Student Reflections on the Life Philosophy Class
(Ellen Chien)

I think that both the practice of chikung and the lessons of the life philosophy are important in helping us understand what chikung and life are.

Different students will have different interpretations and understanding about what the teacher taught in the classroom. As for me, the psychological, spiritual and physical changes before and after my practice of chikung were so tremendous that was beyond my existing knowledge to explain it.

Similarly, the content that was delivered by the teacher in the life philosophy course was so difficult to absorb and digest through an analytical or philosophical model. Therefore, the best way to help us understand life and chikung is to combine the practice and theory of chikung.

If we just practice chikung without learning from the life philosophy course, we won't be able to attain a high level. Many changes happen during the practice which arouse suspicions in our minds which may lead to our stopping our practice.

On the other hand, if we think we are practicing well, we might develop more desire to compare our chikung "performance" with other students in our center or with people who study in other chikung schools. Furthermore, if we think that our way of practice is good and that our forces are strong, it will lead to a sort of tragedy and instability of mind.

Therefore, sometimes an old (advanced) student may not make better progress than a beginner if he is trapped by such a conceited mind, mental instability, and rigid views toward practice and just focuses on sensational changes.

The life philosophy lessons are helpful especially to old (advanced) students to refresh the mind and remind them not to get away from the Golden Mean. With the understanding which comes from the life philosophy lessons, it will be much easier to assimilate and apply fully the spirit of chikung to our daily life including how to handle our family life and public life as well as deal with different things and people.

In this way, if we understand the process of chikung ( which starts with concentration, condensation, opening up everything, transforming, promoting, connecting, assimilating as well as the combination in harmony), we will be able to recover the spirit of humbleness, receptivity, lack of ego, peacefulness, and balance which helps us to face the difficulties and problems in daily life as well as changes in different dimensions and time. If we understand these, then we can get in touch with the state described by Lao-tse and Chuang-tse of the really free man, understand pre-destined relationships and the consequences, the state of prajna of Buddhism, and the positive chi level of "unified man, heaven and earth" of Confucianism. To those who have never practiced chikung or those who have just begun their practice of chikung, the life philosophy course will help enlighten their lives and themselves.

Usually, the practice of chikung is begin with the pursuit of health which is linked directly to our physical body, however, after the period of practice, chikung will not jut connect to our physical body but also directly related to our daily life and our spiritual life which needs a much more holistic point of view to practice and understand with it.

Chi Kung Culture Society of TAIPEI