USA Shaolin Temple | Capital Campaign
USA Shaolin Temple
New Temple New Life


Being at the Temple has given me the opportunity to rediscover who I am and learn to express that fully in every moment of every day. Shifu's tremendous positivity and confidence has shown me the same in myself, and has allowed me to grow further than I'd ever imagined. The philosophy demonstrated by the Temple and its community is truly universal, and as the temple expands, more and more people will be able to benefit as well.

 - Chris Wallace (Dharma name Shi Heng De), Web Developer

Training at the Shaolin Temple has brought immeasurable inner wealth to my life. The Shaolin Kung Fu workouts have not only strengthened me physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Each training session is intense and rejuvenating. I love it with all my heart. It energizes me, clears my head and helps me be more motivated and able to accomplish my goals and dreams. It really provides clear, pure meditation through action, with the added benefit of learning an amazing martial art. Shifu Shi Yan Ming truly leads and inspires by example. He has created a supportive and incredibly positive training environment where I am continuously challenged to "extend myself"--to give 100% effort in training so that I can give 100% effort in life.

- Elaine Kwon, DMA, Concert Pianist

As with so many of Shifu’s students and disciples, joining the temple was a life transforming experience for me. I no longer waited for events or people to make me happy --- I was happy --- happy on rainy days and snowy days and hot days (well, not quite as happy on the hot days); happy when things went right and still happy when they didn’t --- because it is all part of this beautiful life.

- Gay Haubner (Dharma name Shi Heng Po), Non-Profit Program Director

I train because, like everyone, I need to cleanse myself, polish and sharpen my life. The particular beauty of Shaolin training is that it is not directly prescriptive and Shifu's distillation of Shaolin philosophy is equally open and simple: Understand yourself. Respect yourself. Respect others. Don't do bad things. Do good things. Help others.

Shaolin training is a crucible whose intense heat can burn away all of our impurities. The intensity of the heat is correlated to how hard we train -- the brighter the heat, the purer we become. There are so many lessons embedded in this, in the regimen of action meditation, if we are open to the learning. Again, since this type of training is not prescriptive, each one must find her own lessons and teach herself. It is truly for everyone.

In order to open this philosophy to everyone, and to provide an ideal environment for this kind of meditation, we must create a house in which to practice that is close to nature and away from the rigors of the city, not as an escape but as an augmentation to our lives in an increasingly urbanized world.

- Irwin Chen (Dharma name Shi Heng Nou), Web Developer and Professor

I'm early in my training, but there's no turning back. Even if I go away for a few months I could walk back in and start training again. The only pressure you might feel is the one you put on yourself to bring in Chi (Energy) for the 2 hour session. The point Shifu is making is that after those 2 intense hours your training has only just begun, or continues. Life is training. Keep your head & chest up and embrace the world with all it's joy & pain.

- Eric Alperin, Writer, Producer, and Actor

When I first saw the Shaolin banner I thought that Tai Chi classes might help get rid of my middle age aches and pains. But a cheerful and enthusiastic young lady at the front desk talked me into signing up for Kung Fu instead. I limped home after the first class wondering if I had made a teeny tiny mistake. But I felt pretty good the next morning so I went back.

It seems that Kung Fu is just what a bookworm like myself needs.  My improvement is remarkable, in balance, in flexibility, in stamina and stance. My aches and pains are few and far between. Classes are set up so that students at different levels can study together comfortably. The teachers are friendly, and beginners are made to feel welcome.

The robust good health of the Shaolin commumity and their vigorous mystic tradition are impressive. I enjoy the sense of community and although I haven't been on any of the retreats yet, I look forward to attending one day.

It's interesting to be exposed to the Buddhist spirit through people, instead of through books. The hard work and dedication of the teachers and disciples are inspiring, and an excellent example for all who study under the Shaolin banner.

- Ann Peck, Museum Security

I have changed in many ways. First, I am much stronger, with increased stamina. When I first started, I did not think I would be able to maintain the regimen, given the physical strength and endurance that training seemed to require, particularly since I was older than most students I observed. Shifu assured me that I could do it but it would take longer. I continue to be surprised at how much I have been able to do.

