Chinese Millionaire Gives Up Fortune, Lives in Isolation for Two Years to Become Buddhist Monk

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.”

“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 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.


The two years that Jingchong spent in the mountains were certainly not easy. He lived in total isolation, in a straw 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.”


Jingchong also liked the fact that he spent close to nothing during those two years, and yet, he survived. Later, he met a monk and followed him to Baochan Temple in East China’s Anhui Province, where he has remained since. He confessed that he likes working in a kitchen way more than managing millions of dollars. “I hardly find any need to spend money now,” he said.

Photos: CFP

via Sina English

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