Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Skateboarding monk shocks China

Source: Ananova

Photographs of a monk skateboarding inside a historic temple have caused controversy in China.

They were taken by a visitor to the Emei Mountain Temple, in Sichuan province, and posted on the internet, reports Huaxi Metropolis News.

The monastery stands near the top of Mount Emei - the highest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China and the site of the country's first ever Buddhist temple.

Internet users were taken aback by the photographs and posted comments criticising the monk for adopting a "modern fad".

"Monks should seek quietness and riding a skateboard is such a contradictory thing to Buddhist life," said one.

However, a spokesman for the temple said that the outside world did not understand the life of a contemporary monk.

"People get their impressions from TV or movies, where monks are praying all day long, without any motivation or desire," he said.

"But these days monks also enjoy sports like badminton, table tennis and skateboarding in the spare time, as well as praying.

"They even use the internet and mobile phones to promote Buddhism. This is not contradictory to Buddhism but actually is part of the Buddhist spirit."

I'm sick of all these righteous people. It's almost 2010 people. The skateboard is NOT modern fad! It's a 1980s toy.. do people still use skateboards? I haven't seen one in ages.

Also monks have always used technology. I'm sure when the abacus was invented monks were using them. Were people in the streets complaining that monks needed to count on their fingers and seek quietness?

Here in Calgary, I've seen monks at the University. They are invited as guest speakers or they themselves take religious studies and learn about other religions.

I know of temples that have computers there and have their own websites. The notion that monasteries need to be quite and back in the 1800s is false. They are very innovative while still valuing their teachings. Modernizing religion is a good thing, it could bring more people to it in an age where athiestism seems to be the norm.


Roger Williams said...

Interestingly, officially atheist China has seen an enormous resurgence in Buddhist devotional art and statuary. See this list of the world's tallest statues, and note how many enormous Buddhas have gone up in China since the mid to late 1990s!

Degenerasian said...

Officially atheist but it never really was. The people still practiced all forms of buddhism, taosism, confusiusism etc...

I think even the top communist officials are religious. That's why the statues were built or restored.

Roger Williams said...

A dwarf's hands are big enough to handle McFred's microchoad.

PerryPie said...

I have to agree with you here. Having traditional values doesn't mean being stuck in the dark ages. Religion must adapt and evolve like everything else in the world. Or it dies off.

Degenerasian said...

Yes. Not only should Religion adapt and evolve like everything else in the world, it should be leading the way. But instead it's stuck in it's own ways.

Remember the whole "the sun revolves around the earth" thing? That only took about 100 years.