chapter  7
14 Pages


Business does not mesh well with the philosophical ideals of monastic Buddhism. Today, Buddhism and Buddhist music have become big business in China. In some cases, Wutaishan's musical monks have taken some part in producing fodder for this growing market. For some monasteries, the exchange of music and musical ritual for money and goods provides a hefty portion of the institution's operating budget. Buddhist dance music is popular with both the Buddhist faithful and the rave party crowd. Recordings of Wutaishan shengguan music are of interest to most Chinese people only as a novelty or as an item of academic interest. China's economy today is a free market free-for-all: everything is for sale, government regulations of commercial activities are few and often easily avoided, and consumerism has become firmly embedded in the lifestyle of growing numbers of Chinese people.