Cultivate Your Personal Spiritual Journey
The spiritual values of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu are deep. The Shaolin Temple is the birthplace of Chan Buddhism known in the west by its Japanese name, Zen. Zen teaches you to quiet the mind and achieve direct insight into the nature of reality and the mind. Zen or Chan can be cultivated in many types of activities including art, sitting, chanting or in Kung Fu practice. Northern Shaolin Kung Fu is a great medium for practicing meditation because the forms require total concentration to perform correctly. When the mind becomes highly focused the normal internal discourse of thoughts slows and quiets. With practice you will enter a deep state of awareness of yourself and connection to your surroundings as your mind focuses and calms down. It is one thing to calm your mind while sitting quietly. It is quite another to calm your mind while jumping and leaping about swinging a heavy spear or training with an armed partner. Or to calm your mind when you are tired and sore but still active. This makes your mind stronger and braver as well as calmer and more focused.
Courage is a desirable trait in spiritual disciplines and martial arts is an excellent way to develop courage. Courage is important because it takes courage to make good choices in difficult situations. If you are courageous and show no fear, even if you are afraid, a potential attacker will often hesitate, or back down. Thus a fight in which at least one person would have been injured can be avoided. Courage combined with compassion allows us to make good choices in our lives.