Spiritual Growth & Kung Fu Virtue

Guides to help spiritual growth and kung fu virtues.  A must to know and follow for Chinese  martial artists.  Without this teaching from Masters of any traditional kung fu school(s), then you are basically training in an ordinary sport/self-defence Academy 

The below topics is the continue from the "OUR PHILOSOPHY" Tag above, under part (1) The illusion and assume wrong thoughts we often have in this dimension (Physical Body, Birth and Death, Family Members or Relatives, and Gain and Loss).

Physical Body:

   As an ordinary person, we all say our life is given by our parents, our physical body consists of  hands, feet, five senses, and brain.  Looking from this angle, we all think it is our real self.  But what is the real self of a person to the spiritual world?  The real self of a person is the soul, and the physical body is just a temporary reincarnation vehicle, it is not our real self.  

   If the body is opened by surgery/operation, people can only see organs in the inside, and not be able to see the soul.  Therefore, assuming this body was the real us.  In fact, we are all too familiar with near-death cases we often hear about, that is, the soul comes out of the body and experiences supernatural things...  There is a case happened many years ago about a young girl became a millionaire after she had a mysterious spiritual experience, and she shared to the public of her story:  Once upon a time she had a serious injury in the neck by an accident, Diem felt that she saw there is a white, and a black shadow heading toward her, Diem said at that time, she is not afraid because she felt the white shadow contain a very beautiful light, and strong loving energy.  Diem said that she had a conversation with the white shadow.  She said the white shadow told her "You have many things left to do in your life, and are you willing to do them?"  Diem replied "If my body can be healed, and back to normal, then I will".  Then she was quickly returned to her body, and felt that the wound in her neck had healed.  Diem realizes that she has a responsibility to help people, find the work that she loves, so that she can devoted and dedicate more than just to pay the bills. Now, for Diem, death is no longer something feared, and instead it is the feeling of using this life to do useful things.  Many times, events happen in our life, seemingly to wake us up.

Birth and Death:

People in the wheel of live and death or reincarnation.  The soul enters the fetus of the baby before he/she is born.  After the baby is born, the soul owns the body to live, when the body dies, the soul will then leaves the body.  Humans always see the death of the body as the birth and death of their own real self… So what is the answer to life and death or reincarnation? and what is its purpose?  It is for us to realize the meaning of human life, to learn what we need to learn, from there through life to return to a higher realm, and at certain level, has the responsibility and mission to help other younger souls so that the world will be a better place. 

 In Chinese history, during the Ming dynasties, there is a king named Minh Thần Tông, he was born in 1563, passed away in 1620.  In charged for 48 years and was considered the longest king during the Ming dynasty compare with other kings.  In history books, there is a strange story about his past life in a temple in Vietnam.  

During the 16th century, Vietnam was considered a province of China, the king of Vietnam during that time was Lê Kính Tông.  Every year, each province has to send a group of emissary represent its’ Province to meet with the emperor of China to report issues and politic relate matters.  Team leader of the emissary group was Nguyễn Tự Cừơng.  After subjects of the meeting were done, the emperor asked Nguyễn Tự Cừơng: “You are from Vietnam, do you know a temple named Quang Minh, and where is it located?  Nguyễn Tự Cừơng replied that he did not know.  Emperor Minh Thần Tông then said “when I was born, there are a few birth marks on my shoulder, and it stated that my past life was the head abbot monk at Quang Minh temple of Vietnam, now that I want to wash off those words on my shoulder, but I don’t know how.”  Nguyễn Tự Cừơng then said “I heard that in Buddhist religion, one must use the holly water in the temple to wash it.  If your past life was from that temple, then you must use the wells’ water from that temple to clean it.”.  When returned to Vietnam, Nguyễn Tự Cừơng mentioned this to king Lê Kính Tông.  The king then sent people to search for this temple, and found the it.  It is locating in district Gia Lộc, Hãi Dương city nowadays in Vietnam, and people in neighbourhood of the temple also call the temple “Chùa Bóng” in short as a nickname.  When researching, the monks in the temple told a coincidental story…  A dozens of years ago, the abbot monk of the temple was Huyền Trân zen master.  Before he passed away, he told his disciples that he saw Buddha in his dream and told him “You have a lot of merits with the Buddha’s work for a long time, your compassion has been recognized, so in the next life, you will be the great emperor in the North”. After woke up in the morning, the zen master told his dream to all his disciples and said “After I died, write on my shoulder ‘ Vietnam country, Quang Minh temple,’, then cremate my body”.  All his disciples then followed his instruction.  
After listened the story told by the monks, Nguyễn Tự Cừơng then took some water from the temple’s well, and brought it to China for the emperor.  The emperor used the water to wash off the words on his shoulder, and it worked.  Being so happy, the emperor gave 300 taels of gold to Nguyễn Tự Cừơng as gift.  Nguyễn Tự Cừơng accepted it, and donated the gift to the temple for re-renovation.  
The reincarnation and thrilling story of the emperor of the Ming dynasty is no longer strange to those who are interested in learning about Buddhism, reincarnation or the origin of life.  A vivid historical evidence of reincarnation and the law of reincarnation, precious cause and effect.
After a lifetime of cultivation, zen master Huyền Trân received with a great reward as an emperor in China for his next life… But once at the highest power, people are easily abused and mis-used.  He did thing which is tyranny.  Several years before the end of his life, he ended up indulging in lust to the point of weakening his body, shortening his lifespan.  No one know what will happen to his next life, but we know for sure he had wasted a lot of his virtues, that he had truly cultivated and accumulated in his past life when he was a zen master in Vietnam.  Humanity often forget their truly mission and purpose in life...  This remind us Buddha’s story that he left his family and kingdom to exploit the path to enlightenment, to liberate thousands of human beings.   Another example of a king in Vietnam named Trần Nhân Tông, whom left his kingdom and resided at “Trúc Lâm Yên  Tự “ temple in order to find true self of life, and the real purpose or mission of being human.

