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How to became a shaolin monk ?


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#1 neuske

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:14 PM

Hey all, i'm new in here.
I would ask you how to became a shaolin monk if its possible ? I'm from lithuania, and i dream to became a shaolin monk from 13 years till now, now i'm 17.
I read an article in here Click this
And anyone knows how i can became shaolin monk, contacts of them or something else?
Sorry for my english, and thanks for help.

#2 ghostexorcist

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 10:02 PM

Hey all, i'm new in here.
I would ask you how to became a shaolin monk if its possible ? I'm from lithuania, and i dream to became a shaolin monk from 13 years till now, now i'm 17.
I read an article in here Click this
And anyone knows how i can became shaolin monk, contacts of them or something else?
Sorry for my english, and thanks for help.

You have to be a practicing Buddhist in order to become a monk at Shaolin. The biggest question is whether you want to convert to Buddhism just to practice martial arts. If this is true, I wouldn’t advice it at all because this may offend someone. Beyond this, it is disrespectful to the religion itself. You can still practice at the monastery as a layman, foreigners do this every year. There are even sanctioned Shaolin schools in different parts of the world. There could even be one in your country, so you really don’t need to go to China. Westerners (I’m an American by the way) who want to become Shaolin monks are often star struck by the “Shaolin culture” portrayed in the media. They are willing to give up everything they have just to be a part of it. It’s almost as if they want to copy the jaded Chinese characters from Shaw Brothers’ films who escape from the Manchus to become a monk. I liken such individuals to members of a cult, really. They have been brainwashed to think they will become an unstoppable fighting machine. I hate to sound so negative, but most of the people I’ve met with the same wish do it simply because they want to learn kung fu.

Becoming a Buddhist monk requires you to take the tonsure (shave your head) and abstain from meat, alcohol, and sex. Are you able to do these things? If so, I guess your first step would be to pay a lot of money to fly there. You will need some sort of contact in China because your average person is not going to be able to find it themselves. I would suggest contacting some sort of martial arts school with ties to the temple. You could possibly even travel to China with them if they plan a trip. Since you will be living in China, reading and speaking Chinese is a must because I doubt all monks know English or even Lithuanian. If you don’t know Chinese, you won’t be able to partake in any religious training which is a big part of a monk’s life.

#3 neuske

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:01 AM

You have to be a practicing Buddhist in order to become a monk at Shaolin. The biggest question is whether you want to convert to Buddhism just to practice martial arts. If this is true, I wouldn’t advice it at all because this may offend someone. Beyond this, it is disrespectful to the religion itself. You can still practice at the monastery as a layman, foreigners do this every year. There are even sanctioned Shaolin schools in different parts of the world. There could even be one in your country, so you really don’t need to go to China. Westerners (I’m an American by the way) who want to become Shaolin monks are often star struck by the “Shaolin culture” portrayed in the media. They are willing to give up everything they have just to be a part of it. It’s almost as if they want to copy the jaded Chinese characters from Shaw Brothers’ films who escape from the Manchus to become a monk. I liken such individuals to members of a cult, really. They have been brainwashed to think they will become an unstoppable fighting machine. I hate to sound so negative, but most of the people I’ve met with the same wish do it simply because they want to learn kung fu.

Becoming a Buddhist monk requires you to take the tonsure (shave your head) and abstain from meat, alcohol, and sex. Are you able to do these things? If so, I guess your first step would be to pay a lot of money to fly there. You will need some sort of contact in China because your average person is not going to be able to find it themselves. I would suggest contacting some sort of martial arts school with ties to the temple. You could possibly even travel to China with them if they plan a trip. Since you will be living in China, reading and speaking Chinese is a must because I doubt all monks know English or even Lithuanian. If you don’t know Chinese, you won’t be able to partake in any religious training which is a big part of a monk’s life.



There are even sanctioned Shaolin schools in different parts of the world. There could even be one in your country

If there is any school in lithuania, all of them are rough and its far far away from my home.

I hate to sound so negative, but most of the people I’ve met with the same wish do it simply because they want to learn kung fu.

Yes, i want to learn kung fu, but i don't want to be unstoppable fighting machine.

Becoming a Buddhist monk requires you to take the tonsure (shave your head) and abstain from meat, alcohol, and sex. Are you able to do these things?

I can shave my head, and i'm often doing this. Also i can abstain from meat, alcohol, and sex and much much more.


And if my height is 1.92cm. it do not interfere me ?

#4 William O'Chee

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:18 AM

I think Ghostexorcist makes a very good point. Do you want to become a Shaolin monk because:

  • you want to become a Buddhist;
  • you want to study kung fu; or,
  • you like the idea of being a Shaolin monk?

