CERN research scientists played hostess to a dozen kung fu nuns recently at Geneva, Switzerland, as the group’s spiritual leader explained how the women's marital art maneuvers represented the energy of the cosmos.
The nuns from the Himalayan regions toured the research center, observing how physicists are probing the universe origins, even as 49-year-old His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, head spiritual leader since the age of four at the Tibetan Buddhism center in India and Nepal, explained that their visit to CERN was not entirely scientific in purpose.
"Men and women carry different energy. Both male and female energies are needed to better the world," explained His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, a monk who ranks only slightly below the Dalai Lama in the global Buddhist hierarchy, in a Reuters article.
He went further on, saying that this knowledge was a scientific principle "as fundamental as the relationship between the sun and the moon" and its importance was similar to that of the particle collisions in CERN's vast "Big Bang" machine, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
In China, the study of anything that requires patience, time and effort is referred to as kung fu, meaning "gong and fu." According to tumblr.com, gong means achievement or work, and fu means man --- referring to as the achievement of man. China describes the term kung fu as the process of learning the moves and skills most people associate with the word.
At 4 a.m. in the morning, 200 nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist Drukpa sect practice kung fu, according to Time. "We all like it very much," 17-year-old Jigme Konchok Lhamo says. " 'Everyone does it, except those nuns who are very old.' In other words, morning kung fu sessions are only open to nuns under 25."
Female nuns practicing kung fu for scientists at CERN dates back to 2008, beginning with His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa school, who was inspired by Vietnamese nuns who not only practiced the kung fu movements but also inspired others in their attitude of self-confidence and strength toward others outside their community.
His Holiness desired to keep the physical and spiritual empowerment of women high on his list. stating, "Before coming here, girls who had become nuns in different parts of the Himalayas in search of independence mostly ended up doing household chores in the monasteries and sometimes in their own gurus' family homes.
... meanwhile, early in the mornings "dozens of nuns arrange themselves into lines around a golden Buddhist shrine. In unison, each slams a clenched fist into their opposite palm, breathes deeply and waits, motionless in the rising heat."