If you are looking for more control in your life, both physical and mentally, look into Shaolin monk training.
We know martial arts for their ability to not only build physical strength but also mental strength. All the different styles require the highest levels of discipline. Students learn that the skills received are more about developing mental toughness than just the ability to fight. These disciplines also have spiritual connections and allow the individual to reach peace with the world.
Shaolin monks are seen as some of the most disciplined and respected martial artists of them all. This article will look at training to be a Shaolin monk and the different life lessons you can learn from it.
What Is Shaolin Monk Training?
Kung Fu is a big part of the training to be a Shaolin Monk, but as mentioned, it’s more about teaching discipline and not fighting. They use this discipline for the body while teaching you about the beauty of the world.
Shaolin Monks are basically Buddhist warriors. Many of the moves in Shaolin Kung Fu mimic movements of animals. By doing this, it helps to make the individual more in tune with nature.
Shaolin Kung Fu goes back 1500 years, and it’s about creating balance. Balance within the individual and balance with the world. The Shaolin Monk is more at ease with their world instead of being overwhelmed and stressed by it.
This is some of the highest levels of training a person can go through. The physical training, however, is still intense and requires immense self-control and self-reflection.
The Buddhist Side of Shaolin Monk Training
It’s important to look at the spiritual side of this training as we can see Shaolin Monks as more spiritual than a warrior.
Buddhism is about living life by the “four noble truths.” These truths include realizing that suffering is a part of life. One of the biggest causes of suffering in life is desire. This can be a desire for physical things and pleasures, and it needs to be controlled. The four noble truths teach us that rejecting desire allows us to escape suffering.
From this, happiness, or Nirvana, is achieved by following a specific path. They call this the “eightfold path” and it’s the cornerstone of Buddhism and Shaolin training. This path includes the following:
- Right intent
- Right understanding
- Right speech
- Right livelihood
- Right concentration
- Right mindfulness
- Right effort
- Right action
When following this path, it will overhaul how you live and see the world. The eightfold path will improve all of your interactions including ones with family, friends, and even strangers.
With this better understanding of how Shaolin Monk training works regarding Buddhism, here are 5 life lessons you can learn from it:
1. Better Structure to Your Day
Discipline is critical in life. Shaolin training can help you wake up earlier each day and this allows you more control over it. When you develop the ability to wake up early, it allows you to prepare for the day.
Shaolin monk training teaches you that preparing for the day helps you absorb the pressures and impact the world throws at you. You will be more able to handle this in a less stressful way.
2. You Learn to Expand Your Mind
Shaolin and Buddhist training is heavily centered on reading and learning. They both understand that knowledge is a lifelong pursuit. Reading will be one of the most powerful tools to expand the mind. Reading allows you to educate yourself and improve your brain.
This is especially important as we age as reading allows the mind to stay sharp and focussed. This thirst for knowledge also leads to self-development and the enrichment of the mind. The Shaolin warrior never stops learning.
3. You Become More in Tune with Yourself
The discipline of training and learning allows you to become more self-aware. Meditation is a big part of this lifestyle, and it will help you develop inner peace. This inner peace allows you to become more in tune with yourself.
Training in this way teaches you to understand what is truly in your mind. They encourage writing in the Shaolin Monk lifestyle as the process allows a mental revelation. By putting your thoughts onto paper, you will bring out those things that may have been hidden in the mind.
This is when you become more connected to yourself and also more vulnerable. When you bring out your thoughts, doubts, fears, and worries, it allows you to tackle them head-on. When they remain buried in the mind, needless stress is always slow-burning in the background.
4. Becoming a Better Communicator
Shaolin monk training teaches you to listen to your own language. You may not know how negative your language is each day. Many of your interactions and responses may be very negative and unhelpful.
It’s important to listen to what you’re saying each day and make a mental note of anything negative. When your head is full of negative thoughts, they come out in the things we say. Nipping this in the bud is important for you to be a better communicator.
What you say reflects your mind’s nature so make sure you surround yourself with people and things that are positive and uplifting. This way you will inspire and uplift others.
5. Learning More Responsibility
Shaolin monk training allows you to return to yourself. With this return comes an ability to take more responsibility for your actions. With improved responsibility comes better ownership, and from here it allows you to fix broken situations.
The Shaolin monk realizes he may always be at fault and this helps develop better control of our own judgment. The Shaolin monk lifestyle teaches you not to blame others for everything but take on more responsibility. This will help you relieve others of their pain along with your own. The ability to make everything your fault seems overwhelming, but it leads to freedom.
In any situation you end up in, you get the freedom to take responsibility to fix it. This allows you to control the moment. Now you will be able to change something instead of pushing the blame on someone else and waiting for someone else to fix it.
Even though Shaolin monk training seems like an ancient approach to life, it still is very practical today. This training embraces Buddhism and allows you to better connect with yourself and the outside world. Training in this way is not just about martial arts, but the ability to improve yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.