Shi Yan's Open Road

SHI YAN MING

Shaolin Warrior
USA Shaolin Temple

“People take medicine. But the best medicine is happiness. You must know how to doctor yourself. If you’re happy, you can kick terrible things out of life. You must master yourself...Find yourself. If you can find yourself, you can find happiness everywhere.”

INTERESTS:

Philosophy & Religion Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Culture Experience Fulfillment Confidence

TAGS:

Buddha, Buddhism, challenge, discipline, excuses, exercise, happiness, helping others, illness, life, love, martial arts, medication, medicine, monk, peace, philosophy, respect, stress, wisdom

BIOGRAPHY:

“Breaking rocks with your skull” isn’t a work duty that’s found in most job descriptions. But for Shaolin monk Shi Yan Ming, it’s the work equivalent of filing papers. The martial arts master has spent decades honing his supernatural kung fu skills, and at this point, he can deflect knives, sleep upside down whilst hanging from a tree branch, and lick red-hot iron shovels. But Yan Ming insists that the most important quality of being a warrior monk isn’t the physical stuff—it’s about knowing how to cherish life. And Yan Ming definitely knows something about treasuring existence; after all, at the age of 3, he nearly died of sickness, and his penniless parents had to sell vital possessions just to pay for a doctor. After numerous unsuccessful medical treatments, Yan Ming was finally brought to the nearby Shaolin temple, where he made a miraculous recovery. He's alive and well today, and credits Buddhism with saving his life. In fact, he believes the power of happiness and balance is more powerful than medicine. As such, at his self-run Shaolin temple, he teaches students to slow down, take a breath, and find themselves. These tactics for stress reduction are especially valuable in today’s fast-paced world—and since Yan Ming’s temple is located smack-dab in the middle of New York city, frenzied New Yorkers can certainly appreciate his mentality! (and, of course, his uncanny high-kick.)

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