Master Hsin Tao
The Venerable Chan Master Hsin Tao is the founding abbot of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society, founder of the Museum of World Religions (MWR), and the Global Family for Love and Peace (GFLP). He also established the Maha Kusala Yama Monastery and its affiliated elementary school in Naung Mon, Myanmar. The institution is dedicated to the education care of orphans, as well as children from low-income families.
Born in 1948 in Lashio, Myanmar, Master Hsin Tao lost his parents at the age of four. Amidst a war-torn homeland and orphaned childhood, Master Hsin Tao witnessed the brutality of war and impermanence of life; he has aspired to the pursuit for peace. When he was thirteen-year-old, the young teen arrived in Taiwan with a troop of Nationalist Government.
At the age of twenty-five, Master Hsin Tao was ordained at Fo Guang Shan Monastery by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Inspired by precedent siddhas – Mahakasyapa and Milarepa in particular – Master Hsin Tao began his Chan practice in solitude retreat. For the next decade, he took retreat among cemeteries and two years of fasting. Having gone through near-death experiences, Master Hsin Tao contemplated on the enlightenment nature of beings and the interconnectedness among all lives. A deep loving compassion arose within. As Master stated,
“In solitude retreat, I’ve discovered the spirituality that is pure and untainted. In ascetic practice, I’ve realized that greed, hatred, ignorance, pride, and jealousy are the mere delusions of ego-clinging. Only through the contemplation of prajna wisdom can one see the ubiquitous manifestation of emptiness, the unity of lives, and an unbiased compassion for all.”
By the age of thirty-seven, Master Hsin Tao completed his retreat. Seeing the confusions and challenges that the Information Age has imposed, Master seeks to dedicate his life in dharma activities with students of the Fourfold Sangha. In 1984, he founded Wu Sheng Monastery of Ling Jiou Mountain in Fulong, Taiwan. Inspired by the great compassion of Avalokiteshvara (Guan Yin), Master Hsin Tao strives for a peaceful world like the state of Avatamsaka. With the motto of “Compassion & Chan”, Master invites everyone to join the path of Bodhisattva with Ling Jiou Mountain by: establishing the Museum of World Religions; holding interfaith dialogues; founding the Triyana Buddhist College; and many charities. By working with groups of different religions and non-profit organizations, Ling Jiou Mountain visions a world of harmony and stability that sustain.
As Master Hsin Tao has addressed, “the entire sufferings root from the greediness and hatred of human mind.” That being said, the solution to all conflicts is the transformation of mind. Chan practice is a way to analyze the working of our mind and to safeguard it. Master clarifies, “Chan practice is not a religion. It is a method to enter spirituality. We can acquire an unimaginably strength through it.” He prays that people can rediscover inner peace. Nurture and expand it to a love for all lives as we are interdependent. May every individual be a seed of peace that brings harmony everywhere they are.
Tripitaka is the collection of Buddha’s teachings for people to practice accordingly. After Master Hsin Tao went through warfare, ascetic practice, and fasting retreat –he had a profound experience of sufferings and impermanence. His integrative understanding of Buddha’s teachings and personal practice led to the development of the Four-stage Training: Agama, Prajna, Saddharma-Pundarika, and Avatamsaka – for students of monastic or lay.
Revering Avalokiteshvara (Guan Yin) as his prime refuge, Chan Master Hsin Tao dedicates himself tirelessly in promoting world peace, environmental protection, and Buddhadharma – an education on life. May every being’s mind be illuminated and rediscover one’s nature.
“When the mind is at peace, the world is at peace.”
- Master Hsin Tao