Venerable Master Shi Dayuan (释大愿)
Ven. master Shi Dayuan (大愿) is the Abbot of the Sixth Patriarch Temple (Liuzu si 六祖寺) and more than 50 other Buddhist temples and centers in the country and abroad. He is the representative of several lineages of Chinese Chan Buddhism and is in the 10th generation of the Weiyang School and the 25th generation of the Caodong School. He is also the heir to the tantric lineage of Tang Dynasty Chinese Buddhism, which specializes in the practice of medicine-Buddha.
Ven. master Dayuan was born in Yuanjiang, Hunan Province in September 1971, and studied in Hunan College of Economics and Finance. When he was in his first year of college, he had a life-changing experience. He went to worship Buddha at Lushan monastery, Hunan, and when he bowed to the Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara, he felt a strong sensation for a split second. He described that the joy and the peace he felt at that moment is like the sea, immersing him fully with no physical boundaries, and like heavy rain, cooling and refreshing him from outside to inside. Since then, he decided to devote his life to Buddhism as a monk.
In August 1990, he was tonsured by Ven. master Tianzhu (1921-2011) at the Renrui Monastery, Qishan,Hunan Province, and was fully ordained at the Nantai Monastery under the guidance of Ven. master Baotan. He received Dharma transmission from Ven. master Shengyi at Po Lin Chan Temple in Hongkong.
Ven. master Tianzhu gave him “Dayuan (Big Wish)” as dharma name, because the Venerable wished for him to fulfill the big wish, selflessly, to help Buddhism prosper around the world nowadays.
From September 1991, Ven. master Dayuan studied at the Buddhist Academy of Fujian Province, which is located in Guanghuang monastery, Putian, Fujian. He received fundamental Buddhistic education there and he was a close student of Ven. master Qingding(1903-1999), in Zhaojue monastery where he obtained extraordinary blessings and transmissions. His Holiness Beinuo taught him Dharma as well. Ven. master Dayuan learned from several Buddhist schools and received many different transmissions. He went on long retreats to practice and learn as well.
In 1994 he came to the Buddhist Academy of Nanhua Monastery, Guangdong Province to become the dean. In 1995, Ven. master Dayuan was appointed the abbot of the Renrui Monastery. At the age of 24, he was one of the youngest Buddhist Abbots in China. In June, 1999, he was invited to Sihui, Zhaoqing, Guangdong to take part in the rebuilding of Sixth Patriarch Temple. Over the past 20 years, Ven. master Dayuan has made Sixth Patriarch Temple the center of his teachings and works.
Ven. master Dayuan holds the teaching of Ven. master Tianzhu, insisting practice in life, and preaching in the ordinary world. He said, ‘Since Buddhism came to ancient China thousands of years ago, Buddhism is like the full moon, hang on the sky, the silvery light pours over the earth, but did not warm the heart of human beings.’
He hopes Buddhism can benefit modern beings. He has made great efforts to preach the explanation of Buddhist Sutras in different places and is quite good at connecting Chinese Buddhist Chan with all kinds of aspects in life. All these speeches have been published in more than 200 books and videos.
The teaching and the publications list of Ven. master Dayuan is vast. His comments on the Chan culture are easy to understand and always explained in detail. They are widely praised by both scholars and followers of Chan. In his classes, lectures and books, Ven. master Dayuan is always concise and clear, he meaning is profound but easily understandable. Whether people watch, listen, or read them, they will find what they need, for living happily, spirit seeking, or enlightenment.
Ven. master Dayuan set up 4 Buddhistic systems:
- ModernBuddhist culture and subject system
To practice the great wisdom of Manjusri Bodhisattva, through the form of modern culture to carry out the transmission and dissemination of Buddhism.
Cooperate with famous universities and colleges, to build the centers of Buddhist research to promote the procedure of modernization of Buddhism.
For example, Tianzhu Buddhist Network, which includes famous universities all over the world, to promote research of Chinese Chan Buddhism and Buddhist culture, and to inspire the communication of wisdom between Scholarships.
- Modern Buddhist education and practice system
To practice the great action of Samantabhadra Budhisattva, Ven. master Dayuan structured modern Buddhistic education theory system and a series of study locations for Sangha and lay person. There is a clear path from primary to high level. Temporary Buddhist ordination is offered for people who want to experience the monastic life, providing chance to practice in pure environment.
- Modern Buddhist international develop system
To practice the great vow of Earth Store Bodhisattva, promote the building of three jewels in 10 languages area, and the translation of Chinese Buddhist work. Let the world know about Chinese Buddhism.
Sixth Patriarch Temple has cooperated with several countries to held Buddhist culture festivals in China, Asia and Europe. 4 Liuzu-Huineng Chan colleges have been built in different countries. The Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch had been published in 11 languages which was organized by Sixth Patriarch Temple. Many foreign monks came to Sixth Patriarch Temple to get the transmission of Chinese Chan Buddhism.
- Modern Buddhist socialize service system
To practice the great Compassion of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, to promote the socialization of modern Buddhism with the carrier of public welfare charity.
The system means to help people to achieve the deep happiness of the life.
There are several charitable foundations guided by Sixth Patriarch Temple has donated many times to school, hospital, armed area and welfare houses, etc.
Ven. master Dayuan has held leadership positions with the Buddhist Association of Guangdong Province, as the executive director of Tianzhu culturable charity foundation.
He is the founder and guiding spirit of Tianzhu Buddhist network. At the same time, he has also taken on the responsibility as consultant and research fellow at some universities and institutes.
Ven. master Dayuan spends a lot of his time hosting guests and disciples, speaking with people, guiding students, and helping people to solve all kinds of issues. Everyone meets him feel like they are treated as the most important person in the world for Ven. master Dayuan. He really works to treat everyone as his parents, children, and friend, just as what Buddha taught.
Serene, peaceful, compassionate, joyful, youthful, gentle energy, clear eyes like the lake, gentle and clear voice, like the spring wind.
This is Ven. master Shi Dayuan.