Dharma Master Cheng Yen was born in 1937 in a small town in Taichung County, Taiwan. When she was twenty-three years old, she left home to become a Buddhist nun. Her mentor, Venerable Master Yin Shun, instructed her to work “for Buddha’s teachings for sentient beings.”
In 1966, she founded a charity which later became the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Its purpose was to “help the poor and educate the rich” – to give material aid to the needy and inspire love and humanitarian spirit in both the giver and receiver.
In recent years, Master Cheng Yen’s contributions have been increasingly recognized by the global community. In 2011, she received the Roosevelt Institute’s FDR Distinguished Public Service Award and was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine, and in 2014, she was presented with the Rotary International Award of Honor in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and contributions to world peace.
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