Yet for Tian Lin, Buddhism does not signify this at all. Quite the opposite. For him Buddhism does not depend upon ritual and future reward but rather it is found in the basic tenants of Mahayana Buddhist practice: generosity, discipline, forbearance, zeal, concentration and wisdom.
For him this meant giving up on working for money. He found a shabby apartment in the north of the city. And he began to live off the generosity of his friends who came to study photography and Buddhism with him. Through his Buddhist training he came to decide that he should remain single and that he would adhere to a strictly vegetarian lifestyle. After he came back to the city he found that his Buddhist practice compelled him to encounter everyone he met with a radical honesty and openness.