Gubrak, you are welcome, thanks for dropping by. Sky, KChill, it was good to hear you are alright. I was going to ask. Crazee, it is almost the end of dry season, is it? Sorry guys, my home computer did not survive the move, I have limited resources in my translation effort. Please bear with me.
Wei Xiaobao’s injury was light, plus Shaolin Temple’s metal cut wound medicine was extremely effective; after recuperating for aboutten days, he was completely healed. He was the current Emperor’s proxy, he held a place of honor in the Temple, nobody would dare to ask about his business. Since nobody knew about this, as long as he did not say anything, others would not find out.
During his recovery, Cheng Guan recorded the two women’s each style and each move clearly, he also figured out a way to counter each one. As soon as Wei Xiaobao was healed, he passed on each move each style to him. Although the moves Cheng Guan taught him were quite diverse, they were based primarily on the ‘Picking Flower Grab and Capture’ technique. ‘Picking Flower Grab and Capture’ was Shaolin Pai’s profound martial art, it used pure and profound internal energy as the foundation, the moves were not complicated, but were powerful and elegant, without the slightest degree of aggressiveness.
According to Zen Buddhism legend passed down from generation to generation, at the assembly on Lingshan, Sakyamuni Buddha picked a golden Boluo flower and showed it to the crowd. The audience was silent, no one understood his meaning, only Revered Monk Jiaye [Kasyapa] broke into a smile. Buddha said, “I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle [D]harma [G]ate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.”
Mahakasyapa was one of Buddha’s ten main disciples, he was known as ‘the first toutuo’, the Zen Buddhists revered him as their forefather. Shaolin Temple can be classified as Zen Buddhism, who pays particular attention of self-awareness. Thinking about Buddha picking the flower, Kasyapa smiled. Without a word, he had already comprehended the meaning; wasn’t that a state of comprehension beyond amazing?
The people of later generation used the term ‘picking flower’ as a name for this qin na [grab and capture/grappling] technique. Naturally each move was beautiful and each style elegant, a lot more interesting to watch than ordinary flipping of the hand or pulling of the leg. It’s just that Wei Xiaobao did not have any foundation in internal energy cultivation, using this kind of refined and elegant technique against a martial art master, as soon as the opponent lightly pushed, he would be immediately thrown down and rolled around several times on the ground. He fell down until his nose turned blue and his eyes swollen, needless to say, he would either wail or laugh loudly. Luckily those two women did not have any internal energy either, hence the technique he learned would come in handy in dealing with them. Cheng Guan thought that the opponents were a couple of girls, they must not treat them roughly, hence the reason he put emphasis on this kind of technique.
When Wei Xiaobao learned martial art from Hai Dafu, because he was under supervision, he received double benefits: learning the move and how to use it, as a result, he did learn something from Hai Dafu. Later on Chen Jinnan gave him a martial art manual, which he only learned several times, and then he stopped altogether because it was too difficult. As for the six moves taught by Cult Leader Hong, husband and wife, he only practiced carelessly to get the general idea; he stopped practicing as soon as he left the Divine Dragon Island. The reason he learned martial art this time was to get that green-clothes girl as his wife. He had made an oath that in order to be her husband, he was willing to climb the mountain of blades or go down a deep fryer, when he died he would enter the eighteenth level of hell. It was indeed not a small matter; surprisingly, he trained very diligently. He learned every move every style, and sparred with Cheng Guan.
After training for several days, his laziness came back, suddenly he thought about Shuang’er, “That girl’s martial art is not weak, most likely she will be able to deal with these two girls. I only need to have Shuang’er by my side as my escort, I don’t need to personally practice martial art.” But then he had a second thought, “I must use my own skill to get that green-clothed girl. It would be great to smell the fragrance of her face. If I ask Shuang’er to seal her acupoint and then I smell the fragrance of her face, I would appear too gutless, that green-clothed girl will look down on me even more. Besides, if I ask Shuang’er to do this kind of thing, although she would obey me, in her heart she must be grieved, I must not wrong her too much. Even if their faces both look happy, I have to be fair, both of them must be discontented.” In the end, he made a strenuous effort to learn the style.
One particular day Cheng Guan said, “Shishu, You are diligently learning this martial art, actually …actually it won’t do you any good. If you grab me like this, and I reacted using my internal energy, your wrist … your wrist will be … will be …”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “My wrist will be ‘crack!’ broke in two."
