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Thread: Should Warrior Monks Disrobe?

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Should Warrior Monks Disrobe?

    The subject of "real and fake" monks has been covered in various articles in KungfuTaichi magazine. In the latest Shaolin issue there is an article by Gene Ching titled: "Should Warrior Monks Disrobe?", in which Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven try to clarify the mist once again. I believe that is up to us, practicioners of the art, to educate ourselves in order to avoid getting "burned". Reading this article reminded me of another splendid piece on the subject which I recommend to everyone.
    The article is titled "Shaolin Monasticism & Discipleship" and can be found on www.shaolinchancity.blogspot.com

    Omituofo!

    Shaolin Monastiscism & Discipleship
    http://shaolinchancity.blogspot.com/...eship_944.html

  2. #2
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    is 'burned' a pun on jieba?

    Because if it is, that's really funny.

    This article is in our new Shaolin Special and yes, we've grappled with this question many times. I covered most of the points listed in the article shaolinpowered posted above in our 2004 Shaolin Special cover story - Real versus Fake: Shaolin Monk Shi Decheng on What Makes a Monk. That's with my personal master, Decheng. I've updated that in other writings, mostly adding the concept of the biaoyanseng. I'm taking the discussion in a new direction with Should Warrior Monks Disrobe? Shaolin is an anomaly in the Buddhist monastic tradition. With this piece, I'm searching for a parallel to the wuseng in Chan.

    BTW, to give this article some context, you should read my previous work with Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven - The First Shaolin Monk in America: Hai Deng, the One-Finger Handstand Master from our Shaolin Special 2007.

    I have the complete interview for Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven. As promised, we will be posting that sometime between now and the end of May.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
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    I think the hot, female monks, er, nuns, should definately disrobe....
    (where's Sanjuro with a pic?)
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Because if it is, that's really funny.

    This article is in our new Shaolin Special and yes, we've grappled with this question many times. I covered most of the points listed in the article shaolinpowered posted above in our 2004 Shaolin Special cover story - Real versus Fake: Shaolin Monk Shi Decheng on What Makes a Monk. That's with my personal master, Decheng. I've updated that in other writings, mostly adding the concept of the biaoyanseng. I'm taking the discussion in a new direction with Should Warrior Monks Disrobe? Shaolin is an anomaly in the Buddhist monastic tradition. With this piece, I'm searching for a parallel to the wuseng in Chan.

    BTW, to give this article some context, you should read my previous work with Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven - The First Shaolin Monk in America: Hai Deng, the One-Finger Handstand Master from our Shaolin Special 2007.

    I have the complete interview for Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven. As promised, we will be posting that sometime between now and the end of May.

    The fun was unintended

    I did read your article in the 2004 Shaolin Issue, which I thought was very good!
    I also talked about this with the writer of the shaolinchancity blog and my question was why do people make such a point of monks being fake or not? I am not saying they should not but there are other martial arts rooted in Chan, Karate for example, but I never heard someone question a Karate teacher for his involvement or non-involvement in Chan (zen). They just teach the art and everybody seems to be happy with that. From the surface it would appear that the art and Chan were disconnected long time ago and putting on a karate uniform does not evoke any feeling toward Chan, at least not right away. But Shaolin is different.
    Shaolin kungfu cannot be seen apart from the Temple, thus Chan. I wonder if it will be a matter time before it will be the same as Karate. Personally I hope not, because Karate too was intended as a training for mind and body of finding the Way through practising.

    Going to read the 2007 Shaolin special.

    Omituofo!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Because if it is, that's really funny.

    BTW, to give this article some context, you should read my previous work with Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven - The First Shaolin Monk in America: Hai Deng, the One-Finger Handstand Master from our Shaolin Special 2007.

    I have the complete interview for Venerable Heng Sure and Dr. Verhoeven. As promised, we will be posting that sometime between now and the end of May.
    I always loved that article. Very inspiring. Love the filthy tracks stuff, and it got me started doing planks. Also love the one punch bit. Looking forward to when our one punch stuff hits the airwaves.

