Man finds spiritual life through hermits
Updated: 2012-02-16 18:22
Zhang Jianfeng, a 35-year-old former book editor, has searched valleys across 400 kilometers for hermits and visited more than 600 recluses in Qingling Mountains in Northwest China's Shaanxi province in the past three years, China Business News reported.
Zhang Jianfeng, left, takes a picture with hermits at Zhongnan Mountain, a famous religious shrine, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province. [Photo/CFP]
After reading Bill Porter's Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits, he decided to look for hermits in Zhongnan Mountain in the Qingling Mountains.
"Not all visitors are welcomed because some hermits dislike being disturbed," Zhang said. "I gradually found that you need to speak their language when knocking on their doors."
"Hermits are monks and nuns who seek solitude and enjoy their lives, keeping their shacks clean and growing flowers," he said. "They advise people to be kind and teach people how to reduce stress."
Zhang said that he was once an outsider and did not believe in the practice of hermits, but he gradually started to sit in meditation and continued when he saw the effects of it.
"Practicing (Qigong) changed my view of things, and I pay more attention to my spiritual life than my material life," he said.
"No matter how fast society changes, I connect with the simplest things," he added. "I feel happy when eating, sleeping and drinking tea in a thatched shack, while some people are unhappy even with all their things."
Zhang is now an editor of a magazine that published his interviews with the hermits.