I have found that the focus and discipline needed to train at the Temple over a longer period has changed my focus and mental discipline outside of training. I also found that after training for many months, the spirit of the Temple when I train is something I look forward to. I feel I have a better understanding of “action meditation”, which is what I feel goes on when I train. The quiet and concentration that Shifu demands in training where talking is discouraged provides a welcome change in one's daily life. I also feel that training provides an invaluable benefit to my health and well-being. In contrast to many other kinds of conditioning activities, the combination of mental and physical training with the discipline that Shifu imposes is unique.

I underwent major surgery several years ago. My doctor was amazed at my ability to train up to several days before surgery when many patients would have been weak with a similar prognosis. He was again struck with both the speed of my recovery and the completeness of the healing. I attribute a lot of my body’s response to my training at the Temple and the conditioning that one experiences.

- Tishan Hsu, Artist and Professor

Whether it is taking the stairs over the escalator, looking someone in the eyes when I am speaking to them, or eating healthier, I constantly find ways to apply Kung Fu to everything I do. I have been training at the temple for almost two years now and my desire to train harder grows stronger every day. I am glad that Shifu plans to open a bigger temple up state. I know how much the temple has affected me in the small amount of time I spend there. I can only imagine the affect it will have on people once they are able to train all day long, all year long, out in nature where you can really look far.

- Christopher Erk, Dance Instructor

Being Dyslexic, I never thought I was a person who could do Kung Fu. Studying at the Temple has changed the image I have of myself. Not only am I improving those things that challenge me physically, but mentally, I am learning the value of patience, the joy of pushing myself, and learning to be a part of something bigger than my own needs. This of course bleeds into the other activities that consume my day. Encouraging my peers is a big part of the joy of studying at the Temple. When I see them challenge themselves I am inspired to meet the mark they set.

I feel anyone who wanted to study at the temple would quickly learn the joy
of really checking into the moments of their life, and celebrating the ability to express themselves physically with others. There is a great lifting of the spirit knowing you can do something that you've never thought possible.

- Sharon Eisman, Actor/Voiceover artist

I have a better understanding of myself. Training has helped me become more focused and aware of things that I took for granted before. For instance, the discipline of knowing my body and pushing it to its limits has helped me to persevere through tough situations and understand that there is really no limit to what I set my mind to. Physical and Mental are one and the same.

- Jose Mercado (Dharma name Shi Heng Shi), Architect/Green Builder

After the first class I was infused with an energy, excitement, and joy that I had rarely felt and from that point on I made my schedule work so that I could train as much as I could and I have been training ever since. I have never changed so much as I have over the past year and a half. I am more of the person I dream of being in each moment. The philosophy I have learned in Kung Fu has helped me change my life.  Give 100% all of the time, know yourself, push yourself to grow and change, stretch your body stretch your mind, respect yourself and the world. Shifu, the temple and training have helped me take responsibility for myself and the world.  They have helped me find confidence in myself and my actions. They have helped me live courageously and to really feel and experience all of the beauty that life has to offer; the pain, sadness, joy, fear, everything. Shifu and the Shaolin temple have given me the most positive, encouraging family, a family that pushes me to be all that I want to be and to create my own destiny.

- Courtney Munch (Dharma Name Shi Heng Ren), Actor and Yoga Instructor

For me, the temple school is a way to follow my passion, it completes my life. I feel strong mentally, spiritually, and physically. I enjoy the philosophy and I practice everyday and there are others who need to know about the philosophy and what the new temple can provide. It’s a great opportunity for New York.

- Arturo Neri (Dharma name Shi Heng Bao), Restaurant Manager

I don’t know where I would be now if I would have never came to the temple but I am sure it wouldn’t be a good place, the temple means happiness to me and I support it as much as I can. AMITUOFO!!!

- Daugvydas Skema (Dharma name Shi Heng Shen), Student
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