Biography of Ven. Wuyin
Ven.Wuyin received her novice vow in 1957 and her bhikshuni vows in 1959.
She is the leader of Luminary International Buddhist Society, which oversees study programs for nuns and laypeople, as well as translation and publishing projects.
She sat at the feet of Elder Baisheng, Honorable Bhikshuni Tainyi and Mingzong. After her ordination, she pondered deeply the question, “What role should a Buddhist monastic play in the modern world?” To answer this question, she entered Chinese Culture University, and later pursued advanced studies in Hawaii. Through lots of learning experiences from different teachers, she realized that the key to helping bhikshunis find a meaningful role in modern society was education. Thus in 1980, when she became the abbess of Luminary Temple in Chia-Yi, she set up the Luminary Buddhist Institute to give bhikshunis the opportunity to receive a well-rounded monastic education. Under her guidance, Luminary Buddhist Institute has become one of the most respected centers in Taiwan for education and training of bhikshunis.
Ven. Wuyin realized that it was important not only for bhikshunis to receive a solid Buddhist education, but that it was also their duty to offer the lay community the chance to study Buddhism. Thus since 1984, she and her senior disciples established Dharma Centers in cities, which provide Buddhist education to adult lay people. The classes do not follow the traditional method of exclusive lecture presentation, but include discussion and dialogue to enable the students to learn how to apply Buddhism in their daily lives.
To broaden and deepen the understanding of Mahayana Buddhism, Ven. Wuyin has invited teachers from the Theravada tradition to give lectures and conduct meditation retreats, and instructed the Luminary Publishing Association to publish translations of works by eminent Theravadin teachers, such as Ajahn Buddhadasa and Bhikkhu Bodhi. Besides, she allowed her disciples to Myanmar and Shri Lanka to mediate , or to various countries for advanced study such as fields of Buddhism, Psychology, Education and History etc.
Ven. Wuyin experts at Buddhist Vinaya both theoretically and experientially. She has taught bhikshuni precepts in Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Myanmar. Especially, in 1996 she taught bhikshuni precepts at Bodhgaya in India, in the camp of “Life as a Western Nun”, the teaching later was compiled into Choosing Simplicity. The teachings open up the hope for Western Tibetan nuns and Southeast Asia nuns to establish bhikshuni sangha.
As a bhikshuni, Master Wuyin has tried throughout her life to improve the status of bhikshunis. she has created an educational institute and structure that has given birth to several generations of well-educated nuns and laypeople. Her biography shows us how a modern woman, with roots in Buddhist tradition and a keen, open, and active mind, has tried to create a solid bridge connecting Buddhism to the modern world.