Kung fu Chan Buddhism Practice is Moving Meditation

Why do Shaolin monks practice kung fu? What does the practice of self defense offer to peaceful monks? The practice of kung fu requires discipline and creates a better understanding of your body. Chan can be understood as the unification of the mind, body, and spirit. Shaolin kung fu combines these ideas into one using movement and breathing technique together. The practice consists of 4 levels:

  1. Understand yourself
  2. Control yourself
  3. Purify yourself (understand yourself in detail with control)
  4. Incorporate into your life (achieve enlightenment)

The practice of kung fu and theory from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) teach you how to understand yourself and control yourself (also called seizing yourself). Purifying yourself and incorporating Chan into your life require a deep understanding of Taoism and Buddhism philosophy. Besides coming to a better understanding of yourself, the very practice of kung fu meditation can promote both mental and physical health.

Learning kung fu in this manner is a practical approach for people living in today's busy and hectic society. More traditional methods of practice require long periods of guided and self­guided practice with a great deal of trial and error before coming to a true understanding and control of yourself. Shaolin kung fu harmonizes the external practice body movement with specific breathing methods. We will learn several routines from the Shaolin system as well as their application in self­defense situations. This will help us understand the intent of the movement as well as proper mechanics.