Category Archives: jade

Ten Tips From A Shaolin Monk On How To Stay Young Forever

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Most people realise health is the most important thing but how many people live by this belief? We usually make the excuse of having no time like a friend of mine who called to say he was unwell. I asked him to come and visit me so I could teach him Qigong, he told me he didn’t have time, I said to him, but when you are sick you will have time to go to hospital because you have no choice. The next day he came and studied with me for seven days.

We need to start today. In order to help us stay on the path to health I have translated an extract from one of the Shaolin Classics. Written by a monk who was a great martial artist and scholar, here he gives advice to lay people as to how to stay young and healthy.

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Ten Tips From A Shaolin Monk On How To Stay Young 

1) Don’t think too much. Thinking takes energy. Thinking can make you look old.

2)  Don’t talk too much. Most people either talk or do. Better to do.

3) When you work, work for 40 minutes then stop for 10 minutes. When you look at something all the time, it can damage your eyes and also your internal organs and peace.

4) When you are happy, you need to control your happiness, if you lose control then you damage your lung energy.

5) Don’t worry too much or get angry because this damages your liver and your intestines.

6) When you eat food don’t eat too much, always make sure you are not quite full as this can damage your spleen. When you feel a bit hungry then eat a little.

7) When you do things, take your time, don’t hurry too much. Remember the saying “Hasten slowly you will soon arrive”

8)If you only do physical exercise all the time and you never do Qigong this makes you lose your balance and you will become impatient. You lose the Yin of your body. Exercise balances the Yin and the Yang.

9)If you never exercise, just peace, meditation, soft training, Qigong, then this doesn’t give you Yang energy so you use up your Yang energy.

10) Shaolin Gong Fu gives you everything. The purpose of our training is to balance our Yin and Yang.  How many hours is not important. It’s down to knowing what your body needs.

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Your Pathway To Zen

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There’s an ancient Buddhist story about a wrestler who wore a precious jewel in his hair. During a match, he received a blow to his head. Without him realizing it, the jewel dropped into his wound. When the wound healed, the jewel was covered by a scar. Every day the wrestler looked for his jewel, never realizing that it was inside him all the time.

This is the same for all of us. Peace and enlightenment are not and never have been outside our mind. All we have to do to access this great peace is come back to our natural state of being.

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Just as the wrestler lost his jewel through acts of violence. We lose connection with our natural peaceful state when we give into anger, aggression and other emotions that don’t increase our or other people’s happiness.

Modern life puts a strong focus on looking outwards at some future time when things will be better. What we want – whether that’s peace or a better life – is always out there and one step away. But what this teaching instructs is: we already are what we want to become. It’s already within us. If we look beneath our hurts, disappointments and wounds, we can rediscover our jewel.

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Whenever I feel disconnected from myself or my mind is turbulent I practice Qigong or Rou Quan and it doesn’t take long before my mind goes back to its natural state of peace.

Daily practice of Qigong changes the neural pathways in our brain. The founder of Zen, Bodhidharma gave us a roadmap that shows us clearly how to use Shaolin Qigong and Kung Fu as a pathway to Zen. This spacious peaceful state of mind is not only reserved for Shaolin monks but for everyone, those of any religion and those of none.

Habit energy drags us down. So set yourself small reminders that you’re on the path of the Urban Shaolin Warrior. This can be uplifting pictures and quotes from people that inspire you or – like the Shaolin Monks do – wear a Jade amulet or mala so the reminder is with you all the time. And practice Shaolin at least four times a week, even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, this is much more beneficial than a long once a week practice. And don’t forget to share how you get on in the comments below or by tweeting me.

Instant Health: The Shaolin Qigong Workout is available as a book worldwide & in the USA & Canada an ebook on apple & amazon.

Shifu Yan Lei teaches Qigong as a DVD and download and Kung Fu as a DVD and download. 

Rou Quan is available as a DVD ( bottom of the page)

Jade wrist malas and amulets come from Shifu’s province in China.

Feeling Burnt Out? Five Simple Steps To Unleash Your Energy

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It’s easy to feel sluggish at this time of year especially if you live in a country like here in the UK where it’s cold and grey. But you’re a Shaolin Warrior all year round so here’s my top five steps to keeping active and inspired over the winter months.

1. Get Moving

The more you sit in front of a computer, the less you will want to workout. At the end of your working day your body will tell you that it’s tired and give you another excuse to skip your workout. But if you can motivate yourself to push through your tiredness, once you begin to move, you’ll be surprised to find that you feel energized. This is because movement and exercise unleash your body’s energy. You are born to move. You are not born to sit all day. Your Shaolin Workout brings your body and mind in harmony. It’s only when your body and mind are working in harmony that you can feel truly energized and happy.

2. Use Your Shaolin Workout As A Refuge

We tend to be goal focused and driven in our work so it’s good to take the pressure off when it comes to your workouts. Use your workout as a time to tune out of your daily life and tune into your body. Each of your workouts gives your body a different experience. There is the challenging anaerobic training from the Kung Fu Workouts, and the internal balancing Qigong Workout. As you move through these different workouts be aware of the different energy-producing states and what effect they have on your mind and body. What do you feel when starting the workout? How do you feel when you’ve finished?

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3. Be Your Best Friend

The Buddha said that it is our mind which makes the world. When I was young boy at the temple I had the arrogance to disagree with the Buddha and think he was wrong! But now I realize that he is exactly right. We can be in the most beautiful place in the world but if our minds are angry or depressed then we can’t appreciate it. Our life is created by our thoughts. Thoughts can be trained just like muscles. Thoughts are energy so be aware of whether your thoughts are bringing you positive Qi or negative Qi. Tune into the positive and let go of the negative.

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4. Wear Jade

If you spend most of your time in front of the computer then balance this out by wearing jade. Alongside Qigong, jade has been used for thousands of years in China as a powerful longevity tool. I know that the West doesn’t have this tradition but the Chinese believe that jade is a living thing that can give us positive Qi. Not only the stone itself but also the carving. When I’m not training I wear a jade Guan Yin. Authentic Jade is from the earth, it contains a life force of its own. But you don’t need to have blind belief. If you stand by a waterfall or on top of a mountain, you will feel very different than if you sit at your computer. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that a computer does not give us longevity energy! 

5. Take One Step Today

These are four simple steps to increase your energy. Take one step each week and then by the end of the month you will have taken all of the steps. Remember, when you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.

Learn Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong from Shifu Yan Lei’s DVDs and download

Gobi Desert Jade Buddha Amulets, Dark Green Jade, and Jade Wrist Malas and available from www.shifuyanlei.com