Shi Heng Yi is a popular Shaolin master.
He serves as the leading headmaster of Shaolin Temple Europe, Germany.
Tien Sy Vuong (Shi Heng Yi) was born in Germany to Asian parents.
He grew up in Otterberg, Germany.
Shi’s parents hail from Vietnam but for many years, they lived in a refugee camp in Laos.
In 1979, his parents fled as ‘boat people’ and arrived on the borders of Germany for greener pastures.
At that time of emigration, his mother was pregnant and had his elder brother in her womb.
Shi’s elder brother is four years elder to him.
|Tien Sy Vuong; Germany
|Parents hail from Vietnam. Shi has an elder brother
|Headmaster, Shaolin Temple Europe
|‘Shi Heng Yi Online’
|Years active on YouTube
Attracted towards martial arts-
While growing up, Shi watched many martial arts movies and at a young age, he got attracted towards the martial arts.
He watched The 36th Chamber of Shaolin film and other films on the Shaolin Temple.
Joining Shaolin Temple Europe-
Much like him, his father was also interested in the martial arts so, at 4, Shi got enrolled by his father into the nearby Shaolin Temple Europe in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Here, at the Shaolin Kung Fu school, he started practising kung fu and fell in love with it and it also included mental and physical training and behaviour development.
Later, he also got attracted towards Qi Gong and Shaolin Rou Quan.
At Shaolin Temple, Shi not only learnt martial arts but also the theories behind them.
Shi’s school used to get closed in the afternoon at around 1 pm or 3 pm and the abbot of the monastery used to pick him up from the school and reach the Shaolin Temple where he used to start his training from 4 pm and he used to train until 10 pm.
He used to also play chess with the abbot.
Shi used to train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and likewise trained in kung fu from the age of 4 to 12.
Initially, he was not interested in learning the background of kung fu but at 12, he developed a curiosity for learning it.
In 2001, Shi became a disciple of Shaolin masters namely, Da Shi Yanlin, Master Shi Yan Bao, Master Shi Yan Xin, Shi Yan Fei and Shi Ya Hai.
These Shaolin masters arrived in Germany from Songshan Shaolin Temple in China.
Shi did his schooling in Germany.
His parents expected him to excel in studies and wanted him to grow up to become either a doctor, engineer or lawyer.
Even though Shi did a couple of university degrees including an MBA and a few diplomas, he wasn’t satisfied with the education.
The reason for his dissatisfaction was that education taught him a multitude of things but not about himself.
Thankfully, Shi learnt self-exploration, self-discovery and monastic practices from a young age from the Shaolin Temple.
Choosing a monastic life-
After completing his MBA, Shi’s parents wanted him to get a regular job but as he was attracted towards the monastic life, he decided to continue living it and learn more about himself.
After facing some difficulties, he wanted to quit his monastic life, but his father encouraged him not to do so.
At the time, Shi decided to teach the Shaolin approach to others as he believed that this approach helped him in effectively balancing his life.
During that time, he was influenced by his master’s advice, “base your life on something that you like to do and that you are able to do.”
Shaolin Temple Europe is a Buddhist monastery and this organisation was established in 1996.
In 2011, after completing his studies, Shi wanted to establish the Shaolin Temple in Otterberg and found an area to establish the temple.
Even though the area was on sale, as he had just completed his studies, he was not able to afford it.
Fortunately, a bank granted him credit and he established Shaolin Temple Europe in Otterberg.
Until 2017, Shi financially struggled to make the temple profitable but thanks to the growing popularity of the monastery, he has been able to turn the tables.
As of 2024, he is serving as the Leading Headmaster of the Shaolin Temple Europe in Otterberg, Kaiserslautern, Germany.
An interesting fact- This Shaolin Temple is housed in a wooden building built prior to the 1940s.
35th Generation of Shaolin masters-
He belongs to the 35th Generation of Shaolin masters and follows Buddhism.
Shi mainly teaches mental and spiritual development, and his aim is to spread the ancient knowledge inherited from more than 1500 years to the modern world.
He also teaches self-mastery, Shaolin Arts, Qi Gong, breathing methods, etc.
As of January 2024, he has 402K subscribers on his YouTube channel.
He delivered a couple of TEDx Talks, the first one in January 2020 in Sofia, Bulgaria, ‘Master Shi Heng Yi – 5 hindrances to self-mastery’.
In November 2022, he delivered his second TEDx Talk, ‘Test your might! • Shaolin Spirit’.
Shi is a polyglot as he knows many languages namely, Vietnamese, Romanian, French, English and Deutsch.
He lives in Otterberg, Germany.
Shaolin Temple postulates five hindrances which has the potential to prevent you from reaching your goals and they are as follows-
- Sensory desire (kāmacchanda).
- Ill-will (byāpāda).
- Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-middha).
- Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca).
- Doubt (vicikiccha).
All these states negatively affect your thoughts and will affect your ability to make right decisions.
So, how are you inspired by the life story of Shi Heng Yi?
Share with me in the comment section below.
Featured image credit- Shaolin Temple Europe/Wikimedia Commons
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