Bhiksuni Tzu Chang
Born in 1931, she was the second child of Li Chueh-ho, who invited Bhiksu Hsing Yun to reside at Lei Yin Temple (Sound of Thunder Temple) in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan .
In 1965, she was tonsured by Bhiksu Hsing Yun along with others. She became his first female disciple and was fully ordained at Fa Yun Temple ( Dharma Cloud Temple ) in Miaoli, Taiwan.
In her family, she was the first to be tonsured by Bhiksu Hsing Yun. Her nephews, now Bhiksus Hui Lung and Hui Chuan and her father, now Bhiksu Hui Ho (Li Chueh-ho) were to follow one-by-one and be tonsured by Bhiksu Hsing Yun. Over the years, she has been a good example of someone who respects Bhiksu Hsing Yun and is compassionate to her Dharma brothers and sisters at Fo Guang Shan.
After graduating from Bukkyo University in Japan , she returned to Taiwan and assumed many important tasks. Then, Bhiksu Hsing Yun advised her to build Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, California, USA. It took her ten years to build the biggest temple in the Western Hemisphere. Although she experienced many difficulties, she was not discouraged at all. Hsi Lai Temple finally came to completion in 1988.
An International Full Ordination Ceremony and a general conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists were both organized there. It was the first time that Fo Guang Shan organized large-scale international activities in the Western Hemisphere . What was also significant is that it was the first general conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists to be held in the United States of America.
After the completion of Hsi Lai Temple, Bhiksuni Tzu Chuang shouldered the responsibility of establishing branches in the USA: Hawaii, Guam, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Orlando, Austin, Dallas, New York; Canada: Toronto and Vancouver; Europe: Paris, London, Berlin, and Switzerland; Asia: Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and others.
With the establishment of these branches, a series of Dharma talks and activities were organized on a regular basis. All branches have a good relationship with their local community and always offer a helping hand to people. Thus, many people have benefited from the spread of Humanistic Buddhism advocated by Bhiksu Hsing Yun.
Bhiksuni Tzu Chuang proved the most important pioneer in realizing Bhiksu Hsing Yun’s ideals. As an outstanding Buddhist nun, she has helped Bhiksu Hsing Yun to “Let the Buddha’s light shine throughout the universe, and let the Dharma water flow throughout the world.”