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Becoming a Shaolin monk


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#1    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:40 PM

My friend and I are thinking about joining the Shaolin monastery in China, but we've got a few questions that we'd like to have the answers to.

-Which temples are "proper", so to speak? We sure as hell aren't going to give up everything to workout in an old factory building in sweatpants, if you know what I mean.

-How do you join? Do you just knock on the door and hope that the Abbot takes you in even though you can't speak a snivel of Chinese?

-Dental health, how do they do it? Do they just eat the kinds of food that keeps your teeth healthy?

-Allergies. Are you allowed to bring medication of any sort as personal belongings? (I imagine this would be hard to arrange without a translator).

-Can you just walk out the front door when you're done? Do they like, keep your passports for you and all that if you've agreed to only stay for a year if you don't like it?

-What's the diet?

-How's the showers?

-How many non-chinese are there, and how many join up at a "later" age?

-How are the rooms/beds?

-We're not exactly super-fit, so will we even survive? I know that an English fella joined up at 17, but he'd been doing kung fu for a few years.

-Are you allowed to leave the temple when you're not practicing?

That's all for now.

TL;DR: How do we Shaolin?

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#2    Child of Bast

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:50 PM

I'm curious about the responses you get so I will try following this thread. Good luck finding your answers!! :tu:

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#3    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:56 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 04 July 2012 - 06:50 PM, said:

I'm curious about the responses you get so I will try following this thread. Good luck finding your answers!! :tu:
Thanks, for being supportive in a way, a lot of people dont take it seriously.

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#4    ealdwita

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:08 PM

View PostSteffen longva, on 04 July 2012 - 06:56 PM, said:

Thanks, for being supportive in a way, a lot of people dont take it seriously.

Posted Image

Hmm, now I wonder why that is.

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#5    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:10 PM

View Postealdwita, on 04 July 2012 - 07:08 PM, said:

Posted Image

Hmm, now I wonder why that is.
Why shouldnt people take it seriously?.

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#6    ealdwita

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostSteffen longva, on 04 July 2012 - 07:10 PM, said:

Why shouldnt people take it seriously?.

I find it very curious that someone who may be prepared to spend a lifetime in rigorous mental and physical training, the likes of which are totally alien and largely incomprehensible to a Western mind, is worried about what the toilets will be like! I spend a lot of time in Nepal and I have met people who have undergone Shaolin-style training, and my advice is - if you need to ask those kinds of questions then you ain't gonna make it!

Don't take it from me though, find a Sensei in your home town and ask him. (That's serious advice, BTW)

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
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#7    Yes_Man

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:23 PM

How much training have you had?


#8    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:27 PM

View Postealdwita, on 04 July 2012 - 07:20 PM, said:

I find it very curious that someone who may be prepared to spend a lifetime in rigorous mental and physical training, the likes of which are totally alien and largely incomprehensible to a Western mind, is worried about what the toilets will be like! I spend a lot of time in Nepal and I have met people who have undergone Shaolin-style training, and my advice is - if you need to ask those kinds of questions then you ain't gonna make it!

Don't take it from me though, find a Sensei in your home town and ask him. (That's serious advice, BTW)
We are not worried, just curious.

BTW, toilets where never mentioned in the post.

Edited by Steffen longva, 04 July 2012 - 07:32 PM.

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#9    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:30 PM

View PostThe New Richard Nixon, on 04 July 2012 - 07:23 PM, said:

How much training have you had?

We havent had any training in Shaolin kung fu, but we have been practicing Tae kwon do for some years, but we stopped.

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#10    _Only

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:53 PM

View Postealdwita, on 04 July 2012 - 07:20 PM, said:



I find it very curious that someone who may be prepared to spend a lifetime in rigorous mental and physical training, the likes of which are totally alien and largely incomprehensible to a Western mind, is worried about what the toilets will be like!

Unfortunately, that's what I also thought reading the post.

Asking "are you allowed to leave the temple when not practicing" was the most disheartening question of the bunch, in my opinion, from someone wanting to start a monk lifestyle. It's a state of mind and life. There is no recess or lunch breaks.

And "how are the rooms/beds"? I fantasize of being a monk sometimes, too. But I would be willing to sleep on the ground in an empty room. I figured you would be willing to do this, too. Or at least not bother to wonder the question.

Edited by _Only, 04 July 2012 - 07:57 PM.

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#11    rashore

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:04 PM

Perhaps you might want to try to find a retreat of a few weeks to see if this kind of lifestyle is for you or not.


#12    Child of Bast

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:14 PM

Just looking around online at what information is available, if I were in your shoes, I'd try things at the USA Shaolin Temple in New York before committing to something in a foreign country. Perhaps spending time there would give you the answers you seek and help you decide if moving to China would be the right move for you.

'A phantom,' said my Uncle Mycroft, who had just materialised, 'is essentially a heteromorphic wave pattern that gains solidity when the apparition converts thermal energy from the surroundings to visible light. It's a fascinating process and I'm amazed no one has thought of harnessing it - a holographic TV that could operate from the heat given off by an average-size guinea pig.' ~ First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde

#13    schizoidwoman

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:22 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 04 July 2012 - 08:14 PM, said:

Just looking around online at what information is available, if I were in your shoes, I'd try things at the USA Shaolin Temple in New York before committing to something in a foreign country. Perhaps spending time there would give you the answers you seek and help you decide if moving to China would be the right move for you.

I think the OP is in Norway (but I could be wrong) but if he is in the US, this sounds like excellent advice.

Steffan - If you are in Norway, you could have a look at the website below; it is set up by a Norwegian man who aims to establish a Wudang centre in Norway.

http://bjarteslifein...blogspot.co.uk/

Edit - I've googled the chap who set up the site and he has other sites online (Facebook, Google+ etc); he might be a good starting point for you; if you are really serious about this, I think you have a long road and lots of learning ahead of you.

Edited by schizoidwoman, 04 July 2012 - 08:25 PM.


#14    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:28 PM

View Post_Only, on 04 July 2012 - 07:53 PM, said:

Unfortunately, that's what I also thought reading the post.

Asking "are you allowed to leave the temple when not practicing" was the most disheartening question of the bunch, in my opinion, from someone wanting to start a monk lifestyle. It's a state of mind and life. There is no recess or lunch breaks.

And "how are the rooms/beds"? I fantasize of being a monk sometimes, too. But I would be willing to sleep on the ground in an empty room. I figured you would be willing to do this, too. Or at least not bother to wonder the question.
We are not afraid of laying on the ground in an empty room, we are just curious how things are around there, we dont need luxus living as a monk, we dont need showers, and the "Are we allowed to leave the temple" line was also out of curiosity, I can remove the question proving that it's not important, it's allways nice to see what people know and think about preparing for something like this.

Edited by Steffen longva, 04 July 2012 - 08:35 PM.

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#15    Steffen longva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:30 PM

View Postschizoidwoman, on 04 July 2012 - 08:22 PM, said:

I think the OP is in Norway (but I could be wrong) but if he is in the US, this sounds like excellent advice.

Steffan - If you are in Norway, you could have a look at the website below; it is set up by a Norwegian man who aims to establish a Wudang centre in Norway.

http://bjarteslifein...blogspot.co.uk/

Edit - I've googled the chap who set up the site and he has other sites online (Facebook, Google+ etc); he might be a good starting point for you; if you are really serious about this, I think you have a long road and lots of learning ahead of you.
Thanks for the post, this grabbed my attention.

Edited by Steffen longva, 04 July 2012 - 08:34 PM.

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