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2014 Western Retreat Discourse

Sifu Says - "You must be there to know.  This is the first thing."

Discourse by Grand Master Sam Chin

February 2014, Tucson, Arizona

So within the last whole year I've been resting, no doubt I'm resting. While I'm resting, the mind is working! Trying to refine the systems and trying to lay out the path, the approach of I Liq Chuan, - the way the student should understand. Okay ... before I get into that, I'll explain the whole year what I have tried to put together.

Alright, I want to introduce my friend, Ruey. Ruey Chen! (Applause.) Because of him, that's why I Liq Chuan is here. I'll tell a story, some kind of history of I Liq Chuan. The book, the poem, the forms, -21 the form, the Butterfly form, all the Chinese characters, - are written by him. Alright? So we might need a session that he is going to explain the poetics, the 21 Form, the Chinese poem that he wrote.

GM Sam FS Chin and Ruey Chen

The story starts that, in 1992, one of my friends who is a monk invites me to work in the Temple. The Temple is Chuang Yen Monastery Temple. So, Mr. Ruey works there too. He used to be in Arizona. Alright. He quit his job to go into, work in Temple. He's a mechanical engineer. He quit his job to work in the temple as what? Do you know what?

In Temple we work whatever we work! Right? We sweep floor, we wash toilet, alright? And we buy food, drive monks around. So whatever needs to be done we do it. We are handy person.

So, he quit his engineer job to go there to work as a handyman. So, me too! Alright. I work there as a handyman. And because I'm also a chef, because at the temple we have a lot of functions, like retreat, there will be like 200 people, 300 people. They need to do cooking for those that are doing the retreat, - seven day retreat or summer camp. So that's why my friend, the monk, had me over there in order to do some cooking. And other than that we do all the odd jobs, - painting, cutting grass, sweeping floor.

Great Buddha Hall at Chuang Yen Monastery - Carmel, NY Great Buddha & Flowers at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY Candles in Great Buddha Hall - Carmel, NY
So from there, of course, we learn things. So one day we do a lot of different things, alright. Like me, one day I'm the chef. I'm the cook, I'm the top of the chickens! (Laughter.) No, not chickens, I'm the king! (More laughter.) So I'm giving orders, then suddenly afterwards, I'm taking orders. So, "will you help me to carry this over there?" Or, "help me to clean that toilet?" Alright? So we learn to adjust. We learn to change. We learn to look into our ego. One day I'm the chef. Next day I'm a sweeper, or toilet washer, or cutting grass, mowing grass. So we must know our place.

Like we say, we train to understand better. If you are father you act like a father. If you are son you act like a son. Alright? You are boyfriend, you act like a boyfriend. So you must know your limit. So you must be humble, adjust, be able to change. What that means: now I'm the boss, - now I'm the worker. So you cannot be a boss, the worker cannot be the boss! So it would be different. So, of course, from there we learn things. We see things. Alright?

GM Sam Chin talks during the 2014 I Liq Chuan Western Retreat

Especially, I am a martial artist myself. I've already been in tournaments, I've been fighting. Alright? So in the temple, the Vice President of the Buddhist Association was asking me to have a class, to teach martial arts. To have an English program. So by that time already I'd [decided] not to teach anymore. But my friend, Ruey, - he started to learn some things from me first. So from him, it was his advice to say, "you must continue teaching!" Because everyday we talk. We discuss about Concepts, about Philosophy, about Principles. To me, I'm not an educated person, see? To me, because I trained in martial arts, I have the feel, alright. I can only describe my feel. How it feels like.

So, for Ruey, he is well on the Sutra. You know what Sutra is? The Sutra, like the Buddhist Sutra. A lot of Sutras. See? So when I try to talk about the feel, then he will be verifying my feel. Oh, this feel, - this sutra talk about this. From this, then we talk about that. See, that means that helped me to see. He helped me to pinpoint, to be able to see back to verify, to confirm, the confirmation that he gave me that whether I am on the correct path or not. The correct path is what? The correct path, that means having the right understanding or not. From having the right understanding to get the right viewing. That means being able to see what is what.

This is the main topic today I am going to talk about. Because without this topic of right understanding, and the right viewing on what reference you base on, you won't be able to see. You will see different things. Because, like I said, everyone has his view. I have my view, you have your view. Then whose view is right? Everyone is right! That's why we have problems; because I’m right, you’re right. If I say, oh I’m right, you’re not right, we have problem!

