Wu - Chinese Martial Arts
Shaolin Kungfu Introduction | History | The Ten Shaolin Laws | Zen | Chi Kung | Application
Basically, the word "Zen" means meditation. Sometimes it may refer to a transcendental glimpse of cosmic reality, or even the transcendental reality itself. Often Zen is used as a short form for Zen Buddhism.
Many people, including some Zen students, may be unaware of the following two historical facts. One, all schools of Zen today are issued from the Shaolin Monastery. Two, Shaolin Kungfu started as a result of Zen. Shaolin Kungfu and Zen, as well as Chi Kung, are intimately connected, although some kungfu instructors today may not know this connection, and therefore teach Shaolin Kungfu as a purely external art, deprived of its internal and spiritual aspects. At its elementary level, every kungfu movement involves energy control and mental awareness. At its advanced level, chi kung and Zen enable kungfu masters to develop abilities which other martial artists may not even dream of.
By practising Zen, we can look at the benefits from two levels: the mundane and the supramundane. At the mundane level, practising Zen enables us to attain better results in whatever we do! This becomes understandable, when we realize that Zen training improves our mind. At the supramundane level, Zen leads us to the highest attainment we can ever achieve, i.e. enlightenment, or called differently by people of different cultural or religious background as merging into the Great Void, union with the Ultimate, or return to God.