis or observing the breath: the 5 unbalanced breathing patterns are: Longer exhales than inhales,-reflecting Fire or heart unbalance; Longer inhales than exhales -reflecting Water or kidney unbalance; “Windy” or noisy sound of the breath- reflecting lung or Metal unbalances;  “Interrupted” or frequently paused breath-reflecting Wood or liver unbalance; and a combination of the previous 4 would be an Earth or digestion unbalance. Simply quieting the mind by apply awareness and hearing to the breathing will not only serve the self-diagnosis purpose, but will also heal and remove all inner unbalances. As the practitioner’s breathing becomes more even and peaceful, a solid, non-chattering observer is created for the next stage of Xingyi practice. 

     

    The second level of development in Santi is: Balancing the 3 Centers with Expanded Awareness by applying some of the 9 essentials of Sun Style.  When a relatively more stable observer is established, one can utilize the observer for inner alignments: The secrets of relaxing and unifying the 3 centers is strictly following the Alchemy’s principles of using a so-called “expanded awareness”, or holistic observation and avoid falling into the traps of the old patterns of narrow and limited ways of focusing., meditating or “collecting the Qi”.  Any “partial efforts” of artificial breathing patterns, including all of the so-called Dantian or abdominal breathing are strictly prohibited in this stage of training.  Otherwise work would be wasted and fell into the category of “Post-natal or limited Qi” training. It would disable the practitioner to tap into the “pre-natal” or unlimited Universal Qi source. 

     

    According to this principle, over 90% of today’s Qigong or New Age meditation styles would fall into the category of “Postnatal” or limited ways and would not be able to reach the stage of true inner unification. If this sounds too extreme, readers can simply observe the fact that in a Internal world filled with Masters and Healers today, how many have reached the standards of Taoist or Buddhist Alchemy as described in the text and scriptures?  How many Neigong or Neidan practitioners today are actually succeeding in forming the “Neidan” or “Golden Elixir” which was recorded as “Quite Usual” before the Ming Dynasty(before 1600’s)?  (How is this Neidan thing connected with the martial arts?  According to General Xi Jiguang, it is also since the Ming Dynasty that the true quality of Chinese Wushu started to deteriorate, until the time of Sun Lutang’s Cultural Renaissance. This is another topic and would not be further discussed here.)

     

    The intellectual or mental center, the Top Dantian, is located near the forehead region, corresponds to all mental conflicts, non-stopping inner chattering of the mind.  All these can be simply balanced by a BALANCED VISION together combining with the application of  the 4th essential of Sun Style-“Ding”, similar to Xu ling Ding Jin in the Taiji classic,  it is detailed as the following: emptying the vision, dis-attach the eyes from ANY SPECIFIC TARGET and yet projecting a RELAXED vision toward the EMPTY SPACE before the index and the middle finger of the leading hand, the 2 fingers connect with BOTH sides of the upper Dantian or the 3rd eye region and yet only utilizes a small percent of focus.  If standing on a left Santi stance, the left middle finger and left index finger would roughly be connected with a region anywhere between UB1 and UB2. The key here in “lightly” focus, in Neidan Alchemy as well as Zen’s methods of meditation, the “Percentage of focus” or “HuoHou”, “Intensity of the Fire” , IS THE main reason whether a practitioner becomes “enlightened” or “De-lightened”. In Santi training, using this method incorrectly will lead to high blood pressure, sleeping disorder, excessive ego and violent temper and other “fire” syndromes. Both Shanxi and Hebei lineages of Xing yi teach a whole system of “Reducing Fire Qigong” to counter this possible side effect.

     

    The Second Center is the middle Dantian or the emotional center.  All emotional conflicts, the sum of all pressure and baggage from the past, can be balanced by HanXiong BaBei: constantly softening the chest and expanding the back both VERTICALLY AND HORIZONTALLY.  The emotional center, the heart Chakra, or the middle Dantian, carries the most tension in life. This piece of Taiji and Xingyi Classic is the most widely miss-interpreted as hollowing the chest and rounding the back. When this is practiced correctly, without any efforts of trying to activate, Dantian breathing will be activated. The inner mechanic is quite simple: when apply this correctly , all the excessive, negative emotion carried inside of the sternum region will naturally transform into healing forces, the fire will naturally drop downward by a simply commandment of “INNER RELAXATION”, TRANSFORMING POISON INTO MEDICINE.   Longer, abdominal breathing will be naturally formed.  In Sun’s 9 essentials, this part of training works together with the second one-“Kou, when Qi is smooth, Yinqi drops downward following the Ren Channel.” (Chapter 3, BaGua QuanXue by Sun Lutang)