So now, so from here, I'm going to talk more about that, or else whatever I say, I try to pinpoint. But you are not looking through my viewpoint, you are looking through your viewpoint, you won’t be able to see. That's why even how I expose the secrets, you wouldn't be able to catch it. That's why they protect themselves, the secrets. Alright? So from here, I'm going to talk more about [the] approach of how you learn to understand.

So, right back to Ruey. So, because of him, I have encouragement that why you do not use I Liq Chuan? Because from here you can still train yourself and cultivate yourself. That’s why I Liq Chuan as a system in martial arts it is called a "Martial Art of Awareness". It has a program more into educational and cultivational. It is to build up yourself. It is not to build up this thing for that thing. It’s not to build a fort just for a fort, or a school just for a school, or train to fight just to fight. I will talk about that a little bit to see how you guys see this.

Now, of course, from here then, we have been every time we talk, - we discuss. We discuss, we discuss, we verify. So, of course, it helps me to get more understanding. Because then, - so in the Temple we meet a lot of high monks, famous monks from around the world. Also, we are participating in some of the Retreats. That’s how, from there, you see how I Liq Chuan transformed, alright. That it embodies Philosophy, Concepts and Principles and has different exercises, basic exercises, and, of course, the main training process that I learned from my father.

Alright. That, with now the Philosophy background, with the Concepts and Principles, that I see more clear, - that how it helps us to improve. Through here, of course, my father is the founder of the art of I Liq Chuan. So that everything I come up with or transform makes it clear that my father consents. That means everything I change my father acknowledges. There is a lot of discussion about I Liq Chuan now. As you know around the world that I Liq Chuan has been following the Chin, - I call it now a ‘specimen’ of Chin family way, from my father to me, that’s how the system, how the curriculum will work.

Of course, practically, back in the old days, maybe you guys have known that I have a cousin who trained there (in Malaysia). So in 1990 I migrate to the USA. So, we stop teaching, we stop teaching in 1990. So, from here I've worked on my transformations of I Liq Chuan till now. You can say that it's a different approach, even different from my father. And those who have been in Malaysia, they know. And those Russian group students, those USA students, yes? So you guys know the difference of how the older students do it, and what you guys do now.

GM Sam Chin - The Path of I Liq ChuanI mean, - because on the website we are not, - it’s not clearly classified between the old and new. Just it’s that it’s transformed. But it’s not been transformed. It’s because of my path, my father’s path down. So within this year that I’m trapped in my house, alright. I cannot go anywhere, I cannot go out, I cannot do this, I cannot do that. So I’m trying to make it clear for the students that I call it ‘The Path of I Liq Chuan’.

So how many of you have been following the website? Alright? You guys know ‘The Path of I Liq Chuan’, - to get that kind of right viewing. Okay. Alright. That’s why you guys should be thankful if you’re learning I Liq Chuan, thankful of Mr. Ruey. (Applause)

Okay now, let me get into the path. So that is the topic, the theme of the whole week. That you guys should be clear in the mind about how you approach the learning. Alright? And you can say the learning is only the recognizing and realizing. That means what? That means actually, that means there’s ‘nothing to learn.’ Nothing to learn in the sense because: it’s already there. If it’s not there, you cannot understand. Because it’s already there. Just to recognize and realize what is there. So in order to align with that, - nothing to learn, - just to be there, that means how you are able to watch yourself and feel yourself. That means there’s nothing to add, nothing to take away. Nothing to add, nothing to take away. How can you feel that you are adding or taking away? Alright? So I’ll try to add something here or I’ll try and take something away there. So understanding mentally the urge or intent is already added. It’s already adding already. Understand or not, see?

So if you feel your intent, you add something in, or you take away something. So that’s why: how to approach. First of all, you need to understand what is recognizing, what is intent, right? Okay? Alright. This is the path; it comes down to what is the path. Let me go to the beginning;

Students of I Liq Chuan listen to GM Sam Chin talk during the 2014 I Liq Chuan Winter Retreat.

So, on the website I put down the path under Philosophy. Under Philosophy I wrote: It's about Nature, right? 'About Nature', - we base the Philosophy about Tao and Zen. The Nature.

First of all, the understanding of Nature is what? Understanding the Nature is: everything has its own Nature. The Nature is: it’s just like this! That means it’s the way things are. That’s why the Tao says: 'The Way'. The Zen say: 'suchness.'

