Alternate Routes


The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to Shaolin


The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to Shaolin« BACK « TO BEGINNING


Add your e-mail address to receive our monthly news.


Jewellery by Artists: From Picasso to Koons, an exhibition organised by the culture and art portal

Alternate Routes · Asia · china · China · Austris Mailītis

The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to Shaolin

Author: Austris Mailītis6 COMMENTS

The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to Shaolin

I have been interested in Oriental religions as a philosophical movement for quite some time now. Following the winding path of my thoughts and reflections, I have finally arrived at the Zen school of Buddhism as a world view close to my own outlook. The fundamental principles of Zen are contemplation, meditation and intuition. As far as I am concerned, it means creative reflection and an approach resulting in creative living. Understanding life through these principles is rooted in intuition, not so much in dogma.

As a result of a string of coincidences, life offered me an opportunity to travel to Shaolin, the actual birthplace of Zen; in many ways, it was really a certain kind of pilgrimage. The first abbot of the Shaolin Monastery, founded in 5th century, was Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Zen, who came to China from India to spread the teaching of Buddhism.

I had always wanted to travel while also working on a project, hoping that this would help me experience the world in close-up, as it were. Life has been very generous in this respect as well: my trip to Shaolin and China was defined by a professional objective.

As an architect, while designing the Latvian Pavilion for the 2010 World EXPO in Shanghai, I had the opportunity to meet people from Shaolin, also interested in a similar project.

And so it was in a completely different way - guided by a practical necessity, not through books and philosophical contemplation - that I came to visit the birthplace of Zen.

Never an ordinary travel, Shaolin is a pilgrimage for me.

If you keep an open mind and approach life creatively, it tends to guide you in right direction; life brought me to an incredibly beautiful and culturally wealthy place.

Song Shan, the Chinese central sacred mountain with its adjacent plains traversed by the Yellow River (Huang He), is the cradle of the ancient Chinese civilisation. Because of the unique geological heritage, Song Shan is now part of the Global Geoparks Network. In 2010, the cultural treasures of Shaolin and other locations at the foot of Mount Song were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the conceptual title of Centre of Heaven and Earth.

It is at the foot of Song Shan that the roots of the first Chinese dynasties can be found and the capitals of ancient China were built. It was here (in the province of Henan) that invaluable inventions like magnetic compass, gun powder and paper were made. It was here that Zen, Taoism and Chinese martial arts were born and levitation is explored.

The nature of Song Shan takes by surprise with its freezing waterfalls and mountain paths which lead to monasteries and idyllic pavilions hidden in thickets of trees. This is also where one of the most influential Taoist monasteries, one of the four ancient Confucianist universities, as well as thousand-year old observatories can be found.

One of the best-known treasures of the region is the Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple. Interestingly, the sacred and the profane exist here side by side. One of the valleys has become an outdoor stage for a design-wise very impressive performance that tells the story of Zen. Staged by the same artist who was responsible for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, the performance is frequently presented to a paying audience.

The new Kung Fu University, set up in a concrete factory, accommodates more than 10 000 students; these young men are sportsmen and meditation is only a secondary practice to them. They were even featured at the Olympic Games, although the martial art of Kung Fu is essentially derived from the religious teachings of Zen.

While the monastery is practically engulfed by the entertainment industry and commerce, it is not as easy as that to penetrate its depths.

Foto: The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to Shaolin
The Shaolin Temple of Flying Monks. Mailitis A.I.I.M.

Inspired by the powerful nature and culture of the place and working in association with Aerodium Latvia, I proposed an architectural concept entitled The Shaolin Temple of Flying Monks, a completely innovative kind of structure: a platform for levitation performances. It is reminiscent of an outdoor stage or an amphitheatre with seats for the audience, production rooms beneath it and a stage featuring a vertical wind tunnel in the centre.

The concept is partially based on the phenomenon of levitation explored by the Shaolin monks for centuries. Now they will all have an opportunity to try levitating. The idea is focused on growth, a spiritual and physical chance of making the next step towards solving the mystery of levitation.

Shaolin translates as 'mountain in the wood', hence the metaphor of a mountain and a forest incorporated in the project. The wind tunnel was designed as a forest while the building represents a mountain. On an intuitive level, the project was inspired by the concept of man's activities both in the horizontal plane of the earth and the spiritual vertical.

There is an idea of involving monks in the project, thus furthering the practice of merging the worldly and the spiritual.

While staying in the city of Dengfeng, you are enveloped by complete authenticity. Western people are rare visitors here, and it took me some time to find a place where you could buy some coffee.

Foto: The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to ShaolinFoto: The Temple of Flying Monks and Pilgrimage to Shaolin

Mining industry is seriously gathering speed in Shaolin, and the roads are always covered with stone dust. While looking for stones for the project, I visited a number of stone-quarries and workshops; I couldn't help but notice the striking contrast between the limo-riding owners of the mines and the dust-covered manual labourers in the dusty working-class neighbourhoods, living practically on the roadside. It was here, warming my hands over the burning coal by the half-levelled mountains side by side with the Chinese miners, that I was struck by a certain sensation of doom, prompted perhaps by the presence of a giant industry existing alongside primordiality, genuine high spirits and humaneness.

It was encounters like these that left me with a taste of the ultimate culture shock.

