Shaolin Kung Fu WITHOUT Buddhism = Shaolin Buddhism?
I met another Shaolin Monk teaching Shaolin Kung Fu in America. I watched their school performance at an annual Chinese event. I anxiously talked to a couple of the senior students about their curriculum and told them about my curriculum for each school having, “…plenty of the Buddha, the Dharma, and — and… our Sanghas were our schools,” I explained.
I miss our Utah schools. There were even Sunday Sangha meetings at Liberty Park for a couple years…
The students seemed awed by my explanation of Buddhism in our Shaolin Chi Mantis and Buddha Kung Fu schools.
Then I met the Shifu. I commented on the adaptation of the “Silkweaver’s 8 Brocade” into the Qigong routine he performed with the seniors. He wasn’t very friendly.
Then I asked him how he taught Buddhism in the classes.
He replied, “No Buddhism. We don’t teach Buddhism. Just Kung Fu.”
I was stunned and probably looked like Dory looking for Nemo.
I crossed paths with him later in the Buddhist Temple.
The Temple reminded me of my Catholic church, the mission in San Diego. I’m not very experienced in Buddhist Temples. I dated a Buddhist girl in the eighties when I was at UCLA. We went to service every Sunday together. I had my black cowboy hat, silver beard and tennis shoes. I kowtowed and did an impromptu Qigong prayer. It was cool. I was absorbing the energy in the church. More positive energy in that Buddhist church than most churches!
That’s my enlightenment today.
I have to bring the Shaolin back into the Shaolin.
Shaolin Kung Fu is just a bunch of fancy kicks. Sheesh. The Shaolin Temple has sold out the Shaolin Temple.
I will bring the Shaolin Buddhism back into the Shaolin Kung Fu. So Shaolin can be a BODY + MIND art again.