World’s Famous Bhikkhunis
Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Yang Li
Chief Abbess of Pau Chi Temple in China
Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Yang Li of China is the Abbess of Pau Chi Temple. She is the 50th successor of the Caodong sect of Zen and is the first Bhikkhuni Abbess of the Cao Shan Temple in its thousand-year history. She was born into a Buddhist family in the ancient city of Changan which has a deep Buddhist root. She began learning the art of acupuncture from her ancestors when she was only 4 years old and started treating and helping patients when she was just a child. As a laywoman, she was devoted to undertaking charity work. Since 1986, she served as the Acting-Deputy Director General of the Hong Kong Gracious Glory Foundation. During this time, she devoted herself to medical charity work. She once raised 50 million dollars for the treatment of persons with congenital heart disease. She cured 1093 persons. Also, she enabled those living in remote areas to receive vaccinations for infectious diseases. She travelled to the Gannan area of Tibet to equip all the doctors with motorcycles and refrigerators for the vaccines and gave them money each month for gasoline. As a result, the herdsmen and women were able to receive basic vaccinations for the first time in their lives and the incidence of infectious diseases drastically declined.
After ordination, she took refuge in Venerable Yi-Chan in order to follow the Wei-Yang sect lineage and strove to revive the thousand year-old Zen Temple. She rebuilt the monastery, hung the bell in the Zen hall, and practiced meditation in the Cao Shan tradition. She established the Caodong Buddhist Institute to educate faithful monastics with Buddhist scriptures. She developed Zushi Zen with an emphasis on both Zen Literature and Zen Farming. She re-established the precepts for the ancient temple and enabled the Caodong lineage, which has the most followers in the world, to shine in solemn and sacred glory once again. Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Yang Li also established the Jianxi Caodong Charity Organization which dedicates itself to the protection and preservation of the temple, culture and historical relics, provides for the elderly, and offers continuing education to unemployed women and students who have dropped out. Cao Shan Baoji Temple is now a new monastery for women and practitioners of modern Buddhism. It improved traditional farming by creating Zen Farming which develops and distributes local organic produce to nearby villagers and disciples and shares profits with them. Her Zen Literature materials disseminate the Buddha’s teachings in a relaxed and vivid way. She also applies Zen to a series of handicrafts and gifts to let the Buddha’s teachings enter the artistic life of modern people. In 2017, the first Caodong International Seminar was held in Cao Shan Baoji Temple. Politicians, religious scholars and Buddhist monastics from Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and other countries participated in this event which marked the rise of the Caodong sect of Zen with the Cao Shan Baoji Temple as its home.
Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Yang Li held the “First China international symposium on Zen Buddhism of Cao Dong Sect & Most Venerable Master Ben Ji’s 1117th death anniversary” on July 09 – 12, 2017 at Cao Shan Bao Ji Buddhist Temple premises in Yihuang Country, China. The Jiangxi Religious Culture Exchange Association & Jiangxi Buddhist Association will arrange this meaningful Symposium under the guidelines of Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Yang Li, the Chief Abbot of Cao Shan Bao Ji Buddhist Temple, Yihuang Country in China. More than 100 delegates from China, Japan, Taiwan & South Korean participated for this first Symposium. Since the Indian Bodhi Da grinding ancestors east pass law, and the formation of the teachings of Zen Buddhism. After the five ancestors Huineng, a blooming five leaves, sub-derived Cao Dong, Rinzai, Cloud Gate, Wei Yang, France five factions. Cao Dongzong of the founder of the late Tang Dynasty Dongshan good price Zen Master (807-869). Among the disciples are the most famous is Cao Shan Ben Jing Zen Master (840-901). He carried forward the Zen Master’s Zen Buddhism. Later, people to the two masters of the place of the Dongshan, Caoshan to call this veil, so the formation of Cao Dongzong.
Tang Xian Tong five years (864 years), the original silence “twenty-five, the division (referring to the original by the industry) who allowed the ring,” and “and” He was given a foot after the ring, then left the division door, the province north of the cloud tour, find division enlightenment, in order to invent the purpose. At this time the price of Zen Master in Jiangxi Dongshan carries forward its first Zen wind, the world called “hole on the wind”, France said Sheng, Quartet praise. The lonely to visit the Dongshan good prices, meet the question and answer, quite fit the price is very heavy and quiet, since the burglary for its chief disciple. The silence in the Dongshan hoarding number, day and night to benefit, and finally get the price secret confirmation of the mystery, heart pass on the hole. Soon he will bid farewell to the hole, the first to Shaoxing, Guangdong Cao River worship six ancestors Hui can really tower, quickly return to Kyrgyzstan water (now Jiangxi Linchuan County).