     

    In the Daodejing, “Empty the heart, fill the abdomen” may also be interpreted according to the Xingyi way that when the emotion is relaxed, the heart will become an empty vessel, and the emotion will turn into energy, filling the Dantian with healing power.”  In reality, only a heart that is emptied from personal issues can radiate true clarity and compassion toward others, only one that is capable of healing the self is able to heal others. If this classic holds any validity, then again, many of today’s martial arts, Qigong and Yoga practitioners practice the breathing incorrectly- Today, instead of working on inner personal issues and letting go of them, many of us are busy using our limited, ego-centered will to pro-long the length of our breathing, or to visualize Dantian, or to create warm sensations. All these will only distance one further away from the TAO, regardless how much self-created Qi sensation is experienced during the beginning stage. There will never be real personality-transformational effects in the long run, simply because they are all from efforts of the ego, and not from the TRUE SELF.

     

    The 3rd center or lower Dantian deals with control, sexual and contentment issues, mostly issues related with the most primitive parts of the body’s desires.  Following the Sun-Style’s first, third and 8th essentials –“Ta, Ti, and Suo”, folding the pelvic region and tucking the tailbone and the groin region SLIGHTLY upward, dropping and yet filling the kidney and waist regions downward. This downward and upward opposite adjustment forms a pair of powerful Yin & Yang forces, allowing the primitive energy from the bottom to communicate with higher energy sources from the top. The union of the opposites will thus bring true transformation to the inner personality.  Combining with balancing the above 2 centers, all 3-center related issues will be transformed into healing energy and “Qi food” for the two higher centers.  Since the third-center issues are the most primitive therefore the strongest issues, the transcended “medicine” or food will also be the strongest.

     

    When true relaxation is achieved, another self-diagnosis method becomes available-5 finger diagnosis, the balance and the unbalance between the internal organs & the 5 elements will be felt vividly at the tip of the fingers. During Santi training, using self diagnosis, and comparing the different sensations of the finger tips, balance & unbalance of the 5 elements will be reflected (photo1-1). The Excessive ones or Yang elements would be expressed by the warm or expanded feeling of certain fingers, and theYin or deficient ones would be expressed by cold and numb sensations. This diagnosis will determine the core of the second stage of practice-Fajin training with the 5 element fists-which would be the elements that the student need to focus on the most for self-practice (for healing, it would be the weak elements), and which would be the easiest arsenals to be developed for successful martial applications, or ones need to be focused to practice for sparring with a partner. (for sparring, it would be the stronger elements.)

     

    Eventually with constant training of balancing the 3 centers, Qi on all 5 fingers or 5 elements would be balanced, the stage of healing is basically completed.  Many of the person’s issues from the past would also be resolved. Only if one is able to heal him/her self, one is able to help to heal others, not necessarily with qigong or miracles, but simply by living with a natural being that is free from heavy issues and imbalances of the 3 centers.

     

     

    The Third Level of Santi Training: Establish 6 harmony and detailed mind-body connections in 8 directions:  San-Ti meaning harmony between the three bodies.  There are many interpretations toward the definition of “three”. One of the meanings is: correct alignment between the heaven above the head, the earth below the foot, and the connection between the two-which is the practitioner.  Let’s look at photo1-2 to see what the detailed alignments are and how they are done correctly:

     

    Part One: Top and bottom Projection: traditionally called the heaven and earth unity through the human body or Top-bottom opposition forces: Line#1a. the top of crown is always looking for its bottom projection on the ground by first lining up with Hui-Yin the bottom center of the groin region and then project downward toward a projected pt or a small region between the feet.  Depending on the weight distribution, the bottom projected pt may also shift forward or backward very smoothly and subtly (the subtly is extremely important in developing the short-striking power and developing the second stage of Xingyi’s training-“Subtle Power”(the 3 stages of developments are: visible power, subtle or invisible power and transcended power.). 

