Master Ji Ru
Born in Malaysia, Master Jìrú studied Theravāda Buddhism and ordained in that tradition in Thailand in 1980. He later studied Chinese Buddhism and ordained in that tradition under the late great Buddhist Master Venerable Zhúmó in 1986. Master Jìrú has held several important teaching and administrative positions in the Malaysian Buddhist community, including the Vice-Chairmanship of the Buddhist Association of Malaysia Youth and religious advisor to the Sabah State Liaison Committee of Malaysia where he helped establish the “Sabah and Labuan Buddhist Educational Foundation.”
Shīfù came to the United States in 1992 to give a Dharma Talk, and shortly thereafter was appointed Abbot of Great Enlightenment Temple in New York. In 1993, he became Secretary of the Buddhist Union of New York. In 1996, he became the Vice-Chairperson of Mid-America Buddhist Association (MABA) in Augusta, MO, and formed Youth Buddhist Educational Foundation (YBEF) the following year. In 1999, he became the Abbot of MABA. In 2000, Shīfù became Abbot of the International Buddhism Friendship Association (IBFA) in Chicago. In 2002, he was appointed Abbot of Chuang Yen Monastery and Great Enlightenment Temple in New York. Shīfù held those posts for two years before returning fulltime to MABA, where he now resides.
Bhikkuni Chimiu (釋智妙) has been practicing since the age of eight when she entered into Jing Hui Yuan in Hong Kong. She received her novice vows as a nun in 1963, and her higher ordination as a Bhikkuni in 1967. She came to the United States in 1993, first practicing at Chuang Yen Monastery and The Temple of Enlightenment in New York. In 1999 she moved to MABA, where she practiced as a student of Master Ji Ru. In 2001, she moved to MABA’s sister Temple in Chicago, the International Buddhism Friendship Association (IBFA/Enlightenment Temple).
Bhikkuni Kongzheng (釋空正), she was ordained in Aug, 1989 at JiuHua Mount in China, and studied precepts for the monastics at Wuzhuo Temple in Guangzhou, China until Summer, 1991. She met Master Jiru and practiced as a student of Master Ji Ru since 1994. She started her Buddhism education in MinNan Buddhist College in 1991 and graduated in 1996. She was the Dean and a lecturer at ZhongDe Buddhist College ( A branch of the MinNan Buddhist College), in Fujian Province between 1997 and 2001. She immigrated to USA in 2002 and lived in Mid-America Buddhist Association at the beginning. In 2009, she moved to MABA’s sister Temple in Chicago, the International Buddhism Friendship Association (IBFA/Enlightenment Temple).
Kōngyán is originally from Malaysia. She first learned about Buddhism in 2002 after reading “The Way to Buddhahood” by Venerable Master Yinshun. Her interest in Buddhism quickly flourished and she subsequently took refuges and precepts in December 2003. She has an undergraduate degree from Malaysia, a Master’s degree in Forest Molecular Genetics from Michigan Technical University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Science from Washington State University as of May 2012. As Venerable Kongyan became more serious in learning Dharma, the interest of joining the Sangha in order to practice and share dharma with others slowly began to emerge. Consequently, she moved to MABA to practice here after completing her Ph.D. study. She was ordained in September 2012 as a novice and finished taking her full Bhikkshuni ordination on December 2014 in Taiwan.