The Life of Grand Master Wei Chueh
Memorial Stele Inscription with Preface of
Grand Master Wei Chueh Zhi’an,
57th Generation of Linji School,
Founder of Chung Tai Chan Monastery
Venerable Master Wei Chueh was born in Ying Shan, Sichuan Province of China. In his youth he was educated in the Confucian classics and delved deeply into the study of Buddhism.
In 1963, he was ordained under Master Lin Yuan at the Shi Fan Da Jue (“Great Enlightenment”) Chan Monastery in Keelung, Taiwan. There he arose before dawn each day to clean the monastery hall and courtyard. While others were resting after lunch, he would remain in the Buddha Hall and prostrate mindfully. In all his daily duties and interactions, he was always devoted, considerate, and diligent.
To further his practice, Venerable Wei Chueh went into solitary seclusion for over ten years in the mountains near Wan Li, a suburb of Taipei. Over time, as the area became more accessible, more and more people came to seek the wisdom of this eloquent Buddhist master. His followers then asked him to come out from his mountain retreat to spread the Dharma.
The Master responded by building the Lin Quan Chan Monastery at the very place of his retreat, expanding later to Chung Tai Chan Monastery in the town of Puli in central Taiwan. (To show our utmost respect, we address Venerable Wei Chueh as the Grand Master.)
The Grand Master, in adhering to the Buddha’s aim to teach the Dharma, to show the way to lasting joy, and to promote peace, established Chan meditation centers all over Taiwan as well as internationally.
He is frequently invited to lecture at universities and various organizations. He conducts seven-day meditation retreats every year to help participants realize their intrinsic perfect nature.
In order to preserve the teaching for future generations, he emphasizes the importance of education for Buddhist monks and nuns and thus established the Chung Tai Buddhist Institute to train knowledgeable and qualified teachers of the Dharma. He also founded the Pu Tai Schools (from elementary to high schools), which underscore the values of respect, compassion, and moral integrity in the education of the youth. Furthermore, to promote traditional culture and preserve the Buddhist heritage, the Grand Master also founded Chung Tai Museum.
Beginning at Lin Quan and now Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Grand Master Wei Chueh has provided his vision, inspiration and guidance to hundreds of thousands of followers, monastic teachers and lay people alike. Under his leadership, the essence of Chan teachings has been deeply and widely planted and is bringing the fruits of serenity and wisdom to the world.