Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shoalin Monks

Today we went to the Shoalin Temple. What an interesting place! We are not Buddhists and only have one God, but I don't think that means we should not learn about other beliefs. The Shoalin Monks and their temple have been around for over 1500 years. The temple is hidden in the forest of the Song Shan Mountains. The temple itself has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. There are only about 100 actual Shoalin Monks at the temple, but there are around 50,000 students in the area schools. The only govt sanctioned school and the only one to produce actual Shoalin Monks is on the temple grounds. It is said to be very difficult to become a monk. There are 100 schools in the area for students to learn at but they can not become monks. They can go to the schools as young as 3 years old.

We were very fortunate to see the area and learn from a master who teaches the Shoalin Monks Kung Fu boxing. He is a friend of our driver and we got to travel by van throughout the grounds, instead of a cold open air bus!

At the demonstration, Tim had his picture made with the monks beforehand. The demo was amazing. We were inside, but there still was no heat. The monks were thinly dressed and seemed unfazed by the cold. At one pt, a monk broke a steel rod over his head. Tim and I were both going to offer him a Goody powder! Another had a balloon behind a plate of glass and drove a nail through the glass and popped the balloon without breaking the glass. It just left a tiny hole where the nail went through.
We then went to the Pagoda Forest. This is where the monks are buried and a stone tomb is built for them. The higher a pagoda is built, the greater the contribution of the monk to the temple. We then went to the temple and the surrounding buildings. It was very interesting to learn of the history and their beliefs. The current Abbott, head monk, is very young at 40 yrs old. He came to the temple at age 19.

Just because I can't get over this hair

yd and Sierra gang up on Samie!

Founder of Shoalin Monks
Tim and the monks
Monk breaking steel bar over his head

Breaking the balloon with a nail through a plate of glass

Students practicing outside
Pagoda Forest



Bernie and Monica said...

Hi Tim and Sandy!

Just checking in, looks like you guys are having a great time and are very happy with your newest addition! Glad it's going so well, and that you finally have her. I'll keep stopping by, hope everything continues to go well. Bernie, Makenna and Brody all send their love!!! Love ya, Monica

DiJo said...

Hi Sandy!
I just had to check in on you again... I am so inspired by how well Sierra is doing! I just continue to pray when we finally are in Changsha meeting Sienna (hopefully soon) that she will be as ready for us. God has clearly prepared Sierra for you!! Thank you for sharing your girls! They are all precious! And, I am with you.. That hair is so gorgeous!!!!

It looks like you are having a wonderful trip!

Blessings for good health, and a wonderful rest of your trip in China!!!!

~Diana (Northern Girl - RQ)
*Waiting for TA!!!!

and Baby Makes 11! said...

Such terrific pictures!! It looks like you all had a great time...and like you, I can't get over her BEAUTIFUL hair!!! The girl is truly blessed!

Sheri (from your Faith family)

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Hi I'm Sandy, a stay at home Mom to Samantha and Sydney and wife to an amazing man who is not afraid to live in a house full of estrogen...although he does work a lot! Welcome to our blog~


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