Do you know what suchness is? It is as such. Just like this, just like this, it means what? You cannot add anything and you cannot take anything away either, yes? Right? So understand here or not first. Understand the Nature now? That means you cannot add, you cannot take. You cannot take anything, you cannot add anything, because it’s just like this. Yes? But, 'just like this', but the characteristic of Nature is what? (Someone responds: "change".) It’s always changing! How can it be 'just like this' this moment, - that moment, it’s not the same? How can you say that now? I say: it's 'just like this', - just like this is that moment by itself. But that next moment it’s not like this anymore! Huh? (GM Chin laughs softly.) It changed already! Then you see that, that conflict, right? Because you said that you cannot add, you cannot take away. But now the next moment it’s changed already. It's changed already; that means you've already taken something away or added something. Yes? But no.

Alright. Because it’s the condition itself, because there is cause and effect. Cause and conditions over there, they keep on changing. They keep on changing, that's why, - the change is what? It’s a characteristic of Nature. So you must understand here and there, - together. If you see one thing, you die there too. Relationship, everything is relationship, alright? The characteristic of Nature is change. And they call (it) 'empty', or 'no self.'

No self is what? It doesn’t have one thing itself. That means everything comes together by condition. The conditions see, they group together like the human body. So we say the human body is made up of four alchemies. The four alchemies mean Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Without that the body doesn’t exist. It’s because of that condition comes that formation comes. That‘s why there’s no self. So when you break off, - you change already. So you must have that kind of understanding in the first place. First place to see, to see things from this viewpoint. The view point, it means what?

The viewpoint from here this means it is the reference point. Why do you want a reference point? Everything is relative. If there’s no reference, how can you know? What do you base to know? You say you know. They say that if you train martial art, it’s about listening power. Listening power is about knowing, yes? How can you know? What is your reference of knowing? Here is the big question mark! If your reference is wrong, - I wouldn’t say it’s wrong, your reference is different, you see a different thing. You can only see a different thing. Your reference is this, you see this. Your reference is that, you see that. Why [do] we need to understand where your viewpoint comes from? From what reference? This is the main topic for the Workshop, the main topic for the retreat.

GM Sam Chin laughs during his discourse at the 2014 Western Retreat

So if you don’t understand this thing here, make sure you understand! If you are not clear, make sure you are clear! Or else you make one step wrong, you will be one thousand miles away. So this is one main point. I’m going to explain more. The Philosophy is about Nature, because it’s change. To keep up with the Nature we talk about flow. The flow is: ‘change with the change.’ [You] must be able to ‘change with change.’ Or we say: ‘maintain in the present!’ Then we say present is what? The present is change! Maintain is what? Maintain also change! Alright? In order to maintain you must change with change to maintain. If you cannot change, you cannot maintain! Yes? But the facts to understand based on trying to see things that maintain, is change itself. That means, maintain on the present, maintain on the change with change. Then you only can be there. Do you know what you can only be there?

We talk about yi (attention ), chi (energy ), and liq (power ). The power of yi, chi, liq. That's why we say yi must be there. Attention must be there, then the energy is there. Then the movement is there. If attention is not there, how can you move? Right? So, to be there, that means maintain to be there. Now, maintain is change. Sometimes I say stillness. Stillness is change too. Stillness is present. You can change and still be present. Alright? So we say now, if this changes (GM Chin holds up his hand and shakes it), this changes, this stillness (GM Chin holds up his opposite hand and shakes it), can you be clear? If you say this doesn’t change, this is not still anymore, the still must be [together]. (GM Chin brings both hands together, signifying the two aspects must be together.) You must be there, - with change with change. Then only can you be clear. Understand? That [is] how you develop the attention. That is how you develop the listening. You cannot be like this (shakes one hand only), you cannot be clear. You have no way to be clear. Understand? You must be there, you must be there, then you can change. Alright. Then this is called stillness. This is called present. Then this is called flow. Understand here? Clear or not? If not clear, you wont’ be able to get in. Now I’m giving all the secrets out! (GM Chin makes a big smile and laughs.)

So, be aware of approach. Until you can understand, you cannot. So with this understanding, this viewing, to look into the exercises, - what to look into. Then you only can be clear. Alright? So, this Philosophy . . . so, I’ll speak from there.

