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Three Teachings
The Tri-Pillars of Chinese Civilization

25 August 2010

On August 17, 2010, Shaolin Abbot Shi Yongxin (释永信法师) attended an inauguration ceremony of a Confucian status situated in the campus of a Thailand high school.

Comparing to brilliant civilizations of early Egypt, Babylon and probably Atlantis, Chinese one is not the oldest in history, nor is it the most magnificent in appearance, but it is the only ancient civilization that has survived to this very day. What’s the secret to its exceptional sustainability? The secret lies in its three pillars, namely Confucius, Daoism and Buddhism, which deliberate more on substance than presentation, and provide solutions to the whole range of issues that a human society would encounter.

While Confucius mainly focuses on helping each person, each nation and entire humanity to better manage existing individual and collective lives, Daoism facilitates people to look at the human existence in a broad universal context and through extended time sequence, while Buddhism lends a hand to those who cherish the highest aspiration of going beyond all existences, all universes and all times to attain ultimate and eternal liberation.

If our lives are dreams, one after another, one contains many and one connects to countless, Confucius coaches us how to manage our current dream, Daoism trains us how to make our next dream a better one, while Buddhism teaches us how to wake up from all dreams and remain totally lucid when re-enter dreamland.

Thus three teachings are complimentary to one another and form a comprehensive instrumental system for Chinese people at all levels, which is wonderfully typified in the theory and practice of Chinese Medicine that seeks to address not only the problems in our body, but in our mind and in our fate.

Shaolin tradition is a Buddhist school with a typical Chinese approach that actively correlates with other valuable teachings to find the most suitable answer for a specific problem in a particular time. It believes that whether our current concern is about our fate, our mind or our body, as long as being tackled in a positive way, it would become part of the enlightenment progress. It is why a monk from the Mahayana Buddhism would travel so far to Thailand, a bastion of Hinayana Buddhism, to greet Confucius.

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Q: Does America respect for religious freedom?

A: Of course we do. America is not like China! American citizens enjoy full religious freedom.

Q: Then why is there a need to publicly declare that President Obama is NOT a Muslim but a Christian? Does that mean by default American president should not practice Islamic faith?

A: No-o. It only means the president of America is free not to practice Islamic faith.

Q: Then which religious faith is American president really free to practice? I mean really really.

A: Heaps, Protestantism, Anglicanism, Evangelicalism, and even Roman Catholic ... Is that not enough of religous freedom?

Q: Hope this time Chinese do take notice of America's record on the matter, so next time when having a row again over China's disrespect for religious freedom, Chinese will know how to make an improvement by learning from America's gracious example.

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