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Shaolin Philosophies and Proverbs


If Martial Arts promotes character building,

     why is so many martial artists lacking character?

If Martial Arts promotes brotherhood,

     why are there so many schools at conflict with each other?

If Martial Arts promotes respect,

     why are so many students at odds with their own teachers?

If Martial Arts promotes unity,

     why are schools that come from the same Master at conflict with each other?


Buddhists say our real enemy is ourselves. It is our insecurity, pride, and fears that drive us backward. The battle of the inner and outer will continue all our lives. If you don't center on the core of your problem there will be very little benefit derived from any training.


One path is better than no path, but the right path is best of all.


One Cardinal rule of the traditionalist - is never to bring dishonor to his family, himself, his teachers or his art. He knows his duty lies in continued learning and the passing down of his art to the next generation while preserving the core of his teachings from radical changes.


The traditionalist does not take part in disputes and controversy. He remains quiet in the storm of clashing egos. He is not concerned with fame, money, and fan fare - who is best, or who is first.


Never take words too literally; they are but shadows of the truth. They transmit only a dim idea of the true meaning behind them.


Traditionalist - the best approach is no approach, simply draw back to the middle of the road. There we can move in any direction.


In Shaolin - mistakes are the mother of learning.


The taking of a life means a monk has failed and will not free himself from the great dream. He will now be reborn to suffer the pains of life once again. This is the worst of all tragedies to befall anyone seeking spirituality.


The skillful person strikes the blow and stops, without taking advantage of victory.

     Bring it to a conclusion, but do not be vain.

     Bring it to a conclusion, but do not be boastful.

     Bring it to a conclusion, but do not be arrogant.

     Bring it to a conclusion, but only when there is no choice.

     Bring it to a conclusion, but without violence.


To win a thousand battles is good,

     but to win the one battle over ourselves is great.


Avoid all evils; do all that is good; purify one's mind.

     These are the teachings of all Buddhas.


What you want and what you can't have are often times the same.


The superior man does not fight, he solves problems peacefully.


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