‘To care for others with Compassion, to attend to one’s affairs with Wisdom, to live together in joyful Harmony, to treat each other with mutual Respect.’
It is these simple words of wisdom that constitute the Institute’s motto, offering guidance to students, faculty and staff alike. Throughout the course of one’s studies, one is encouraged to develop those fundamental qualities of character that lie at the heart of any personal cultivation. The Master’s words remind us that our daily dealings as well as our academic pursuits are all opportunities for practice.
The motto stresses one of the Institute’s most salient features: the equal importance given to theoretical studies and Buddhist practice (理論與實踐並重). Master Sheng Yen‘s vision was to create a school for the pursuit of academic excellence in the field of Buddhist studies as well as for the training of Buddhist practitioners capable of responding, free from any sectarianism, to the needs of the contemporary world. Moreover, the school aims to integrate tradition and innovation (傳統與創新相融) through both the rigorous study of Buddhism’s vast scriptural heritage and history as well as the use of Information Technologies to facilitate academic research and promote a wider access to Buddhist teachings. Finally, the Institute’s international outlook is reflected in the equal importance given to the study of all major Buddhist traditions, fostering a spirit of religious dialog and cooperation, with a particular emphasis placed on acquiring mastery of both classical languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Classical Chinese) as well modern languages indispensable for academic research in Buddhist studies (Japanese & English).
Above all, primacy is given to the spirit of practice (道心第一), a principle that guides students in all their daily and academic endeavors; striving for one’s own betterment and serving others to the best of one’s ability, each one of us can contribute to building a pure land on earth (提升人的品質，建設人間淨土).