The objectives of Fo Guang Shan are to promote the principles of Humanistic Buddhism and to foster peace and harmony among all peoples of the world. The founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, has guided this effort by providing educational opportunities, sponsoring cultural events, engaging in community service, and by extensively writing and teaching about the Buddhist path of wisdom and compassion. Venerable Master Hsing Yun emphasizes not needing to "go some place else" to find enlightenment (paradise), for we can realize our true nature right here and now, within this precious human birth and this world. When we actualize altruism,joyfulness,and universality, we are practicing the fundamental concepts of Humanistic Buddhism. When we give faith, hope, joy, and service, we are helping all beings, as well as ourselves.
For nearly half a century, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan, has devoted his efforts in transforming this world, through the practice of Humanistic Buddhism. He reminds us that to transform our world, we must be actively engaged in it. "Community transcends the individual," he says, "and in doing so, fulfills the individual in the most complete way possible." Wherever he goes, he encourages people to unite both the local and global communities into a world of complete equality, joyfulness, and perfect peace.
The goal and its aims are to promote Humanistic Buddhism around the world by the four founding principles:
- To propagate Buddhist teachings through cultural activities.
- To nurture talents through education.
- To benefit societies through charitable programs.
- To purify human hearts and minds through Buddhist practices.
Social & Medical Programs
Based on the Buddha's teaching of loving kindness and His desire to rid the world of suffering, the Fo Guang Shan Compassion Foundation assists the poor, the sick and the homeless by providing free medical care at the main monastery and by dispatching mobile clinics to remote villages. It distributes clothing and food supplies to the rural poor through the annual relief campaign. It encourages the release of captured living creatures, and advocates organ donation. The Compassion Foundation has facilities to take care of anything from birth and old age to sickness and death. The Tatzu Children's Home was set up for the needy and orphaned children from Taiwan and other countries. The nurturing of constructive thinking ,self-esteem, and positive appreciation plays an important role in the daily upbringing of these children. The Fo Guang Shan Retirement Home was established to provide a peaceful and quiet environment for retired devotees while the Lan Yang Senior Citizens Home has given shelter to more than 820 chronically ill and destitute seniors over the age of 70 for the past 30 years.
The educational programs of Fo Guang Shan include four Buddhist colleges, two universities in Taiwan and one in the United States. The Chinese Buddhist research institute is further subdivided into four separate departments; a college each for men and woman ,an international and an English Buddhist studies department. Tuition fees and lodging are provided by Fo Guang Shan, free of charge. Besides the many colleges and universities, Fo Guang Shan also operates a high school in Taipei, which provides a regular curriculum for high school students, as well as nursery schools, kindergartens and Sunday schools for children.
Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Practice
Based on a sense of gratitude towards the Buddha, the country, the parents, and all living beings, resident monastics and many lay devotees at Fo Guang Shan get up at 5:30am daily to conduct and participate in the morning services of chanting and prostration. In addition, one-day, three-day or seven-day retreats are held frequently at meditation centres affiliated with Fo Guang Shan for both monastics and laity.
Throughout the year there are regular, scheduled and special ceremonies that include, but not limited to, services involving Amitabha, Bhaisajya-guru, Sakyamuni Buddha's Birthday, Great Compassion Chanting, and the Peaceful Lantern Festival. The programs of sutra recitation and lectures associated with these various ceremonies assist the attendants in their diligent practice of Buddhism, the cultivation of self-imposed attitude, the establishment of roots of benevolence and the generation of wisdom. Also there are often organized pilgrimages to Fo Guang Shan from all over the world. During these visits devotees will receive Dharma lectures and classes in Buddhism in the hope of achieving an inner spiritual transformation.
The Fo Guang Shan Mottoes
- Offer others faith.
- Offer others joy.
- Offer others hope.
- Offer others convenience.