Tag Archives: monks

Review: Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits


Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits
Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits by Bill Porter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

One example:

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.

Highly recommended.

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