Bhikkhuni Li Shan
My original name is Yali Xu. I was born in Xuxikeng Village, Dongshi Town, Jinjiang City, Fujian Province in China on July 4th, 1974. Both of my parents are farmers. My mother is a holy follower of the Buddha. When I was a child, I always went to the temple with my mother. My mother realized my potential; so she sent me to Nantian Temple to study Buddhism. At that time, I didn’t understand the greatness of the Buddha. I learned how to read the books every single morning and night. I saw lots of people come to the temple asking for safety, fortune or protection from disasters. Sometimes, I was so confused as to why they did that. However, I didn’t understand the greatness of the Buddha, the significance of Sanbao and the meaning of studying Buddhism until I was sent to Quanzhou Buddhist College. After that, I made a decision to pursue more deeply my faith. Finally I got certified at Chongfu Temple, Fujian Province on October, 2000.
In the spring of 1990, I successfully passed the exam and enrolled in the Minan Buddhist College, the largest Buddhist College in China. Through learning very hard for six years, I totally understood Buddhism, and decided to choose that as my career. But it is not so easy at the beginning. When I graduated from College, and came back to Nantian Temple, everything was not developed. First, I tried to bring Buddhism to the neighborhood. I taught people how to sing Dharma songs since it is the easiest way to understand. Then, I gave some lectures at other temples to improve communication and the development of Buddhism. Therefore, people got interested in Buddhism, and they wanted to learn about it.
Since Feburary 8th, 1999 of the lunar calendar, I started a monthly lecture series at Nantian Temple. In the beginning only 20 people attended my lectures. However, things changed after that. More and more people got interested in my lectures. There was not even enough space for the entire audience. We had to build a 2000 square meter new auditorium in 2002, which followed the original plan of our temple. We also adjusted the frequency of lectures from monthly to every ten days according to the level of our audience. The eighth day of each lunar month is the big lecture for 2000 to 3000 people. The maximum is 5000 people. In addition, there are two 1 week events at different times. People who attend these events follow rules of food restriction and read books for the whole week. One is held before the birthday of Bhaisaiyaguru, the other one is at the beginning of Amitabha’s birthday. There are 300 to 400 students who attending each event. More than 600 to 1000 people listen to our lectures every day.
To spread the mercy of Buddha, we ran a charity program to help serious ill patients, college students and elders. Every year 200 patients are cured after our interventions. Since 2012, we have looked after elders at the double ninth Festival. We also donate textbooks and educational facilities to poor schools. Eight hundred volunteers get involved in our program and try their best to help others.
Another program focuses on young people. We try to help young people be positive about life and grateful to their parents. Since 2007, there is a Buddhist experiential camp for students from middle school to university level each year. Three hundred students learn Buddhism for free every year. They improve their inner strength, learn wonderful things, and improve their life.
In 2009, I took charge of Caoyan Temple in JInjiang City and extended the lecture series to Caoyan Temple. I started my job about Buddhist education both at the Buddhism committee of Quanzhou and Jinjiang. In 2013, I attended the Buddhist Communication Fair held by the Fujian Provincial Government. On September, 2016, the Buddhism Communication Fair was organized by the Buddhist committee of Quanzhou at Nantian Temple.
I enrolled in a continuous learning program for Master’s Degree in Buddhism at Renmin University, China. In 2005, I went to Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia for Buddhist dialogues. In 2007, I went to Japan for a Buddhist dialogue between China and Japan. In the same year, I visited Taiwan for a Buddhist dialogue program held by the Buddhist committee of Jinjiang. I always attend international Buddhist events held by the World Buddhist Sangha Council. From 2012 to 2016, I was invited to attend the 4th and the 8th Buddist dialogue week between Minnan and Taiwan.
On July 2015, the Buddhism Committee of Jinjiang, Nantian Temple, the World Buddhist Sangha Council, and Chinese Young Buddhist Association in Taiwan held a “Chan” and “Joy” Buddhist culture communication event for young people. On November 24th 2016, the Buddhism Committee of Quanzhou started a “Quanzhou: the Heaven of Buddhism” theme event for communication between China and Japan at Nantian Temple. On that night, a Buddhist show was held at Haixian Stadium in Quanzhou. This show was highly recommended by plenty of professional people from China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines and so on. I try my best to spread the culture of Buddhism, propose peace for the world, and satisfy the happiness and safety of humans.