This is the first and only book in English on modern Chinese Buddhism written by a practicing Chinese monk. Chen-hua provides a rare eyewitness account of Chinese monastic life and Buddhist practices before they were changed forever by the Communist revolution. It begins with his departure from home in northern China to study Buddhism in Kiansu and Chekiang in the south and ends with his rejoining the monastic order in Taiwan after spending several years as a draftee in the Nationalist army.
Following century-old traditions of Ch'an monks, Chen-hua made prilgrimages to all the major monasteries and holy sites, and sought instruction from many famous masters. His ordination at Pao-hua; "Buddha recitation weeks" at Ling-yen; scriptural studies at T'ien-ning; and a pilgrimage to P'u-t'o, the sacred island of Kuan-yin, are some of the highlights of this candid and perceptive book.
The Introduction by Chun-fang Yu places the work in a historical perspective. Notes, a glossary of Chinese terms, maps, and photos help readers who are new to the field.
Chun-fang Yu is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Rutgers University. She is the author of Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis.