Sunday, March 25, 2007

Listen With Chi!

Today, I was in line during basics, and apparently Shifu had yelled a pointer at me from across the Temple. I did not hear him, so he got annoyed and yelled at me again, "Ellen! Did you not hear what I said?!" So this time I stopped what I was doing, looked at him directly, replied with an "Amituofo, Shifu!" and then resumed what I was doing.

Lesson learned -- be focused, but not totally oblivious to your surroundings. We are so fortunate to have Shifu teaching us, so listen with chi and pay attention to the good things he has to say.

And maybe say "Amituofo, Shifu!" whenever any response is appropriate, whether the comment is directed at you or not. ;-P


  1. That is very kind and considerate of you Ellen. We should pay more attention to others.

    But to be honest and not be offensive or anything, you don't pay your Sifu 140 dollars a month for him to scream at you. Frankly, it isn't fortunate for your Sifu to teach you... you pay him to teach you. His job is to teach you. At work, I get paid to be screamed at and do gruel work but I do not pay someone to do that to me. I could probably argue both ways that your Sifu could be screaming at you for the better of your skill. But if he was really considerate of your skill, he would have gone up to you and showed you the move instead of just commanding you like an army soldier which he often did to me when I was there. I remember being told that I was doing it wrong but then never told or shown how it was actually done. That's just my thought.

    Anyway point being, don't be so hard on yourself either. Isn't the expression know yourself... maybe yourself isn't the way your Sifu says it should be... everybody makes mistakes... that's knowing yourself...

  2. when I first started - I thought I'm too cool for all these - more chi train harder, merry christmas happy new year and most of all amitoufo. now I don't have any problem chanting them all the time. It's like a reflect. I know what they are supposed to mean but I don't really care. It's just fun to be part of the group and yell out from the top of my lung when I almost die of exhaustion.

  3. hmm. when sifu yells to any of us, it's a lesson to all of us. he may not be the best communicator, due to language barrier mostly & his experience being taught shaolin, but he does show us what we are doing wrong if you pay attention. of course it isn't always as easy to fix but that's the rub. also i disagree with what kfweirdo said - we can pay anywhere for any kind of lesson or gym membership anywhere but rarely will you have a full on monk raised in a shaolin temple teach you the skills we want to better ourselves, to know ourselves & challenge ourselves. when you say YES SIFU, you should mean it. the rest are encouragements! when i yell MORE CHI it's because i need it!

  4. Mmmmm yes I see. That is all very good point. I'm not trying to attack your Sifu. I hope that wasn't coming across in that way. I mean he was once my Sifu as well and what I said was just sort of my experience when I was there. Of course there were a lot of good things about being there and motivation was definitely one of them. Also the general positive attitude of everyone.

    I have never been to Shaolin so I cannot verify how it works. I think there is a lot of perception that Shaolin is like those documentaries we see. But as we all know all media is mediated. Sifu Yan Ming is a rarity because of his background that is true. But if you are interested in knowing more monks I can give you the names and websites of 4 temples in NYC area. Two monks are Yan Ming's Shaolin brothers and probably you may already may be familiar with because they were on PBS Independent Lens (Shaolin Oddysey). Some of the temples have two masters who run it or have some disciples who come from China to teach the classes. They are all very friendly there and its nice to know a little about the Shaolin community in NYC.


    PS. I'm not trying to promote these schools over USA Shaolin Temple at all. Just wanted to share the info, especially to fellow Shaolin practitioners!

    All the best! Amitoufo!

  5. I’m writing this comment in response to KFW –

    KFW, I hesitate in addressing you in such a way, but because you do not provide a means by which we can contact you directly, I am left only with this option...

    KFW, you’ve shared with us a few thoughts now, some fantastic, some kinda negative. I do not know you, but from the little that you’ve shared, it is apparent you used to train at Temple, and now, for whatever reasons, you do not. It is great whenever you say something that might enhance our training or our understanding of ourselves, but the purpose of this blog is not to air grievances/gripes relating to your past involvement with Temple. We did not intend to create a forum for promoting negative chi.

    If anything, please note that these entries are written by Sucheela, Mo and me, and they’re personal thoughts and conclusions based on our experiences. If anything, by criticizing a thought set forth in an entry, you therefore criticize not only Temple, but the Kung Fu Dorks as individuals, and so I must take issue with that.

    The fact of the matter is, I do pay Shifu money to yell at me. He motivates me to do my best, and for the past 14 months or so, I have done more amazing things than I ever thought possible. I must be hard on myself, for if I am not hard on myself, who will be? Only I can truly determine where I go with all of this.

    KFW, I am not suggesting you are not welcome here. I think you have good things to share. But please be mindful in how you choose to share your knowledge. This goes for anyone who comes to visit our blog. Remember, there are real people here, so let’s not hide behind the anonymity of the blog and respect yourself, and respect others.


  6. I am sorry. Feel free to delete my entries. I did not mean to start trouble.

    I will stop posting here.

    Best of luck to your training.

  7. KFW - I know you meant no harm. I just felt that you might have kinda lost sight of the purpose of this blog. I have appreciated your comments as thought-provoking, for sure, even the ones that I consider somewhat negative. If you feel inspired to leave helpful comments, by all means, please do. I just don't want to make this a free-for-all forum -- there are other places for that on the internet. We are merely three Kung Fu Dorks who are having a good time, and don't want the fun ride to stop. Amituofo.