Required: 小念头 (xiao nian tou /siu lim tao)
Optional: Chen Tai Chi Short Form
Ng Mui Qigong
- Iron Tendon
- Breathing Sets
- Zhan Zhuang
- Iron Palm
- Pai Da
- Center Line & Mother Line
- 4 Upper Gates 2 Lower Gates
- Triangles & Structure
- Elbow Line
- Long Bridge Techniques
- Closing the Gap
- 5 Ranges of Fighting
- 二字箝羊馬 (Basic Stance), Side Stance, Turning Stance, Fighting Stance, Bracing Stances, Triangle Stepping
- Hand Techniques
- Hand Positions: Pak, Bong, Tan, Gan, Fook, Lop, Kau, Huen, Kwan, Wu, Gum, Jut, Ding, Lan, Jong
- Sun Fist (vertical punch), Drilling Fist, Open Handed Strikes
- Single & Double Sticky Hands
- Leg Techniques
- Front Kick, Side Kick
- Deflections, Stance Trapping, Catch, Slip
- Technical Flow, 5 step
Single Stick, 8 angles
Natural healing more often than not requires healing and cooperation from various aspects: Herbal remedies to supply nutrients to the organs and harmonize their function, Qigong to improve lymphatic and vascular flow, and either acupuncture, massage, or other treatments accordingly. Even recently I’ve put this into practice for my own healing. Recently those near me know that I had fallen to a sudden and unexpected illness which required an ER visit, and everyone knows I avoid the doctors and hospitals as much as possible but I do go when it is needed. And this recent case was just that. Although I took the meds while in the hospital, you guys know that I didn’t continue the pharmaceutical prescription but instead relied on the traditional methods to cope with the issue once it was clarified and I knew the pros and cons of each type of method. Years back when the similar issue happened I used pharmaceuticals to keep death’s door closed, time to recovery was roughly two weeks. This time around I went for the natural method and the time to recover as good as I did with the pharmaceuticals, is roughly a week and a few days. Just about the same amount of time as the pharmaceuticals, but without the side effects that plagued me when I had to take the pharmaceuticals. So I expect just a few days more for full recovery.
On the Road to Recovery…
I’m still recovering from the sudden and unexpected illness, mainly I’m taking herbal remedy, Moxa+Acupuncture, and practicing Qigong, and lots of rest in order to recover. And most of you know that I used very much Moxa in the clinic these days… All for my benefit and yours. Each time I’ve been injured or seriously ill I’ve often noticed how a mix of Qigong (mainly the iron tendon exercises) and acupuncture help recover very quickly. Some of my clients and students who are working the exercises as directed also have noticed similar results with their issues as well.
Some have noticed better emotional control, some have improved energy, others have improved bodily functions… All of which everyone can trace back to the time of the start and continuous practice of Qigong. Now, probably you know this has been mentioned over and over, and possibly either in my clinic or from other therapists you may have heard the benefits of Qigong, so you think this is nothing new. And perhaps you have never experienced such benefits. Well, two things come to mind. Do you continuously practice as directed by your instructor, by your therapist, or perhaps if you are my client, do you follow the health and recovery plan we have worked on?
Ok so you think that everyone know this fact but still can’t see it. From the statistical data I have of my clients and their various rates of improvement or no improvement, the biggest factor I have seen is whether or not one sticks to the plan of recovery strictly or not. Those who have strictly stuck to it, or perhaps as close as possible, coming for the recommended adjustments and reevaluations and practicing what Qigong exercises were required, had some changes and results. Some of the changes revealed unexpected issues, such as previously unfelt blockages come to surface, as some organ function changes, other issues come about until it is harmonized, and ultimately improved health is the result. This is for those who stick as close as possible to the plans.
For those who have a herbal remedy made (which lasts 2 weeks), and doesn’t finish it for 2 months, and doesn’t do the Qigong, nor takes the herbal remedy for fear that it will harm them, for doubting its efficacy, for lack of discipline, due to the bad taste, or for what ever reason, results if any are marginal at best.
Nothing is Free in Life…
Everything, especially health, has a price to pay. There are no free gimmicks. If you want to lose weight, recover from illness, you have to follow the suggested plan of recovery or improvement as directed by your therapist or by me. Most therapists I know, most herbalists, and alternative health practitioners, will have taken their own advice and also has the experience of seeing the results gained by people. Otherwise, who would continue to do it? If you want the results, you have to cooperate, take the herbs, do the Qigong, and put your effort into your own healing.
