By Sara Malm, MailOnline, 10 August 2015
Guangdong, China -- A Chinese millionaire has given up his fortune and all material possessions in order to become a Buddhist monk. Liu Jingchong, a businessman from Guangdong Province, moved into the mountains to live in total isolation after an epiphany in 2012 made him desire a 'minimalist life'.
Two years later, he met a monk and decided to join a temple in east China, and instead of making millions he now works in a communal kitchen.
Mr Liu, 39, swapped big city life - and millions in annual income - for a life without material possessions on Zhongnan Mountain in north-western Shaanxi Province in December 2012.
He said a sudden epiphany had made him 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 spent two years in total isolation, living in a shed made of straw and spending most of his days meditating, reading, and practising calligraphy.
Mr Liu 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.'
He grew his own vegetables in the mountains and only left his hermit lifestyle to buy rice, flour, and oil.
After meeting a monk, Mr Liu followed him to Baochan Temple in the county of Hanshan, in East China's Anhui Province to take a tonsure - the shaving of a Buddhist monk's head. He has been at the temple for three months now and, instead of managing millions, works as a cook in the communal kitchen.