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Thread: Historical vindication of the Shaolin Temple?

  1. #1
    Like Water is offline Registered Member: no custom title Registered Member
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    Historical vindication of the Shaolin Temple?

    Hmm.. where to begin? Well, for approximately one year of my life, the Shaolin Temple was #1 on my list of obsessions. I trained at the school of a certain Shaoin "grandmaster", I watched awful Kung Fu movies, and I read Gene Ching's magazine, Russbo.com, the official websites of various "monks", and any Shaolin-related books I came across.

    I recently departed from the said grandmaster's school after being convinced that he cares less for spreading "Kung Fu" and "Chan" than he does for making gluts of money. Although I am aware that there can exist one bad representative of any organization (ancient Buddhist temples being no exception), this experience got me thinking about the legitimacy of the whole Shaolin Temple. I feel absolutely positive that the modern temple is fraudulent and that the "Shaolin Gongfu" taught to foreigners comprises of little more than fluff developed by skilled individuals appointed by the Chinese Communist Party.

    However, not only do I think that the modern temple is a scam but also that the real, pre-1900s Shaolin Temple is a naught more than a myth devised by clever Chinese officials who know just how to appeal to the Western world's sense of romanticism and mysticism. That's right. The whole thing a downright lie.

    Now just what evidence to do I have to support this bold assertion? How about the fact that in all of my extensive research of Shaolin, not once have I seen a source with any academic or historic credibility? Furthermore, the temple is said to be the birthplace of Zen. Now, I've read books on the subject of Zen by itself, and none of them make any mention of the Shaolin Temple. They do tell of Bodhidharma and his pilgrimage to China, but nothing at all is written about his long meditation at Song Shao and training of the early Shaolin monks.

    Also, anyone with a reasonably high IQ cannot help but read Kungfu Tai Chi magazine and notice that half of the pages are dominated by poorly and ineffectively written articles while the other half are imbued with all sorts of tacky advertisements that don't even attempt to veil the capitalistic madness. "You can train at the Shaolin Temple!" Big whoop.

    But anyway, this is just a theory. Perhaps I'm just an extremely paranoid cynic with a blurred perception of reality. Anyway, I'm curious to hear what others think.

  2. #2
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    hi,

    i'm sorry to hear of your trouble. unfortunately, that has been the fate due to shaolin's fame. people take advantage of it. but please dont think too much, or you let your misfortune overflow, creating distrust in the whole lot of shaolin.

    as a friend and fellow shaolin brother said to me recently; "the actors of course hurt our case, but if you know the truth, you know the truth".

    Now just what evidence to do I have to support this bold assertion? How about the fact that in all of my extensive research of Shaolin, not once have I seen a source with any academic or historic credibility?
    are you able to understand the chinese language? honestly, not a whole lot is available through english alone. i would not expect research limited to a language foreign to the subject of investigation to produce much result. especially when the subject is something that has not been internally understood by many outside of the dharma lineages. and it make sense why.

    Furthermore, the temple is said to be the birthplace of Zen. Now, I've read books on the subject of Zen by itself, and none of them make any mention of the Shaolin Temple. They do tell of Bodhidharma and his pilgrimage to China, but nothing at all is written about his long meditation at Song Shao and training of the early Shaolin monks.
    i think it would be unnecessary for japanese zen folks to go into the early shaolin training history. that is not in their traditional after all. but many do in fact speak of the shaolin temple in reference to the location of bodhidharma's wall meditation. perhaps those which you have read omit it because its irrelevant to them.

    still, your search is removed from the source. if you want to understand more, learn chinese and look into china. still though, its important to know that behind all the of actors there is an active line of transmission in shaolin, of true buddhist monks. if you know where to look and what to avoid, you can find it. still, a lot is kept within the families, and they usually lay low.

    and again, i emphasize my first paragraph to you.

    may your practice go well.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Like Water View Post

    I recently departed from the said grandmaster's school after being convinced that he cares less for spreading "Kung Fu" and "Chan" than he does for making gluts of money.
    The Mongolians have a saying:

    "The Chinese are Chinese".

