UK Shaolin Temple firmly believes that the undertakings found in the Shaolin and Chinese culture can improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities across the world. As such, the aims of our our organisation are to:

  • Improve the wellbeing of people in the UK according to the lifestyle of the Shaolin culture.
  • Educate & engage people with many aspects of Chinese culture.
  • Share, promote & preserve traditional Shaolin culture & heritage.

We execute these aims by holding dedicated classes, one off activities, seminars, workshops and courses. Through these activities, we encourage physical activity that integrates a calm mental and emotional consciousness. Exploring lifestyles and disciplines that calm and expand the mind. Creating social cohesion by providing opportunities for communal solidarity whilst exploring different cultural pastimes. Our activities aim to be all-inclusive and accessible by offering something to suit everyone. As a part of this commitment we offer many free events and activities and offer a scheme to help those who are on a low-income access our classes and courses. We also undertake fundraising activities in the form of campaigns to help realise these objects. One such campaign is our ‘Live Well’ initiative. This campaign is dedicated to encouraging an integrated approach to health, wellbeing and how our relation to our environment. This campaign also explores how Shaolin and Chinese culture correlate to this approach. The physical results of this campaign include publications, research activities and further opportunities for activities that are geared towards this aim.

 

Teaching and Developing Shaolin Culture

Over the course of the Shaolin Temple’s long history it developed a rich culture. Within it are many unique traditions which express the wisdom of Ch’an Buddhism in many different forms. These include countless meditation techniquesCh’an philosophy and physical expressions such as the forms of Shaolin Kung Fu. UK Shaolin Temple is keen to pass on the knowledge of this culture because it offers many ways in which to improve health and wellbeing and achieve self-realisation. This is offered in a number of ways, including lecturesseminarsworkshopsretreats, work within schoolscolleges and universities and finally youth groups. We also have many events coming up throughout the year so it pays to keep in touch. Because of the length and vitality of Shaolin’s history, we wish to preserve its authentic teachings so that many more people may learn and develop from them. This is why we are campaigning to build a permanent home for them in the UK using our UK Shaolin Temple Central Temple Campaign. In addition, our Live Well campaign includes and incorporates many aspects from Shaolin culture to facilitate the way to an integrated and robust approach to health and wellbeing. We also highly value the promotion of other aspects of Chinese culture. Wider Chinese culture is as equally as important as the study of Shaolin culture itself, since it is the foundation of the traditions of Shaolin, Shaolin itself and Ch’an Buddhism. We therefore offer Chinese cultural studies including Chinese languageartcalligraphy, philosophy and other Chinese cultural traditions. Everyone is welcome to learn about this unique culture. Our services are delivered in such a way that should allow everyone to access the information, we aim not to excluded anyone from this process. It doesn’t matter if you are of a different culture or religion, as the teaching is offered freely with no commitment needed to continue.

Working in the Community

UK Shaolin Temple is passionate about our Shaolin traditions and we aim to make our skills and resources as accessible as possible to many areas of the community. Our resources come in many forms, such as courses, online resources and one-off events. This is so that more people can have the opportunity to firstly, learn more about these traditions and secondly, have the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing through their practice.

Working with schools and young people

Being in good health is important for young people and it is our mission to help facilitate this. But we believe that it is not enough for young people to have only one area of their lives that is healthy. Their whole being should be so; mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. This approach helps instil a well-rounded approach to health which will hopefully encourage a healthy lifestyle in later life. We are eager to work with young people through schools, youth groups, universities, retreats, and discussion groups. If you are a school, college, university or group that would like to work with us, please contact us and let us know your requirements.

Working with the wider community

Every life stage has its needs and we aim to offer something for everyone. This has always been important to us. We offer classes in all areas for children, youths, young adults, older adults and the elderly. It doesn’t matter what your abilities are as we aim to include the less able bodied and those with other needs in all that we do. Special classes will be offered if it is safer to do so, but for other classes we all work together as one. No one should ever feel excluded. Again if you have extra needs and have suggestions for how we can meet them, please do get in touch and share them. We would love to hear from you.

Working with businesses

Our working lives have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. However the running of a business is also critically dependent on the health of its workers. Stress in the workplace is on the rise and absence from work due to stress related illness is on the increase. We can offer a range of activities to suit your workforce including meditation, Kung Fu, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, which are all proven to reduce stress and improve general wellbeing. We can also run team building activities. Whatever the size of your organisation is, if you would like to support the health and wellbeing of your employees, please get in touch with us so we can discuss your requirements.

Community Outreach Projects

As part of our commitment to make our skills and resources as accessible as possible to the wider community, UK Shaolin Temple has participated in and is currently developing outreach community projects. These come in many forms, such as courses, online resources and one-off events. We do this so that wider areas of the community, or individuals or groups who would be unable to access our services, have our services brought to them. This is so that more people can have the opportunity to firstly, learn more about these traditions and secondly, have the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing through their teachings and practice.

