China’s Hipster Buddhist Monk

Shi Daoxin is not your average Chinese Buddhist monk, and we’re not just talking about the hipster glasses. He uses an iPhone, takes copious pictures of himself, has a blog and a music career, and is very popular with the ladies. And he may be the new face of Chinese Buddhism. And, oh yeah, everything he does pretty much flies in the face of the traditional, almost clichéd, image of the Buddhist monk as a quiet, thoughtful, humble man of piety, poverty and peace. And as you might expect, Shi has created some controversy within China over his very public, almost flamboyant, approach to being a monk. Shi is 29 and has been a Buddhist monk since he was 17. His position is that as the world grows more modern and technological, so must Buddhism embrace technology and modernity. Who knows? Perhaps the man is right. Or perhaps this is another example of personality-cult building, a craving for celebrity from an unlikely source. It is pleasing to note that Shi donates all the proceeds from the sales of his music to charity. But as for what this unusual monk truly represents, go to the link, have a look around, and judge for yourself. (21CB – Modern Hipster Buddhist Monk)

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