     

    Since internal martial art is a meditation in both stillness & in motion, it is very important to learn how to locate this so-called centerline both statically and in motion. This article will mainly discuss alignment in stillness which is the core training method for Qigong and stationary push-hands, but not totally applicable in Sanshou. (Sun Style has a complete separate system for training Santi for Sanshou.) 

     

    Once a 30/70 or 40/60 weight distribution is established, then the bottom projection should be the pt located on the back one third of the line segment joining the inside of the front big toe and the inside of the back heel. This line in Certain schools of Taoist Alchemy is called the central channel (similar to the Kundalini Path in yoga), the more a person is tuned in with this line, both physically & consciously to both its above and its below, the more inner clarity and correct energy flow would occur between the 3 centers. 

     

    Line #1b& 1c.  In order to locate the above central line, or #1a accurately, two additional supporting parallel lines are needed.  #1b is the back of the neck, Du14, between C6 & C7 forms a straight line with the back of the skull by drawing the chin backward SLIGHTLY, then this piece of line segment continue to stretch downward and connecting all the way down towards the pt between L1 and L2, then the practitioner’s awareness continues to travel down the spine by tucking the tailbone forward.  After the above has been done correctly, the upper body, from the back of the head to the tailbone is basically aligned as a straight line, the so-called “natural aging curvature” of spine is being FORCED (as least some effort is need in the beginning stage to reach the future effortless stage.) into a new “Back bow” shape as described by the famous Hao style classics of “5 bows Theory”.(Hao style is the origin of Sun Style.)  Connecting the whole “Back Bow” to the sensation of the back heel pushing into the ground, another back perpendicular line is formed between the sky and the earth.  Pay attention to the exact timing, angle, and sensation of the back heel pushing into the ground is the key for effective Fajin or power deliverance.  #1c. feel the connection between the front hand & front foot, center of the palm on the top and “Bubbling Well” on the bottom (PC8-K1) , especially as you subtly shift the weight front & back, the 3rd line is formed. (photo1-2)

     

    Now let’s analyze the above and we feel three up & down lines parallel to each other and connect the front and the back of the posture to the centerline, forming a unity.   Now do a test, when shifting weight in Santi, see whether if it’s true that when one line shifts, all three stay aligned and shift together.  This is an example of “Zheng” or “move as a whole”. 

     

              When the top and the bottom are aligned , the excessive emotional (or the so called “fire” in Chinese medicine”)energy is naturally cleansed toward the bottom, avoiding many side effects of practicing marital arts or those “fire syndromes”.   As a famous aggressive fighting art, many of the real xingyi masters in history did not carry the temperament of any aggression. On the contrary, many had the disposition of scholars and Taoist Alchemist such as Sun Lutang.

     

    Part Two: Left & Right projections: Line#2a. The left knee expands away from the direction of the right. Feel an invisible rubber-band like energy connecting the opposite expansion of both knees.  The Spleen, Liver and Gallbladder meridians are all located around the knee and this left & right projection alone will benefit all the related internal organs.

     

    #2b. the shoulders drop and the upper back expands horizontally will form an “(    )” shaped energy projection, it expands outward symmetrically from the outside of each scapulas.  The 2 branches separate and then join toward the elbows, and eventually the mental projection comes out from the two elbows, meet outside of the body, in front of the Dantian... In Sun Lutang’s 9 essentials, this is the 5th-“Guo, or Folding”. 

     

    With a couple of weeks of correct Sun Style Santi training focusing on this “Guo”, or left-right, open-close projection,  practitioner will begin to feel the existence of an external “Qi sphere” growing stronger and stronger.  All the internal legends about the ability of influencing the opponent with Qi as demonstrated in Sun Lutang and Sun Cunzhou's life were contributed by this kind of training.  This kind of training will also produce the effects of Iron Shirt different from Shaolin Iron shirt, free from the regrettable side effects of certain external methods of abusing the body with hard objects.

     

    From the physiological pt of view, by expanding the awareness left and right simultaneously, there is a function of unifying the two major personality conflicts within the human being-the left & the right hemispheres which correspond to the intuitive and the intellectual mind, the masculine and the feminine energy. As a result, it maximizes the brain’s unlimited potential.

