by Weijing Zhang (November 2023)
Shaolin Monastery 少 林 寺 is the first ancestral temple of Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism plays an important role in the history of Chinese Buddhism and culture. Zen 禅 is a cultural thought and a unique practice method that pursues the ideal state of life. Zen is the method of spiritual transcendence and the “inner transcendence” experienced through the practice of life. Zen is one of the eight major sects in China and has a long history. Now many people are interested in the Kung Fu 功夫 of Shaolin Temple in China. Some people from foreign cultures still focus on Chinese Kung Fu when it comes to Chinese Buddhist culture. The understanding of Chinese Buddhist culture is incomplete. Even within Chinese Buddhist culture there are different views on whether Shaolin Temple is orthodox Buddhism. Regarding these problems, let’s learn about the history and development of Shaolin Temple. Through the records of Buddhist history and culture and the inheritance of Zen Buddhism, we will get the answer. Is Shaolin Temple orthodox Buddhism? Shaolin Temple’s unique practice method—Kung Fu and Zen. What impact does Shaolin Temple have on Chinese Buddhism culture? With these problems, let’s learn about Shaolin Temple together.
About the Author(s):
Weijing Zhang – Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand