Shaolin Monks Own Smartphones, Are Not Allowed To Play Video Games

Shaolin Monks Own Smartphones, Are Not Allowed To Play Video Games

The Shaolin Temple, that place you hear about in all those Wu-Tang rap songs, is very much part of the 21st century. But despite the Shaolin monks and their affinity for technology, according to the abbot, video games and television are off limits.

Shi Yongxin, the abbot of the Shaolin Temple in China’s Henan province, recently concluded a trip to the United States. Shi was in the States visiting tech giants and learning about the prospects of how the rise of information and technology affects our lives as well as how they can help spread Shaolin teachings.

Shaolin Monks Own Smartphones, Are Not Allowed To Play Video Games

During his trip, Shi had visited Apple, Google and Stanford University. He even met with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

In a press briefing with Chinese journalists this week, Shi talked about the virtues of the information age. He also touched on a few subjects such as video games and TV. According to Shi, video games can be addictive and television shows limit people so both forms of entertainment are completely off limits to the Shaolin monks.

This statement from Shi is kind of interesting. Shi has been known as the man that brought the Shaolin Temple to the 21st century. He helped launch the Shaolin Temple’s website. He ordered the construction of a guest house on the Temple grounds as well as other various construction projects.

With Shi’s penchant for moving the temple forward, he’s also opened up the Shaolin monks under his tutelage to a wider world of troubles and temptations. Which is why I think it’s odd that he’s forbidding monks from partaking in TV and video games which can be innocuous as well as terrible.

On the flip side, Shi’s argument against gaming and TV is understandable. Shaolin monks are supposed to live a life free of worldly desires. That and they’re supposed be kicking arse.

少林寺方丈:游戏会让人上瘾 僧人不能玩游戏 [NetEase]

Picture: SIHASAKPRACHUM/Shutterstock


  • I went on a day trip to Shaolin Temple in China while I was teaching in Zheng Zhou.
    And guess what, you’d walk through all the ancient pagodas and temples and most monks were standing in circles playing on their phones.
    Really took the magic out of the experience for me.

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