The Year of the Monkey Brings Chaos, Just Like the Monkey King

monkey king fan art
Famous Chinese legend: The Monkey King and his magical cloud fan art. (Image: David Pielich)

Shen Yun‘s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s 5,000 years of history, all the way up to modern times. This provides Shen Yun with a rich vein of source material — stories of heroes and villains, brilliant strategists, fearless generals, and unwavering monks.

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These stories also show faith in the divine and the Mandate of Heaven, reflecting the essence of traditional Chinese culture. The epic novel Journey to the West is one of the most celebrated stories in Chinese literature. It tells of a 7th-century Buddhist monk, Tripitaka, who goes on a quest for sacred scriptures. The story is mainly famous for his colorful companions, especially the Monkey King.

He was born out of a rock and learned supernormal powers from a Taoist master. With the combination of his mischievous nature and great powers, he created chaos in Heaven and the underworld alike.

monkey king fan art

Famous Chinese legend: The Monkey King and his magical cloud fan art. (Image: David Pielich)

When Monkey King was offered the chance to redeem himself by accompanying Tripitaka on his journey, he jumped at the chance. He proved a critical asset to the monk, being able to see right through demons and their magic; nor was he tempted by beauty or riches.

His quick wit helped Tripitaka escape many a perilous situation. And although he proved unruly at times, he was later awarded the title “Buddha Victorious in Strife” for his accomplishments.

2016 heralds the Chinese Year of the Monkey, bringing chaos, upheaval, and disruptive energy.

This can be a good thing though, as it will bring new order and new ways of doing things, where the old ways have become obsolete. Advancement, change, and innovation often come after disruption, so it is a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start again with a fresh approach.

If we can follow the Monkey King’s example and keep our wits about us, a sense of humor, and use our wisdom, we will emerge from the chaos triumphant, with a whole new perspective on life. It’s not always easy to have faith and courage in the midst of chaos, but there is always a reward for staying true to yourself.

Watch the 2016 World Tour Trailer:

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