You guys have seen me the past two weeks, and have seen that I’ve gotten back from death’s door once again, and quite quickly comparatively. I can achieve these results for recovery, and many of you had similar experiences as well. For those that are still wondering or think it’s something special and hard to reach. I’ve got just one thing to say…
So Just Do It!
There’s nothing special or mystical or rare about it. Only reason that you might not have seen it is that you didn’t stick with it. So just do it! Don’t think too much about it. Take it one day at a time. Slowly you will realize how much change will happen before you realize it. There are no quick fixes (although I know a few of you had that very lucky experience), but it takes effort and hard work (kung fu), to reach the desired result. Qigong builds up over the years as well, so the longer you do it, the better the benefits and faster your body reacts to the natural healing. But you have to start. If your goal is to live as healthy as possible with as little medicines as possible and less frequent visits to the doctor… why not start doing Qigong now?
Take it easy…
So, this weekend some new students had started. One doesn’t admit his previous experience, but from his instinctive reactions and stances, I can tell that he is an experienced boxer although he tried to play it down and his daughter is currently taking karate along with the lessons from me. Over the course of the weekend, they had learned the first third of 小念头, and had a chance to touch hands with one of my other students, Sean (who is recently glad all the punyos stopped smacking him in the face and the kicks and knees stopped landing in his below the belt area). Watching their interaction was very interesting. Sean, being stronger often relies on his strength to pressure smaller opponents, the boxer (sorry, you guys are still too new, I don’t remember names too well), while being somewhat more fluid also relies heavily on strength. So as soon as the two started even single sticky hands, you could see them muscling it right off the bat because neither wanted to loose.
The boxer’s daughter on the other hand, being very petite, also understood that she couldn’t overpower any of the others in the class, just relied on listening to the instruction, “Relax, and hold your position. Let the structure do the work for you.” Although her father was at least 60lbs heavier than her and nearly as muscled as Sean, she was able to use tan sau and lop sau to disrupt her father during the exercise and drills. As she practiced more with my apprentice, Jasmine, it was already apparent to her and everyone in the class: relaxed and proper structure = power.
So he asked me how it could be. Letting hands speak I showed him outside rolling hands (tan sau + low bong sau), launched him into the air and about 5 feet back into the warehouse gate and watched him bounce off another couple feet in the angled direction. Note to class: relaxed and proper structure plus a tense opponent = great bounce power, amazing fun and theatrics. So when he came to, I said, “It’s because his body is too tense and and that helps us hit people harder. If you were more relaxed and rooted I couldn’t have moved you with such force.”
Tension is bad for self-defense, and it’s bad for our health. When we’re tense all the time our body has no time to rest or recover, and our immune system is impaired. Mentally when we’re tense, we can’t make decisions well and tend to make some bad choices. So, while practicing the first 1/3 of 小念头, it’s the perfect time to relax and quiet ourselves. We’re so tense in life, gotta learn to take it easy.
While it’s hard for students to find good teachers, it’s hard for teachers to find a student that can apprentice. Some students don’t have the qualities or commitment to apprentice, some have ulterior motives to apprentice or a lacking of humanity and morality. However, it is still through apprenticeship that the smallest details can be passed onto the next generations of a skill or trade. Anyway, this week my apprentice has noticed herself becoming more shapely and energetic from the qigong practice and iron palm and healing practice. Teaching her the right path within martial arts and health as well as being her mentor and guiding her on the right path in Christianity has been quite satisfying.
Today I’d like to discuss a bit on the benefits of the Taijiquan short form. Traditionally various styles of Taijiquan encompass two empty hand forms each of which range from 70 to over 108 postures. The amount of space and time it takes to learn and practice the form is enormous. That was one big reason why I always preferred Wing Chun or Eskrima, both of which required much less space to practice and the Wing Chun forms were much easier to remember. But always feeling and knowing that the tendon and muscle stretch in Taijiquan is quite superior and for the health aspect is bar none (well, except maybe for Ng Mui), I often found that I wished there was a compact version of Taijiquan (or Ng Mui for that matter). Not just doing drills over and over, but a compact form, a codex of the style which flows like a story. For those who know me or have studied with me, you know that I’m very opinionated about what I think is good for me or what flows for me. I knew that there were various short forms, but none of them seemed to click with the interpretations of Taijiquan which I learned and enjoyed. It always felt that this movement or that position was important yet missing in the short forms. Just as when a TV series is butchered into a 2 hour movie, there’s too much inconsistency or too much of the story missing… After searching and experimenting with condensing the long form, trying various short forms and modifying various short forms eventually, I settled to what I currently practice and teach.
