The Wisdom of Beautiful Whiskers
by Bataan Faigao
A new student in Lao Shr's class in Taiwan attacked Lao Shr without warning. The man bounced off Lao Shr and hit a tree. This kind of reflex is totally natural, spontaneous. Lao Shr often talked about this quality in the body that t'ai-chi ch'uan develops (sung) . To strike a master of t'ai-chi ch'uan is to invite disaster. They used to say in school that if you wanted to hit Professor Cheng, you might as well find a brick wall. At least that won't hit back. The man was in a daze. Lao Shr asked him, "What's the matter? Are you all right?" The man was too embarrassed to confess his true state. They never saw the man again. One day Lao Shr wondered about the man and asked around. He found out that the man was a student of Shaolin Ch'uan and was sent by the man's teacher to test Lao Shr 's ability. He also found out that the man was very ill and had been spitting blood. Lao Shr said, "Bring him back here and I will fix him up. Nobody else can. No words can be said to express the tragedy and sadness of this event. This I will never forget." (*8)
*8 There are supposedly three incidents in Lao Shr's life of this kind. One other incident is recorded in another documentation. A disciple asked Lao Shr if he would teach tien hsueh, the esoteric art of attacking the vital points. Lao Shr said, "Why do you want to learn that? I have three ghosts haunting me. Do you want ghosts to haunt you too?" Later in Lao Shr's teaching he tended to downplay the martial aspects of his art, although it was difficult for him. Masters of the martial arts develop a healing ability which grows out of their martial arts practice and mastery. This healing ability is manifested through some kind of medium, like herbs, but not necessarily limited to that medium. Lao Shr was known to have the ability to heal directly, using his ability to directly manifest and transmit ch'i which is your ultimate healing energy. Supposedly, he stopped this practice because it drained him unnecessarily and resorted to the use of herbs instead.
According to Shamanic tradition, a wound can be healed only by the one who made it