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Our Faculty

Chang Hu Fashi – Director

Chang Hu Fashi

Chang Hu Fashi was born in 1978 to a Buddhist family in southern Taiwan. He took the three refuges in 1988, and attended his first seven-day Chan retreat in 1990. In 2004, he was admitted into Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha University. After the completion of construction of the Chan Hall at Dharma Drum Mountain headquarters in 2005, Master Sheng Yen instructed the Department of Chan Studies at the University to begin accepting applications from prospective students. Chang Hu Fashi took the opportunity and became one of the department’s first students in 2006. He received his full ordination as a monk, also in 2006.

During his six years as a student at the University, he took a multidisciplinary approach in studying the various Chinese Chan traditions, including meditation in the traditional Chan School, meditation by reciting Buddha’s name, Pure Land, breath counting meditation, cessation-contemplation (śamatha-vipaśyanā), Middle Way (Madhyamaka), huatou, kong-an, and silent illumination. Since 2006, while still a student, he participated in facility management of the Chan Hall as well as in training new teachers for meditation retreats. He graduated from the university in 2010.

After graduation, Chang Hu Fashi was appointed as the Supervisor of the Office of Chan Practice, responsible for planning and arranging various Chan retreat programs both in Taiwan and abroad, as well as training members in DDM Sangha and students in DDM Sangha University to become Chan meditation teachers. From 2011 to 2013, he conducted over one hundred seven-day retreats, and trained many monastics to conduct and manage seven-day retreats.

From 2006 to 2018, Chang Hu Fashi participated in more than two hundred intensive retreats in various lengths, including three-day, seven-day, ten-day, twenty-one-day, and forty-nine-day. He acquired extensive experience from conducting and managing over one hundred retreats and conducting numerous personal interviews.

Since 2010, he has travelled all over the world to conduct retreats and to spread Buddhadharma, including the United States, Canada, Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, England, Switzerland, Mexico, Singapore, and Malaysia.

With his heart-felt enthusiasm to spread Chinese Chan Buddhism, Chang Hu Fashi has devoted himself to studying Master Sheng Yen’s teachings, including philosophical thoughts in Chan, changes and transformations of methods and practices in the history of Chan, and histories of Chan masters.

Since 2007, under the guidance of Master Chi Chern, Chang Hu Fashi has been studying a wide range of subjects related to Chan practices, including stages of Chan practice, cessation-contemplation of the Tian-tai school, and Six Wondrous Gates. He has also specialized in designing programs for lay people with busy daily life, such as office workers and students, with the aim of helping them to relax their bodies and to stabilize their emotions in a short period of time.

Beginning in 2016, Chang Hu Fashi began to study Theravāda tradition of meditation practice, including four bases of mindfulness, and five methods of mental stabilization. Another one of his specialties is to teach practitioners to use yoga exercises to reach deeper body relaxation and mental stabilization.

After nine years of experience in the Chan Hall at the DDM Headquarters in Taiwan, in August 2015, Chang Hu Fashi was assigned to Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) in upstate New York. Currently, he holds the position of Director of DDRC.

Before becoming a monastic, Chang Hu Fashi’s major in college was electrical engineering, which benefited him greatly when he took on the jobs of maintaining electric and power systems and utilizing information technology and computing systems at DDRC. He is also skilled in carpentry and craft design. The tables in DDRC’s dormitory rooms are an example of his design and workmanship.

In addition to Chan practice, Chang Hu Fashi is also interested in many aspects of Chinese cultural traditions, including studies of smell, tea meditation, Buddhist arts, contemplation of sutra paintings.

After many years in practicing Chan and conducting Chan retreats, and after having met tens of thousands of retreatants, Chang Hu Fashi has acquired extensive experience in guiding people in Chan practice, especially for those who run into problems because they apply methods incorrectly.

If you like tea, Chang Hu Fashi invites you to have a few cups of tea with him. He will be glad to discuss with you everything about tea, including the tea ceremony and all aspects of tea production, from planting tea trees, baking tea leaves, to tea preservation methods. He is also interested in appreciation and appraisal of tea pots and cups.