Master Sheng Yen (1930–2009), a renowned Buddhist scholar, teacher and monk, founded Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA) in 1994. He held a deep concern for the state of the world and recognized that religious and spiritual leaders must take an active role in addressing global issues to help humanity shift course.
Master Sheng Yen was born in 1930 in rural Shanghai and became a monk at the age of 13. Despite being firmly rooted in his native Chinese culture, language and Chan Buddhism, his career took him to Japan and ultimately to the United States where he brought Buddhist teachings to the west, engaged in interfaith initiatives and advocated for a set of global ethics.
In 2007, he was honored through the establishment of the Sheng Yen Chair in Chinese Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, in cooperation with the Sheng Yen Education Foundation. He authored many books on Buddhism and was an accomplished calligraphy artist.