    It's not a nice statement. It most definitely is not meant to be a complement.

    Let's face it, you're dealing with a group of people who have had no real consistent reliable power structure to look up to prior to Mao, for hundreds of years, if not well over a thousand. And Mao's years were nothing to be proud of. No wonder these people are interested in nothing but making money. Money is security, it's all that they have. Social programs to help the poor, health, etc, are minimal at best compared to other countries. I'm not defending them, I'm just trying to help make it understandable.

    These people can be bastards. Look at what I went through with one of my "monks" that I started a new life for. Look at some of the guys in Houston and New York; the more famed they are, the more skeletons they have in their closet. Definitely nothing to be proud of. But, this is their culture to some degree. You have to beware of it, and accept it.

    However, not only do I think that the modern temple is a scam but also that the real, pre-1900s Shaolin Temple is a naught more than a myth devised by clever Chinese officials who know just how to appeal to the Western world's sense of romanticism and mysticism.
    The western world didn't give a shit about Shaolin pre 1900. I doubt the officials of that time really gave a shit about the western world, other than trying to keep it out of their country.

    I met guys that grew up in the early twentieth century at the temple. Su Yuan goes went back a long time (as did DeQian, Wan Heng, De Ren, Su Gong..). Decheng lived with the guy at the temple for many years. There were "real" individuals that did "real" gong fu over that time, and they passed it down. Granted, things have gotten "wushuized", and I've discussed it at length in the site. If you think I'm a strong proponent of what's going on there, well, you need to read some more, LOL. I'm not the pariah for nothing you know...

    Furthermore, the temple is said to be the birthplace of Zen. Now, I've read books on the subject of Zen by itself, and none of them make any mention of the Shaolin Temple. They do tell of Bodhidharma and his pilgrimage to China, but nothing at all is written about his long meditation at Song Shao and training of the early Shaolin monks.
    I've written about this also. Reliable sources have shown me that Shaolin is not the birthplace of Chan, but, actually, Da Fa Wen Si has more of a claim to that, though, actually, there were other temples that monks from India stayed at on their way over through China. These Indian monks resided at Da Fa Wen Si before Shaolin was in existance. Again, smoke and mirrors.

    Also, anyone with a reasonably high IQ cannot help but read Kungfu Tai Chi magazine and notice that half of the pages are dominated by poorly and ineffectively written articles while the other half are imbued with all sorts of tacky advertisements that don't even attempt to veil the capitalistic madness.
    I have a reasonably high IQ, and I don't read any martial arts magazine. (I read computer games magazines..., OK, so I'm not that smart). I love Gene to death, and, his opinion on things are actually different than what you read, but, let's face it, he's running a magazine. He's actually a great guy, who knows a lot about the subject, and has similar opinions as I on these things. You just won't see him writing it as I do.

    You mention commercialism? OK, do this (and start a new thread..). Look up Mattera and USSD, and their latest "activities" with the abbot.

    You'll love it.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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  4. #4
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    No wonder these people are interested in nothing but making money. Money is security, it's all that they have. Social programs to help the poor, health, etc, are minimal at best compared to other countries. I'm not defending them, I'm just trying to help make it understandable.
    i would more likely understand it as people living in poverty trying to make a way out in any way possible. that place is filthy, general education is low, and they have nothing.

    zhengzhou, i believe, has the highest aids rate in all of china. girls sell themselves to make cash to get somewhere. you know you've bought a few. then things like this happen.

    henan is the poorest province in china, but they have the most famous temple in the world, which has an attraction to westerners- gongfu! so the government gets in there and takes advantage of it so they can profit. its obvious.

    i would look at the situation more broadly and compassionately to fully understand whats going on there. really i cant blame them. but perhaps some who profit get carried away and become very immoral with it. but that goes back to lack of proper education, i believe.

    but simply looking at fake monks, greedy businessmen, smoke and mirrors, etc. is not considering that its a developing country- henan in particular being extremely poor. i dont think its as shallow an issue as this.

    bless them all.

