Venerable Dayi Shi(達義大和尚)


Publish: 2016-10-05 20:25:45   Author: Cham Shan Temple   Source: Cham Shan Temple   


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    Venerable Dayi Shi (釋達義) is currently the Abbot of Cham Shan Temple in Toronto, Canada, President of The Buddhist Association of Canada, President of the Young Men's Buddhist Association of America, and President of the Buddhist Association of San Francisco, USA.


    Ven. Dayi Shi was born in 1967 to the Chen family in the Chaozhou-Shantou region of Guangdong Province, China, and his given name was Ze-Chuan (陳澤川). He left home to become a novice (sramanera) in 1983 and was tonsured under Venerable Elder Master Hong Li (弘禮長老) at the Qixing Temple in Chaoyang, Guangdong. In September of the same year, he received full ordination at the Nanhua Temple in Caoxi, Guangdong. The precept master at his ordination was Venerable Elder Master Wei Yin (惟因長老). Thereafter, he traveled around the country to visit many renowned monasteries. In particular, he stayed at Gaomin Temple in Yangzhou and Lingyan Temple in Suzhou to deepen his practice of Chan School and Pure Land School.


    In 1985, he entered the Minnan Buddhist College at Xiamen, Fujian. Under Venerable Elder Master Miao Zhan (妙湛長老), Ven. Dayi Shi studied the history of Chinese and Indian Buddhism, the doctrine of Consciousness-Only (Dharmalaksana), and the three representative treatises of the Chinese Middle Way School (School of the Three Treatises). Upon his graduation from Minnan School of Buddhism in the spring of 1989, Master Miao Zhan requested him to stay and teach at the school. He agreed, and lectured on various subjects including the doctrine of Consciousness-Only; and, at the same time, he was asked to serve as Supervisory Director at the Nanputuo Monastery.


    In the winter of 1991, Ven. Dayi Shi was invited to come to the United States by Venerable Elder Master Lok To (樂渡長老) of the Young Men's Buddhist Association of America. Upon his arrival in New York, with the encouragement of Master Lok To, he enrolled in a school to concentrate on improving his fluency in English. He assisted in sutra translation and proofreading under the tireless tutelage of Master Lok To. He also studied the Tiantai doctrine and its method of contemplation. Holding the position of Supervisory Director of the Association, he led the members in practice sessions and often traveled around the United States and Canada to give lectures on the Dharma. In particular, Ven. Dayi Shi taught meditation in the Tiantai tradition and expounded the practice of Pure Land as well.


    Ven. Dayi Shi was admitted to the City University of New York in September, 1997. He graduated in May, 2001 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Asian Studies. In the fall of the same year, he advanced his studies at the graduate school of the University, and obtained his Master's Degree in East Asian History in May, 2003.


    In August, 2003, Ven. Dayi Shi received the joint Dharma transmission from Venerable Elder Master Sing Hung (性空長老), Venerable Elder Master Shing Cheung (誠祥長老), and Venerable Elder Master Lok To (樂渡長老), becoming the 46th Patriarch of the Tiantai Sect. The ceremony was held at Cham Shan Temple in Toronto, Canada, during which the Tiantai lineage Dharma name Qi Xue (起學) was bestowed upon him.


    On Jan. 14, 2004, at the invitation and urging of Elder Master Shing Cheung and Elder Master Sing Hung, Ven. Dayi Shi moved to Toronto, Canada. He was appointed Abbot of Cham Shan Temple, and since then he has also been overseeing the operations of all Cham Shan Temple's ten affiliated Buddhist centres in Ontario, Canada.


    Since May, 2004, Ven. Dayi Shi has served as President of The Buddhist Association of Canada; and since August, 2004, he has served as President of the Buddhist Association of San Francisco. In May, 2005, he became the President of the Young Men's Buddhist Association of America. In the same year, he was elected Vice-President of the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada, and he was involved in a fundraising campaign to help sponsor the Buddhist Studies program at the University of Toronto until 2014.


    In his endeavour to spread Buddhism in North America, Ven. Dayi Shi has promoted and firmly followed the tradition of Tiantai, striving to help people purify their minds and benefit society. He has diligently undertaken the vows handed down by the three Elder Masters, to propagate the principle of “Living with Wisdom” by teaching Buddhadharma, hosting three radio programs of “Cham Shan Dharma Discourses”, regularly leading the Sangha through the delivery of Dharma services and by consistently practicing meditation. He has actively taken the initiative with charity, Buddhist education, and Buddhist cultural exchanges between Canada and China. He is tirelessly working on an extensive project, the Four Great Sacred Buddhist Gardens in Canada. This milestone project in Mahayana history will bring immeasurable merits to all living beings in Canada. It is his fervent hope that world peace will prevail, that all people will live in joy and harmony, and that all sentient beings will ultimately attain Buddhahood.