A “Short form” of Taijiquan is very important to have in the system. As it is an introductory level form for beginners, yet it must be comprehensive enough to include the fundamentals of the system so that intermediate and advanced players can use the short form if constrained for time or space, to maintain their taijiquan, and give the player movements to incorporate full range of motion and stretching for the joints and tendons, as well as strengthening and expression of power (fa jin). Basically it should be a Taijiquan curriculum that fits in a living room or studio apartment.
The short form we practice has a base of 27 postures, but depending on the desired goal of the practice a variation of 30 postures can be done. Completion of the form takes from 2.5 to 3 minutes. For beginners, it’s an easy to grasp and remember set, so they feel the accomplishment of a goal. For the intermediate, it’s a perfect set for refining body alignment and proper structure and fa jin. For the advanced player, it is a good way to practice the internal mechanics of Taijiquan when time or space is very limited.
So, I hope you take the time to learn the short form if you haven’t already. It is a wonderful tool for those of limited time, space, or for a concise codex of taijiquan.
Last year I worked briefly as a fundraiser for a children’s charity. It was a great job, challenging, gave me the opportunity to help others, and really help me to know myself and others as well. Before I started I knew that it would be tough, that most people wouldn’t donate, however, I never expected to learn what I did. Every day I get to meet, converse with, approach, and get to know hundreds of different people. I would approximate conservatively 500 people on a given day. About 3 in 10 say some harsh words such as “F**k off”, “Get the f**k outta my face before I kick your a**”, “I hate any thing or any one that does good, I especially hate children…” 5 or 6 in 10 give excuses like “no thanks”, “I’m busy”, “no time…”, that leaves 1 or 2 in 10 that will converse kindly or that have already sponsored a child, donate, etc. So what does all this mean?
People’s hearts have grown cold. Caring for themselves only, and even the “good ones” still struggle with giving up their own benefits or interests before they will share to save the life of another.
The bible lets us know:
1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
-2 Tim 3: 1-5 ASV
From my experience, the experiences of others, and from dealing with people even outside of charity, everyone I’ve met, including myself, fits the above description to certain extents.
I’ve seen people pass by, outwardly they look kind, yet many times the worst words comes from those people! Perhaps they’re having a bad day, but still, taking it out on strangers or others just standing around, that’s uncalled for, unloving, malicious. Others I’ve talked to, they had carried Philanthropy magazines, wore expensive clothing, and were decorated with various precious items, yet they say they had no money… Which in my eyes seems very hypocritical, truly lovers of themselves and money, only giving it up if can gain some fame or status, lifted up on a pedestal to flaunt their “goodness”. Who on earth will do a good deed, regardless if others see it or not, or if others commend them or not? What has happened to our humanity?
The passage below is a truth that we can see very clearly:
10as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
13“THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
14“WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
15“THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
18“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
-Romans 3:10-18 ASV
People’s words are truly poisonous and deceptive! Even among those that weren’t so bad, they would speak words that are untruthful, like “oh, I’ll be back, I’m just going to the bathroom…” I have not once met a person who can keep his word in such a situation when it regards having to part with some money to help another.
Yes, some people will give money. Everyone that does also has their own intentions. Some do it so others will see them as good people, some perhaps because they have empathy and sympathize with people’s suffering, some to impress a potential gf or bf, some for tax benefits, and so on. I’ve not met one or heard of any that say they do so for God, or because it’s good in God’s eyes! Thus, people have a form of “godliness” but without God!!
From the two bible verses, analyzing trends and behavior, it is somewhat sorrowful that we have fallen to such an extent as we are in today. We have some people doing “good” and helping others, while denying God and saying that it’s “man’s good” and men are good, and we have even more people that fall into the category of hypocrites and evildoers! So then what is righteousness?
