About Us
Vision and Mission Spiritual  Teacher People Our Story
Our Vision

Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) is both grateful and honoured to call Prince Edward Island, Canada, its home, a place beautiful not only for its landscapes, but even more so for its people.
We believe that by learning and practicing Buddha’s wisdom, we can achieve long lasting and far reaching positive impacts in the world.
Our Mission

To promote the happiness of all living beings through Buddhist education and inner cultivation.
To promote warmth, hope, vitality and positivity together with all communities around us.
To foster generations of qualified monastics who possess rigorous Buddhist training, noble character, and a passion for altruism.
To engage in diverse work and causes, and to preserve Buddhism as a precious human cultural heritage in the world.
By the end of 2017, GEBIS had approximately 300 monks living on the Island. While most monks are from Taiwan, some are also from Canada, the United States, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Korea, and Singapore. These monks currently reside in two campuses located in Little Sands and Montague. A larger scale expansion of the Montague campus is currently underway.

Each year, more than 1,500 lay Buddhist practitioners come to GEBIS from around the world to participate in learning retreats and meditation workshops.
Our Spiritual Teacher:
Master Zhen-Ru

Ever since Master Zhen-Ru was little, life’s uncertainties have shaken her to the core. “Why does youth fade away? Why must loved ones separate?” In time, these questions would propel her onto a humble yet determined search. There had to be answers, and she had to find them.

When she came across the Buddha’s teachings, she felt within her heart that she had found the answers she was looking for, plus the wisdom to help all living beings find their ways from suffering to happiness. Thoroughly heartened and inspired, she aspired to be Buddha’s student for all lifetimes to come, and to unravel the mysteries of life for all to know, to grow, to transcend.
Perhaps we’ve never met,
But that is no matter.
The wind abides,
The clouds aflight,
And the flowers' fragrance spreads.
Here we are, within one great cosmos,
Immersed in the wonders of life.
Master Zhen-Ru
Going to great lengths to study with many esteemed Buddhist teachers, she travelled over vast plains, high mountains and what seemed like endless waters Her esteemed Buddhist teachers included Venerable Harwa-Jamyang-Lodro Rinpoche as well as highly accomplished Masters Gendun Gyatso and Lobsang Gyatso of Labrang Monastery. Without exception, she is an outstanding student to each excellent teacher.

After Master Zhen-Ru encountered late Venerable Master Jih-Chang, who had by then devoted himself to teaching The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment to the Chinese community, she came to receive his full spiritual legacy, and assumed the mission of leading all of Late Master Jih-Chang’s followers in their learning and cultivation after his passing.

Just like her beautifully composed songs of praise, Master Zhen-Ru’s words are like graceful river streams, seamlessly flowing across the world’s diverse landscapes. She speaks with only the most genuine care for everyone she encounters, whether a scholar exploring the oceanic expanses of scriptural knowledge, a mother treading through jostling crowds within the city, or an adolescent maneuvering the fears and wonders of youth. Her words of wisdom and compassion are always fittingly conveyed and sure to lend the glimmer of confidence and hope one needs to rise beyond one’s challenges and sorrows.

Though she is revered as our teacher, she always sees herself as a student, as a simple spiritual practitioner who forever rests her faith and refuge in the Enlightened One - the Buddha.
President of GEBIS

Venerable Liu / Dharma name: Xing-Guang Shi
“I believe we all have the capability to attain lasting happiness and that our lives are infinite. We can improve ourselves in each life through cultivating our minds. With constant effort, gradually we can reach the same state of those enlightened ones—with no sufferings and only bliss.”
Venerable Liu
Secular Education
1993.06, Bachelor degree in Computer Science from SUNY at Buffalo, USA
1995.06, Master degree in Computer Science from SUNY at Buffalo, USA

Ordination
2003.01.10 Novice vows from Ven. Shi Jih-Chang in Feng-Shan Monastery, Taiwan.
2003.08.03 Bhiksu’s vows from Gyalwa Rinpoche.
You used to be a computer engineer. What made you decide to become a monk?
After I got my graduate degree, I found a job and made a lot of money. I thought I had achieved the American Dream.

Although I was well off, I often felt there was something missing inside of myself. I always asked, “What is the purpose of life?” I read a lot of philosophy and psychology books, but couldn’t find the answer.

Finally, my friends introduced me to The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. When I began to learn it, it taught me that the purpose of living is to eliminate suffering and attain happiness The only true, reliable way to achieve this is through inner cultivation or inner purification.

