Some people think that since we, the Shaolin monastics, feverishly treasure Shaolin culture and Shaolin tradition, it goes without saying that we tend to be rather narrow-minded and conservative in dealing with matters closely related to Shaolin culture. But, as a matter of fact, we are neither narrow-minded nor conservative in dealing matters that are closely related to Shaolin culture. In this regard, our deeds can be more eloquent than our verbal self-justification indeed! We have recently publicized the text of Shaolin Medicinal Canon and that of Shaolin Martial Arts Canon. The two works have been kept esoteric and forbidden to the laity since they were written scores of centuries ago. Can narrow-mindedness or conservatism account for our monastery’s motive behind the release to the public of the two exclusively Shaolin classics? We are of the opinion that non-material cultural heritage should not be kept esoteric; otherwise no vestige of its existence would be left behind—or rather, the public would be left quite in the in the dark about its existence—in case it vanished or were destroyed in an unpredictable disaster. In Shaolin Martial Arts Canon are recorded less than one thousand “pugilistic training routines”. Generally speaking, with the demise of one generation of our “gong-fu monks” about a score or so of the “pugilistic training routines” would be relegated to oblivion, because each generation of the “gong-fu monks” can master at most several hundred “pugilistic training routines”. Therefore lore of martial arts of the Shaolin school is actually diminishing from one generation to another. If we still persisted in keeping Shaolin Martial Arts Canon esoteric, the said lore would fall into total oblivion in the foreseeable future.
In Shaolin Medicinal Canon are recorded thousands of traditional Chinese medicinal prescriptions which were all efficacious prescriptions in ancient China. But, before introducing them to present-day clinical application, a number of experiments need to be done to test their efficacy, because in ancient China all the medicinal herbs used in a prescription were completely spontaneous natural growths existing deep in mountains or forests, rather than cultivated plants. But nowadays all the medicinal herbs in use are cultivated plants, rather than purely natural growths. Nobody can tell how cultivated medicinal herbs would bear upon the efficacy of an aeon-old traditional Chinese medicinal prescription before repeated experiments have been done to find out. Our purpose in publicizing the text of Shaolin Medicinal Canon is offering it for public examination, encouraging the public to do experiments for verifying the efficacy of the prescriptions recorded in the canon and to prudently putting them to clinical application.（From My Heart My Buddha）