In Concepts I say: ‘nothing to learn’ because it’s the way things are. You cannot add, you cannot take away. To learn is only to recognize it, only to realize it. Because it's already there. Alright? Don’t think you are smart enough to create something? That means you will be against The Nature. And you can say that Nature itself: it’s just like this. That means there’s no freedom. You must be with The Way in order to be with The Nature. To be with The Way is the most free. But The Way itself is no freedom. It must be like this. Understand here? (lots of laughter) Alright? It’s not clear? Make it clear here. (Someone says: I am not clear. GM Chin says, you are not clear?)


I Liq Chuan students practice morning qigong outside the retreat location during the 2014 Western Retreat  I Liq Chuan teaches you the power of the structure and it's limits.

First of all, The Nature itself, there’s no freedom. No freedom in the sense that it’s got to be like this. That’s why we call it The Way. To be like this, to be with The Way itself, is the most free. Alright? So, I want to be clear. Concepts is the way of the idea, the way of the heart (xin fa 心法). Alright? That means your view, your understanding stands on those things to learn. To see, to recognize. How does it feel? Can you guys feel anything? Just feel. Just feel a feeling. No learning, because there’s nothing to learn. But your viewpoint, your reference point must be there.


How does it feel?

How do you see things?

That means can you just see, just like this, just viewing. You understand or not? Just the view. Just: 'mmmmm'! You must have that ability first. That viewing itself need power of concentration, to be there. If you don’t have the power of concentration to be there, you will fall back into your past experiences. If you fall back into past experiences, it triggers the three feelings that ‘you like, you don’t like, or you don’t know.’ Once you see that you like, your right viewing point is gone, it’s no more. It doesn’t exist anymore. Then your viewing is based on: 'I like.' That is your judgment, that means you are no more Neutral. So, in all this Philosophy, Concepts and Principles we try to maintain the state of Neutral. Not the state of Neutral it’s true to say, what I say: you die there. Neutral is also not a state. You can say a state [is] also not a state. (GM Chin smiles.) That moment you don’t know, we call it dumb-dumb.

Here to classify what is intellectual and what is wisdom. To get away from the intellectual, to get into the wisdom, you need to go through dumb-dumb. The dumb-dumb, that means you are present there, you are observing there. But why is [it] that your knowing of difference has not manifested? In order to manifest the principle of Neutral, the principle of matching . . . the past few years I talk about meet/match. Match to know. Just that simple do not think other thing. Match, what does it mean by match to know? Just match to know; don’t add anything, don’t take away anything. Just match to know. Match to know. That means your knowing is from matching; no other than that. Match to know the difference. Knowing the difference is not judging. If judging, you fall off the path.

If you think, that means you don’t know. If you know, you don’t think. (long, dramatic pause...)

Gone already! Gone with the wind! (Everyone laughs.)

The ever smiling GM Sam FS Chin gives a talk to I Liq Chuan students at the 2014 Western Retreat in Tucson, AZ

Now intellectual, or wisdom, we say meet to match. That means to meet you must be clear about present, about stillness. We meet, we match, anything change[s], you just know from here. Or like this (starts moving his hands), huh? You know from here. Understand what I mean here or not? Alright? That means you know the difference. I will explain a little bit more here later.

Okay now. So, your viewpoint is from understanding the Philosophy. What is the Concepts. So, this is the reference that [where] you stand. The Principles, - Principles is what we try to look into and how to use it. Principles are mental neutral, physical neutral. You must train to see, understand: what is mental. Mental neutral, physical neutral. Mental neutral is what? Point of contact is what? Like I say, it's about mindfulness. Important thing is: Attention is there with subject and object . That means the consciousness must be there. Or else point of contact is not established. Even if you are there, you don’t know. Because attention is not there. That’s why we say you have eyes you cannot see, you have ears you cannot hear. Because attention is not there.

So, in other words, sometimes I say: your attention doesn’t meet there. Therefore, I say: meet is on point of contact. I must meet you, - to see you. So … in order to dialogue. Alright? Okay now, you must be there, in order to know. This is the first thing. That's why we train yi tao (attention arrives 意到), qi tao (energy arrives 氣到) liq tao (power arrives 力到). To develop, to get attention there. Or else you don’t know your right hand, you don’t know your left hand, you don’t know your body. You must be there to know is the first thing. A lot of times they say ‘you feel yourself, in general feel yourself, - how you feel.’ There’s difference of feeling yourself. There’s the difference of how you pay attention to be there.

