National Geographic : 2011 Mar
o en camping near the ruins of a small temple on a nearby mountain peak. e oldest monks, disheartened by Shaolin's expanding commercial ventures, encouraged Dejian to establish the old temple as a retreat focused on Chan Wu Yi. He recruited local masons to quarry granite blocks out of the rock faces, and he and his disciples hauled bags of cement and roof tiles up to the site. Slowly they have transformed the crumbling temple into a complex of pagodas that appears to cling to the steep mountainside. It is a setting that evokes a meditative calm. Pockets of thick fog get trapped along the ridge- lines, magpies nest among the outcrops, and springs intermittently spray over the rocks. e only human sounds are the constant tink, tink, tink of the masons' chisels ringing in the chill air. Dejian and his disciples tend small groves of bamboo and terraced plots of vegetables and herbs. ey adhere to a vegetarian diet and har- vest wildflowers, mosses, and roots to make medicines for everything from insect bites to liver problems. People come from all over China seeking advice for various ailments. Usually they want treatment only for symptoms, says Dejian, but "Chan Wu Yi treats the whole person. When the person is healthy, the symptoms disappear." His habit is to rise at 3:30 a.m., rst meditating, then practicing breathing techniques designed to strengthen the chi. ere was a time when he would spend six hours or more practicing tra- ditional kung fu forms every day, but now he is pulled by some of the same modern forces that are reshaping the Shaolin Temple. Responding to requests to lecture, raising money to nish the construction, training his disciples, and of course attending to the stream of visitors---all compete for his attention and energy. A monk seeks shelter from a snow shower in the Shaolin complex, lavishly rebuilt in recent years. Stone tablets throughout the grounds testify to the generosity of patrons from all over the world. BRAND MORE THAN RESTORE ITS SOUL.