Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

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Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:55 pm

North America was inhabited long before Columbus, and both Chinese and Vikings had landed and settled with the locals also, yet many still say Columbus discovered America. Perhaps Da Mo’s popularizing Shaolin and Qigong is viewed in a similar manner.
The Shaolin Temple existed 122 years before Dat Mor (Damo) arrived. According to history, in the book The Travels of Wen Hsiang, Emperor Su Wen of the Wei of Northern Dynasty ordered the erection of the Shaolin Temple in honor of Buddhist Master Bhadra in 495 AD. This is also record in the book, The History of the Wei Dynasty, Chapter of Annals of Buddhism and Taoism,

Anyway when Bhadra died, Master Chou Kung succeeded as Head master..etc

What Damo did when he got to Shaolin 122 years later was that he popularized the doctrine of Zen Buddhism.

Dr. Yang mistakenly states that Da Mo was the founder of Shaolin and Qigong; why?

****
WARRING STATES AND HAN DYNASTY (475 B.C. – 220 A.D.)

The earliest exclusive texts that deal with the meditative practices and the gymnastic exercises are the recent archaeological text discoveries.

Circulating Qi Inscription

Xingqi ming 行氣銘 (475 B.C. – 206 B.C.), scholars consider this text to be from the earlier Warring States Period. This is the earliest available text on the meditative practice solely. It appears to be an esoteric text, short but complete. According to Li Ling’s study, the text is identified as a complete “Rendu Channeling Micro-orbit Qi Gong 任督二脈小周天氣功,” and the much later concept of upper and lower dantian 丹田 was also indicated in the text. (Li, 342-346)
Above from: http://literati-tradition.com/qi_gong_text_sources.html

“Shaolin Qigong has a long history, it began round about the Tai He Years in the Northern Wei Period (477-499 AD), with more than 1,500 years of history. In the year 496Ad, a disciple of Bei Tuo (跋陀), the founder of Shaolin Temple, by the name of Chou Chanshi (Chan Master Chou) 稠禪師, can be seen walking up a wall diagonally 4 times in a row, and he can also subdue a tiger with a staff and things like that, so one can see he has a high level of Qigong skill, and we can regard him as one of the earlier Qigong and Wushu master of Shaolin Temple.”.

From The Secret Collection of Shaolin Qigong, (少林氣功秘集) written and edited by Shi De-Qian and Xu Qin-Yan (釋德虔 徐勤燕 編著)。

http://www.pcono.com/136488.html

Also see: http://ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4836
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Dvivid » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:21 pm

Hi

Thanks for writing. Please don't misunderstand. Master Yang does not assert that Da mo is the founder of Shaolin, or the founder of qigong (or tai chi). But, Da Mo is commonly attributed as the founder of internal arts at Shaolin. The reason is that Da Mo's four sutras written at Shaolin temple were the first written record of the detailed theory of how and why qigong works within the body.

Based on written Buddhist history, historians say that Da Mo was the 2nd teacher at Shaolin. He was sent there specifically by his own Master, who had heard that the Buddhism being taught at Shaolin needed correction.

The microcosmic orbit and other "qigong" did already exist for a long time throughout India, Nepal, Tibet, etc. It is part of Buddhist practice, and was Hindu practice before that. Many internal meditative practices which we commonly call qigong now have existed in many cultures around the world. In China at that time, these evolved out of Shamanistic cultures, and were known as Dao Yin and Tu Na, long before Da mo arrived.

Based on Da Mo's detailed written qigong theory, and his teaching at Shaolin, Chinese martial arts began to develop internal (soft) styles. Slow-moving medical qigong already existed at this time, such as the Five Animal Sports.

Read reply:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4836&p=24757#p24757

And more:
http://ymaa.com/articles/shaolin-the-root-of-taijiquan
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:56 pm

Thanks for responding.

I based the Da Mo statement on a quote from an older version of Dr. Yang's book on Qigong and Tai Chi; nothing was mentioned before that date about Buddhism or Qigong. I will have to look up exact quote.