Cheng Guan said, “You are my superior, no way would I use my internal strength against you, Shizhi absolutely will not dare. However, in Shizhi’s opinion, practicing Shaolin Long Fist from the start, step-by-step in proper order is the way to go.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Why do you say that what we are practicing right now is not the way to go?”
“This style does not have any internal energy foundation,” Cheng Guan replied, “If you are facing a martial art master, it does not matter how ingenious the changes are, inevitably you will fail and be wiped over the floor. It is only useful to deal with those two Nu Shizhu.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed. “That’s wonderful,” he said, “The only reason I learn this is only to deal with those two Nu Shizhu.”
Cheng Guan looked at him with a baffled expression, he was completely lost. He said, “Supposing Shishu will not come across those Nu Shizhu again in the future, won’t the effort of learning this martial art be wasted? Not to mention you will delay the time to learn proper martial art.”
Wei Xiaobao shook his head and said, “If I can’t see this Nu Shizhu again, I will definitely die; what use will learning proper martial art be?” What Cheng Guan said was ‘those two Nu Shizhu’, but Wei Xiaobao was referring to ‘this Nu Shizhu’.
Cheng Guan was even more baffled; he asked, “Could it be that Shishu has been hit by that Nu Shizhu’s poison and thus must find her to get the antidote, otherwise your life would be difficult to protect?”
Wei Xiaobao said in his heart, “I was talking about the matter between a man and a woman, where did this old monk get that idea?” With a grim expression he said, “Exactly, exactly, I was hit by her poison; the poison has entered my five viscera and six bowels, into the bones and marrows of my entire body, only she can neutralize it.”
“Aiyo!” Cheng Guan exclaimed, “Our Temple’s Cheng Zhao Shidi is adept at neutralizing poison, let me ask him to come here to examine Shishu.”
Suppressing his laugh, Wei Xiaobao said, “No need, no need, the poison that hit me is actually slow to take effect, she is the only antidote, other people are useless. The old monk Cheng Zhao is even more useless.”
Cheng Guan nodded. “Turns out only she has the antidote,” he said. Wei Xiaobao was saying ‘only she was the antidote’, Cheng Guan erroneously assumed that ‘only she has the antidote’. One word makes the meaning entirely different.
The old monk was anxious, he muttered to himself, “Ay, Shishu is being hit by the strange poison of this Nu Shizhu’s unique school, luckily it is slow to take effect …”
The girl’s martial art was actually very broad and diverse, the techniques Cheng Guan came up with to counter her were not a few either, some were more challenging than the others, Wei Xiaobao did not have any martial art foundation at all, how could he learn everything in such a short period of time? Every day he sparred with Cheng Guan, oftentimes he treated this white-bearded old monk as that beautiful young green-clothed girl.Sometimes he went as far as speaking with him frivolously and treated him tenderly. Luckily Cheng Guan did not understand anything, he thought this young martial uncle had a deep comprehension of Buddhist teaching, and that he was using a profound Buddhist allegory. Cheng Guan blamed himself for being stupid for failing to grasp the essence of the attainment of the spiritual learning.
One day the two of them were talking about the two girls’ saber technique in Cheng Guan’s meditation room when the Bo’re Hall monk on duty came to the door and said, “Fangzhang Dashi [great master abbot] is inviting Shishuzu and Shibo [grand martial uncle and martial (older) uncle] to the main hall to discuss something.”
The two of them went to the Hall of Great Strength and saw several dozens of guests in the Hall, some were sitting down, some were standing up. Abbot Hui Cong Chanshi was sitting on the second seat of honor to accompany the guests. On the main seats of honor sat three people. The first one was wearing Mongolian nobleman attire, he looked about twenty or so; the second one was a middle-aged Lama, thin, short and swarthy; the third one was a military officer, from his uniform it looked like he was a commander of the army, about forty something years old. Standing behind these three were a mix of several dozen military officers, Lamas, and about a dozen or so men in civilian clothing. They all looked strong and heroic, obviously they knew martial arts.
Seeing Wei Xiaobao entering the Hall, Abbot Hui Cong stood up and said, “Shidi, honored guests are descending on our Temple. This is His Highness Prince Galdan [ge’er dan] of Mongolia, this is Da Fashi Great Lama Chang Qi of Tibet, and this one is Ma Bao, Ma Daren, a military commander under Ping Xi Wang’s banner.” Turning toward the three guests, he said, “And this is Lao Na’s Shidi, Hui Ming Chanshi.”
