I never cease to be amazed at the conditions the human body can withstand, both physically and mentally. The hardships we are capable of enduring truly show what we can do when we are dedicated to achieve something. Picture this;
The training starts with a 5km run into the nearest town. It is snowing heavily at a 45 degree angle, the snow is beautiful but cold as it dances across your face. With only a hat to cover your head and no scarf the cold is quick to cling to your skin, but of course after 5 to 10 minutes of running your body is a radiator capable of withstanding the cold. Your training shoes are only a couple of milometers thick and have no padding on the sole, these are designed to have total feel whilst training but hold little to no warmth. The grey slush underfoot is wet on the road and quickly soaks into soles of the shoes, the socks cling to your feet soaked from sweat and snow.
Lets skip forward a couple kilometers, into the town you navigate a handful of streets and crossings and arrive at what can only be described as a vertical climb straight up. 100 steps broken into 5 or 6 sections, some shorter, some longer. A few minutes of quick brushing and the bare concrete is revealed in all its patchy iced glory. ‘The gloves will help hopefully” the exhausted sweaty person next to you says, whilst realising they are already soaked to the bone and are actually contributing more to the numbness than the warmth.
And so the training begins, running up and down, skipping steps, sliding on the ice, falling on your back, clinging to the railings for support, taking training partners up the stairs on your back, clinging to the others back as they take you back down, down on all fours climbing down the stairs like a dog, going backwards up the stairs on all fours, breathing heavy, hats and gloves off, emitting steam as if being pumped full of coal, pausing briefly to let pedestrians pass, and so on until the 5km run back to monastery.
Shaolin make no half measures. When guests ask for difficult training, we provide it. Blistering heat or snow, rain or shine, the training pushes you mentally and physically to the absolute peak of your ability. But the most fantastic feeling is the bonding with your brothers. The hardships endured together create a bond stronger than the limits that are pushed and broken. You might even find yourself smiling and enjoying yourself – Train hard, Play hard, Smile often.
My sister is starting up a blog and now more than ever her content is relevant with keeping clarity in your day and breathing properly. Thich-Naht-Hahn wrote in his book that the Buddhist Sutra ‘The full awareness of breathing’ by learning to simply breathe with full appreciation we can improve all aspects of our life and even reach enlightenment, give it a try today ;
Much of my inspiration has come from some of the absolute Zen greats, my good friend and brother Miao Zhi shown me this fantastic book and ive been reading it since, here is a brief outline of it all;
‘The appreciation of Zen philosophy and art has become universal, and Zen poetry, with its simple expression of direct, intuitive insight and sudden enlightenment, appeals to lovers of poetry, spirituality, and beauty everywhere. This collection of translations of the classical Zen poets of China, Japan and Korea includes the work of Zen practioners and monks as well as scholars, artists, travellers and recluses, and covers fifteen centuries of Oriental literature with poets ranging from Xie Lingyun (5th century) through Wang Wei and Hanshan (8th century) and Yang Wan-li (12th century) to Shinkei (15th) Basho (17th) and Ryokan (19th).’ –
Its really cheap for the content and I definitely recommend having it somewhere to pick up and inspire yourself once in a while! you can’t put a cost on the quality of writing anyway – it simply can’t be done! Additionally for those who do purchase or simply use the link to search other great writers and authors it allows me to keep writing and helps pay for my website otherwise without you guys I couldn’t bring you the content I love to share – thankyou so much!
Or alternatively you can directly help via my go fund me page, I appreciate all the support so far you guys have been fantastic! – Have a beautiful day
‘Zen poems’ – https://amzn.to/2HPFwJw
Alternatively for something less zen I’ve been waiting on reading ‘The Book of Joy’ – You can find one of the Dalai Llamas XIV latest book collaborations here on amazon: – I recently finished reading ‘The way to freedom’ By the Dalai Llama XIV and was a great insight into Tibetan Buddhism!
‘The Book of Joy’ –https://amzn.to/2RQySY2