Is it so easy to be made a holy one or a righteous man by God? “No one in the world is righteous, and the righteous are not in the world.” This is true. You may come before God and look at your dress and consider your every word and deed, every act and move, and every thought. All of them are for yourselves, even the dreams you have every day. Isn’t this true? “Being righteous” does not mean to give alms to others, to love others as yourself, to wrangle and quarrel with no one, or to rob and steal from no one. Rather, it means to treat God’s commission as your own responsibility and obedience to God’s control and arrangement as your bounden duty at any time and in any place, just as the Lord Jesus did in all his work. This is what God means by being righteous. Lot was called a righteous man because he rescued the two angels sent by God without caring about his own gains or losses. It can only be said that what he did then could be called righteous, yet he could not be called a righteous man. Lot saw God, so he gave his two daughters in exchange for the two angels. But not all that he did before was righteous.
-From “The Wicked Will Be Punished” (The Word Has Apeared in the Flesh)
Like this, the world is really a lonely place, devoid of true warmth. Each person all talks highly of themselves, tries to look like good people before others, but when put on the spot, when choices have to be made, most will fail and the ones that stand their ground do so barely or with mixed intents or other selfish reasons.
The good news though, is that from the difficulty and seeing our present state of spirituality, it has helped me to solidify my resolve to seek truth and put into practice what I understand. I’ve been slacking too much.
From the world events, and now seeing people’s hearts, the time for the last days is already upon us!
Today I had been spending time to think about prayer. Often this is something we can take forgranted, sometimes even thinking it as just a regulation that wastes time. Like when we pray, maybe before sleeping or before a meal. We go through the motions just to let God see that we are doing this faithfully. But inside, what is actually going on? What is prayer supposed to be for?
Well, first let’s take a look at how people pray and when they pray. I know many pray right before a meal, right before having a drink of water, before sleeping, when they want something, when we are in difficulty, when we don’t know what to do, and some even pray while using the bathroom. Some use prayer as a mental anchor to make their activities regular and have certainty, to achieve meditation (such as rosary prayer), to have a sense of spirituality, and some even to impress others that they are “good Christians”. Some people pray because they want to devote themselves to God. We all pray, but often our prayers have our reasoning or intention why we do it. And more often than not, we hope and demand God will listen to our prayers and secretly we hope he fulfills it, regardless the prayer being sincere, proper, selfish, or what.
Is it possible that God doesn’t listen to all our prayers?
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is a hateful thing to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.
-Proverbs 15:8 MKJV
29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
-Proverbs 15:29 MKJV
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers. But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil.
-I Peter 3:12
9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is a hateful thing.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear;
In these verses, and from reviewing what works God has worked on people in the bible and throughout history we can see that God’s ears are open to everyone’s prayer, however, if we are doing wickedness, turning our hearts away from him and expecting him to grant onto us, then we really have another thing coming.
Why is it? Because the LORD, our God, is a righteous God. He is righteousness and love. There is no wickedness, cheat, betrayal, or other evil in him. He hates those things and loathes the wickedness in our hearts. So when we pray, we should really think about the content of our prayer, the reasons for our prayers.
For example. If we have children, parents are delighted with their kids when the kids listen to them, and when the kids talk about what they learned and ask mom and dad how to live life. So the parents enjoy this very normal and common thing. But what do parents not enjoy? When their kids hide things from them, when their kids are always telling lies, when kids don’t pay attention to mom and dad, and when kids don’t care for mom and dad. This goes with not just parent child relationships, but for any relationship. All relationships have a foundation on communication and understanding. When we know a person, we understand them more, know what’s in their heart more. And if we love that person, we try to be after their heart and pay attention to their needs and interests. They love us, and also do the same. So how about God then? When we pray to God, do we use our prayers to seek to ask him for guidance, to know him more? Do we ask him for direction in our lives and test our hearts to see if what we are choosing is according to our own desires or done in conformity to the truth and words of life he has given us? Do we value talking with God? Do we share our excitement and joy to praise him, and do we also share our difficulty and sorrow with him so we can gain his guidance and approval in both good and bad times? Have we ever prayed to God saying some sweet words but in our heart desiring something? Any hidden intentions?
