Shaolin Temple Entering into the first 7-Day Chan Session-- “Energetic Vigorous Chan Qi” in Jihai Year

Publish Date:2021-07-12

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On Nov. 1, 2019, or the 5th day of the tenth lunar month, Patriarch Bodhidharmas birthday, the ancient monastery of Chan sect China Songshan Shaolin Temple entered into the first 7-day Chan session-- Chan Qi in winter each year. During Chan Qi this year, Venerable Master Shaolin Yun, Master Xiuyuan, Master Benru, Master Yaorong and Master Longzhong were invited as first seat, Master Yandian and Master Jingen as west seat, Master Xufa and Master Renjue as rear seat, Master Changci as court head, Master Yanli as karmadana, Master Yandian and Master Yanrong as guest prefect and Master Weiwu as temple chef. A total of 126 Chan monastics from around the country gathered at Meditation Hall of Shaolin Temple, isolating from the outer world and achieving realization within a set timeframe.

As winters coming, heaven and earth will freeze up, leaving from all works and receiving the dharma teaching of enlightenment. In winter, farming activities have been finished. This is the best time for Shaolin monks energetic Chan practice. Chan Qi uses 7 days circles. Shaolin Temple conducts seven periods of 7-day Chan practice in total of 49 days since Patriarch Bodhidharmas birthday each year. Chan Qi is the most supreme Buddhist rite of Shaolin Temple yearly. All Buddhist activities in temple confirm to the principle of simplicity during Chan Qi. All Shaolin monks must protect Chan Qi, benefit achievements of all masters and ensure Chan Qi s successful completion. Buddhist monastics harmonized both body and mind through running incense at the Meditation Hall for valour and vigour as well as breaking through doubt and ending birth and death at Meditation Hall. Each year old Chan masters and major heads are successively back to mountains from everywhere to get together at Meditation Hall in Shaolin Temple for the protection of Chan Qi.

Chan monastics lined up, standing along both sides of the Meditation Hall, with the figure of Patriarch Bodhidharma as the center at 6:30am. The assistant held the board written 起七 walking towards the center of Meditation Hall, completing religious rites according to Buddhist ritual procedure. He hung the board in the east of niche and announced Qi Qi today.

At 3 pm, after the ancestor worship ceremony, major heads and karmadana led Chan monastics attending Chan Qi to the Abbot Hall and applied for permission to Take Time off from Life and Death with the Abbot. Abbot Yongxin gave a dharma teaching: Chan Qi in Jihai Year starts today. Shaolin Temples Chan Qi has become better and better, formed a perfect system and provided better security for Chan monastics over the years. More and more old Chan monastics would like to return to Shaolin Temple attending Chan Qi. I also see many original vows. It is hoped that all Chan monastics could enlighten Hua Tou and achieve realization within a set timeframe during Chan Qi this year.

After applying the permission, all Chan monastics followed major heads and karmadana to the Meditation Hall to change their robes, drinking tea together at the Dining Hall then. In the meantime, Karmadana read the Meditation Halls statute.


At 5:30pm, the Qi Qi ceremony was grandly held at the Meditation Hall in Shaolin Temple. All monastics gathered at the Meditation Hall. Karmadana was ordered by Venerable Master Yongxin to read the list of incense guards during Chan Qi and handed over the incense board. All incense guards and major heads held the incense board parallel with their chest, lined up like Chinese character , tolled the bell and stroke the chime stone and invited Venerable Master Yongxin to unveil Qi Qi for Chan Qi. Then Venerable Master Yongxin held the incense board entering into the Meditation Hall and reading the dharma words. After that he cast the incense board on the floor, yelling: Start! other monastic also called Start! Running incense began.


So far Qi Qi during energetic Chan Qi in Shaolin Temple has formally kicked off. (Edited by Yue Long and photographed by Ren Hongbing and Niguang Feixiang)

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