I had quoted from that book, and was corrected recently.

I do not see Shaolin as having anything at all to do with the martial skills of India. I went to http://www.kalarippayat.com/ and clicked on their photo gallery.
Kalarippayat is not Qigong, nor is it Shaolin; although there are similarities.

I looked on Youtube with the same results.

There are many concepts unique to Buddhism, that have nothing to do with Hinduism.

Chakra Theory is not the same as Five Element Acupuncture Meridian Theory, although similar.

I have never seen any justification for any non-Chinese origins of Shaolin or Qigong that are supported by a lineage or dependant tenets.
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Dvivid » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:44 pm

Hi

I understand what you are saying. I have read it in several places on the forum.

Please understand:

Qigong existed in China before Buddhists went there. Shaolin kung fu probably originated from local martial arts that existed before Buddhists arrived.

But, when the Buddhists arrived, there was an exchange of knowledge with not only philosophy, but of martial arts.

No one is claiming Kalari is the root of Shaolin kung fu, or tai chi. But kalari is a complete system, with soft/hard principles, and certainly could have "informed" the Buddhist teachers' personal martial arts styles, which were shared in China.

The fact that the taijiquan sequence traditionally has 108 movements is very telling, as 108 is a key number in Buddhism and in Hindu faith prior to that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/108_(number)

Buddhism contrasts with Hinduism, yes. But, it has its roots in the other religions of the region that Buddhism arose from.

Chakra theory is Indian. Qigong theory is Chinese. they were developed independently. They are not identical, but they are interrelated because they are talking about the same energetic structure of the body. The 7 chakras relate exactly to the 7 pairs of matching gates in acupuncture/martial arts theory.

And, I don't understand this quote:
I have never seen any justification for any non-Chinese origins of Shaolin or Qigong that are supported by a lineage or dependant tenets.


Buddhist history dates back 1,000 years prior to the building of Shaolin Temple. Shaolin was built as a Buddhist study place, in 479 C.E. and the first teacher there was an Indian monk Batuo, who was invited to teach Buddhism. The students were Chinese. His teaching was

Although Buddhism had arrived in China a couple hundred years earlier, Batuo was the Hindu monk who first taught Mahayana Buddhism in China. Batuo's last disciple before his death was the first warrior monk at Shaolin, Sengchou.
http://www.shanli.org/the_discovery.htm

Bodhidharma (Da Mo) was sent by his teacher to China to teach Dhayana (Chan) Buddhism, to "correct" Batuo's teaching approach which focused on rituals and not on mind itself. Batuo rejected him at first. After his "nine years facing the wall" and writing his sutras, Da Mo was allowed into Shaolin, and Batuo accepted him as mentor.

Da Mo's deep qigong theory was the first ever written in detail, and it informed and influenced Chinese martial arts ever since.

Da Mo was a martial artist. This is mentioned in Buddhist historical literature, and he is often pictured with his staff. It was common for any wandering monk to know martial arts for self-defense. He was indian, so he studied indian martial arts. He was a prince, like Siddhartha 28 generations earlier, and royalty at the time was always raised as part of the kshatriya warrior class.

There are Shaolin forms that emerged right after that time, such as the Vajra fist, which is a slow-moving, meditative precursor to modern day tai chi.

This is why the relationship between Da Mo, Shaolin, tai chi, and Chinese martial arts in general is so oft repeated.

http://damo-qigong.net/qigong/damo.htm

I hope this is clear and helpful.
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:52 pm

Excellent background, thanks.

This does put things in a historical perspective that helps understand how Buddhism and Qigong affect Shaolin and the martial arts. I do see that as unique. Whatever Kalari's influence was in the martial arts, it is pretty much independent in their stances, forms, animal interpretation, and the delivery of internal martial force.

I will have to research the common 108, and what is intrinsic to the system.

