BUDDHISM BASICS page 9
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The 5 Paths
THE 5 PATHS:
2. PATH OF TRAINING
a. control mind/ thought
b. accurate analysis / awareness
c. change self
The Path of your training should produce much more than just a dance step or skill.
The fact that it requires training to learn whatever you are learning means that it must be of some difficulty. The amount of difficulty will determine the amount of effort that must be built into the TRAINING PROGRAM.
The more information there is within the program, the more rewards and development it has to offer.
Our Big Brother School, Shaolin Chi Mantis, is such a school with rewards for each level of development. Utilizing difficult programs, a wealth of information, and well-planned training programs, Shaolin Chi Mantis offers enough to improve and develop every student’s abilities to be trained.
Shaolin Zen is actually an offshoot of the Shaolin Chi Mantis Traditional Buddhist Gongfu and Taijiquan school. There is more than enough Buddhism in the original curriculums of Shaolin Chi Mantis to inspire and improve the life of every student. However, Founder Zhen Shen-Lang was compelled to further his studies of Buddhism and as you can see from all the material in this Shaolin Zen website, still had a lot of Buddhism to offer the world in addition to the Buddhism he built into the SCM curriculums.
Let’s use Shaolin Chi Mantis to illustrate a Path of Training.
First, the INITIATION.
To enter any new path, you must join those already there. Reality has existed since an infinity before us, so someone has been everywhere. Even the most unique path is going to at least cross the path of another individual.
So, in order to make friends, you have to let them know who you are. Are you a plant? Are you a wild animal? Are you smart? Are you nice? Are you someone that the other people would want to have around?
Your Initiation will determine the answers above.
Shaolin Chi Mantis has Shaolin Buddhist Initiation requirements. If you pass this Initiation you are now among friends, because you all have common interests and goals now. You have also proved you are more than a tourist or passer-by. You have established your commitment to this mutual path.
This Shaolin Chi Mantis Initiation also provides requirements that contain information to illuminate, and help each student to understand, the path they are on.
Second, you begin your training. Now that you are past your Initiation, you are on a well-defined path, the Shaolin Gongfu Beginner Program. If you work hard and make a graduation every semester, you will be an Intermediate Level student in one year.
Not all paths of training are so well defined and laid out with a time frame.
With fortitude, commitment, and loyalty to your Path, you will achieve the MERITS of advancement guaranteed by the program. Inadvertently, as you focus on the Shaolin Chi Mantis Program, you will be developing many other abilities, skills, and merits.
The SCM Beginner Program will thoroughly develop your strength, endurance, and flexibility to high levels of athletic quality. You will have also developed mental control. In order to accomplish the goals and skills of the SCM Beginner Program, you will have to learn to control your body and willpower. Although it may seem that you are focusing your attention on only your physical skills, your mind will be strengthened. It takes a strong focused mind to create a skilled body.
This mental control opens the door of your Intermediate Level training. Shaolin Chi Mantis classifies its’ Intermediate Level Students as SCHOLAR WARRIORS. Although the physical training will continue into weapons training such as Broadswords and Staff, the mind will be more capable of training itself.
This is a significant Buddhist skill, to control your mind, to control your thoughts. Your body is a car, and now that you’ve upgraded it to an all-terrain vehicle, you need a talented driver.
The Path of Training will now include more analysis of yourself and your reality. Without the petty insecurities and fears you started with, you are now capable of seeing the truth more clearly and being more objective about who you are and what to change of yourself.
In order to change yourself, you have to be able to see yourself. Like a sculptor with a slab of marble, he must look beyond his vision of what he wants and also see what he has to work with. The marble will have slight cracks and streaks and soft spots and hard spots within it.
The more awareness the artist has of their medium, the better they create what they imagine. The Intermediate Shaolin Chi Mantis student has an awareness of their body they never had before. Most importantly, the SCM Student has also increased their abilities, flexibility, strength, and endurance to know they are capable of more than they could have expected a year ago.
A Buddhist realizes that they can accomplish more now than they could before and now can alter their goals and expectations to levels and heights that would have been unreasonable a year ago. This is awareness. This is change. This is a good life. This is a life of constantly added new potentials.
The future may be unknown, but it is exciting and adventurous if we choose to be excited about the future and seek adventure, even in our daily routines.
The body hungers for more to sweat and learn. The mind hungers for new information to struggle with and control. The spirit seeks enlightenment to illuminate the darkness of its’ curiosity and creativity.
Illumination is a light within the mind. Illumination satisfies the mind, comforts the body, and inspires the soul.