     

     

    Part C: Front and back projections: Let’s look at the following partial list:

     

    Line #3a. Front Palm-Mingmen or L2 ,

    Line #3b Front palm root -back palm’s fingers

    Line #3c Front palm fingers-back palm’s root.

    Line #3c Front palm-Back heel

    Line #3d Root of the Back Index & Middle finger-back

                   heel

    Line #3e Front K1 to back heel

     

                Part D: Diagonal Projections, similar to the above, omitted.

     

     

     

    Eventually, when all 4 directions of projections are connected and performed with expanded awareness, every posture and every move will become a 3 dimensional sphere. Infinite techniques can be developed and created from 8 spherical Fajin patterns as both healing Qigong exercises and applications simultaneously.

     

              In this article, more front and back projections are listed than the other two. The reason is because all the infinite movements in MA can only be categorized into 8 directional spherical movements-vertical, lateral, horizontal and diagonal, this including all punches, kicks throws and takedowns.  Most of Xingyi’s 5 elments are vertical spheres (Pi, Zuan, and Beng are all vertical, Heng and Pao are Diagonal), verticals spherical movements are composed of mostly front and back energy projections.  Therefore, front and back projections are more commonly used in the earlier stages of Xingyi training while later stages will have more developments of other spheres as well. 

     

    The above are some of the major projections, there are many others not listed will gradually be felt, actualized and utilized in both healing and martial application as the practitioner’s awareness gets more and more polished. Master Tong’s Famous “Line and Plane Projection” is a more in-depth work on this part of Sun style and will be published in English as a sequel to this intro article.

     

    As relaxation, observation, unification, energy projection all get polished deeper and deeper, all layers of the mind-body connection will be established, it will eventually lead the practitioner automatically merge into an ideal stage of training-the transformation of the Tendon, Bone and the Marrow, achieving the legendary effects of Internal’s 3 levels of  Fajin-the visible Jin, subtle or invisible Jin and transcended Jin, emphasized by the father of Hebei Xingyi, master Guo Yunshen, one of Sun’s main teachers. (by generation, Sun is 2 generations lower than Guo.).

     

    The results of integrated observation in Santi training have unlimited effects in the martial arts application.  Using the Piquan as example, when A faces a facial straight punch from B, utilizing the holistic sensation developed from Santi Training, A blocks or parries with Zuan, the Zuan here will not only serve as a block, but will have the sensitivity to create a so-called “Yin-Yang contacting region”-meaning due to the defendants’ heightened awareness and sensitivity accomplished from Santi training, he is able to detect a Mini, Micro pt within the tiny spot , the contacting region of the two’s arms,  a pt that B has relatively weaker Jin or weaker Internal Structural Support  a “loop-hole”or weak spot.  Sliding though this Yin-Yang contacting region and B’s contacting arm is pushed to the side, exposing the centerline; A turns the Zuan into an attack toward the opponent’s chin, neck, facial region.  This is may look similar to a block and attack with the same arm of external styles, but in nature it is different.

     

    Some of the principles in Sun Style are extremely sophisticated because it represents the highest level of martial arts development. Enlightenment in Buddhism and Taoism is not something that is blurry and supernatural. Just like the fighting ability, the level of Enlightenment or Realizing the Dao can also be examined and tested, and the best test is how a person lives and dies. Looking back in the history of martial arts, Sun Lutang’s death was a legend as his life was, not only that he was fully conscious and ready to leave the earth when the day had came, he actually predicted (or chosen) the exact time and stated: “To me, coming and leaving is the same as a game, a show…”, and left the earth in complete peace, like sages and saints in spiritual schools did. 

     

    Sun’s principle does not only transform a practitioner’s body, but equally transcends the practitioner’ personality & weakness as well. This possibility of transformation is what makes Sun Style a milestone in the history of martial art.  It actually breaks the limited boundary of the definition of “Martial Arts” into the unlimited “Martial Tao or Path”, bringing true freedom to the practitioner, freeing the self from an unbalanced existence which is conditioned by the cycles and patterns from the past and creating a new “SELF” in the light of consciousness, adding “positive forces” into the spiritual evolution of not only martial artists, but the whole human race.

     

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