達義大和尚簡介 Biography of Venerable Dayi Shi
Venerable Dayi Shi is the President of The Buddhist Association of Canada, President of The Young Men’s Buddhist Association of America, President of the Buddhist Association of San Francisco, USA, 46th Patriarch of TianTai Sect of Buddhism, as well as the current Abbot of Cham Shan Temple in Toronto.
He became a novice in 1983 and was tonsured under Venerable Elder Master Hong Li in Guangdong. During the same year, he received full ordination at Nanhua Temple in Caoxi, Guangdong, with Venerable Elder Master Wei Yin as his precept master.
He has graduated from the Minnan Buddhist College at Xiamen, Fujan, China in 1989. Under the guidance of Elder Master Miao Zhan, he was appointed lecturer at the same college, as well as serving as Supervisory Director at the Nanputuo Monastery in Xiamen.
In December of 1991, Ven. Dayi Shi was invited to the United States by Venerable Elder Master LokTo from the Young Men’s Buddhist Association of America (YMBA). Upon his arrival to New York, he further studied TianTai doctrines, holding the position of Supervisory Director of YMBA. He often led Buddhist services, assisted in the Elder Master’s English translation work, as well as hosted Buddhist sermons in both US & Canada and preached Buddhist doctrines particularly in TianTai tradition and Pure Land practice.
Ven. Dayi Shi was admitted to the City University of New York in 1997. He graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Asian Studies. In 2003, he successfully obtained his master’s degree in East Asian History.
In August 2003, Ven. Dayi Shi received joint Dharma Transmission from Ven. Elder Master Sing Hung, Ven. Elder Master Shing Cheung and Ven. Elder Master Lok To, becoming the 46th Patriarch of the TianTai Sect.
In 2004, at the invitation and urging of our three Elder Founding Masters, Ven. Dayi Shi then moved to Toronto, Canada. He was appointed Abbot of Cham Shan Temple, leading the monastery and its ten affiliated Buddhist centers till present.
Ven. Dayi Shi promotes the principle of “Living with Wisdom”. His mission statement is to “Perceive with Wisdom and Reach out with Compassion”. The three main initiatives of Cham Shan Temple are:
- Establish and develop an education center to promote Chinese culture and propagate Buddhist virtues of loving-kindness and compassion.
- Uphold monastic standards, nurture monks and nuns in the promulgation of Buddhism
- Construct the Four Great Sacred Buddhist Gardens in Canada, to provide amiable platforms for cultivation, to purify the mind and bring about harmony in our communities.
He continuous to lead Sangha and laities in creating a platform to promote both Chinese culture and Buddhist code of ethics in North America. On-going activities include regular Buddhist services, meditation, chanting session, tea ceremony, martial art and children Buddhism classes etc. They are very popular with participants from diverse ethnic and age groups.
In order to strengthen the development of Chinese Buddhism in North America, Ven. Dayi Shi has overcome many hindrances, in order to establish collaboration between Buddhist communities in China and Canada. Cultural exchange activities hosted include calligraphy and art exhibition, Water and Land Dharma ceremony, 7-days meditation retreat, Avatamsaka Sutra’s Dharma service etc. He has also inaugurated the first” China-Canada-US Buddhist Forum”, hosting a Buddhist event at University of Toronto for the first time, with international participation from orders of monastics globally.
Ven. Dayi Shi takes pride in promoting multiculturalism in Canada by extending his presence from the temple to various communities, taking initiatives with charity groups and social services. He is being recognized by our federal, provincial and municipal government authorities as an influential leader of Mahayana Buddhism in Canada. In recognition of The Buddhist Association of Canada, Cham Shan Temple’s contribution to multiculturism in Canada, we are honored to be the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada.
He has also engaged in various avenues to propagate Buddhism, including publications in newspapers, magazine, radio broadcasting and various social medias, attracting a vast group of followers with positive engagements.
Through the past three decades, Ven. Dayi Shi has regularly expounded on Mahayana Dharma scriptures. His sermons include the Surangama Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Six Patriarch’s Platform Sutra, Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra, Amitabha Sutra, The Awakening of Faith, The Aspiration of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, the Essence of TianTai Sect., the Essence of Calming and Insightful Meditation, Liturgy of Water and Land Dharma ceremony etc. To go with this day and age, he has also engaged in sharing his teaching through virtual social platforms. His books include the series of “Living with Wisdom”, “Living at Ease” and “Living with Awakening” published by the China Culture Publishing House.
Ven. Dayi Shi is a strong believer in the globalization and multicultural exchange in Buddhism. Sangha members from Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana sectors are among his honorable guests in all our major events in order to create unity and synergy among various schools. Dialogues among the leaders from the three major Buddhist sectors have taken place at University of Toronto. He is also appointed chairman of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and has participated in Dharma talks in Singapore, Thailand and Japan.
He has also diligently undertaken the vows handed down by the three Elder Masters, by leading Sangha and laities in the development of the 1,350 acres (approx. 9,000 mu) of scenic land into the Four Great Sacred Buddhist Gardens in Canada, namely Wutai Shan, Putuo Shan, Jiuhua Shan and Emei Shan. Wutai Shan Buddhist Garden in Canada is the first site to be developed with a milestone achieved to date. In 2016, he has led a delegation to China for “Passing of the Torch” held at the Four Sacred Mountains of China. This has validated the heritage of the Four Great Sacred Buddhist Gardens in Canada and strengthened the position of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism in Canada. “No Distinction Between the Two Mountains” are endorsed, symbolizing the notion of “Same Root Same Heritage in Buddhism”. The consecration ceremony of Wutai Shan Buddhist Garden’s main hall was held on October 5, 2019, marking the accomplishment of an iconic wooden architectural structure built with ancient designs in North America.
With over three decades of dedicated monkhood and a sound academic background from both the East and West, Ven. Dayi Shi has undertaken great vows and pioneered ventures to seek out opportunities that forge new territory in the propagation of Mahayana Buddhism in North America. Following the Buddhist saying of: “This deep resolve I offer to the myriad Buddhas’ land, and thus endeavor to repay the Buddha’s boundless grace”, he has dedicated his entire life to Buddhism, benefiting all with the teachings of the Buddha.