Being the weekend, I took advantage of the free time and visited the Shaolin Temple up the road from the school. The Shaolin Temple is the partner of the Song Shan Temple that I visited last weekend, with Song Shan being the spiritual home of the art. There’s actually a daring route round the back of the mountain from the Shaolin Temple to Song Shan Temple via a rope bridge. These days, the Shaolin Temple is more of a tourist attraction. Never-the-less, it was well worth the visit.
The temple and grounds that you see today is the result of many renovations and rebuilds after stray lanterns causing fires or warlords targeting it. There are monks around the grounds among others selling tourist memorabilia. There are a handful of academies amongst the grounds generate the performers who put on a show several times a day in the Lotus Hall. The performance impressive gymnastics but it’s a bit gimmicky. I’d say it’s worth if you can handle the crowds getting in and out. It’s all included in the ticket to the grounds.
Among the famous rooms, you’ll find Pilu Pavilion, where depressions can be seen on the stone floor. These depressions are the result of the monks countless repetitions of the forms they practice, placing their feet in the same position on the floor again and again. Very impressive.
You can pay respects in several of the rooms, burning incense and bowing to the buddhas or murals. Outside, they collect the incense and create plenty of smoke.
You’ll notice almost all of the statues and relics have parts of them looking “worn”. This is the result people believing things can literally “rub off” onto them. They rub spots for various superstitions of luck. Some for wealth, other for health – it’s all up for grabs.
To show these monks what’s what, I took it out on the punch bag they had hanging in the courtyard. I can assure you, it wasn’t ripped before I let loose.
I’ve put the rest of the pics from the temple below.