Path to inner peace

Updated: 2013-10-29 00:03

By Qi Xin in Kaifeng and Han Bingbin in Beijing (China Daily)

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Path to inner peace

Peace Emezue (left) and her fellow African students warm up before attending their kung fu class at the temple.

Zhang Lifei, the group's Mandarin teacher, says because the 20 African disciples do not speak the same African language, they are divided into two groups, each containing someone who can speak English and can help the others.

"I can speak a little French," Emezue says. "By paraphrasing, I help them to understand what the teacher is saying."

When the morning culture and language class is over, the students join the monks for a typical temple lunch that begins with a ritual.

One of the monks walks out of the dining hall with a bowl of rice. After gently tapping on a wooden fish, he places a ball of rice on a stone as a tribute to all beings, while the monks and students chant from scriptures and clap their hands until tapping of the wooden fish again signals the start of the meal.

Then they all eat in silence.

"Life in the Shaolin Temple is unimaginably lovely and peaceful. It's not like the real world where there is so much hustle," Emezue says.

"I have found a lot of peace of mind here and to be at peace with myself. I would like to teach more people how to do that."

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