Ven. Bhikshuni Heng-ching Shih

Master Heng-ch’ing, born in 1943, comes from T’ai-nan County in Taiwan. She graduated from the Department of English of Soochow University (T’ai-peh, Taiwan) and has a Master in Pedagogic from the University of Rhode Island (Kingston, USA). In 1975, she relied on Master Xuanhua for tonsure and became a nun. Afterwards, she entered the University of Wisconsins (Madison, USA) to study and obtained the doctoral degree with a thesis on "The Ch'an - Pure Land Syncretism in China: With Special Reference to Yung-Ming Yen-Shou" in 1984.  She is the first Taiwanese Bhikshuni that has earned a doctoral degree in Buddhist Studies in America.

Before Master Heng-ch’ing became a nun, she was appointed to teach at the Department of English of Soochow University. After she earned her doctoral degree, she returned to Taiwan and started to teach at the Department of Philosophy of National Taiwan University. She is the first Bhikshuni being appointed to teach at a national university in Taiwan. From 1989 to 1992, she was engaged to be the first head of the Fa-kuang Institute of Buddhist Studies. In 1994, she founded the Center of Buddhist Studies at National Taiwan University and established the Systemization of the Buddhist Document Database.

In 1998, Heng-Ch’ing established in cooperation with Hui-min from the National Institute of Arts (Pan-ch’chiao, T’ai-peh, Taiwan) the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA) with funds from the Yin-Shun Foundation of North America and the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (Taipei, Taiwan). At present Heng-ch’ing is a member of the foundation’s standing committee. She is also the author of many works, including "The Women Devoted to Buddha on the Path of Bodhi", "Buddhist Thoughts".