Shaolin Temple monks are famous for their acrobatic skills and death-defying martial arts. Some monks have even gone ahead and shared a decent meal with a tiger, but there are a few jobs that these lethal, yet peaceful disciples of Buddha aren’t trained for. Hence a 1,500 Years old Shaolin Temple released a ‘for hire’ advertisement online.
An online ad placed by China’s 1,500-year-old Shaolin temple already has drawn a brisk response, proving the institution’s glorious place in Chinese history and popular culture. The move is the latest attempt by the enterprising abbot Shi Yongxin to exploit the temple’s fame in the name of propagating Buddhist thinking and culture.
More than 300 people have already applied for the two positions available, including business executives, media professionals and recent graduates of top overseas universities, reported ECNS. Interestingly, though the temple’s monks are all male, men and women are both invited to send in their resumes.
The Shaolin temple is hiring people to take care of its publicity and advertisements. Needless to say, traditional and orthodox monks have openly criticized these attempts to commercially exploit Shaolin’s name by Shi Yongxin.
Since taking over as abbot in the 1990s, Shi has radically stepped up the efforts to ensure the Shaolin School of martial arts and the practice of learning self-discipline through rigorous training and mediation gets its due credit. However, monks haven’t appreciated his techniques which appear overly commercialized.
Shi has threatened to sue companies that use the temple’s name or image without permission. He has even acted as executive producer for martial arts films centred on the temple. Since taking over, the temple has begun to take in foreign students, run month-long executive martial arts retreats, and maintain a website in both Chinese and English.
The income generated from such activities has allowed Shi to upgrade temple facilities. The temple now boasts of lavish visitor restrooms equipped with uniformed cleaners and TVs. The advertisement says the temple is looking to hire a ‘Media Director’ and ‘Chief Editor’. Moreover, one of the major roles of the chosen candidate will be to skilfully and discreetly deflect or dissipate media criticism and handle accusations of overexploitation.
Interestingly, though the job-profile is modern and many candidates can technically apply, the advertisement clearly mentions the candidate needs to have a clear understanding and appreciation for Zen Buddhist thought and culture, reported Metro News. Moreover, the candidate who desires to work for Shaolin Temple must be able to “handle loneliness”.
Now why would a Media Director need to stay lonely in order to manage worldwide publicity of a Shaolin Temple, isn’t mentioned.
[Image Credit | Hostels, The Wire]