I know many people that only pray to God when things are tough, and they can be very submissive to God, to other brothers or sisters, and act very humble. But as soon as the difficulty has passed, they turn around and drop God, forget all the promises they made to God, betray brothers and sisters, and even can turn around and blaspheme God or take credit for God’s working on them. How many times have we prayed and done like this?
So we know our hearts are not as simple as “Yes is yes, and no is no”. I believe if we search our hearts even during prayer, we will gain more inspiration on the path we should walk, more moving in our hearts, and maybe we even can gain a change in the way we pray and our relationship with God can improve. In the Psalms we are reminded that if our hearts pay attention to iniquity (sins), then God doesn’t hear our prayers. We know we’re sinners, but how and when do we sin? Do we even know if we are still sinning even as we pray? It will really benefit our prayer life if we can examine the words that come out our mouths during prayer. When we pray, do we have enjoyment in the spirit? Does it feel dry? Do we pray 1/2 hour just to have prayer, or do we mean what we say? When we are praying or listening to others pray, what are we thinking about? Have you ever been thinking of something else even as you pray something to God? Is that sincere? Is that honest or genuine prayer?
What does it mean to pray genuinely? It means to tell God what is in your heart, fellowship with him according to his heart’s desire, and fellowship with him according to his word, so that you feel that you are very close to him and he is right before you, you feel that you have things to tell him, you feel that you are very brightened in your heart, and you feel that he is very lovely, and thus you feel very encouraged and the brothers and sisters have enjoyment when hearing your prayer and feel that you are saying what is in their heart and what they want to say and that what you are saying is what they want to say. This is praying genuinely. After you make a genuine prayer, you will have peace and enjoyment in your heart and have strength to love God, feeling that loving God is the most worthy and meaningful thing in life. This is proof that you have made an effective prayer. Have you ever made such a prayer?
What should you pray? You should pray step by step according to the true state of your heart and what the Holy Spirit is doing on you and fellowship with God according to his heart’s desire and his requirements for people. When you begin to exercise to pray, you should first exercise to give your heart to God, and do not expect to know his heart’s desire but only try to tell him what is in your heart. You may come before God and pray like this, “God! I was disobedient to you before, and I have just realized it today. I’m really corrupt and hateful. I wasted my time before, but I will live for you from now on, living a meaningful life to satisfy your heart’s desire. May your Spirit work on me and enlighten and inspire me all the time, so that I can bear a strong and powerful testimony for you, so that satan can see from us your glory, your testimony, and the evidence of your triumph.” When you pray like this, your heart will be fully released. After you make such a prayer, your heart will be closer to God. If you can often pray like this, the Holy Spirit will work on you.
-From “On the Practice of Prayer” (The Word Has Appeared in the Flesh)
When we talk with a person, often he or she will be annoyed if we keep repeating the same thing over and over again. As if we were a broken record or machine. And they will be tired of us if we treat them like a machine. When we have a relationship with a person, we can have a conversation that changes, has ups and downs. When we share our experience with someone, if we always share the same thing over and over, won’t they think there’s a problem with our brains? So how about our prayers to God. Do we pray the same things over and over, without any change, any improvement on what we’re praying about? Or is it always stuck at the same point? Like if a teenager is stuck playing video games, and his mom wants him to put it aside. She even let him drop it step by step, to wean him off it. So let him play 1 hour, then 1/2 hour, then 15 minutes, and so on. But each time he starts, he passes the 1 hour point and keeps going, till she struggles with him and finally unplugs the tv. Each time he says that he wants to stop, so he’ll try better next time. But each time, it’s the same thing. How will the mom think? Does the kid really want to stop?Did he cooperate with his mom to give up that habit? So how about in our prayers? We pray to God something, are we still stuck at the same spot, even years later? Even no change? We should think about why that is. It really deserves thought.
When you pray, you have to pray with a heart quiet before God and with a sincere heart and fellowship with and pray to him genuinely, and you should not say nice words to cheat him. When you pray, you should pray according to what God is doing now, ask him to inspire and enlighten you much, and pray to him about your actual state and difficulties, and you can also make resolutions before him. To pray is not to pray for the sake of praying but to seek God with a sincere heart and to beseech him to keep your heart, so that your heart can always be quiet before him and you can know yourself, hate yourself, and forsake yourself in the circumstances he arranges for you, and thus you can have a normal relationship with him and truly become a person who loves him.