The local monks for a long time the truth of the prestige, asked him to open law. However, he remembered the six ancestors Huineng in Cao River created by the wind, put the Jishui Mountain renamed Cao Shan, Zhuoxi Yuzu raise their own wind, so “Cao Shan Ben lonely,” said. After Huang Chao led the peasant uprising troops stationed in the mountain, the silence is moved to the Dutch Yushan, a believer homes of the king of view turned into a lotus temple, there is still one that He Yushan is changed to Caoshan. Or two mountains are not far away, are known as Cao Shan. The silence in the Cao Shan Hong Zen 30 years of convergence, Daxing Daxing, scholars blend, heir disciples outstanding fourteen people, the door countless people, and gathered in the seat under the Zen meditation of the ten monks, perennial “winter summer surplus Thousand two hundred and three hundred “, vigorously the price of the hole on the wind, the formation of a new sectarian. The future generations to take their mentoring two to live in the name of the two mountains as “Cao Dongzong”, the French widely spread the world Zen door.
As the first five years of the original Qing Jing Zen Master, is the master of the Zen Buddhism, the Zen wind “five monarch” as the case, from the rationale, the relationship between the physical description of the situation, reason. Song Zhixao “people eyes” that its “fine family, words and deeds corresponding, random income, on the language of access.” This formation and the sudden emergence of the big vibration of the original line of thinking Zen style. The original Zen Master since the 25-year-old boarding after the north of the cloud tour, and later long Zhuo Xinsha Chuan Zong genius until the silence of more than 30 years, in the Buddhist scriptures and local records did not see it back to the record. He was in the first year of Tang Tianfu (901 years) on June 16th, in the Cao Shan He Yu Temple Zhang personally incense banquet and sitting, the world has six sixty, monk summer thirty-seven years, the body buried in Cao Shanxi Qiu, Tang Zhaozong cited Shi Yuan card master, tower name “Fu Yuan” He was 19 years old into Fuzhou Yunmenshan monk, 25 years old with a strong ring. And then to Jiangxi Yifeng County Dongshan Puli Temple, the meritorious service Zen Master. By the price of heavy weight, was the heart pass. Tang Xian Tong eleven years (870), farewell to the price, first to the Guangdong Qujiang Cao Xi worship Zen six ancestors Hui Teng tower, and then to Jiangxi Jishui, should monks request, open the argument. Due to the current situation unrest, came to Yixian County, Cao Shan (now the city of South Township Chen Fang Xu row) to practice, the local king if the king, the king of homes to let his abbot. After the expansion of the temple and Cao River six ancestors of merit, the concept changed to the name of Cao Shan Temple.
Cao Dongzong’s influence is very broad, many of his disciples become famous monks, all over the country’s mountain temple has its disciples to promote Cao Dongzong Zen law. Fuzhou provincial governor has been willing to ask his disciples Kuang Ren Zen Master to the Jinxi Shu Shan Temple Dharma, so that the temple has become a Buddhist missionary base. Japanese monk room to light, to the price of Zen study for 30 years, the Korean monk Li Yan also to the loneliness of the disciples to study Zen law. In the early thirteenth century, the Japanese monk Tong Yuan Cao Dongcun law passed into Japan, to create a Japanese Buddhist Cao Dongzong, to the 20th century, 80 years, the Japanese believers about 10 million people. North Korea, Southeast Asia and other places also have a lot of Cao Dongzong believers.
“The interpretation of Dongshan five show tactics”, “living Han Shanzi poem”, later generations and won the “Fuzhou Cao Shan Ben Jing Zen Master Quotations”, “Fuzhou Cao Shan Yuan Zheng Zen Master Quotations “2 kinds of surviving world. 1993 Yixian County People’s Government approved the restoration of Cao Shan Temple, in June 1995 to complete the first phase of rehabilitation works. In 1999, more than 10 statues were held in Myanmar, and the main hall was built. The original Zen Master (840 – 901), the Tang Dynasty Zen monk, Cao Dongzong second ancestors, vulgar name surnamed Huang, Fujian Quanzhou Putian people. Young Confucianism, 19 years old into Fuzhou Futang County Lingshi Shan monk, twenty-five years old with a ring. Salty years (860 ~ 873), Zen wind flourishing, participating Ye Shanshan price, contacts benefit, close to the purpose.
The lonely Zen Master is the hole of the Buddhist temple of the heir, and Dongshan Liangzhe Zen master to create a Zen five of the Cao Dongzong, was revered as Cao Dongzong second generation founder, heir of the door of the people have He Yu Guanghui, Jinfeng from the deer, Hong Tong, Cao Shan Huixia, etc., “Fuzhou Cao Shan Ben Jing Zen Master Quotations” two volumes handed down. Tang Dynasty Chinese Buddhism Zen Dasheng, “Southern Zen” founder – six ancestors Huineng under the master, sub-pass Nanyue, Qingyuan two branches, then a flower five leaves, into “five seven factions” ; Cao Dongzong that one of the five. This was the early Tang Xian Tong Zen Master in Jiangxi Province, Dongshan laid the foundation for the development of its high enough to the law of the original silence of the master in Jiangxi Cao Shan. Known as “Cao Dongzong”, also known as “hole Caozong”. Since the Northern and Southern Dynasties so far, Puxian Zen monks of the ancient monks, the dragon is also more, but for the Chinese Buddhist sects of the founder of the founder, only the lonely monk. Therefore, this is great to be able to understand the Zen Buddhism of Cao Dong Sect & Most Venerable Master Ben Ji’s marvels service to the Zen Buddhism and Cao Shan Bao Ji Temple in Yihuang, China and also take the vast knowledge & covered the huge area of totally Zen Buddhism via above the symposium.
Geography of Cao Shan Mountain – Yihuang county is located in the south of East Central Jiangxi Province, Fuzhou City, the county built in the Three Kingdoms Wu Tai Ping second years (257), named for the county at the junction of Yi and yellow river. County total area of 1944 square kilometers. The topography and geomorphology are mainly mountainous and hilly, with a total of eight mountains, a half water, a half field, a half road and an estate”. Climate belongs to the transition zone between Southern China climate area and central China climate area. Belong to the middle subtropical humid monsoon climate zone. Yihuang has superior agricultural production conditions and rich varieties of agricultural products. In Chinese traditional society, it is beneficial to the development of Buddhism, Zen, agriculture and zen. Yihuang is mountainous, about 15 kilometers from the county town of Cao Shan mountain, which is one of the most famous mountain in Yihuang.
Cao Shan Mountain, HeYu Mountain in the late Tang Dynasty, the ritual, was renamed by BenJi Master as Cao shan in the honor of the six masters of Cao Xi. Cao mountain peak is Luo Hanfeng. Cao Shan , rules the mountains around with countless peaks, which makes it like a few petals green lotus stands. Cao Shan Temple, built in Tang Dynasty, Xian Tong eleventh years to fourteenth years (870 – 873), created by the BenJi Master, is one of the five factions China Zen Buddhism, a birthplace of Cao Dongzong as a branch of Zen Buddhism, known as “the Cao Dongzu tribunal”. The surrounding mountains are like blossoming lotus and, Cao Shan Temple is located in the center lotus petals. In front of the temple hill called GongYang mountain, which is shaped like a bowl full of food, dedicated to the Buddha. The GongYang mountain is faced by Tiger Hill on whose right lays the Long hill, forming a majestic environment together with the surrounding “lotus petals” for Cao Shan Temple. Cao Shan Temple is located correctly in the center of such a vast space, facing the supporting mountains which forming a natural Buddha altar. When Zhao Puchu, President of the Buddhist Association of China, came to Yihuang, he said, “It is very understandable that this place bacome the birthplace of Cao.. There is no suspense. Even if there is one, it can only be said to be the nature of nature and the nature of Yihuang.”. When the Buddha was born, he was born with a lotus. He was related to Buddhism, and he was related to Buddhism Cao Shan’s scenery is centered on Cao Shan Temple, which is full of Buddhist Zen culture. According to Yihuang County Annals , there are tenl landscapes of Cao Shan mountain : Lion and elephant checkpoint, Big Dipper stones, Luo Han hill, Yu Hua rock, Bo Yu mountain ,Wen Jin Pavilion,Hui Long cave, the tomb of general, the tomb of Master Ben Ji and Zhuo Xi spring. Cao ShanMountain is the birthplace of Cao Dongzong, for thousands of years, wanders in Cao Shan Mountain increased continuously. According to the Yihuang county annals, Cao Shan Temple has wanders like abronze bell, Ye Bei book, Luo Han leaf hat, Zhuo Xi spring, Yu Hua rock, Wen Jin pavilion, Xian Sheng cliff, Lion and elephant checkpoint, Big Dipper stones, the general tomb, You Yan cave and the tomb of Master Ben Ji. As the time goes by, the remains are the tomb of Master Ben Ji, Zhuoxi spring, Yu Hua cliff, Hui Long cave, Xian Sheng cliff, a 1000-year-old ginkgo tree, You Yan cave and tombs of some great monks. Of course, with the revival of Zen Buddhism in the new period, there are some new spiritual traces.
