Hwa Tsang Buddhist Monastery 華藏寺

Our Founder 創辦人

Venerable Tsang Hui

Early years

Venerable Tsang Hui was born in Taiwan and grew up under the care of foster parents. After junior secondary school, he went to Taipei to be reunited with his father. Their life was difficult and uncertain, and the young Venerable lived day to day, not knowing what his future would hold.

Some years later, while mountain climbing, he came upon the Yuan Jue Monastery in Nei Hu District. The venerables there worked with great mindfulness and harmony. He loved the environment there and began attending after work every day.

After four months he requested and was granted the Master’s permission to stay at the Monastery on the condition that he learned the Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Mantra of Great Compassion (“Dai Bei Zhou”). He memorised it on the first night.

At age 17, Venerable Tsang Hui took his vows and became a monk.

Although life on the mountains was hard, the Venerable was determined to make full use of his time. Every day he recited the Da Bei Zhou (The Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Mantra of Great Compassion) 108 times and read to improve his understanding of Buddhism.

Four months after taking his vows, the Venerable attended the San Zang Buddhist College conducted by Venerable Bai Sheng. At the completion of his courses at the Buddhist College, he went to Fu Yuan Vihara (Monastery) in Xin Zhu province, to study under Venerable Yin Shun.

About three years later, Venerable Tsang Hui served his mandatory national service, still in his monk’s robes.

After national service, he completed his senior secondary school in order to study education and mathematics at the Taiwan National Normal University.

The Venerable hoped that through his training in education, he would be more skilful in helping people.

After he graduated from University, Venerable taught at Zhi Guang College, investing the time to help facilitate communications between students and their parents.

Coming to Australia

In 1977, Venerable Tsang Hui left Taiwan and migrated to Australia. He was initially appointed abbot of the Prajna Hall, in Dixon Street, Sydney. Venerable spent some time studying English. At the same time, he tried his best to help the many war refugees that had arrived in Australia from Indo-China to overcome their spiritual and financial difficulties.

Some of these refugees had come to Australia with little more than the clothes on their backs. They knew no English and had very few skills by Australian standards. But these migrants came to Australia with high hopes of contributing to Australian society. Venerable Tsang Hui started a tuition class program to assist these refugee high school students. This tuition class has continued to today.

In 1981, with help of a few members, the first Buddhist Society at a NSW university was founded – the University of New South Wales Buddhist Society (UNIBUDS). Since its establishment, Venerable Tsang Hui together with Chao Khun Samai [from Wat Pa Buddharangsee Temple in Lumeah] has been appointed the patrons of the Society.

Together, they have tried to help the students distinguish Buddha’s teachings from the many cultural traditions and rituals that are far removed from the Four Noble Truths and the Three Universal Characteristics. The Society has now grown into a strong society at UNSW and continues to benefit many students.

In May 1985, the Hwa Tsang Monastery was formally founded with Venerable Tsang Hui as the Abbot. The Monastery aimed to promote Buddhism in Australia, as well as promote education, mutual understanding and friendship among Buddhists, and members of other religions. In addition, it hoped to provide welfare services to those in need and to provide a better learning environment. Venerable also considered, that with the establishment of the Monastery, more monks and nuns might be encouraged to study English in Australia. This would assist in spreading the Bodhi seeds to every corner of the world.

Buddhism in a modern world

Venerable Tsang Hui places great importance on cultivating the youth and providing a modern education. He believes that the understanding of modern science and society can help everyone keep up to date with developments in the world, as well as promote an understanding of all cultures. In this way, we may communicate effectively with all members of the society, and assist all sentient beings more effectively.

In the Venerable’s mind, everywhere is a practising field. Besides studying the Buddhist Tripitaka sutras, and the Chinese Mahayana Canon, the Da Zheng Zang, he has tried to realise the truth of Dharma in everything he encountered in life. The Venerable likes to use real-life examples in his Dharma talks. This allows the audience to understand that the teachings of the Buddha are related to our lives. It is not beyond the world where we live. Venerable is able to explain the profound teaching in simple language, so that all may understand and accept the teaching. When listening to the Venerable’s talk, we can feel both at ease, and joyful.

Since establishing the monastery with Main Hall, library, and monks and nuns quarters, in 1992, Venerable has set up various committees with devotees to assist in running the monastery properly. He regularly travels throughout Asia and Australia, giving dharma talks, holding retreats, providing support, encouragement, and guidance at many temples, and overseas university Buddhist societies. These overseas activities have also brought considerable support back to the Hwa Tsang Monastery.

Venerable Tsang Hui is the Vice President of the World Sangha Organisation. This organization provides a forum for Sangha representatives from all countries, as well as trying to support and encourage the promotion of the Buddha’s Teachings. Venerable Tsang Hui hopes that an Australian Sangha College will be established in Sydney, with the support of both local Australian, and overseas monks (and nuns).

In view of the scarcity of Mahayana resources in English, in 1994, Venerable Tsang Hui encouraged the formation of the Editing and Translating Committee at HTM to assist with translating the Miao Yun Collection, a valuable collection of “mini Tripitaka” written by late Venerable Yin Shun. Since then, 8 volumes of Selected Translations of Miao Yun have been published.

