Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Pete Owen-Jones, a vicar in a Sussex parish, is dissatisfied with some aspects of his faith and sets off on three extreme pilgrimages to China, India and Egypt to explore Zen Buddhism, Hinduism and ascetic Christianity.
Pete arrives at the famous Shaolin Temple, a seven-hour train journey from Beijing in the Hevan Province, right in the centre of China. The Shaolin Monastery occupies a central place in Chinese cultural history, as it is the ancestral home of all martial arts.
Pete says "The Church of England in particular is incredibly intellectual. You know, huge libraries full of books and theological bookshops. But we don't do anything physical. It's going to be very challenging indeed."
Pete is thrown straight into a gruelling routine of Kung Fu, the central technique in Chan Buddhism (also known as Zen Buddhism in Japan).