Clarence wrote:Dear all,
I don't know whether or not this is the best place to ask (if not, mods, please move to an appropriate section of the forum) but I was wondering how a westerner could live in China for longer than just the 6 months of one's tourist visa. I have a friend who is a Buddhist monk who really wants to live in China for some time, i.e. a few years. Are there monk/meditation visas? What are one's options? I know so little about it I am probably not even asking enough questions but I hope someone will be able to answer me.
From experience, I would very strongly recommend going to Taiwan, rather than mainland (communist) China, especially for the Buddhist scene.
In short, there are really NO legal options for non-Chinese nationals to live as monastics in the PRoC, and even as a lay meditator options are extremely limited and not at all ideal. There are many possible options in Taiwan, though depending on your ability with the language and fluency in Chinese culture, only a few may be practically feasible. Likewise for Hong Kong, though Taiwan is still a much better option.
If you need details, please let me know, I've spent the last decade between PRoC, Taiwan / RoC and HK, in various monasteries, etc., and have a fairly good idea on what is possible and what is fantasy.
Fo Guang University,
Jiaosi, Ilan, Taiwan