Everybody could see that Wei Xiaobao was young man with a flippant expression, a complete picture of a frivolous teenager, yet unexpectedly he was a Chanshi of the same standing as the Abbot himself; they were all astonished. Prince Galdan could not help but laughing; he said, “This little eminent monk is really young and fascinating. Ha ha … odd, very odd.”
Wei Xiaobao put his palms together and said, “Amitabha, this big prince is really big and amusing. Hee hee … strange, very strange!”
Galdan angrily said, “What’s so amusing and strange aboutme?”
Wei Xiaobao replied, “Whatever is fascinating and odd about the little monk is the same as whatever is amusing and strange about Your Highness; it’s hard to differentiate between the elder and younger brother, one is just as bad as the other.” Finished speaking, he sat down on the seat below Abbot Hui Cong, while Cheng Guan stood behind him. Hearing Wei Xiaobao, everybody thought that it was an unfathomable truth, and they all secretly praised him.
Abbot Hui Cong said, “I wonder what instruction the three honored guests have by gracing our humble Temple with your presence.”
Lama Chang Qi said, “The three of us came across each other by accident along the way. Upon talking to each other, we agreed that Shaolin Temple is the Mount Tai and Big Dipper constellation [i.e.the ultimate] of martial art study in the Central Plains, worthy of our admiration. The three of us are uncouth people of the borders, what we see and hear is shallow, thereupon we come to your precious temple together to admire. We will be much honored to see the eminent monks’ respected example.” Althoughhe was a Tibetan Lama, he spoke with good Beijing bureaucratic language, his voice was sharp, clear and bright, his manner in speaking was elegant.
“We do not dare,” Hui Cong said, “In Mongolia, Tibet and Yunnan, three places, Buddhist teaching is usually flourishing. The three gentlemen have received Buddha’s illumination for a long time, your wisdom and self-awareness must be clear, what other direction we can hope to give you?” Chang Qi Lama was talking about martial art study, but Abbot Hui Cong was talking about the Dharma. Although Shaolin Temple was renowned all over the world for its martial art, yet all the eminent monks of the Temple took diligently cultivated Buddhist doctrine as the proper way, they always thought that the martial art study was merely a minor detail to protect and sustain the Buddhist teaching.
Galdan said, “I heard that Shaolin Temple’s previous generations passed on altogether seventy-two special skills, which overawe the world, not often to find a match. Is it possible for Fangzhang Dashi to ask the eminent monks to demonstrate them one by one so that Xiao Wang [little king, referring to self] and the others could have our eyes opened?”
Hui Cong said, “It is only proper to let Your Highness know that the hearsay of the Jianghu is not to be trusted. Our humble Temple’s monks are diligently cultivating Zen meditation in order to reach true enlightenment. Although some of us have spare time to practice martial art, it is nothing more than to have a strong and healthy body. Trivial small skills, not worth mentioning.”
“Fangzhang,” Galdan said, “You are indeed frank and candid. All we ask is that you demonstrate these 72 unique skills, we only want to watch, not to steal it; why should you be narrow-minded?”
ShaolinTemple’s reputation was simply too great, over the last thousand years, nearly every month there were people who pay a visit asking for advice. Some came with sincerity because they really wanted to learn, some with evil intention to pick a quarrel. The monks of the Temple always politely declined. Even if the visitors were extremely arrogant, the Temple’s monks always treated them with due respect, and would never argue. Only when the visitors resorted to violence would the monks be forced into fighting back. Otherwise, they would always send off the visitors with good wishes. Something like this Prince Galdan just said, Abbot Hui Cong had heard countless times. He simply smiled and said, “If the three gentlemen are willing to expound the Zen teaching and discuss the Buddhist doctrine, Lao Seng [old monk] will convene the monks to respectfully listen to your discourse. As for some martial art, our Temple always follows the rule that we do not dare to show off our meager skills before an expert, to be presumptuous toward the visiting benefactors.”
 From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_sermon. Mahakasyapa actually means ‘Great Kasyapa’.
Toutuo is Buddhist monk who did not shave his head.
The main hall of a Buddhist temple containing the main image of veneration.
Reminder: fashi is one who has mastered the sutras.
Reminder: daren [lit. big man] is a title of respect toward government official.