Grand Master Wei Chueh - Founder of Chung Tai Chan Monastery
In order to preserve the teaching for future generations, he emphasizes education for Buddhist monks and nuns and established the Chung Tai Buddhist Institute to nurture knowledgeable and qualified teachers of the Dharma. He also founded the Pu Tai Schools (from elementary through high school) which place value in respect, compassion, and moral integrity in the education of youth.
Beginning from Lin Quan and now at Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Grand Master Wei Chueh has provided vision, inspiration and guidance to tens of thousands of followers, monastic teachers and lay people alike. Because of his leadership, the essence of Chan teachings has been deeply and widely planted and will bring fruits of serenity and wisdom to the world.
Venerable Master Jian Deng - Abbot of Chung Tai Chan Monastery
In May of 2005, the Grand Master appointed his disciple, Master Jian Deng, as the new abbot of Chung Tai.
Master Jian Deng continues to uphold the Grand Master's vows and teaching in leading the monastic and lay disciples of Chung Tai.
By building and expanding on the firm foundation already in place, Chung Tai will continue to spread the Bodhisattva Way, that is, the practice of bringing infinite compassion and enlightenment to all beings.
The Chung Tai Tradition
The Buddha Dharma is vast and profound. To be effective and well-rounded in one's spiritual practice, Grand Master Wei Chueh organizes training at Chung Tai around these three concepts:"Three Links of Cultivation," "The Four Tenets of Chung Tai," and "The Five Modern Approaches of Propagating Buddhism."
Three Links of Cultivation— A Principle for Complete Spiritual Practice
Integration of three disciplines—cultivation of merit, scriptural understanding, and meditation—is Chung Tai's guiding principle for a well-rounded Buddhist practice, each being an inseparable link that complements and reinforces the other two. Cultivating merits involves performing good deeds and service to the monastery and to the public. Diligent study of the Dharma establishes right views and insight. Meditation calms, clears, and awakens the mind. Integration of these three disciplines ensures proper progress on the path to Buddhahood.
The Four Tenets of Chung Tai —Concrete Guidelines to Practice the Dharma
The Chan teachings, although profound, are intimately tied to daily living. The four tenets of Chung Tai are concrete guidelines for practicing mindfulness in daily life:
To our elders be respectful:
Respect subdues arrogance
To our juniors be kind:
Kindness dispels anger
With all humanity be harmonious:
Harmony overcomes rudeness and violence
In all endeavors be true:
Truthfulness eradicates deceit.
The Five Modern Approaches of Propagating Buddhism
Buddhism can adapt and respond well to the environment and modern societies while preserving its essence. The Grand Master advocates "The Five Modern Approaches of Propagating Buddhism—Buddhism in Academic Research, Buddhism in Education, Buddhism in Culture and the Arts, Buddhism in Science, and Buddhism in Daily Living." The Five Approaches accommodate the needs and interests of different people and cultures, opening a multitude of doors for the discovery of the benefits of Buddhism and the attainment of true liberation.
Organization of Chung Tai
Chung Tai adheres to the Six-fold Harmony dictated by the Buddha—physical harmony in communal living, oral harmony in having no dissensions, mental harmony in mutual rejoicing, moral harmony in observing the precepts together, doctrinal harmony in understanding of the Dharma, and economic harmony in sharing goods. These are the guiding principles in the regulation and organization of a harmonious Sangha (of ordained Dharma Masters and lay disciples).
Resident Monastic Units: Sangha Administration and Dharma Services
Chung Tai is like a self-sufficient microcosm where the Sangha (monastics) works harmoniously, practicing in the Chan tradition: "Walking is Chan (meditation), sitting is Chan; in speech or silence, in motion or stillness, the mind is at peace." The resident Sangha units include: Office of Monastic Affairs, Office of Ceremonial Affairs, Reception Office, Secretariat, Center for Publication and Learning, Library, Cultural Exhibits Center, Communications and Information Systems, General Affairs, Construction Office, Kitchen, Dining Hall, Merit Field (Organic Farm), Vestments, Laundry, Metal Shop, Carpentry, Repair Shop, Design Department, Landscaping, Environmental Protection, Security, Transportation, Auto Repair, Ceremonial Supplies Room, and others.