After the Cultural Revolution in China, no one believed that Chinese hermits still lived in the Chungnan mountains – the traditional place of hermits.
Bill Porter described in “Road to Heaven – Encounters with Chinese Hermits” his journey in 1989 to the Chungnan mountains, where he have met dozens of monks and nuns, who have continued to lead a solitary life in contemplation and faith.
Next to a report of the journey, this book includes to some extend an excellent study of the history, the sociology and the religious faith of these hermits; but above all, the encounters with the contemporary monks and nuns are impressive.
The author asked a female Buddhist hermit in contemporary China to the core of Buddhist life in calligraphy on paper. She puts the paper aside. A few months later, the author received four words per post:
“Benevolence, Compassion, Joy and Detachment”.
Her calligraphy is strong and clear as her soul.