  5. #5
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    yes, i agree. but it may just depend on how many times you've been lied to and cheated yourself. being lied to and/or used tends to leave a bad taste in ones mouth.

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    from what ive experienced chinese people are pretty candid, but then again i dont have near the exp of some of you..nor do i really care, i would like to bang a hot asian girl..doesnt have to be chinese..but thats different topic..

    i dont think its cause they are poor and no education etc. thats all bullshit. i should know, ive had many, many friends who werent educated and poor. they know what they do, they know very well right from wrong, and they also know the diff between the hard road and the easy road.

    hard being honest, hard working and generally slow gains. easy well..we all know the easy road..lolo atleast i do.

    i know china and america are different contries and i understand how poor these peeps are, i really do. no heat, gotta boil your water, sleeping on boards(i like sleeping on boards, its no that bad) bugs, disease, no doctors, or shitty doctors anyway, bad food etc whatever gov mistreatment. yeh lots of horrible shit

    but really shit is horrible everywhere, well maybe not for everyone, some people are extremely lucky to have had a life without any kind of tradgedy or misfortune and have loving parents and a happy healthy life, believe it or not that shit is very rare lolo

    sure chinese people got it pretty bad, but, that is no excuse for being the way they are, neither is lack of education.

    u tellin me they dumb enough to be excused for the shit they do but they can pick up business and english and all this shit no problem but we should pitty them?

    **** them i say. no pity from me.
    "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by LFJ View Post
    i would more likely understand it as people living in poverty trying to make a way out in any way possible. that place is filthy, general education is low, and they have nothing.
    That was implied in my response.

    I'm compassionate when dealing with them, and always have been, but that doesn't mean that one should trust them in any sort of financial exchange.

    And LFJ is correct, Henan has the highest AIDS rate in the country, Henan is one of the poorest provinces in China, and, the people in China view the people of Henan with distrust, especially when it comes to money.

    But, this is not to say that I haven't met people there that were trustworthy.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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  8. #8
    Like Water is offline Registered Member: no custom title Registered Member
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    Many thanks for the replies. Honestly, I didn't expect such polite, understanding responses on a forum comprised largely of Shaolin devotees.

    LFJ, you bring up a great point which hadn't occurred to me before about the historical documentation of the temple being in Chinese. Unfortunately, I'm a bit skeptical of any Chinese texts considering the Cultural Revolution and subsequent state of government in China. However, I do find your faith in Shaolin convincing, and I'm sure that becoming a disciple does provide insight on the true nature of the whole organization. If you don't mind me asking, who is your master? One thing that led me to being suspicious of all Shaolin representatives collectively is that my previous master happened to be of the 31st generation, which seems generally to be attributed with more legitimacy and authenticity than younger generations. I figured that if he represented a more respectable group of monks, all others outside of it must be appallingly bad.

    Doc, thanks for the insight on the origins of Zen. I understand exactly what you meant about Chinese sociology. I had thought of this prior to terminating my Kung Fu training, yet I couldn't reconcile the trickery and deception I witnessed at the school with the headmaster's claims of being a philanthropist and a Chan Buddhist. Also, I don't think I'll bother looking up Shi Yongxin's engagements that you mentioned. I've already received overwhelming evidence of his fraudulence beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Like Water View Post
    Also, I don't think I'll bother looking up Shi Yongxin's engagements that you mentioned. I've already received overwhelming evidence of his fraudulence beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    Aw, come on. Don't be a party pooper!

    It's always fun to check in on the big guy from time to time.

    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
    russbo.com



  10. #10
    Om tare tutare ture soha

    in french means man 6our ass everithing ur ass hate tower soha

    one of mi monk friend called me without speaking just when i ordered veg dinner

    whi do the pig scream when he is killed?

    peace and love from the rainbow famili of living light

    ps one check on facebook there will a be a rainbow gathering in taiwan
    Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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