Between the Internet, vcd and dvd, all the main information on the internal arts are almost in the public domain. If we are intelligent and we are sufficiently investigate, there is no practice that can remain hidden. In a world where information is king, where knowledge becomes horizontal and generalised, where everyone knows a little about everything and nothing in depth, it is possible to believe that this is enough to have a great self taught practice… Yet no! It is not possible!
We see more forums where both sides display their knowledge and ideas of revolutionarily mundane secrets perfect for training the basis with magical machines or restorative hormones or stimulants. We share to openly trick in order to reassure our obvious superiority on the strength of our discoveries and our secret vcds (not less than 15 000 copies!).
On these forums, some publish their CVs, other pictures or videos, but why this need to talk about practice? Why spread these arts when they’ve treated themselves otherwise to a comfortable discretion? Is this a need for reassurance or to check what is believed to be true? A commitment to openness and sharing with the rest of human beings or an opportunity to get their hands on new recruits?
If these forums are not “traditional” they are our new tradition and we have to go with it. I am the first to love reading these posts of practitioners its the same “voyeuristic” side which urges us to watch “Star Academy”. The vcd or dvd which reveals the secrets of China’s millennium are also of our time and they are sometimes useful, thus saving the endangered arts. These media are often like a virus in a river: they poison everything in their path imposing death to life (but it is one way to see). Often the films are a way to strengthen the illusions: the Chinese keep a sense of humour and remind us of that saying which is in the middle of the empire: “you can always fool a foreigner.”
That is a lack there today in the world of Chinese internal arts? The lack of teachers.
There are professors, con artists, artists, acrobats, practitioners, experts, thieves, historians, liars, psychotics, humanitarians and sometimes even humanists … but where are the teachers?
No teacher, no wrong answers, we are ready to do anything the moment when you follow a direction or there is a validation of our practices built between Gandhi, Bruce Lee and the series “Kung Fu” (the spiritual aspect ).
What is the definition of a master, you ask yourself, recognising your guide in the list of qualifiers above?
A teacher is an expert who has trained all that he speaks of, he is the holder of a “compete” style. This style, often old, is complete in itself and meets the needs of the life of the practitioner. It does not need to look in other traditions, for what it lacks, or to prove anything: it is a reflection of what is said. It is in his practice and his life it is an expression of his path. He lives in the world and he does not have to train in pajamas. Every movement is a technique and is training for the teacher. He is not 25 years in general and does not have sex with his disciples (ha bon?).
Basically, he is pretty cool!
We often hear in discussions that teachers are hard to find when it is so easy to go to a club around the corner. It’s true! But if it sounds like, why work if you can fly? Why meditate when you can pray?
But if one retreats into a world that is not what we really want, that style is not one that we really like and that the teacher is not extraordinary for our taste but it is located not far from our sofa, it is not surprising to feel the need to go rant on the Internet at two o’clock in the morning.
Again, it is necessary to know what you really desire. Why choose a warrior or meditative path in a century like ours? Why take refuge in the energetic and meditative? What does it really search with the excuse of a spiritual practice? Is it not a strange practice? (fleeting meetings or our ‘colleagues’ work often remind us). Are we in another reality or just a fashion victim of spiritual-Energetical-bizarre?
It is illusory to believe that our path is random and stupid to think that it is a “hobby”: who are we to be in this practice and how do we recognise? It is the role of the teacher to guide us to find ourselves, sometimes we meet, in an ancient tradition, reflecting on the identity of human beings. The same words and gestures that have liberated the masters of yesteryear are the practices of today. It is certainly possible to name them differently, let them grow with machines and elastic bands, to save time by doing weight training, using hypnosis or drugs, but the arts have been there for a long time and they act in the sense of tradition. They are complete in themselves and need nothing more than to practice. Maybe it is easier to hide his ignorance of revolutionary innovations in, but everything that is acquired quickly and effortlessly is often suspect or even useless.
The master is the guardian of a tradition, often of a road he travelled, he can guide the newcomers and the way back for those who are lost. He does this: guiding and recognising the best path for everyone, when they come to him. He should not be “nice” or gentle, he does not show what people want, but what they need. He must be like what he teaches. This is not a tourist guide, it is a mountain guide.
The teacher should not ask you to like him, but to recognise you and meet you. He offers a return to yourself, not a practice illogical and constraining, with no risk except that of success. But he does not work, this responsibility is yours.
It is not necessary to dazzle the master or to flatter, to become his friend (which can happen, but has nothing to do with the evolution). It is useless to talk too much or too describe, it is an illusion to hide. The only thing to do is practice. We must not do too much, one should not be locked in inaction or laziness: “If we do, it works if you do not, it does not.”
Any intellectual research in isolation can feed the spirit, all physical practice without any tradition is likely to strengthen the body, any discovery of energy causes changes in the vitality, but only a path with a teacher can guide us towards the changes that will be the source of our “return”.