As far as Chakras/Meridians, although similar, they are not identical: Chakras being more nerve based whereas meridians are more complete systems that have flows independent of the nervous system.

It has been a while, but I had noticed other differences in the flow also.

Regarding
"I have never seen any justification for any non-Chinese origins of Shaolin or Qigong that are supported by a lineage or dependant tenets."

Whether Qigong was based on Chinese Buddhism before Da Mo, or Chinese Taoism before Da Mo; it is a Chinese developed system that Shaolin is founded on. Qigong bone washing existed before Ba Dir, and is well documented; but Taoist claims going back further have no training manual to verify their claim.

Many religions and martial arts have concepts in common, that is part of the human consciousness and experience. To say they are dependant on one another, is another matter.

Something brought up at: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4836
“Bodhidharma (Da Mo) was sent by his teacher to China to teach Dhayana (Chan) Buddhism (which later went to Japan as is known as Zen), to "correct" Batuo's teaching approach which focused on rituals and not on mind itself.”, by Dvivid » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:05 pm

Before Da Mo and Shaolin, many sects would strive for spiritual and/or high levels of consciousness by denial of the body; in order to be free of life’s mortal limitations. This is a fundamental difference.

My training is meditation and physically based Shaolin Buddhism; some of the concepts are detailed at: http://www.jadedragonalaska.com/buddhis ... ncepts.php
These have nothing to do with Taoism, Hinduism or Kalari; although they may have arrived at similar conclusion through a different path.

Some say Qigong has a long history, it began round about the Tai He Years in the Northern Wei Period (477-499 AD), with more than 1,500 years of history.

In 2006, many people probably changed their notion of history, and some Qigong books printed prior, became incorrect. The discovery, as you refer to, shed a lot of light as to why many authors have changed their version of Chinese history.
----

'In the year 2006, an anonymous collector of ancient Chinese artifacts called the administration of the China Henan Wushu festival, which is held every two years, saying that they had a very interesting piece in their collection; a stone tablet which could shed light on several unanswered questions concerning Chinese history.

A group of scholars went to examine the stone tablet, which turned out to be genuine and had been erected to commemorate the eminent monk Huiguang. To everyone's great surprise, the tablet revealed the actual construction date of the Shaolin monastery, which scholars had previously thought to be 494 or 495 C.E. to be the year 479 C.E., earlier than thought of until the discovery. The tablet also gave valuable information verifying certain lineages, confirming Xuanzang's connection to Huiguang.'

From: http://www.shanli.org/the_discovery.htm
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:46 pm

What is the relevance of the historical background and origins of a system?

Some will focus on the details of the dates and names. The difference is in the opinions.

Opinions are like rear ends; everybody has one and most of them stink (mine included).

Nobody was there, who is writing history now.

Understanding the patterns of history reveals more about the how and why of a new development. This will help an independent thinker to learn core fundamentals, interrelationships, inner-dependencies, enabling a new consciousness.

Why did Da Mo find the monks at Shaolin frail if bone washing was already developed?

Was it that previously Buddhism was focused on the non-physical and unphysical?

Were Shaolin monk into other physical exercises or primarily fasting and meditation?

Could it be that the mechanics of Qigong at the time did not have corresponding movement of the limbs as Da Mo’s; and concentrated on leading Qi with the meditative mind?

For most modern students of Kung Fu, the only thing Buddhist or meditative: is sitting cross-legged or kneeling with eyes closed.

When asked, what is Buddhist about Shaolin, few know.

Consciousness Creating Form

'For the mystic Eckhart Tolle consciousness is part of the universe: the essential part. It’s the intelligence, the organizing principle behind the cosmic arising of form, which is the basic evolutionary process. Through evolution, Tolle says, consciousness has been preparing forms for millions of years, so it could express itself through them. Today consciousness is ready to create form without losing itself in it—it can remain aware of itself, even while creating and experiencing form. Thus the next stage in the evolution of human consciousness is the state of awakening—the consciousness of mastering the art of "awakened doing." '

From: http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/1470/
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:02 am

"It is said that the Yi Gin Ching and Shii Soei Ching ere written by Da Mo after he meditated for nine years facing a wall. ...
1.Without Nei Juang (internal strength), WaiJuang training is in vain. Nei Juang training is the root ofWai Juang and Wai Jaung is the trunk branches and flowers. Nei Juang and Wai Juang are mutually related and must mutually cooperate."
page 95.

