Combining the genius of Chan (Zen) Buddhism and Daoism with rigorous physical and martial discipline and breathing exercises, the training that originated at China's famous Shaolin Temple was a unique elixir that would change the way the world perceived mind and body. Here, Andy James exposes the hitherto unrecognized spiritual legacy of Shaolin Temple, which has provided modernity with comprehensive, time-tested techniques in martial arts, health maintenance, energetic healing and spiritual transformation.
In addition to Buddhism and Daoism, James explores Qigong (Chi Kung) and the "internal" systems of martial arts such as Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan). While many books have traced Chan's story into Japan, James remains in China to explain how the unique spiritual, martial and energetic traditions of the Shaolin Temple continued to interact and evolve in dynamic relation to culture, society, and the individual. This engaging and very personal book will appeal to martial arts enthusiasts, healing arts professionals, and anyone interested in the mind-body connection.
"For reasons of language, culture and politics, Westerners have long found the complex interplay between Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism--the Three Doctrines of China--a dense and thorny jungle. Andy James's book coheres these philosophies, belief systems and practices in a compulsively readable and personal way. The Spiritual Legacy of the Shaolin Temple is a must for the sinophile and Buddhist, and a surprisingly useful book for the internal martial artist too, as it explains the roots of these fantastic and arcane practices and argues persuasively for their place in modern society."
– Arthur Rosenfeld, author of The Truth About Chronic Pain, and the novel, Dark Tracks
"The Spiritual Legacy of the Shaolin Temple is perhaps the most concise, accurate, and clearly written history of Shaolin, Buddhism, and Daoism I have read. James has a rich personal history that led him to study wu shu, and the practical instructions in the last chapter will allow any reader interested in internal martial arts and meditation to begin practicing immediately. This is a valuable addition to anyone's library."
– BK Loren, author of The Way of the River: Adventures and Meditations of a Woman Martial Artist