©Spencer Lloyd Peet
On 12th October, I attended the two-day Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival, a peaceful celebration of mind and body practice which was held at the London Soccerdome. Unfortunately I was only able to spend a couple of hours there as I had a prior engagement later that afternoon. However, I enjoyed the short time I did spend there taking in the atmosphere and watching various demonstrations such as Qi Gong exercises led by Shifu Yan Lei and hearing all about the upcoming martial art film Iron Monk directed by Jason Ninh Cao and starring 34th generation Shaolin disciple Shi Yanzi (see the official trailer here). I was also delighted and honoured to have had the opportunity to meet in person Shi Yongxin (释永信 Shì Yǒngxìn), the head abbot of the Shaolin Temple in China. I will definitely make sure to spend a lot more time at the 4th Shaolin Cultural Festival next year, which I’m very much looking forward to.
About 3rd Shaolin Cultural Festival
After its huge success in Berlin (2012) and Los Angeles (2013), the 3rd Shaolin Cultural Festival, combined with the Chinese Zodiac & Treasure Exhibition brought people of all nations together in celebration of peace and wellbeing. Events included lectures on Zen, life and Shaolin practices, martial arts competitions and fighting skills presentations, an exhibition on Shaolin culture and 12 Zodiac Animals cultural relics, a meditation, medicine, tea & incense ceremony experience, and finally a charity screening at Vue Piccadilly. It was a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about the Chinese culture and heritage, more specifically Shaolin.
The Venerable Grand Master himself, Shi Yongxin, Abbot of the Songshan Shaolin Temple opened the festival and gave his blessing to all the guests. The Shaolin monks were grateful that they were given the chance to spread their simple philosophy: have kind thoughts, speak kind words and do good deeds to everyone.
Head of Shaolin Temple UK and the organising team, Shifu Shi Yanzi said: ‘We were very honoured to welcome my master Abbot Sh Yongxin, Shaolin Monks team and friends old and new from all around Europe and the world to the 3rd Shaolin Cultural Festival & Chinese Zodiac Exhibition 2014.’
For more information, visit: www.shaolintempleuk.org/festival2014
Shaolin Temple UK Facebook page: www.facebook.com/shaolintempleuk
Special thanks to Soo Cole (Coordinator at the 3rd Shaolin Cultural Festival)