QIGONG - the secret of youth

QIGONG - the secret of youth

(Parte 7 de 7)

Buddhism. Furthermore, if Da Mo was the twenty-ninth generation of Chan Buddhism in India, then Chan meditation had already been studied and developed in India for quite some time. It is reasonable to assume that his two classics were written based on his knowledge of Chan Buddhism. To Chinese Buddhists, his two classics were revolutionary, and provided them with a new way of achieving Buddhahood. Like other revolutionary ideas, it encountered strong resistance from Chinese Buddhists. Naturally, the main resistance came from the traditional Buddhists who had developed their own system of cultivation over the last 500 years. The major difference between these two classics and the traditional Chinese method was Da Mo's emphasis that the training of the physical body was just as

After Da Mo important as the spiritual cultivation. Without a strong and healthy body, the final goal of spiritual cultivation was hard to reach. Though his new training theory was resisted by many Buddhists, many others believed his theory and started to train. The Shaolin Temple became a center for teaching his theories, and soon after his death they had spread to every corner of China. His Chan meditation was exported to Japan, where it became known as Ren ( .{!. )

Despite the popularity of his methods, however, many priests still insisted on using the traditional methods of cultivation. When the Shaolin Temple applied Da Mo's

Qigong training to fighting techniques, the new theories gained more opponents among the traditionalists. Although it was often necessary to defend oneself during that violent period, there were many priests who were against the martial training. They believed that as Buddhist priests they should avoid all violence.


In the first chapter we discussed the significant influence which Da Mo's Yi Jin

Jing and Xi Sui Jing exerted on Chinese culture. Here we would like to take a deeper look at how Da Mo's Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing have influenced Chinese religious and martial arts societies.

Da Mo is considered the ancestor of Chan Zong ("'-*),the Ren sect of Buddhism.

It was said that when Da Mo died in 536 A.D., he passed his Chan Buddhist philoso phy and his Xi Sui Jing techniques to his best and most trusted disciple, Hui Ke (�or). Hui Ke's name as a layman was Ji Guang ( lll7'f. ). He was a scholar who gave up his normal life and became a priest in order to conquer himself. Hui Ke passed the Buddhist philosophy on to Seng Can ( -ifJ$ ). It then went to Dao Xin ( l!1t ), Hong Ren ( �K!. ), and Hui Neng ( ��).These five and Da Mo are called the Six Ancestors of Chan (Chan Zong Liu Zu, lf. * r-;tiL). Later, Chinese Buddhists honored another monk, Shen Hui (#t-) of the Tang dynasty ofKai Yuan (713-742 A.D., Jtr./l;i:.), and subsequently referred to the Seven Ancestors of Chan (Chan Zong Qi Zu, "'-*-!::;tiL).

Sitting Chan meditation, which is part of the Xi Sui Jing enlightenment training, is able to bring you to the highest level of spiritual cultivation. We read that Da Mo's Yi Jin Jing was taught in the Shaolin Temple, and Xi Sui Jing was passed down to Hui Ke. However, according to my understanding of the available documents, these two classics must both be trained in order to reach the final goal of Buddhahood. Surprisingly, however, there is almost no Yi Jin Jing training in Chinese Chan and Japanese Ren Buddhism. Also, it is very curious that Xi Sui Jing was not generally trained in the Shaolin Temple. As a matter of fact, we have found more Daoist and martial arts documents than we have Buddhist documents about the training of these two classics. Therefore, it would be very interesting to analyze what happened in these societies after Da Mo's death.

Chapter 2: Historical Survey

First, we must analyze the early structure of religious Daoism. Religious Daoism was neither the purely traditional, conservative scholar Daoism, nor the pure Buddhism imported from India, but it began as a combination of the philosophy and theories of both. If we look at the historical background of that time, we can see an important point. At that time, China was the strongest country in Asia, and its cul ture was the most advanced. It is incredible that China would be so open as to absorb Buddhism into its culture, especially at a time when Chinese society was so conserva tive and its people were all so proud of their long history. If the Han emperor were not so open-minded, the spread of Buddhism in China would probably have been delayed for several centuries.

Religious Daoism was born during this period. It not only kept the good parts of the traditional Daoist philosophy, but it also absorbed useful parts of Buddhist culture and their methods of spiritual cultivation which were imported from India. Over the years they have kept this open-mindedness, and have never hesitated to learn useful things from other styles.

Next, let us take a look at the fundamental theory and philosophy of Daoism.

Daoism emphasized the "Dao" (the way, l! ), which means the way of nature. They believed that "what will happen will happen." It was pointless to obey a tradition or doctrine, but it was equally pointless to rebel against it. Daoist monks did not have all the rules that the Buddhists did. They did not have to cut their hair like the Buddhists, and they were allowed alcohol and meat. They were even allowed to have sex and marry, which the Buddhists were absolutely forbidden to do. This tendency of the Daoists to be more open-minded than the Buddhists carried over into how they worked for enlightenment.

There is another important fact. Since the Daoists and Buddhists shared essentially the same goal and had many practices and philosophies in common, both worshiped the same Buddha and followed the same philosophy in many ways, Daoist and Buddhist monks often studied together and became close friends. In China it is often said that "Fo Dao Yi Jia''( -H!l!-�)which means "Buddhism and Daoism are one fam ily." Before Da Mo, the Daoists already knew many of the Buddhist methods of cultivation. After Da Mo's death, they naturally were able to acquire his new secret methods of Qi cultivation. Eventually, in addition to the traditional Daoist texts, the Daoist libraries also had a considerable number of Buddhist training documents.

Because of Da Mo's Yi Jin Jing, Shaolin priests got heavily involved in martial arts training. At that time it was necessary for the defense of temple property. This marked the beginning of a new era for Chinese martial arts: from the concentration on exter nal techniques they moved into the cultivation of internal Qigong, or spiritual power.

Naturally, after a few hundred years, many of the Yi Jin Jing techniques were also learned by Daoists. During the Song dynasty (960 A.D., *-), Taijiquan, an internal martial art which emphasizes Qi development, was created in Wudang Mountain

(Parte 7 de 7)