Humanistic Buddhism:
Applications to Modern Life and Social Issues

Date: Tuesdays, September 16, 23, 30;
October 7, 14, 21, 28;
November 4, 11 & 18, 2008

Time: 6PM to 8PM

Place: 25 W. 43rd Street, Room 1000
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan

Fee: $50 (Non-Member) | Free (Member/Student)
Click Here to learn how to become a member.

Light refreshments served.

Please make checks payable to: QCAF-AAARI


The Humanistic Buddhist movement pioneered by Venerable Master Hsing Yun of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery has been one of the most compelling and powerful religious movements of the twentieth century.  In addition to discussing fundamental concepts of Buddhism and the history of the Humanistic Buddhist movement, this course will examine both Humanistic Buddhist philosophy and praxis, exploring ways in which Humanistic Buddhist principles can be applied in the modern West.  Reading materials will include actual Buddhist sutras as well as secondary sources.

Each lecture will start with 20 minutes sitting meditation and technique instruction.

Course Outline

9/16        Open House with Introduction to the Workshop
                Meditation Instruction

9/23        Humanistic Buddhist View on Religion and Faith
                “Three Refuge”
                Kamala Sutra

9/30        War and Peace             
                Tender Heart

10/7        Mind and Life                                

10/14      Living and Dying                                         
                “Karma and Reincarnation”

10/21      Money and Economy
                 Heart Sutras

10/28     Social Identity         
                Lotus in a Stream

11/4        Environmental Issues
                “Interdependent Origination”

11/11      Humanity 
                “Bodhisattva vows”                             

11/18      Conclusion (Reception)


Hsing Yun: Only a Grain, NY: Weatherhill, 2000.

Hsing Yun, Lotus in a Stream, NY: Weatherhill, 2000. (contents: Buddhist Core Teaching)

Yifa, Tender Heart, NY; Lantern, 2007

Yifa, Authenticity. NY: Lantern, 2007

Speaker Biography

Venerable Yifa, Ph.D. is a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, scholar, and writer. Ordained by the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order in 1979, Yifa holds a law degree from the Taiwan National University, a masters in comparative philosophy from the University of Hawaii and a doctorate in religious studies from Yale University. She served as a department head and dean of University of the West during her tenure at the college.[1]

Yifa has participated in many interfaith dialogues such as the Gethsemane Encounter, and contributed to the UNICEF South Asia's Safe Motherhood Project. She is also the current director of the Woodenfish Program for college students.[2]

In 2003, the United Nations awarded Yifa its Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award. In October of 2006, she was honored at the 9th Annual Juliet Hollister Awards Ceremony, which was held at the United Nations Headquarters.[3] Yifa was recognized along with Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was honored posthumously.

Venerable Yifa has also been involved in translating sutras from Mandarin to English. Since 2006, Venerable Yifa and others have published translations of the Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Ksitigarbha Sutra, and Amitabha Sutra. 







Humanistic Buddhism


Workshop Coordinator
Helen Chiang

Technical Assistance
Antony Wong


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2013

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
Fax: 212-869-0181 | E-mail: