what the heck is zen?

When the stress hits the fan how do you react?  Do you feel anxiety and nausea or get irritable bowels?  Or maybe headaches and neck tension with a side of road rage?  

Do you relax and feel invigorated by the challenge?  Do you have the energy to get through the stress and feel pretty good once it passes - or do you just make it through then collapse in a stupor from a glass and a half of wine?

Either way - the more important question is: do you have a way to train your body and mind to relax in the face of physical, mental and emotional stressors in order to minimize the negative effects on the health of your entire system and, if not, wouldn't you want one?

Zen is a state of being where your Heart-Mind's connectedness reigns supreme and cosmic truth fills your spirit with energy and peace changing your intellectual thoughts to calm and receptive rather than reactive and repetitive.  This state of being enhances our natural ability to heal and restore ourselves and the skill of being in this state can be honed to the point of being your every day reality.  

Is chi kung zen?

In Shaolin Wahnam we perform every single aspect of our art in a Zen state of Mind.  In fact if you do not enter a Zen (or Chi Kung) State of Mind - where you are relaxed and focused at the same time - you can not perform genuine Chi Kung, Shaolin Kung Fu or Tai Chi Chuan at all.  You will simply perform gentle physical exercise in the case of Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan, or perhaps damaging external physical activity in Kung Fu.

In Shaolin Wahnam we are truly blessed to have the Zen State of Mind transmitted directly from teacher to student on the very first day of training.  By the end of your first hour of training you will experience a deeply relaxed, yet focused, state of mind.  You will experience the generation of a healing flow of energy throughout your body as well as the peacefulness of mind and spirit that are hallmarks of being in a true Zen state.  The heart to heart transmission of skills is essential to obtaining the highest level of results from your practice in a ridiculously short amount of time.

In fact you only need 5-10 minutes a day with Flowing Chi Kung and Standing Zen Meditation to make this state of mind your own personal reality and generally 9 months or less to cure disease and feel fully refreshed again.

is zen a religion?

Zen is spiritual.  It is not religious.  If you are religious you will find that spending time in a Zen, or meditative state of mind, will enhance your faith and even increase your clarity and understanding of scriptures, or religious passages as you yourself become more and more filled with compassion and closer to the truths taught by many different traditions.

If you are non-religious you will find that practicing these arts and developing the skill of a Zen state of mind will make you happier, more peaceful and compassionate, and more generous.  In other words - you will have a healthier spirit as well as a healthier body, no religion necessary - just dedication to your own health and wellness for 5 minutes a day.

Zen is only a way of life - when you practice it daily.  Both a dedicated practice of the skills and arts of Zen as well as the application of your hearts understanding to the challenges you face in life.