Late Master Jih-Chang encouraged his students to make observations, to think critically, to avoid superstition and forceful indoctrination This suited me very well. I eventually decided to become a monk in order to learn directly from Late Master himself.
Since you were one of the first monks to arrive in PEI 10 years ago, how do you feel about the Island?
PEI is very serene. Its people are very friendly and kind. It is a most excellent place for spiritual cultivation and for educating young monks.
What are some qualities that you see in Master Zhen-Ru which allowed GEBIS to take root in PEI and continue to grow?
Master Zhen-Ru fully upholds Late Master Jih-Chang’s teachings. She has a pure altruistic heart, and has consistently led our monks and nuns in learning the Buddha’s teachings. Only by learning and cultivating our inner good character, can we create greater happiness for all living beings.
What do you think the future holds for GEBIS?
I hope GEBIS can become like the great historical Nalanda Monastery, and foster many great spiritual intellects for the world.
Our Story:
When Monks came West

It has been almost nine years since the first group of Buddhist monks arrived in Prince Edward Island. Some have come a long way. Literally. From Far East Asia to Canada’s East Coast. But we have settled in and call PEI home.
How did this all begin?
It all began before our Late Master, Venerable Jih-Chang passed away in 2004. He assigned his chief disciple, Master Zhen-Ru, the responsibility of guiding our group of Buddhist practitioners on our spiritual path. One of her first tasks was to search for a place suitable for us to practice Buddhism in order to give people from all over the world an opportunity to explore this ancient philosophy, and to promote inner peace.
Why was Canada chosen?
Master Zhen-Ru envisions a Buddhist monastery for people from around the world. Canada’s values of diversity, equality and religious freedom provide such an ideal place.
I understand that for most of monks this is a long way from home. Was it an easy transition for the monks?
Asia and Canada are very far apart and a long way from home for many monks. Most of the monks had never left their home country in Asia. The mere idea of going all the way across the globe was frightening at first. With the hope to learn from Master Zhen-ru and to receive the first class monastic education, the first group of monks landed in Vancouver, B.C in 2006.
First it was Vancouver. How did the monks end up coming to PEI?
As beautiful as Vancouver is, it may be more suitable for monastic education program to base in places away from bustling city. For beginning Buddhist practitioners, the environment is very important for meditation and contemplating. When Master Zhen Ru visited PEI, she knew this quiet and serene island is the perfect place. There’s something about nature’s beauty that calms the mind almost immediately. So she made her decision. “This is it! This is perfect for monastic education!”

It sounds like there was some uncertainty with this big change. I’m curious to learn about the monk’s first impressions when they arrived on PEI?
Everything was very foreign. But we noticed the Island's red soil matched our saffron robes, so maybe it would not be hard to blend in after all we thought.
Speaking of blending in, how have the monks been received by the island?
At first, we thought maybe the best way to fit in was to stay quiet and not disturb anyone. But that did not seem to work out. People were even more curious. Many Island friends told us, “You have to go out and meet people. They just want to get to know you. That is the Island culture.”

So, how have the monks tried to get to know the community?
For the past few years we have been involved in many community outreach activities, charity work, and events to promote mutual understanding, help our wonderful community, and learn to adapt in the new environment. We are very grateful for all the hospitality that everyone has given us and have felt genuinely welcomed by the Islanders.
For those who have yet to meet us, we are happy to introduce ourselves and are open to any questions, suggestions, and any help. It would be a great privilege!
What do the monks like the most about PEI?
There is so much to like about PEI. The picture-perfect scenes, the tranquility, everyone’s heartfelt smiles, the always-by-your-side helping hands, and the weather that changes every 5 minutes… Some people say things on PEI are years behind, but we think it is admirable that Islanders are willing to preserve “the good old days”. The world does not seem to be happier than it was 50 years ago, so maybe staying years behind them is a smart idea.

Do the monks think their presence in PEI can benefit its people?
We are very grateful that Islanders have embraced and accepted us as part of the Island culture. Some Islanders have expressed interest in learning more about Buddhist philosophy and applying it in their daily lives. We are more than happy to share what we have learned. We wish to help people improve their well-being. Some monks are learning English, hoping to overcome the language barrier so we can communicate more fluently. We are also designing meditation classes to help alleviate stress, depression, anxiety, and so on. Everybody deserves to be happy, and we would like to contribute what we can to help everyone achieve that.

If someone is interested to know more, the monks and GEBIS, what is the best way to do so?
Just ask us. Nowadays one can pretty much find anything on the internet, but nothing beats face-to-face communication. We certainly welcome any questions and suggestions.