Venerable Bhikshuni Chuehmen
Ven. Bhiksuni Chuehmen presently is the South Asian
Coordinator of Buddha’s Light International
Association (abbreviated as BLIA). BLIA is a NGO
having a special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
She also acts as a Theravada Buddhism Coordinator
for Fo Guang Shan (literally Buddha Light Mountain)
Monastery - one of the largest Buddhist temple in
Taiwan founded by Most Venerable Master Hsing Yun
in 1967, and having 200 branches across the globe.
After her graduation from the Fo Guang Shan Chinese Buddhist Research Institute in August
1994, Ven. Chuehmen was assigned as secretary in International Buddhist Progress Society.
During the 14 months period in IBPS, she organized and supervised two International Monastic
Seminars (IMS), one in Vancouver in October 1994 and another in Wollongong-Australia in
monastery duties. In November 1996, she was again assigned to plan and organize the 4th
International Monastic Seminar to be held in Fo Guang Shan in May 1997.
After the IMS '97, she got a new assignment to plan and organize the Bodhgaya International
Full Ordination held in India in February 1998. Prior to the ceremony, from June 1997 onwards,
she traveled excessively including to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand and
Cambodia paying respects to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and
Cambodia, Maha Nakaya of Sri Lanka; most senior and respectable meditation master - Ven.
Ananda Mitra Mahathera of India and other senior monks seeking their spiritual supports for the
Theravadian and Tibetan nuns to be ordained as Bhiksunis. Subsequently she stationed in
Bodhgaya, India to coordinate the ordination ceremony.
In March 1998, she was assigned as chief executive in International Buddhist Progress Society,
and later organized two more IMS, and the full international ordination ceremony in Fo Guang
Shan Monastery in 2000 and 2004. In August 1998, she was elected as an international council
member at the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF). Same year in October,
she was elected as an executive member of World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB). During BLIA
Board of Directors Meeting in South Africa 2001, she was assigned as a Deputy Director of
the Multi-lingual Fellowship Committee. As a liaison representative of Buddha’s Light
International Association World HQ, she supervises the BLIA non-Chinese speaking chapters in
Indian sub-continent. In August 2002, she was again reelected as a council member of IARF,
also as a member of the IARF Executive Committee. In December 2002, she was elected as the
vice-president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists.
Ven. Chuehmen has attended various international Buddhist and religious meetings including
the Ariya-vinaya Conference, Sakyadhita International Conference, World Council of Parliament,
World Council of Religious Leaders, World Council of Churches, International Buddhist
Conclave-India and others. In March 2002, the All Island Sangha Congress of Sri Lanka
conferred her an Honorary Title and Award for Excellent Services Rendered to the Sasana
(literally Buddhist dispensation).
Ven. Chuehmen was brought up in Singapore and has followed her aunt to a Buddhist temple
even before she entered primary school. Though she showed interest and was curious with so
people reciting and meditation, she merely knew what it was all about. In her mid twentieth after
reading an article in the Reader’s Digest - ‘Forgiveness is A Healing Act’ that her interest for
spirituality kindled and started to frequent the oldest Buddhist Shuang Lin Temple. She
volunteered her service at the temple, participating in various religious activities for eight years,
also helping to establish the temple’s library. In order to know more about Buddhism, she took
Buddhist courses organized by the Singapore Buddhist Association and Maha Mangala Vihara
Sunday School. Her interest to study in depth about Buddhist grew and decided to leave her
well-paid job in Singapore and proceeded to Taiwan for full time study in a Buddhist College.
She first studied at the Yuan Kuang Buddhist College and later at the Fo Guang Shan English
Buddhist College, and continued to study at the Fo Guang Shan Chinese Buddhist Research
Institute. Conditions rose and she took her monastic vow under the guidance of Most Venerable
Master Hsing Yun in January 1991 and vowed to contribute her whole life in religious works.