Like I keep on giving an explanation of: you feel yourself being touched, and someone is touching you. It's two different things. You feel yourself being touched. That means, like I say, have attention on all your senses. All your senses. Your skin, your body, alright, is for touch. Attention on your eyes is for sight. Attention on your ears is for hearing. Attention on your mouth, your tongue, is for taste. Nose for smell. Mind for idea, the brain for idea.

That means your attention is on all your senses. That means guarding, turning yourself as a receiver that receives. It’s not going out to receive. You maintain here as a radar to receive. And then you are only there. If you’re out of the body senses, any action and reaction, your attention is going to bring (you) back. That means you are going in and out. So, here is one thing you need to understand of how to pay attention.

On point of contact, mental neutral, is mindfulness. Physical neutral is center. There’s a lot, a lot of centers. How [do] you classify as a center? We say center must be the Neutral. When there’s the center, there’s forward, there’s backward, there’s up, there’s down, there’s left, there’s right. So the centers, with six directions energies, with three dimensions, we call that: ‘the Neutral.’ Or some call that: ‘the Primordial Energy.’ Or Chinese they call it huan yuan liq (混元力).

GM Sam Chin demonstrates energy at the point of contact during the I  Liq Chuan Western Retreat 2014 I Liq Chuan students from around the world listen to GM Sam Chin's discourse during the Winter 2014 retreat in Tucson, AZ

This neutral, you can say, this oneness, is the fullness, is the Neutral, is a balanced enery, the harmony energy. With this neutral energy that you match, with this neutral energy that you match whatever to see the difference. Okay. Before that, with this mental neutral, physical neutral, in the point of contact, that how you act, it falls down into two categories. One is the past, one is the present. The past is based on: you like, you don’t like, you don’t know. And we say: ‘once you sense and feel that your action is based on this reference, your viewing, your reference is already wrong.’

So the other reference is through stillness. When I say stillness, you understand what stillness is? Stillness consists of: be there, be present. There, present, then you only have the clarity. This clarity is from awareness that you know. So this is two references. So with these two references you can go everywhere. You can check yourself through your whole life. Even this two reference, - that we say that in your life the first one is happiness, we, - everybody want to gain happiness and to be happy. Most of our happiness comes from "I like!" [You] stay away from "I don't like!" (GM Chin laughs a big laugh.) You see? Alright. That is not a good reference! (Everyone laughs.)

So you know that once you are there you are bound to suffer already! So the reference must come from stillness and clarity to get that kind of happiness. Because stillness and clarity will give you equanimity. Balance. The joy. And then happiness. Like the last meditation class in Russia I talk about this, yes? About the mind that is still enough. And until that stillness arise(s), the joy and satisfaction arise, and the clarity arises, (then) that kind of happiness comes. Alright. Through the meditation that I give you guys. In Russia we had one meditation class on that. 

To match, when you have that kind of balance, that kind of neutral, to match, then [only] can you know. Then you know there is difference. That's where the wisdom is.

Now let me put another way, a different approach for you guys to understand. In the process of our curriculum of our training, each curriculum (or level) we have the criteria. What to learn on each level. Every level itself we talk about that is the Nature itself and try to let the student to see what is neutral. We train to maintain attention over there, to see neutral as the principle through all these exercises. In the beginning we learn to look at the principles. We learn to use the principles. That’s how I Liq Chuan approaches, - that we try to explain and get the student to understand, through principles.

In this process you are exploring the principles, you try to use the principles. And you are using the principles. [But] consider what? Consider [you are] still a technique, still at knowledge. But it’s still better than a lot of people that are not using principles, but that's still considered a knowledge of how to use the principles as technique. Alright?

The Path is having a direct link. The neutral speaks, you understand? The neutral speaks. The Nature reveals. That means the Nature reveals itself. It’s not you trying to think of anything. The Nature reveals itself, because you are with that Nature. That Nature is matching, like a mirror is. It speaks. That is called The Way of the Tao. The Way itself. So because [of] that, from here, because the neutral has a center, the center has a cross, the cross has three dimensions, alright, and they have eight qualities. Then [but] let's make it simple; just make it a cross. A cross is the neutral of yin & yang, of those two dimensions. Alright? When center is the neutral, when you have a neutral, you see both sides. It will show you where is empty, where is full, what is close, what is open. It just reveals. And the pressure, like heavy, alright, it just reveals from here. Then it shows you how to approach. Because your reference is on neutral. Why is that?

