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Ven. Master Hsing Yun & Fo Guang Shan

Fo Guang Shan (佛光山, English: Buddha’s Light Mountain) was founded by the outstanding Buddhist monastic Venerable Master Hsing Yun (星雲大師). Master Hsing Yun was originally born in China. In 1949, with the end of the Chinese civil war, he relocated to Taiwan. Here, Master Hsing Yun quickly developed a name due to his creative and unconventional ways to spread the Dharma in Taiwanese society. In 1967 he moved to Kaohsiung in the island’s south to found the Fo Guang Shan temple. While Kaohsiung continues to be the home of Fo Guang Shan’s main temple today, Fo Guang Shan has transitioned into a global network of temples and practice centers. Only a decade after its founding, Hsing Yun began to develop the temple beyond the shores of the small island. The second half of the 20th century had brought with it significant global change and restructuring. Political, economic, and societal transformations in Asia as well as changing migration policies in Western countries facilitated the emergence of new globalized spatial orders that interlinked the countries of Asia with the rest of the world in multiple new ways. Hsing Yun utilized these emerging conditions and developed his temple located in what was then considered Taiwan’s hinterlands into today’s Fo Guang Shan’s global network. Today, Fo Guang Shan’s global network of temples and practice centers with its many associated social, educational and cultural endeavors is probably the biggest representative of the Chinese Mahayana tradition.  Linking the treasures of the eminent Chinese Mahayana (in the West maybe mostly known trough Chan/Zen) tradition to our contemporary globalized world, Fo Guang Shan aims to make Buddhism accessible to people of all backgrounds and national origins.