I earned the title of "Master"
in several disciplines. My last name is 'Zhen,' which the Chinese
put first, when saying someone's name.
The calligraphy 'Zhen' has
many translations of which 'Truth' was selected.
When I was being
named, by members of the Chen family, they wanted to give me their Chen name. I remember suggesting they make my last name, "Chan," for Chan Buddhism, the Chinese Mahayana flavor I teach.
Master Chen's daughter overheard us. From the kitchen she commented, "Name him Zhen."
I asked, "What does Zhen mean?"
Master Chen drew it on a piece of paper and said, "It is an ancient name that also means 'truth.'"
My first name, 'Shen,' translates as
'spiritual,' or 'spirit.'
The middle name, 'Lang,' translates as
'wolf.' The word for 'dragon' in Chinese is also 'Lang.' However, when
written, the characters for dragon and wolf are very different.
So, Shen-Lang Zhen translates as 'Spirit
Wolf of Truth.'
I was developing mottos for my Shaolin Chi Mantis and Tai Chi Youth
schools for the internet. I d had some notes on my desk which a student
of mine saw today. She picked up one of my pages which had just four words
written on it. She said, "I really like these four words and I
like them in this order." I do not recall when I wrote those words.
Probably a year prior.
I think I'll use them as our Zhen family motto:
'Courage, friendship, wisdom and love.'
These are good words to live by.
Zhen Shen-Lang "Spirit Wolf of Truth"
Patriarch, Shaolin Chi Mantis
Buddha Zhen is an instructor
of several Chinese martial arts styles:
Buddha Zhen is a professional
flutist with an extensive collection of bamboo flutes made in
China. Some are gifts from students, friends and other Shifu. His black bamboo flute was custom made by a Master flute maker in San Francisco.
He has also been playing
the Chinese pipa, a four-stringed lute, since 1996. It looks like a napalm bomb, but sounds like a banjo. "When I finally got some lessons from a Chinese Pipa Master, she listened to some of my recorded pipa songs and said, "This is very nice pipa -- but it's all wrong." Then she showed me the traditional Chinese methods and tablature for playing pipa."
Buddha Zhen has been composing
and recording music for his Kung Fu schools for over a dozen
years. These songs range from meditation flutes, to Kung Fu drum
songs, to Chinese folk ballads, to modern rock'n'roll with the
beats timed to correspond with specific Kung Fu kicks, punches, and
Buddha Zhen is also an artist
who enjoys oil painting and Chinese calligraphy.