GM Sam FS Chin - "If you think, you don't know.  If you know, you don't think."

The training of neutral as a reference you see all sides. If your reference is from yin, of course you know yang, but it's only from yin to see yang. Understand? Or offense to see defense. You won’t be able to understand clear enough, the changes, over here, that you can change because you can see all around, - everything. Like I say, the neutral can be, is like: you are on the mountain at its highest point. You can see everything. You’re not only seeing a side, either one side or that side. Because you are on top of the mountain, you see all sides. You see more clear and are able to change. You understand here or not? 

The principles fall under the reference of present and past. You try to understand neutral to use as a reference. Is the neutral telling you what you should be doing? This is the highest path, the view must come from here. If you use "you like or you don’t like" is under the past. This stage is not easy to attain as long as you guys on this path, you guys will be ok! It apply to everything, not only to martial art.

”Student question what are tools of knowing?” Is the awareness, how to pay attention. If you have a tool, you still need to fight in the right battlefield.That means know how, what is the reference in order for you to see. To fight in the right battlefield to win the war. For instance, right thing to study, proper way to viewing from what kind of reference. No doubt, you have very strong attention, but I told you to see this (hold on one hand) but you very clear of this (holding on the different hand) because clear on different thing give you different perception and lead to different action.You must have a right tool, right understanding, to have a right reference then right viewing.

I say 'can you see that?', you guys say 'no'. You guys cannot see because you guys view from that point. Your view point block you. Understand or not?

So the right viewing, the right understanding is very, very, important, to get the right knowing. To get what you know. Understand or not? To get what you know, then, only to be able to understand: what is the condition. Alright? Or else you do the wrong thing. You can be doing very good! But wrong ... Yes?

You see, why is it that that understanding, the viewing, the reference is so important? So, the viewing reference is from neutral. So, in another sense, when we train the martial arts, awareness, we talk about balancing, harmony, alright? So why is it that [our] martial art talks about that? Isn't it, I want to kick ass! (Laughter!) Huh?

You must understand that, ‘to know,’ your reference comes from harmony. Your reference comes from balance in order to know… what is off. What is offense. What is defense. This is from… the referencing. So you can see clearer. If your reference is from offense, - you see defense. The reference is different. Understand or not?

Like I explain to a lot of students that alertness, alertness. Readiness. Alertness and readiness; your reference can come from fear. Yes? Because I fear, my alertness is ready to come up, - he's going to strike me … Alright? Then I build up my attention. I bring up my alertness. My readiness is there. Then your reference is from fear. So, then or now, your viewing will be different already. Then your action will be different. Yes? Like I said, there's another reference [that] comes from stillness and clarity. That means: from harmony and balance … that I have the readiness. That readiness, that comes from [a] different reference, - your actions will be different. The readiness is pure. Clean. You see clearly. Alright?

So, no doubt, in the process of training we try, we use, fear, a lot, to trigger. Because why? Because the alertness, the readiness of that quality from fear is the same as stillness. Because alert is alert. The qualities are the same. But you train through fear to feel that kind of quality. Then slowly, you shift with that kind of quality. Because through fear it's easier to trigger the alertness. Alright? We need that kind of alertness, - taste. (GM Chin puckers his lips.) Right?

The I Liq Chuan banner flies over the retreat location in Tucson, Arizona Buddha & Flowers at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY I Liq Chuan students practice outside the retreat location in Tucson, AZ

Then you slowly try to recognize that through stillness. Because in the training process there are some things that, no doubt, no matter how open the system is, - there's still something that cannot be expressed. There's still some things that words cannot express. That's why you need a teacher. Alright? Your Sifu. They call it the 'transmission'. That means direct feeding the feel. I say I want this sweetness. Until I give you the taste. This sweet… that I want, or else you don't know… The level of sweetness, or, the level of saltiness, you cannot express in words.

I cannot say, like the doctors say: "How many degrees of pain are you in? From one to ten…One to ten …! (laughs!) I can say, mine is only 'two.' Maybe you say, “Oh no, no! Mine is eight!” How [do] you classify that?! You see? I always have headache over there. (GM Chin taps his head and imitating the doctor says:) "Give me a number." I always say: Five. Five. Five! (Everyone laughs.)