Family Members or Relatives:

Everyone have family members such as parents, sibling, or child(ren).  But this is only a temporary relationship in the form of relatives in the world stage.  When it comes to the time of death, each will going their own path, no one will be truly relatives.  Because of this, in the spiritual world, no one is our real family members or relatives.  A typical example of a famous man Lý Thúc Đông (1880 - 1942).  A well known man in the music and arts, whom had devoted a lot of his knowledge and work to China, whom later became a monk named Hoằng Nhất (name given after he became Buddhist monk at Dai Tu temple in Hangzhou, China.  He had a family and married a Japanese wife when he travelled to Japan to studied arts at a younger age.  One day, he decided to leave the material world to become a monk.  With many times, his wife went to see him to convinced him to change his mind not to become a monk.  But he had committed to it and never changed.  Why did he made this decision?  Because he had understood the illusion or fake world we live in.   He last wrote to his wife “ I made this decision, not because I am an ungrateful person, but because the Buddhist path was particularly long and hard, I needed to let go of everything.  These things are all fleeting.  They are like fleeting clouds…Human life is life and death for decades, term of time for birth and death will definitely come, and now I just want to resolved it sooner.  Our separation of this will come sooner or later, I hope you can see through and understand.”.  The monastic is to pursue the source of life.  The basis of the universe.  This can only be demanding of their lives.  There is a saying:  Human life has three types:  The first is the material life, the second is the spiritual life, and the third is the soul-life.  Some of his students had asked “Why did you heartlessly leave your family to become a monk?”  He replied “Human life is hard to predict, if you die from an illness, then don’t heartlessly leave wife and children, you must do the same.”.  
Birth, aging, illness, and death are things we can’t control.  Perhaps zen master Hoằng Nhất understood this principle, and was one step ahead of others.  In fact, not only Buddhism teaching to let go of fame and gain, even in western religions mentioned the same.  In the bible, Jesus had mentioned to his disciples “Don’t work hard to chase after fancy food and fancy clothes, your life is more precious than food, and the body more than clothing.  Look at the crows, they do not sow or reap, and have neither barn, and yet your Heavenly Father still feeds them, and you are much more precious then birds”.

Gain and Loss:

In some religions, they stated gain or loss of humanity divide into two parts.  First is the gain and loss happens in the material world, and the second is the gain and loss happens in another dimension (spiritual world).  People who do not practice qigong or meditation at a higher level would not be able to see the spiritual dimension, and therefore only think the material world dimension is the only one dimension.  Because of this reason, we all think that everything happen around us is the only whether gain or loss in our life.  This is wrong due to the fact that the real self of a person is the soul, not the body, and the gain or loss for the soul is more important.  No matter how much a person gain in the material world for their wealth, at the end, they can not bring with them to the spiritual dimension.  
In Chinese history, Lý Tư is the prime minister of king Tần Thuỷ Hoàng (The king who build the Great Wall of China).  Lý Tư’s sons and daughters were all married to the princes and princesses.  At the very top position next to the king, Lý Tư often said to his children that “Everything in the world is like the yin yang.  At the most Yin will eventually turn to Yang.  We are at the most well known for power and wealth that no one can match us in the kingdom, I am worry just one day, we may loss them all, no one can be out of this yin yang principle).  Indeed, with a few years later, situation had changed. After king Tần Thuỷ Hoàng passed away, one of the prince became the new king.  There after Lý Tư was framed by one of the official (Triệu Cao) in the kingdom, and the new king ordered to execute Lý Tư entire family and relatives.  Before the time of execution, Lý Tư turned to one of his son next to him and said “I wish we can go with our dog to the park, and play with our smart dog, or let it chase after the rabbit, now it is not possible.”.  Both of them were in tears…. Before he died, his mind was not thinking about all the golds, or the wealth that he had accumulated over his lifetime, he only wish to live an easy simple peaceful life.  
Beside the eastern history as mentioned above, in the west, there is also a story of king Alexandrea.  All his life that he had accumulated by invade many surrounding countries in Europe.  At the time he died, he called all his generals and ordered they have to do three things when he die.  First, he wanted to put all the golds that he accumulated, lay them on the road from the kingdom to his grave.  Secondly, he wanted all the doctors in the country to carry his coffin to his grave.  Third is he wanted his hands to place outside the coffin while his body in it.  One of his close solder asked: “My lord, we will obey your instructions, but may I know why, and what is the reasons behind these 3 instructions?”  The king replied “For all the doctors we have in the country, no one can help me to prevent, and cure my illness.  With the golds that I have accumulated during my life invading countries, when I die, I can not bring them with me, and leave with empty hands, and I want people to understand this principle”. 
There are so simple happiness in life, and people will not realize they have it and understand until they face death.  We should think deeply the question ourselves “Who am I?  Or I am whom?  Why I am so busy and what is it for?”.  Slow down, open our eyes widely and look what is really belong to us…. There is nothing really belonging to us in this material world after we died.  We can not bring anything with us to the other dimension beside the good or bad things we did in life, which become the cause and effect (karmas) that will come with us to the next life.  
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