Facebook Twitter


Your comments

Lloris Lloris

HackSavvy Technology: A Miracle of my 21,000$ bitcoin Recovery

I never thought I would see my beloved bitcoins again after the devastating hard drive crash that wiped out my entire digital wallet. Over 21,000$ bitcoins, gone in an instant. Years of investing and mining, vanished without a trace. I was devastated beyond words. Those precious coins represented my hopes and dreams - early retirement, financial freedom, and security for my family. After the crash, I frantically searched for data recovery experts, desperate to salvage my priceless crypto cache. One by one they came back empty-handed, unable to break through the corrupted drive's encrypted barriers. My hopes faded as each recovery attempt failed. Then I found HackSavvy Technology. Their cryptographic data retrieval technology worked magic, carefully reconstructing the damaged drive's firmware layer by layer. Their patient, brilliant engineers never gave up, delicately unraveling the intricate encryption like master locksmiths. After weeks of round-the-clock work, HackSavvy Technology emerged triumphant. My jaw dropped as I saw the recovery totals: 21,543$ bitcoins found! It was a miracle - my life's work was restored in full. I wept with joy as I sent heartfelt thanks to those HackSavvy Technology magicians. With my bitcoins back, my dreams are alive again. I owe everything to HackSavvy Technology and their miraculous crypto treasure resurrection. My financial future is secured thanks to their techno-sorcery. They are the heroes who brought my bitcoins back from the virtual grave. I am forever grateful. Get HackSavvy Technology on your side by emailing:Email -, contactus@ hacksavvytechnology .com and contacts by WhatsApp : +7 999 829‑50‑38 .

Marina Sumska


The Lost Recovery Masters is a team of experienced Crypto Experts currently collecting funds back to all scam victims. Anyone that has fallen prey to these fake online imposters and bogus investments Schemes contact Lost Recovery Masters and explain your situation; They will assist you in all crypto scam retrieval funds, bitcoin wallets reclaiming, investment scam, mobile mass surveillance, and cyber – attacks.

E-Mail ( )
Whatsapp +44(7537)-105921)
Visit website:

How to Find Legitimate Crypto Recovery Companies?.

Who is the best hacker to recover bitcoin?.

How do I recover crypto from a scammer?.

Getting Back Lost, Hacked Or Stolen Crypto?.

I need a hacker to recover my lost investment?..

Cryptocurrency Scam Recovery // Recover Lost Funds // Crypto Investment Gone Wrong. How To Hire A Hacker To Get Back Stolen Crypto Coins // Hire A Hacker To Recover Lost Or Stolen Bitcoin/Nft // Help I Can't Access My USDT Account, Seems I Got Hacked // Bitcoin Recovery Expert Needed//

Ron Clark

Visited: 10


I’m here to recommend Walldrive Cyber Security Service for your Bitcoin, crypto, and other digital asset recovery. This company was able to help my colleague and me recover all my crypto that was hacked from our blockchain wallet in less than 3 working days. I want people to do enough research on the crypto market before investing in it. I don’t know how the fake investment officer got access to my blockchain wallet and stole the sum of $977,000 worth of Bitcoin and ETH funds. This incident drained me mentally, and if I had done enough research, I would not have fallen into their trap. Fortunately, I was able to come across Walldrive Cyber Security Service after searching the Internet and seeing wonderful reviews about their service and their capabilities in recovering crypto. I’m grateful for their support and their professionalism in helping me get back my stolen crypto. If you have encountered problems like mine, you can contact Walldrive Cyber Security Service at 

E-mail: walldriveservice @ techie . Com 

Whatsapp: +44 7 9 6 1 2 0 2 4 9 3

Lyne Azabal

I Need A Hacker To Recover My Lost Investment? Go To Lost Recovery Masters

Hello guys, I'm Lyne Azabal from France. In my investment with Acstons-Cc, I also lost 17 lakhs. Trading using the Acstons. cc app generated a profit of 197,153 USD after paying tax and a 25% fee, however they would not release my profit and all of my Bitcoins were frozen. I called my pals, who suggested I try LOST RECOVERY MASTERS, and to my astonishment they were able to assist me get back 89% of my money. Despite the fact that I didn't get all of it back, I'm still really appreciative of LOST RECOVERY MASTERS
For advice on recovering cryptocurrencies, get in touch with Lost Recovery Masters You can also ask them questions about any firm you wish to deal with.
Contact them:  Whatsapp (+44(7537)-105921) Email ( Learn More


Visited: 15


Hello everyone,


It is with emotion that I give this wonderful testimony to this generous Lender with a big heart who has not

Hesitating to give me a credit between individuals in 72 hours WITHOUT PAYING A CENT is incredible.
Please request it for all your loan requests in complete security WITHOUT FILE OR NOTARY OR NOTARY FEES

INSURANCE OR TRANSFER even for people registered and banned from banking.

For more information, please visit their website or contact their email directly.

Nath Mary

Visited: 11/07

I'm so happy to share this with you that can read / see this now. When I started trading binary and forex a few months ago, I really didn't have the necessary tools to trade and I lost a lot until I met Pablo Martinez who taught me all about market psychology as he managed my account for me. Today I am grateful to him for his great offer and help because it really changed my financial situation with an investment capital of $1500 and now I'm earning around $35,500 - $30,000 profits per week. Here is his WhatsApp no: +44 7520 636249 or his email address:

Your name:

Time of visit:

Your comment: