Chinese Millionaire Gives Up Fortune To Live In Isolation For Two Years To Become Buddhist Monk

Pic shows: Liu Jingchong. A millionaire who began living in the isolated mountains in north-west China two years ago has fulfilled his dream of becoming a Buddhist monk after giving up all of life’s material pleasures to pursue a lifestyle driven by spiritual enlightenment. Liu Jingchong, a businessman born in China’s southern Guangdong Province, was recently accepted as a monk at Baochan Temple in the county of Hanshan, in east China’s Anhui Province, after spending two years living in isolation. The 39-year-old swapped big city life as well as millions in annual income to live a minimalistic life on Zhongnan Mountain in northwestern Shaanxi Province after an epiphany came to him one day, causing him to realise that people will never stop pursuing bigger houses, better jobs, and more expensive cars if they continue to live in metropolises, failing to focus on their "inner" life. He then dropped everything and left for the mountains in December 2012, where he spent most of his days meditating, reading, and practising calligraphy. Living in a shed made of straw became his norm, and Jingchong soon found new meaning in isolation and silence. Jingchong said of his time in the mountains: "The living conditions were bad. My bed was made of bricks and there was no electricity during the snowy winter." He continued: "But I didn’t feel cold there. Maybe it was because I liked the life there and focused just on what I liked." Jingchong grew his own vegetables in the mountains and only left his hermit lifestyle to buy rice, flour, and oil. He said he spent almost no money during the two years, and also did not need a watch, as he rose with the sun and slept with the moon. After meeting an eminent monk from Baochan Temple, who became his master, Jingchong travelled to Anhui Province to take a tonsure – the shaving of a Buddhist monk’s head – and began living with others like him who prefer a quieter, simpler life. Jingchong has been at the temple for three months now and instead of managing millions networks as a cook in the communal kitchen. (ends)

We thought Indian millionaire Bhanwarlal Raghunath – who gave up his fortune to become a monk – was one of a kind, but we were wrong. Meet Liu Jingchong, a rich Chinese businessman who has also renounced his wealth for monkhood. Jingchong, 39, was bitten by the spiritual bug in 2012, after a freak car accident. “It is true that I earned a lot of money and I can’t say I hated my life,” he told the media. “I would say that I even loved it, but all that changed when friends of mine and I had a car accident in a remote part of the country in northwestern China’s Qinghai province.” Oddity Central has more:

“We needed to get a new car and not all of us were fit to travel immediately,” Jingchong recalled. “But as I was relatively okay, I stayed in a hotel where about the only thing to do was read a book on Buddhism. I have to say it changed my life.” Jingchong then decided to take a sabbatical and he moved to Zhongnan Mountain in Shaanxi Province to experience a minimalist life. He liquidated all his possessions, including seven cars, a mansion, and his vacation homes.

After two years of simple living, he quit his successful textile business and joined a temple in Eastern China, where he now works in a communal kitchen. His move was inspired by the realisation that material desire is limitless, and that people will never stop wanting bigger houses, better jobs, and more expensive cars.

shed, meditating, reading, and practicing calligraphy. He grew his own vegetables and visited a nearby town only once a month to buy rice, flour, and oil. “The living conditions were bad,” he said. “My bed was made of bricks and there was no electricity during the snowy winter. But I didn’t feel cold there. Maybe it was because I liked the life there and focused just on what I liked.”