-From “On the Practice of Prayer” (The Word Has Appeared in the Flesh)
I’m also learning that when we pray, really there’s proper ways and times to do so. Before I neglected formal prayer outside of church. That is, I usually didn’t go to my knees to pray to God on a daily basis, but I prayed to him while I was doing other things, or while on the train. My reason was that, I thought maybe God didn’t need us to have formal prayer with him, because we should keep him close at all times. So I started to let formal prayer slack. This is also not good. It is treating God too much like one of our buddies. Bringing him over whenever we want and talking when we have free time. Not making time to spend with him. It was missing that aspect of sacrifice. Sacrifice that I’m talking about isn’t sacrificing an animal, or money. But sacrifice some time for God. Putting aside some time we normally use for hobby, relaxation, watching TV, surfing the web, etc. And spending time with God. Just like if our friends or family are always online, we want to have relationship with them. But they’re always busy, and only talk with us a few times while they’re taking a break. Either on their way to the bathroom and then back to video games, or getting a bite to eat and bringing it back in front of the TV. The relationship is really shallow, and not much love in it. But when they can put those aside to spend quality time together, the relationship flourishes. With our prayer to God, it’s like that as well. We need to give up something to spend quality time with him. What do we gain? We gain freedom from that thing that occupies our hearts, and we can gain a regular and peaceful heart, one that can have sincere prayer to God.
To pray is not to keep a mere practice, pray for the sake of praying, or recite some of God’s words. In other words, to pray is not to parrot or imitate. When one prays, he must be able to give his heart to God and commune with God so as to receive God’s moving. To pray effectively, one must pray on the basis of reading God’s word. Only if one prays according to God’s word can he receive much inspiration and light. A genuine prayer will yield such results: having a thirst for what God requires of people and wishing to meet it, hating what God hates and then trying to know it, having an explicit knowledge of the truth God speaks about, and after the prayer having the will, faith, knowledge, and ways to practice. This is a genuine prayer. Such a prayer is an effective prayer. However, when praying, one must pray on the basis of enjoying God’s word and fellowshipping with God according to God’s word and be able to quiet his heart before God through seeking God. Such a prayer means that he has begun to fellowship with God genuinely.
-From “On the Practice of Prayer” (The Word Has Appeared in the Flesh)
There are also very improper times and ways to pray. We can think about it plainly. God is the Lord of all creation. How should we make ourselves presentable to come before him? While God never required us to wear silk robes and adornments to come before him, we should come before him with some dignity. Meaning, when we pray before the Sovereign Lord, we shouldn’t be half-naked, half-asleep, using the bathroom, picking our nose, or doing something disgraceful while praying. If we talk even to a person or neighbor, we wouldn’t want to disgrace ourselves by talking to them like that, and we wouldn’t want to offend people. So why are we so careless towards God? When we pray to him in a formal way, we should have respect towards him. And I believe even in informal prayer, we should watch how we go about doing it. Treat God with respect.
So far in my experience putting this into practice, when we pray and focus our hearts to have honest, real, and openhearted prayer to God, not hiding something from him, but bringing him what we have done, working with him to find a way to repent and change, telling him our difficulties and successes in spiritual life, in daily life, when I have this kind of prayer, I feel lighter in the spirit, more fresh and open, and feel that what may come to me, good or not, will help me, and in the day I have strength and inner peace. I hope you can give prayer more thought and try to practice finding the intents and hidden desires of our flesh when we pray, so we can remove those and give God a pure prayer. Let’s see how God will work on us as we practice having a prayerful life.
Individual prayer life is built upon one’s understanding the significance of prayer and the basic things about prayer. In your daily life, you should supplicate and pray for your defects and after knowing God’s words pray for gaining the transformation of your life nature. Every one of you has to have your own prayer life, praying for gaining the knowledge of God’s words and for seeking the knowledge of God’s work. Pray to God about your actual situation in a truthful manner and without caring how you should pray about it, and pray for the main purpose of gaining true knowledge and having practical experience of God’s words. A person who pursues to enter into a normal spiritual living must be able to pray in various ways. All such spiritual activities as praying silently, pondering God’s word, and knowing God’s work are for the purpose that you can enter into a normal spiritual living, so that you can be in a better and better condition before God and grow more and more in life.
-From “On the Practice of Prayer” (The Word Has Appeared in the Flesh)