Sheng Yen

Year of birth : 1930
Place of birth : China
Teacher/Guru : Dongchu
Education : Rissho University M.A., PhD
Website :


" For those who can take things on and let them go in peace, every year is an auspicious year. For those who can sow with wisdom the seeds of blessings, every day is a good day. ”

“ Every child is a little bodhisattva that helps the parents grow. ” 

Be a bottomless trash can that can never be choked by others' mental junk; be a dustless mirror that reflects the world as it is with no distortion. "

Books by the Master

'' The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination '' ...'' Hoofprint of the Ox: Principles of the Chan Buddhist Path as Taught by a Modern Chinese Master '' ... '' There Is No Suffering: A Commentary on the Heart Sutra '' ... '' Complete Enlightenment '' ... '' Shattering the Great Doubt '' ... '' The infinite mirror '' ... '' Faith in Mind: A Commentary on Seng Ts'an's Classic '' ... '' Dharma Drum: The Life and Heart of Chan Practice '' ... '' Subtle Wisdom '' ... '' Zen Wisdom '' ... '' The sword of wisdom '' ... '' The Poetry of Enlightenment: Poems by Ancient Chan Masters '' ... '' Orthodox Chinese Buddhism '' ... '' Things Pertaining to Bodhi '' ... '' Getting the Buddha Mind '' ...'' Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk '' ... '' Song of Mind '' ... '' Ox Herding at Morgan's Bay '' ... '' Illuminating Silence '' ... '' Zen Wisdom: Conversations on Buddhism '' ... '' Attaining the Way '' ... '' The Six Paramitas: Perfections of the Bodhisattva path '' ... '' A Journey of Learning and Insight '' 


Sheng Yen was a Chinese Buddhist monk, a religious scholar, and one of the mainstream teachers of Chan Buddhism. He was a 57th generational dharma heir of LinjiYixuan in the Linjischool and a third-generation dharma heir of Hsu Yun. In the Caodong lineage, Sheng Yen was a 52nd-generation Dharma heir of DongshanLiangjie (807-869), and a direct Dharma heir of Dongchu.

Sheng Yen was the founder of the Dharma Drum Mountain, a Buddhist organization based in Taiwan. During his time in Taiwan, Sheng Yen was well known as one of the progressive Buddhist teachers who sought to teach Buddhism in a modern and Western-influenced world. In Taiwan, he was one of four prominent modern Buddhist masters, along with Hsing Yun, Cheng Yen and Wei Chueh.

He became a monk at the age of 13. During the Chinese Civil War, he went to Taiwan in 1949 by enlisting in a unit of the Nationalist Army out of necessity. He became a monk again in 1959 and from 1961 to 1968 he trained in solitary retreat in southern Taiwan. He then completed a master's degree (1971) and doctorate (1975) in Buddhist literature at Rissho University in Japan.

He became abbot of Nung Chan in Taiwan in 1978 and founder of the Institute of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Culture in New York City in 1979. In 1985, he founded the Institute of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Studies in Taipei and the International Cultural and Educational Foundation of Dharma Drum Mountain in 1989.

He was known as a skilful teacher who helped many of his students to reach enlightenment mostly through meditation. Sheng Yen gave dharma transmission to several of his lay Western students, such as John Crook, who later formed the Western Chan Fellowship, and several other Western disciples such as Simon Child, Max Kalin, and ZarkoAndricevic.

Bio is from -