Outreach projects with schools and young people

Previously, UK Shaolin Temple has been involved in taster sessions for youth groups, such as Winchester Cubs. In addition, we have also held sessions in schools, including a Kung Fu summer camp in Westgate Secondary School, Winchester. Also a number of taster sessions in a six-form college in Oxford involving Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. We are eager for more opportunities to work with schools or youth groups. If you are a school, college, university or group that would like to work with us, please contact us and let us know your requirements. Currently, we are also developing an array of class room resources. In production are a variety of downloadable worksheets for Key Stage 1 – 4, which are being developed by a qualified teacher. If you are a parent or teacher and have any ideas, please let us know and email them to the address below. When complete sets are available, they will be freely downloadable for teacher and parent use.

Working with the wider community

We have held many Shaolin projects to benefit the wider community. These include a meditation session for a Bournemouth disability association. A meditation course for Bournemouth’s Buddhism Society and free meditation classes in Boscombe to introduce the fundamentals of meditation practice and theory. It doesn’t matter what your abilities are as we aim to include the less able bodied and those with other needs in all that we do. Special classes will be offered if it is safer to do so, but for other classes we all work together as one. No one should ever feel excluded. Again if you have extra needs and have suggestions for how we can meet them, please do get in touch and share them. We would love to hear from you. 

Working with businesses

Our working lives have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing and like a ripple, the health and wellbeing of employees has a profound influence of the health of the organisation. UK Shaolin Temple has previously worked with organisations and businesses to support the health and wellbeing of its staff. This includes working in cooperation with HSBC to teach Shaolin and Chinese culture in schools. We have also held Qi Gong and meditation session for companies, to help relieve stress and boost the motivation of their employees. Whatever the size of your organisation is, if you would like to support the health and wellbeing of your employees, please get in touch with us so we can discuss your requirements.

Improving Health & Developing Insight

Ch’an Buddhism contains within its doctrines many practical ways to help people live their lives. The aim of Ch’an is to help people realise their true self, which is free from the influences of destructive forces such as greed, selfishness and attachment. Furthermore, Ch’an also teaches that we should live in harmony with the world we inhabit and with all beings that share it. Meditation is a vital practice in this study of self-realisation. It raises awareness and receptivity to our nature and what we are individually capable of. Our Buddhist teachers provide essential guidance and are always available to assist people in their road of discovery. Our Ch’an Buddhist studies also include learning its origins, history and the development of Ch’an. From a wider point of view meditation has clear benefits to all people. The calming of the mind enables people to find peace and reflection, which leads to clarity and direction. It also has widely cited health benefits, such as a method of relieving stress and calming blood pressure. Shaolin Kung Fu was formed in the Songshan region of Henan, China some time around 1,500 years ago. It would later become a fully developed and structured physical tradition practiced in the Shaolin Temple. It improves the physical body through increased strength, suppleness, stamina and speed. It also has internal benefits such as stress relief, discipline and co-ordination. The uniqueness of Shaolin Kung Fu is that its physical traditions embody the heart of the ShaolinCh’an Buddhism. On the surface it is evident that Buddhist symbols are featured within the Kung Fu routines. Underneath, its philosophy is based on Ch’an and is therefore a physical form of meditation. Tai Chi, through its slower movements, is a meditative form of exercise. For that reason, it is particularly popular with the elderly. The Tai Chi routines and basics gently improve muscle strength, suppleness and stamina, as well as mental health as it is often cited as a way to relieve stress.  Tai Chi was formed as a physical expression of the interplay between the Yin and Yang energies which are in every thing. Tai Chi is also an embodied philosophy. Qi Gong is a means of building internal and external energy through meditative exercises involving stretching postures and breathing routines. While being a gentle form of exercise, it also involves challenging postures and transition movements which improve mobility, flexibility and co-ordination. The theory of Qi Gong concentrates on the building energy within the body and improving its circulation around it. When this energy becomes unbalanced or deficient, physical or mental problems can occur.  Qi Gong is a healing art therefore, as the balance of energy helps to preserve the person’s health. Much research has been gathered on the positive effects of Qi Gong practice on health.

Research

One of UK Shaolin Temple’s core campaigns is our research activity. This work is vital because we can explore the many diverse ways which Shaolin culture, Ch’an Buddhism and Chinese culture can improve your health and support many aspects of your wellbeing. This campaign is still growing and we need your support to help it develop. Please support us today to keep our research going by make a donation to us.

Production

UK Shaolin Temple’s Production division is dedicated to the adaptation of the physical arts of Shaolin and Chinese culture to different performance mediums. UK Shaolin Temple Production is also aims to use performance as a way to help engage more people with these cultures.