Real Shaolin monk runs on water after 6 tries – is it a trick?

Monday, September 09, 2019

A Chinese Shaolin monk has broken records by managing to run on water for a full 125 meters.

Shi Liliang, a monk from the Shaolin temple in eastern Quanzhou city, used 200 floating plywood planks to assist his feat, which requires him to move quickly and tread incredibly lightly to succeed.

Wearing only a pair of black shorts and with his arms outstretched for balance, Shi Liliang sprinted across a wide river in front of a large, cheering crowd who were willing him to succeed.

The Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple is a Chan Buddhist temple in Dengfeng County, Zhengzhou, Henan province, China.

The name refers to the forests   of Shaoshi mountain, one of the seven peaks of Song mountains. Dating back 1,500 years, Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.

There are many, many people at the Shaolin temple. Most are not monks, or at least not in the sense that you might think.

Shaolin monks can be split up into different categories. Those at the Shaolin temple can be categorized in the following way.

1. Abbott
2. Shaolin Monks
3. Shaolin Lay Monks

1. Abbott
The Abbott is the leader of the Shaolin Temple organization. Shaolin is now a corporation, making millions of dollars every year, with very active interest from the Chinese government.

The current Abbott, Shì Yǒngxìn, has been called the CEO monk and this could not be truer. Like many religious organizations around the world, Shaolin, being Buddhist, is cashing in. This has led to a lot of criticism from within the Chinese community and abroad.

2. Shaolin Monks
Shaolin monks can take different forms. Not every monk you see in and around the temple is a brilliant warrior. A Shaolin monk is simply a monk.

They follow the life of a Buddhist monk. That is the key thing here. They give their life over to their religion, following strict rules, including celibacy, abstaining from meat and alcohol. Traditionally, monks would be given a bowl would have to beg for food as one of the rules was to only accept what was given.

As mentioned, there are many different types of monks including scholarly (indeed, the current Abbott has a university degree himself), clerical (monks needed to perform the day to day rites) as well as the warrior monks.

The thing that ties all of the monks together is their religion. Without adherence to religion, one is not a true Shaolin monk.

3. Shaolin Lay Monks
Not everyone at the temple or those who have associations with the temple are cut out for the strict requirements of being a Shaolin monk. Those who decide the life is not for them are not cut off from the temple, however.

There are many schools in China teaching martial arts who say they have authentic Shaolin monks teaching. When people arrive and see the masters wearing jeans and a shirt, many feel at least slightly confused and even deceived.

This is not necessarily the case, though it might be, depending on the school.