  6. #6
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    I suspect you won't like their new article, Richard

    It's like the other edge of the sword from filthy tracks. I'll be eager to get your reaction.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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    Dang! I saw the title and...well...

    I think it's about time we all see what's under those robes!!!
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  8. #8
    to be honest brother, I don't think I will really care too too much about what they have to say.

    i just do what i do and how i do it contents me. i fulfill my vows and that is all that i can really do. so long as that helps others i remain content.

  9. #9
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    You should care, richard

    For isn't caring an implicit part of your vows? Even if you disagree, you should care.

    It's the end of May. Time to post that promised interview transcript.

    Exclusive to KungFuMagazine.com: Transcript of the interview with Reverend Heng Sure and Dr. Martin Verhoeven
    Held at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, January 21, 2010
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    For isn't caring an implicit part of your vows? Even if you disagree, you should care.

    It's the end of May. Time to post that promised interview transcript.

    Exclusive to KungFuMagazine.com: Transcript of the interview with Reverend Heng Sure and Dr. Martin Verhoeven
    Held at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, January 21, 2010
    Thank you for this article. I've been to many Buddhist temples and many libraries to determine what it means to be a "Shaolin monk" and how a philosophy relating to nonviolence views the phenomenon of martial arts.

    I've just ordered the Shaolin Monastery book by Shahar, but is there anywhere else but China where Buddhism and martial arts are so thoroughly entwined? Japan perhaps? There are many Ch'an monks who know nothing of kung fu and would never even dream of it. Do Zen masters look at Karateka as thugs or as meditators in motion?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Quan View Post
    Thank you for this article. I've been to many Buddhist temples and many libraries to determine what it means to be a "Shaolin monk" and how a philosophy relating to nonviolence views the phenomenon of martial arts.

    I've just ordered the Shaolin Monastery book by Shahar, but is there anywhere else but China where Buddhism and martial arts are so thoroughly entwined? Japan perhaps? There are many Ch'an monks who know nothing of kung fu and would never even dream of it. Do Zen masters look at Karateka as thugs or as meditators in motion?
    I recommend reading:

    Buddhist Warfare

    Edited by michael jerryson and mark juergensmeyer

    It is 270 pages of the history of Buddhist violence and how it is justified!

  12. #12
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    Read my book too

    Shaolin Trips by me. I'm Buddhist and a Shaolin practitioner. And by Buddhist, I mean I've taken Buddhist vows outside of Shaolin and studied elsewhere. I've done half the Buddhist pilgrimage in India. A goodly portion of my book discusses my personal reconciliation between martial arts and non-violence. I'm vegetarian (well, pescatarian sometimes, in moments of weak discipline) and consider myself a practicing Buddhist. I even write 'Buddhist' on all my government forms.

    As for other warrior Buddhist monks, there are some. They are called Sohei in Japanese - 僧兵 - these are the same characters as sengbing (literally 'monk soldier') which is bandied about in Shaolin circles. But there are warrior monks in other cultures too. The classic stereotype might be Friar Tuck of Robin Hood, but you could consider the Crusaders a form of Christian warrior monk. Religious wars are frightfully common. Another title you could look at which is more along this train of thought is Zen at War by Brian Daizen Victoria. That's a dark one, however.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
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    Zen and the Way of the Sword is a decent analysis of Samurai zen practice.

    http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Way-Sword-.../dp/0195092619

    As for the crusades; The Knights Templar were christian warrior monks protecting pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.

    Even though it is fiction I recommend Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco for a good overview of the Knights Templar and their associated myths.

    The life of a renunciant lends itself particularly well to the hardship of pugilism.
    Last edited by wenshu; 06-22-2010 at 10:31 AM.

  14. #14
    If nothing else, violence can be justified if it reduces greater violence as in preventing the Nazi's from exterminating whole populations.

    Pacifism, meditation and prayer are noble practices, however in the history of man they have not prevented the slaughter of millions of innocents. Unfortunately, only violence overcomes violence 99.9999999999999% of the time.

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    BAH !!
    RC Nuns for the win !
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

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