Bhikkhuni Sheng Hua
Bhikkhuni Sheng Hua was born in Changhua, Taiwan in 1955 and was given the name Zhuang Liangshu. When she was young, her family was extremely poor. Her father was a miner, and her family lived in a dilapidated house made of earthen bricks. A suitcase they found served as the family’s closet. At age 5 or 6 she scavenged for pieces of coal or scraps. She only wanted to earn money to help her family, even though children of the same age played freely. Her family was so poor that they did not have money to buy food. She couldn’t go to school, so she hid outside the classroom door to listen to the teachers teach their classes. The children at the school were very kind to her and often brought bread and milk for her to take home.
None of this stopped her from building three monasteries and two educational charities:
Putuoshan Temple in Shulin District of New Taipei City, Taiwan
Putuoshan Monastery in Tongluo, Taiwan
Putuoshan International Association
Putuoshan Monastery in Cambodia
Putuoshan Minghua Care Center in Cambodia
In fact, her deep understanding of her childhood coupled with life benefactors, positive people who arose in her life, allowed her to enter into a spacious domain of trust and make the journey from survival, to thriving, to flourishing and led many disciples on the transformative journey as well.
In her youth, Mr. Jiang Shixi, a teacher at the school befriended her, and helped her to receive an elementary school diploma. The old monk, Master Shang Wu Xia Ming of Haiming Temple received flowers that she picked while climbing the mountain to pay homage to Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. He encouraged her and offered her fruit from the Buddha offering table to take back to her family. He led her to become a Buddhist. Mr. Chen Yixing, the son of the landowner who accepted her humble down payment of NT $400 to purchase the land to build a house for Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, while others buyers present had cash and checkbooks. The landowner’s son also helped her build Putuoshan Monastery. Her many disciples were her life benefactors assisting in building and coming to hear her Dharma talks. And, her ordaining Master who tonsured her and the Chuang Tai Chan Monastery who fully-ordained her.
Her loving students followed her lead and collectively made offerings to Cambodia, which reminded Bhikkhuni Sheng Hua of her challenging youth. So, in the footsteps of a Bodhisattva, she purchased land in Battambang Province, Cambodia and built Putuoshan Monastery Cambodia and Putuoshan Minghua Care Center in Cambodia. In addition, in 2005, she established Shi Fang Yuan Inc. which sells healthy food products to earn revenues for her charitable works.