Venerable Tsang Hui has is the author of the following books:

Dharma and the Daily Life (English)
Zucchini and Tofu (English)
Dharma and Daily Life Part 1 &Part 2 (Chinese)
Discourse on the Sutra of the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings (Chinese)
Unhindered Mind – An Exposition on the Heart Sutra (Chinese)
Discourse on Chapter on Gratitude of The Mahayana Sutra of Mind Contemplation (Chinese)

慧法師

早年

藏慧法師出生於台灣,由養父母帶大。初中畢業後,到台北和父親團聚。父親生活困難,不安定。年輕的他於是到工廠工作以補貼家用,每天過著日子,不知未來去向。

幾年後,在內湖區登山時巧經圓覺寺。該寺的法師們用功和諧。法師很喜歡那裡的環境,於是開始每天下班後就去寺裡。四個月後,他請求師父讓他留下,而師父的條件是,要他學習觀世音菩薩的《大悲咒》。他在第一晚即能背誦。

十七歲時,藏慧法師誓願出家。雖然山上生活艱苦,但法師下定決心要善用時間用功修行。每天誦念大悲咒108遍,並閱讀經藏,以增進對佛法的理解。

出家四個月後,法師到白聖長老所主持的三藏佛學院進修。完成佛學院課程後,即前往位於新竹的福嚴精舍,在印順導師座下學習。

約三年後,法師穿著僧服入伍服兵役。

服完兵役後,法師認為出家人,以後所要面對的眾生,將是年輕的一代。要更有效的度化這些新一代的眾生,出家人必須學習現代化的教育。於是,法師決定繼續學業,回到學校完成了高中課程,並以第一志願考上台灣國立師範大學教育系,輔修數學。

法師希望透過修學教育課程,能更有效的幫助別人。

大學畢業後,法師任教於智光商工。期間,致力於促進學生與父母之間的溝通。

移民澳洲

1977年,法師離開台灣,移民澳洲。初時,應聘雪梨德信街般若堂住持。此時法師利用時間學習英文,同時盡力幫助許多從中南半島來的戰爭難民,克服精神和經濟上的困難。

許多這些難民來到澳洲,除了身上的衣服,一無所有。不諳英語,也沒有符合澳洲標準的技能。但是他們抱著極大的希望來到澳洲,期盼能貢獻澳洲社會。法師創辦了補習班,幫助這些難民的中學生子弟學習。這補習班一直延續至今。

1981年,在幾位會員的協助下,在新南威爾斯大學成立了第一所佛學社 – 『慧命社』(UNIBUDS)。自成立以後,法師和唐三邁法師 [來自Lumeah的Wat Pa Buddharangsee 寺] ,兩人被委任為佛學社之導師。兩人共同幫助學生,分辨佛法和不合乎四聖諦、三法印的一些民間習俗與儀式,進而建立對佛法的正確知見。在新南威爾斯大學,慧命社現已成為一個強大的社團,不斷讓許多學生受益。

1985年,華藏寺正式成立,藏慧法師擔任住持。華藏寺宗旨是在澳洲弘揚佛法,同時推廣教育,促進佛教徒和其他宗教團體,以及澳洲社會大眾彼此間的了解和友誼。此外,希望提供援助給有需要的人,以及一個良好的學習環境。法師亦考慮到,透過華藏寺的成立,可以鼓勵更多出家眾來澳洲學習英語。這有助於將佛法的種籽散佈到全世界各個角落。

法師認為培育年輕人,讓他們接受現代教育,是非常重要。他相信,了解現代科學和社會,可以幫助每個人跟得上時代的進步,促進彼此間文化的認識。如此,我們才能和社會的每一份子有效溝通,也更能有效地幫助眾生。

法師心目中,無處不是修行的道場。除了研究三藏經典,漢傳大藏經(大正藏),法師時時將佛法真理運用在日常生活中。法師說法,喜歡引用實際生活中的例子,讓聽眾了解佛法和我們的生活是息息相關的,而不是超越我們這個世間的。法師用簡單的語言,深入淺出的解釋甚深的道理,讓所有人能明了和接受佛法。聽法師說法,我們感覺到如沐春風,法喜充滿。

1992年,華藏寺有了大殿、圖書館、僧舍,法師與信眾設立數個活動小組,協助寺院的適當運作。法師定期前往亞洲和澳洲各地弘法,舉辦靜修禪坐。給許多寺院及海內外大學的佛學社,提供支援、鼓勵和指導。這些活動,也為華藏寺帶來相當大的助益。

藏慧法師現任世界佛教僧伽會副會長。此組織為來自各國的僧伽代表提供一個論壇,以及支援、鼓勵推廣佛陀教法。藏慧法師希望在澳洲本地和海外僧眾的支持下,能在悉尼建立一所澳大利亞佛教僧伽學院。

1994年,有鑒於大乘經典英語資源的缺乏,法師鼓勵在華藏寺組成《妙雲選譯》編譯委員會,協助翻譯妙雲集。妙雲集是已故印順導師的著作,一套極有價值,堪稱《小藏經》的著作。到目前為止,編譯委員會已出版了八集《妙雲選譯》。

藏慧法師的著作如下:
《佛法與生活》(第一及第二集) Dharma and Daily Life Part 1 &Part 2 (Chinese中文)
《佛垂涅槃略說教誡經講記》Discourse on the Sutra of the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings (Chinese中文)
《心無罣礙 – 般若波羅蜜多心經講記》Unhindered Mind – An Exposition on the Heart Sutra (Chinese中文)
《大乘本生心地觀經 – 報恩品講記》Discourse on Chapter on Gratitude of The Mahayana Sutra of Mind Contemplation (Chinese中文)