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Why The Modern World Is Bad For Your Brain And What Shaolin Monks Do About It


yellow mt3-00085Most of us love our smart phones. I use mine all the time to keep in touch with my family in China. But the constant multi-tasking of texting, emailing, social media and apps is over stimulating our brain and increasing the production of the stress hormone cortisol according to Neuroscientist, Daniel J Levitin, who has written a book about his findings. So does this mean we have to throw away our smart phones?

At The Shaolin Temple we tread the middle way, using Zen techniques to keep us tranquil and focused while still being a part of the modern world. Here I share with you seven Shaolin tips to help you stay calm in a crazy world.

  1. Take Small Regular Vacations  Turn your mobile phone to aeroplane mode or switch it off completely two hours before you go to sleep. The same goes for when you workout, meditate, and eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These small, regular vacations from your smart phone will restore your inner peace.
  1. Drink A Cup Of Tea  Instead of drinking your plans, thoughts, and worries, drink a cup of tea. You will find it far more refreshing. Concentrating completely on this one action helps you come back to yourself. Being Here Now is a great way to banish stress and anxiety
  1. Workout Zen Style   Everybody needs to workout. Not only does it make us feel better but it’s good for our brain. If you’re not a martial artist then find a workout you love and make it your meditation. How do you turn your workout into a meditation? By simply concentrating on your breath and movement together and letting go of everything else. Modern research is showing that meditation leads to a more focused, tranquil and happier way of being. And who doesn’t want that?
  1. Make Everything You Do Your Last  In martial art’s there is only the present. Live now. Take care of now and you take care of your future. Give yourself completely to everything you do. Leave no energy left in reserve. Only then can you take in fresh energyShaolin Temple. Shaolin Monks wear a Jade amulet or mala to remind them to to mindful. 
  1. Balance Yin & Yang  Health and fitness are like two wings of a bird, you need both Kung Fu (or anaerobic/ aerobic exercise) and Qigong (or an internal practice such as yoga). Exercise can prevent many illnesses from developing but we also need a restorative mindful practice to ground us and give us inner peace. I use my Qi to defend myself from kicks or bricks, you can use your Qi to defend yourself against ageing and ill health. In Shaolin Burn and Shaolin Fitness & Wellness, I combine both Qigong and Kung Fu in one workout. 
  1. Ring The Bell Of Now  Thich Nhat Hanh, the great Buddhist Zen Master advises that every time we hear a bell – whether that’s a ringing phone or a church bell – we stop and breathe for three breaths. Try it and track your impatience.
  1. Little Reminders  A peaceful brain is a happy brain. Practice small steps of nourishment each day: one cup f tea, ten minutes of switch off, a fully engaged workout, 5 minutes of Qigong.  These small moments will re-centre you and lead you to the health and happiness that is your natural birthright.

Get the peace, fitness and flexibility of a Shaolin Monk with my 6 New Shaolin Programs Available Now as a Download or DVD.  


7 comments


  • Derrick

    Greetings . my intial introduction to shaolin precepts and form was in high school. My teacher then is named Klodi Lemoine. He is the heart of everything i ever learned in the world of martial arts. Shifu Yan Lei i see is providing a way back to my primary training . thank you.


  • Karla Cruz

    Thanks for the advices, very needed in this modern life.


  • Venkhat

    Very apt and doable. May God bless you abundantly.


  • Anthony Morocco

    Thank you Shifu! I am honored to learn from you. You are an inspiration that is much needed!


  • Gerardo Davila

    Great advice, i will make these tips a new part of my life, thank you!


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