If you want to become a Buddhist, it would probably be best to start somewhere else, and then go to Shaolin once you have some basic instruction and, ideally, after you have learned some Chinese.

If you want to learn kung fu, the sad truth is there are better kung fu academies these days. The Shaolin monastery is not what it used to be.

If you just like the idea of being a Shaolin monk for the sake of being a Shaolin monk, then you probably should not go.

I actually spent a year, at university, living in a religious house. It was not Buddhist; it was in fact Catholic. What I did learn was that living in a cloister requires at least some modicum of a vocation. If it is not there, then you really won't last. These places are very, very structured.

At the time, I was thinking of becoming a priest or a monk. I realised that I had something approaching a vocation, but I was not made to be a priest. Because I was reasonably religious, I actually enjoyed myself. I found it very liberating because I didn't have to apologise for, or explain, my religious views. But even then, I knew I was only there for a year, and was committed to making the most of my time there.

#5 JohnD

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 08:11 AM

Maybe you should go to Dengfeng (the city Shaolin Monastery is in) and try out one of the kung fu schools there first. Every year (maybe all the time, I don't know) there are many schools that teach kung fu in the area. Maybe try that first and see if you like it.

#6 ghostexorcist

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:12 AM

If there is any school in lithuania, all of them are rough and its far far away from my home.

Well, Lithuania to where you need to go in China is at least 4500 miles (7242 km). What do you think is more expensive, a plane ticket to China or driving a few miles from your house?

I can shave my head, and i'm often doing this. Also i can abstain from meat, alcohol, and sex and much much more.

As William points out, doing these things are not as easy as one imagines. Thinking about it and doing it are two different things. You should probably try to live a few years on your own and experience real life--holding a job, paying for an apartment, bills, etc.--before trying to do the Shaolin thing. Stuff like this will help you get your priorities straight. You may decide school is more important than being a kung fu monk. Right now, the notion of becoming a Shaolin monk is like a pair of horse blinders to you, all you see is the monastery. But living in the real world will allow you to shed the blinders and come to some important realizations: it's extremely expensive to get there and it's extremely painful to stay. By painful, I of course mean the daily regime of running up the side of Mt. Song in muddy weather, staying in static poses until your muscles melt, and, on a personal note, getting punched and kicked is not too pleasant. And you have to do all of this while subsisting on a meager diet of rice and vegetables. As someone who has served in the military, I know about the shock of going from regular meals and little exercise to rare meals and exercising for hours and running five miles a day. Your life at Shaolin will not be much different.

And if my height is 1.92cm. it do not interfere me?

I don't think there is a height requirement for joining the monkhood.

JohnD makes a good point about the schools in Dengfeng. I've read that some of the instructors were monks at one time.

You are not the first person to ask about this. The same question was asked by an Indian fellow in 2008. One disgruntled member mentioned this:

I lived and trained there as a "monk" for 6 months. It was a waste of time and money. I learned nothing. Everything they taught me I knew already. And I beat a "monk" in a sparring match. d**** fakes!


Edited by ghostexorcist, 24 January 2011 - 10:27 AM.


#7 JohnD

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:38 AM

Living in another country is pretty tough as well, especially if you will be there by yourself. I'm American, but I moved to Taiwan six months ago with my wife. I have been to Taiwan twice before to visit, I knew a lot of the culture beforehand, and I could speak some Chinese and understand even more. Still, there is some culture shock. Simply dealing with the way people over here think about different things (such as doctors; Taiwanese run to the doctor at a single cough) is challenging. It's not just a change of language and scenery. Some of the differences are too subtle to put into words, but my point is to think about what you would be getting into.

My advice is to save up all the money you can now, and when you graduate, go over to China and take some classes, but not at a monastery. Try it for six months, and see where you are then. If you still want to be a monk, it won't be too late.

#8 TAOW

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 07:07 PM

What everyone says is correct, don't jump the gun and know why your going into it. Further you say your fine abstaining from meat, sex, etc. Reality things is, its much easier said than done. Further know there won't be any english translation most likely, and it'll be in mandarin- so do you even understand/talk to language? I'd go further saying..unless your already meditating, doing kungfu, and reading scriptures (every single day, several hours a day) then don't bother going..cause thats the reality of things. You get up 6 am run..eat, kungfu, meditate, scriptures etc. If you can't have a fairly structured practice in your own life right now- test it, and if you can't keep it up constantly within a year, drop the idea. People usaully say "Oh I want to be x" then I'd say..how much do you want it? And if your thinking of such..be aware of your motivations, are you trying escape your own life right now cause you don't want to face the actual issues @ hand, or is there actual substance to it (meaning most likely your doing the practices already).

Edited by TAOW, 25 January 2011 - 07:10 PM.





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