Cheng Yen

Cheng Yen in 2016 Cheng Yen or Shih Cheng Yen (; born Chin-Yun Wong; 14 May 1937) is a Taiwanese Buddhist nun (bhikkhuni), teacher, and philanthropist. She is the founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, ordinarily referred to as Tzu Chi, a Buddhist humanitarian organization based in Taiwan. In the West, she is sometimes referred to as the "Mother Teresa of Asia".

Cheng Yen was born in Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. She developed an interest in Buddhism as a young adult, ordaining as a Buddhist nun in 1963 under the well known proponent of humanistic Buddhism, master Yin Shun. After an encounter with a poor woman who had a miscarriage, and a conversation with Catholic nuns who talked about the various charity work of the Catholic Church, Cheng Yen founded the Tzu Chi Foundation in 1966 as a Buddhist humanitarian organization. The organization began as a group of thirty housewives who saved money for needy families. Tzu Chi gradually grew in popularity and expanded its services over time to include medical, environmental, and disaster relief work, eventually becoming one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world, and the largest Buddhist organization in Taiwan.

Cheng Yen is considered to be one of the most influential figures in the development of modern Taiwanese Buddhism. In Taiwan, she is popularly referred to and is the last surviving of the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Taiwanese Buddhism, along with her contemporaries Sheng-yen of Dharma Drum Mountain, Hsing Yun of Fo Guang Shan and Wei Chueh of Chung Tai Shan. Provided by Wikipedia
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