Shaolin Monks Are Busy Picking Tea-leaves

Publish Date:2022-05-07

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Mountain forests around Shaolin Temple are arborous in early March. Shaolin monks, together with disciples of ten directions, got to the blessing-forest for farm working--picking fresh eucommia leaves, continuing the family tradition of Chan and farming.

In early 2021, Shaolin Temple called disciples to “keep green hills and clear waters, and harvest blessing fields with boundless beneficence”, which widely got numerous responses from disciples and people, jointly establishing Shaolin blessing forests with beneficence under the leadership of master Shi Yongxin. Shaolin monks picked eucommia leaves under the sunset, contemplating their mind, blessing people and praying for the end of the outbreak soon.

Master Baizhang Huaihai in the Tang Dynasty advocated the tradition as equaling the farming and Chan of “no work one day, no eating one day”. Physically practicing farming work not only purifies the dharma way, but also is an important dharma gate of Chan cultivation for people. Shaolin monks stick to the tradition of equaling farming work and Chan, planting wheat, vegetables, fruits, Chinese herbals and other plants, which not only meet daily needs, but also widely gives in charity and becomes attached to people.

According to master Shi Yongxin, all eucommia trees planted in Shaolin blessing forests are carefully selected and well-adapted. Eucoppia tree is the second class of the rare and protected plant on the brink of extinction in China. Widely planting eucommia trees not only greens and beautifies the environment, but also using its bark in medicine and young leaves in tea. Eucommia tea made by the Shaolin Pharmacy Bureau can also form ties with people and benefit more sentient beings.

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