Home >> Hot Issue

Shaolin pivots to a future beyond kung fu

Updated: 2024-03-19 06:26 ( China Daily )
Share - WeChat
The heads of the St. Petersburg Shaolin Culture Center practice their moves in the Russian city. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Fourteen years ago, Australian cancer sufferer David Ian Burn visited Songshan Mountain in Henan province to learn Zen techniques to try and improve his chances of beating the disease.

While the area is famous around the world for Shaolin Kung Fu, it is also becoming known for other cultural aspects including Chan Wu Yi, which combines Zen meditation, kung fu and traditional Chinese medicine, and has been promoted by Master Shi Dejian for 30 years.

In 2010, Burn stayed for two weeks on the steep mountain and learned about Chan Wu Yi from the master.

"This time was really important to my recovery," said the Australian, now aged 72. "His (Shi Dejian's) counsel and support enabled me to go into the hospital well-prepared, confident and relaxed. He also provided me with some herbal medicine, which was very useful to me after the surgery."

Since then, Burn has continued to live as a vegetarian, and still practices Chan Wu Yi.

"Practicing internal cultivation has become a normal part of our lives, and it can be said that Chan Wu Yi is our basic way of life. I am grateful for the connection with the masters and their continuous kindness," he said, adding that he is writing a book to provide an understanding of Chan Wu Yi culture to more Westerners.

Stretching from east to west for over 60 kilometers, Songshan Mountain is eulogized in folklore as the "origin of all mountains "and according to ancient script has "72 peaks on the mountains and 72 temples below".

Its spectacular, well-preserved angular rock shapes were formed by three violent movements in the earth's crust, the most recent 570 million years ago, when the Himalayas and the entire Qinling Range were submerged under the sea.

However, it is the 1,529-year-old Shaolin Temple, nestled in a mountain forest near Dengfeng, and its style of kung fu that has left the biggest impression on the world. Today, 162 Shaolin cultural centers have been established in over 50 countries and regions, while the Shaolin Temple attracts nearly 7 million Chinese and international tourists and martial arts enthusiasts every year.

1 2 3 4 5 Next   >>|
Hot words
Most Popular