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Wi-Fi for Shaolin monks start of bad habit?

2014-04-22 10:56 Global Times Web Editor: Gu Liping

At the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, those seeking inner peace can now search for it online.

Monks can finally connect to wireless Internet on their smartphones after offices at the 1,500-year-old temple were recently equipped with Wi-Fi, Xinhua reported on Sunday.

No signal is available in the monks' chambers, as not to disrupt their regimented lifestyle, said the report.

Shi Yongxin, the abbot of the Shaolin Temple, championed the move for Wi-Fi access, explaining it provides a gateway to preserving and sharing Shaolin culture.

The monks are forbidden from playing online games or watching soap operas.

Shi led a delegation to the Google and Apple headquarters in California in mid March, where he praised the connectivity the Web provides.

Ironically, Net users were quick to type out their dissatisfaction over the idea of Shaolin monks with Wi-Fi, saying Internet access would provide too much of a distraction.

"With Wi-Fi at the temple, how can monks achieve inner peace with all the noise on the Internet?" posted Huangwenzheng.

Others saw the move as progressive.

"Old ways are not always flawless," said Mubairuoying, "During the information age, keeping the temple offline would stop Shaolin and Zen Buddhism from spreading.

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