Venerable JianHu, Abbot
Venerable JianHu is the first overseas abbot of Chung Tai. He emigrated from Taiwan and attended high school in the United States. In 1993, he first met the Grand Master and was deeply impressed by his deep serenity and wisdom. This influenced JianHu Shifu to begin his journey toward realizing his original nature. After he earned his doctorate in Artificial Neural Networks from UC San Diego, he renounced the secular life and was ordained at Chung Tai Chan Monastery in Taiwan in 1994. In 2000, JianHu Shifu, with four other Dharma masters, came to northern California and established Buddha Gate Monastery, the first overseas branch of Chung Tai, to plant the seeds of Buddhism in the United States.
In 2004, JianHu Shifu established the Zen Center of Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley. Under his leadership the Zen Center became well-known locally, and demands for its programs increased rapidly. Besides offering Zen Buddhism classes and retreats, the Zen Center also hosts a variety of programs advocating vegetarianism, sustainable living, and interfaith dialogue. Over the years its vegetarian meals offered free to the Zen center participants have become famous in the Bay Area and many people come to the Zen Center to sample the cuisine.
Venerable JianXie, Vice Abbot
The Zen Center of Sunnyvale welcome our Vice Abbot, JianXie Shifu, in April 2011. Incidentally, the word “Xie” means, “to assist or cooperate,” it is also part of the term “harmony.” An experienced Dharma Master, he had served as a vice abbot at The Zen Center of Sunnyvale in February 2005 and a vice abbot at The Zen Center of Houston in October 2010. He also had served as the Liturgy Master, Managing Director, as well as Abbot at various Chung Tai Zen Centers in Taiwan.
Back in his school days, JianXie Shifu had a fondness of Confucianism for its philosophy on improving oneself and social order. He also liked Chuang Tzu, a sage advocating the joy and freedom of soaring above material things and being one with nature. Unexpectedly he came across “Notable Words of Shakyamuni Buddha,” and was deeply drawn to the encompassing wisdom and truth he found that are more profound and complete than Confucianism and Taoism.
Upon entering college, JianXie Shifu decided to seek a greater understanding of the Dharma. In the summer of freshman year, he participated in a seven day Buddha Recitation Retreat. On the last day, amid the continuous solemn chanting, he tasted for the first time the indescribable joy of the vast stillness and emptiness of body and mind. Nonetheless, he could not yet comprehend the true meaning of liberation. In pursuit, he attended a Chan Seven Retreat presided by Grand Master WeiChueh at a Chung Tai monastery. After immersing in the Grand Master’s sweet dew of the Dharma, he experienced a deeper appreciation and firmer faith in the meaning of the original true mind in Chan (or Zen) Buddhism.
After completing the draft duties , JianXie Shifu joined the monastic order under Grand Master Wei Chueh, one of the living legend in Chan Buddhism. He completely dwelt in the study of the Dharma and received full ordination later that year.
As the Vice Abbot, JianXie Shifu has been supervising the entire development and renovation process of the new Zen Center of Sunnyvale that celebrated the grand opening in April 2007. He is well respected for his dynamic teaching, unceasing stamina, versatility, and organizing skills.
In addition to teaching the Dharma, JianXie Shifu continues to oversee general operations and building development and maintenance. He also looks forward to working in cooperating with all disciples to radiate the essence of Zen Buddhism to all sentient beings in the West.
Venerable JianCan, Acolyte Master & Docent Director
Master JianCan was ordained as a novice monk in 1994 by Grand Master Wei Chueh. For more than 10 years, he had stayed in the main monastery, where he learned Buddhist scriptures and trained himself through various ceremonies. He has completed the graduate level program from Chung Tai Buddhist Institute. He is very talented and versatile. Besides his excellence in the Teaching, he exhibits Zen in his chanting, calligraphy, martial arts, Tai Chi, and so on.
During the 7 years residency on the Houston Center, Master JianCan earn the degree of Psychology Education from University of Huston. Upon invitation by several organizations, Master JianCan performed “Chung Tai Heavenly Drum” at several occasions. The wonderful sound of the drum, never heard before in the USA, has earned great amazement and acclaim from the audience. Master JianCan also taught children & youth meditation class and Tai Chi class.
In October 2017, Master JianCan was appointed as the Acolyte Master and Docent Director of the Zen Center of Sunnyvale. His vow is to be everyone’s friend before reaching the Buddha hood. With a youthful manner, JianCan Shifu is dedicated to bring the dharma joy and liberation to all sentient beings of all ages.
Venerable JianYong, Docent Director
Venerable JianYong is from a Buddhism family. Both his parents are dedicating volunteers at Chung Tai Zen Monastery. Aware of his special mission in this world since he was a little boy when he first visited the Buddhism temple. JianYong Shifu completed his Master's degree in Sociology and soon after was ordained a monk by Grand Master WeiChueh in 2011. Graduated as an honor student from the Chung Tai Buddhism University, JainYong Shifu was assigned to Zen Center of Sunnyvale on September 2016. Focused and determined to improve any task he is assigned, JianYong Shifu has dedicated himself to helping disseminate the Dharma in the West.
Although still young of age, JianYong Shifu has a superior vow to attend the Buddha hood. Reinforce his teaching on meditation, in order to see the true nature and restore our mind to peace and harmony. Always be mindful on speech, his voice like bell and his walking like morning breeze. With the great compassion to help all sentient beings, Jian Yong shifu’s teaching, chanting, writing and beautiful calligraphy deeply touched everyone’s heart!
Focused and determined to improve any task he is assigned, JianYong Shifu has dedicated himself to helping disseminate the Dharma in the West.
Venerable JianYong, Docent Director
Venerable JianYong is in charge of the Zen Center's community relations activities as well as teachers assistant teams that support the Buddhism classes in English and Chinese. JianYong Shifu is originally from Taiwan, he has lived in Bay Area for more then 30 years. After 5 years Zen practicing and several Zen 7 retreats at Zen Center of Sunnyvale, he was inspired by the teaching of Grand Master WeiChueh and realized the Bodhisava path is the most important goal in life. Jian Yong shifu was ordained as a monk by Grand Master WeiChueh in 2011 then assigned to the Zen Center of Sunnyvale in 2015. For JianYong Shifu, the Zen Center's culturally rich and diverse membership reflects the broad appeal Buddhism has in individuals from all walks of life. With great compassion, he fulfills his commitment to share Dharma joy everywhere he goes.