SANTIAGO – Monks from China’s Shaolin Temple have traveled to the Chilean capital to spread awareness about Zen Buddhism and Kung Fu.
Already seen by 5 million people in 11 European and Asian countries, the “Shaolin Kung Fu” show is booked for a two-week run at Santiago’s Teatro Municipal de Las Condes.
The 19 monks are from the mountain-top Shaolin monastery, where they learn both Buddhism and martial arts.
The Shaolin monastery is situated in the Chinese province of Henan and it is considered the most famous temple in the country with a teaching history dated more than 1,500 years ago.
Legend holds that the Indian master Buddhabhadra traveled to China in A.D. 480 to convince communities that Buddhism was best taught through personal contact as opposed to texts.
In 496, Buddhabhadra received funds from a Chinese emperor to establish a monastery on the sacred mountain of Shaoshi, a temple that later became known as Shaolin.
Temple monks dedicated themselves exclusively to meditation until the arrival of another Indian, Bodhidharma.
During his isolation period he observed animal movements and taking upon his knowledge on warriors who came to the temple to rest after battles, began developing exercises for monks that evolved into Kung Fu.
Since that time, all students of the temple meditate for two hours before sunrise and exercise for 10 hours, 365 days a year, to achieve control over their bodies and minds and build endurance to pain.