Zen and Shaolin Chi Kung
Monday, 11 October 2010 12:38

bodhidharmaFrom the early beginnings of the Shaolin tradition, chi kung has been an integral part of Zen training. It was first taught in the Shaolin monastery by Bodhidharma, a great spiritual teacher from India, who employed chi kung as an effective method for cultivation towards enlightenment. He noticed the monks in Shaolin monastery were physically weak and easily tired, so he introduced chi kung to help them cultivate holistically - physically and mentally as well as spiritually.


Bodhidharma reputedly taught the monks two sets of chi kung exercises, namely "Eighteen Lohan Hands" (Shi Ba Luo Han Shou) and "12 Exercises of Sinew Metamorphosis" (Yi Jin Jing), and also an art called "Marrow Cleansing" (Xi Sui Jing). Since these early times chi kung blossomed in the Shaolin monastery. It was influenced by numerous Chinese and Taoist arts, becoming a tradition rich in scope, vast in depth, and exceedingly effective in application.


In the genuine, complete tradition, Zen was never separated from chi kung. Shaolin Chi Kung was used, and is still used, as an invaluable tool for holistic development. In genuine Shaolin training chi kung practice is imbued with Zen - in application, results as well as its ultimate goal.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2011 16:21