The middle! How is that? Your tolerance, my tolerance, could be different. Alright? How I see things is different. You see? Unless I get a needle and pinch you. Now this is called 'ten'! (Everyone laughs.) Oh, this is only 'one'. Or this is 'five', this is how you feel 'five'. Else you cannot classify, alright?

So that's why a student needs a teacher, to give that kind of transmission, alright? That's why, in martial arts, we call a teacher a "Sifu", alright? A Sifu is, is like a parent. He gives you some kind of guidance, to take care.

It (the I Liq Chuan approach) is not [about] preventing something. It is not like preventing something that comes to disturb you. But, it's to drop thing off, until nothing bothers you. That means, if something [is] bothering you, you're going to drop it off. Not to prevent it ... Not to come! No come, no come, no come! Trying to maintain the concentration here, alright? That means you are already, you are already struggling there. Alright? So the process of training, maintaining, of concentration, is to let go. Anything comes … release! Bye, bye! Go! Bye, bye, go. Not to suppress. Not to let them come back to bother you. Not to come back to bother you. That's where your steadiness maintains. That means, in this process, you call it 'purifying.' That means: Let go! Let go! Let go!

If you suppress, it bounces back. You let go, let go, [so] it doesn't come back to pull you out of your attention. So, nothing comes back to pull you out of your attention. Then you are there.

So this is what you call going back to simplicity. So simple. So simple. So that's why the training is not only training like in the gym or in the class [here], because the training is in the process of daily life. How you encounter things. Every moment is new. Every moment is a process of things. Up, go, up, go, let go … Just as long as you see the Nature itself. It's based on the principles, right?

That's why, for me, I don't need to remember. When I want to say (speak), - I just open up my book of Nature. I just open up my book of Nature and I talk, I speak through my Nature. Understand or not? That's why sometimes, I'm lost! (GM Chin laughs.) Even I'm lost! Because, [my] book’s gone! Ok, - which page? Alright? Going to track back my page, then only can I read from my page again. So sometimes my page is gone. I don't know which page I'm talking from. I need to get back my page and read back my page. Alright? So, I always talk, I always speak through that Nature, to that [those] principles.

So I don't need to remember anything. So maybe [in] another twenty years ask me, [and] I will speak the same thing. Understand or not? Because I speak from the reference of that. Not to remember that, I've spoken to you that, I’ve spoken to you (another person) that … If I were to remember what I spoke (said) to you … I would be in trouble! Understand or not? You see? So, that's why I don't tell a lie; because I lie to you, (pointing right), I lie to you, (pointing left). So I'd need to remember what I tell you too! So I cannot mix it, ha, ha! Because … that's how things are. I speak. Okay? So then, a lot of times the students say: "No, no, no, no! Last year you said ... You spoke this way, now you say [it] this way." I always say I speak the same. It's only that your viewpoint has changed. Your viewpoint has changed, and your way of listening is different. That means your recognizing has increased. And your realization power has increased. So what you put in yourself has a different taste. Understand or not?

This talk, one-and-a-half hours, is the most important part of the training. Without this, I can't do anything. Without this ... sorry, - bye bye. (Everyone chuckles.) Alright? So we talk about The Thirteen Points as a reference, and why we use balance, harmony, as the reference ... to know. Without this, your reference will be different. So it's very important from here. With that, we train martial arts. Understand or not? So with every point of contact ... no, let me say this first ... Because of the training, at first you learn to take care of this, (GM Chin gestures his hands to one side). Like I say: the discipline, the discipline is not about force, the discipline is: 'let go!' So nothing bounces back. Nothing bothers you, so you are there. Nothing to pull you away, - so you are there. That's where the concentration is. That's what the right concentration is. Understand or not?

Now you maintain here ... until ... you are with the principles. You take care of the principles ... until one day ... the principles take care of you. Then you are there already. That is the path. You learn to take care, until the principles take care back to you.

Like you build a house, you take care to build a good house, solid house. After house done, the house protect you from rain, storm ,cold and heat.

I Liq Chuan students from around the world gather for a group photo during the 2014 Western Retreat in Tucson, Arizona

Transcribed by Theresa Phillips and Edited for Content by Brian Phillips Tucson, Arizona - December 30th, 2014 This document was only made possible through the generosity of Lim Yuensan, whose videotape was the only copy of this talk. Our heartfelt thank you for his kindness in sharing it with us, so that we could share a transcript of it with the I Liq Chuan family.