===

History of Shaolin Long Fist:

Our Lineage

The term 'Shaolin' refers to the Shaolin Temple in China which traditionally is considered one of the main training places of the Chinese Martial Arts. According to Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming in his book Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu, the Indian Buddhist monk Da Mo (Boddhidharma) came to the temple in 527 A.D. for religious preaching. Upon seeing the poor physical condition and illness of the monks, he locked himself away for many years of meditation to determine how to strengthen them. When he emerged, he wrote his results down in two classics which became the foundation of cultivation of the Buddhist spirit and of the physical body at the Temple. The monks expanded Da Mo's exercises for internal power and external strength, developing from them self-defense techniques for protection from bandits in their travels."
From: http://www.ymaakungfu.com/index.cfm?page=6
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:03 am

duplicate, please delete
Last edited by Cotton Over Steel on Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Dvivid » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:41 pm

Not sure about the relevance of this posting?
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:21 pm

I had started this with a vague reference to what Dr. Yang wrote.

These are exact quotes.

I was having server problems, so I just posted the raw data, without the explanation. I had to post it or loose it.

The relevance is that presently experts have shown that Dr. Yang statements are not precise since:

Buddhism and Shaolin existed in China before Da Mo, and so did some form of Qigong.
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Dvivid » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:08 am

I see.

Yes, I think in this thread or another I have explained that Da Mo is the 28th patriarch of Buddhism. Meaning, he is the 28th generation after Sakyamuni became Buddha. Da Mo was sent to China from India by his teacher in the early 500s because Shaolin temple was established at that time and the teaching there was misrepresenting Buddhism.

Da Mo is considered the 1st patriarch in Chinese Buddhism (Chan, aka Zen) because he was the first one to properly transmit Buddhism. The 1st teacher at Shaolin eventually became a disciple of Da Mo, who became head of the school until he died. Then, Buddhism in China was very good and produced many masters through the 6th patriarch in China, after which it began to fade.

The word "qigong" did not exist in China at that time. Shamanic practices, ancient meditation exercises, Dao Yin, and Tu Na were known for thousands of years prior to Da Mo's arrival. Many aspects of qigong practice are also described in Buddhist theory, of course, because we have one body and it has basic energetic principles, no matter which system you use to try and describe it.

Da Mo is considered the root of qigong at Shaolin because he was the first to comprehensively write the theory down and teach it to the disciples at Shaolin.

So, some paraphrased quoted dates attributed to Dr Yang may be inaccurate based on new modern findings, such as the tablet, but the basic story remains the same and is well documented. There are 55 YMAA schools in 18 countries, and each is responsible for their own website content. We can only hope they don't put out any erroneous information.

I hope this is clear and you are no longer confused.
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:32 pm

Thanks Dvivid.

This spells out the how and why; explicitly. First I have seen anywhere.

I also had not known that:
'The 1st teacher at Shaolin eventually became a disciple of Da Mo, who became head of the school until he died.'

This will help with understanding the overview for myself; and explaining the nuances when my qoutes of Dr. Yang are challanged.
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Re: Buddhism and Qigong Before Da Mo

Postby Monsoon » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:50 am

Just rummaging about on the forum when I came across this thread and it got me wondering.

Why do people still ascribe the Muscle/Tendon Change Classic and the Brain/marrow washing classic to the hand of Da Mo? Historians are now fairly certain that the connection does not exist and yet the myth persists.

The whole backstory of the Shaolin temple has never really rung true. This does not in any way diminish what they were to become though.
peace and harmony

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