Master Ben Ji is the founder of Cao Shan Temple, who was buried in the Phoenix-shaped pit in the west of Cao Shan Temple, 901. The tombs located in the east side and some rebulit after been destroyed. At the beginning of Qing Dynasty, the tomb of Master Ben Ji was destroyed. In Shunzhi thirteenth years (1656) ,Matser LangJue DaoSheng, the thirteenth Master of Buddhism and Bo Shan Temple and his pupils rebulit the tomb at the support of local peole. Da Zhi ,the pupil of Matser LangJue DaoSheng wrote the epitaph for Master Ben Ji. In twenty-sixth years of emperor Kangxi (1687), the epitaph was rewrote and “the tomb of the Cao Shan’ first Master Ben Ji” was wrote in the beginning of the tombstone. The life of Master Ben Ji and the process of the reconstruction were also wrote on the tombstone. The epitaph was carved on the semicircular wall of the tomb. In front of the tomb stone is the hexahedral Muta body. Muta is divided into three parts: Kentucky is a regular hexahedron, each side length of 0.45 meters; the hexahedral tower height of 0.88 meters, each side length of 0.3 meters, the front carved seal “the death Jackson tower”. Tower body is 0.35 meters high peak shaped stone top, with 0.35 meters high, diameter 0.26 meters of stone gourd top. The Muta was erected on the circle made by three rectangle stones which is called “ called diamond ring stone circle in Buddhism. The circle include inner ring composed of eight fan-shaped blocks and the outer ring composed of 17 blocks of stones. The tomb maintains the original appearance since the reconstruction in 1983. In 2000, a miracle happened. Several tourists in Beijing to take a picture in front of this tomb. After the photos were washed, they found out that there was a old monk with a little monk in the right hand in the photo, and the old monk was just like the Master Ben Ji. People said that was a miracle and the picture is stored in the temple now.
Located in the foot of the Tiger Mountain, as a real hut for elders with retreat. In retirement, Master Ben Ji was retreating here. Although the one in nowadays is the copy the, location, shape and size are the same. The water of Zhou Xi spring came from the He Yu mountain and behind the mountains as well as the Hu Shan stone. The water is crystal clear, cool, sweet and keep running the whole year. It is said that during the Song Dynasty, thousands of monks and lay Buddhist monks ate the spring water here. The 9 meter- wide, 5 meters-deep rock cave, is the meditation place of Master Ben Ji. According to the legend, the cave had hidden a huge python, thousands of years of practice into a fine, often become humanoid and the temple monks from the temple of chess, each side of the bridge to go back, then suddenly disappeared. Later, Master Ben Ji asked a little monk saw a thread in his clothes, and the next day find him by tracing the thread. Then they found the python was hidden in the Yu Hua cave. After a lapse of many days, he finally came to the temple to play chess. As the needle connected to the python, the snake ached, and finally had to tell the truth to the master, and begged the Zen master to help him. The Zen Master refused to admit that the water for it would flood farmland and villages. The local people and beg the master to kill the python but master kept silent. The fine Python heard about it and left through the Cao Xi water afte struggled to walk in the mountains for three days in a hurry. When we arrived in the Yihuang River, we found that the Zen master had already set him off in Phoenix Peak, and the python was very grateful, for the Master not only did not take his life, but also came to see him off in person. The python flew away and never returned to Cao Shan Temple. There is a tree in front of Yu Hua Rock, more than 20 meters high, 1 meters high branches into two branches, it is actually two candles put by Master Ben Ji according to legend.
According to the Yihuang county annals there was a monk who adore playing chess so much. one day, a man in elegant clothes to play chess with the monk. The monk asked the man about his hometown. The man answered that “Huizhou businessman work for paper affairs.” Few people in the local knows him and were scared about him somehow. When the man left, someone followed him and in the path of mountain found out the man turn to be a dragon. Later ,the dragon moved in cave in a zigzag way. This is the come of the name “HuiLong Cave” According to legend, in the Song Dynasty, the temple monks lived a very poor life which makes it hard to manage a temple. One day, the Buddha appeared and made the left cave springs into salt water, right out of the water hole into oil,which were supplied endlessly. Hundreds of monks in the temple got salvation. Thus people named those two cave “You Yan Cave”. There was a monk named “San Lai Zi” was not satisfied with the study life here and desired to return to the vulgar life. One night, intended to make some money before returning to home, he picked up a load of oil basket went into the cave to got the oil and salt. When the basket was full filled, he was full of complacency. Suddenly, followed a loud “bang” a flash of light appeared in the sky and the oil and salt were sprinkled into the ground. The monk was scared to death immediately. The oil turned into clear water and salt into sand. From then on, there was no outflow of oil and salt.