HENAN AND XIAN CULTURAL TOUR DAY 5
Shaolin means a temple in the shao forest. Shao is the central peak of Song mountain, and is located at Dengfeng, Zhengzhou. It was first established by an Indian meditation master, called Buddhabhadra; authorised by the then Eastern Han Dynasty in the 5th century. Some years later, Bodhidharma, travelled to China to spread Buddhism. Both these Indian monks were Zen masters, who also taught Kung Fu (exercises) to their disciples. It was a period of chaos. The monks invited wushi masters to teach them for self protection. Later many who joined the monkhood were also military men, or who knew wushu; and they enriched their skills or developed shalon kungfu.
It was the movie who brought fame to Shaolin. The new abbott capitalised on popular demands; money was needed to rebuild the temple. It’s the same way Christian evangelising their religion in the East. My guide told me he had been cleared of scandals; he was a CEO of a big institution, less of a chan (zen ), dhamma or kungfu master. In modern society or even in yester years, it’s difficult to find all the skills embodied in the same person. I suppose, you gain one, you give up another value asset.
I bought two DVD burnt disc on Shaolin Kungfu; hope I could learn a few tricks. At end of the show, there was auction sales on Chinese calligraphy. The floor below showed the indentation made by these masters over the years; even the trees were not spared of finger deep prints.
We were then taken to a restaurant serving lamb soups. You have your choice of meat: meat, offals, testicles or penises. We skipped the last two items, for we did not require extra kungfu on that. My meat was 42 gm; most ordered 30 gm; and prepared in a soup. It’s fairly delicious, but not tempting enough to have an extra bowl.
In the evening, we paid extra money for an opened staged live show, mixing kongfu, music, song, dance and meditation into one. It’s a good show but not extraordinarily.