Monastic Life
Inside the Monastery Our Campuses Community
Inside the Monastery

In the monastery, the purpose of the daily schedule is to help a monk maintain good physical and mental conditions for learning and virtuous practice. Everything from classes, to prayers and prostrations, to chores, even to eating and sleeping - it is all part of a good day of learning and spiritual cultivation!
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• 3:50 A.M. At 3:50 am sharp, each day, crisp morning calls are sounded within the monastery with a traditionally designed small wooden hammer and board. To the monastics, awaking to the new day is symbolic for the spiritual awakening from the illusions and sufferings of cyclic existence.
• 4:20 A.M. Shortly after waking up, we gather for Morning Prayer in the prayer hall. There, in front of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, we pray earnestly for the blessings of our spiritual teachers and the Three Jewels (the Buddha, the teaching, and the spiritual community), as well as for the peace and happiness of all living beings in the world.
• 6:00 A.M. & 11:30 A.M. At each meal, we join our hearts to offer the first portion of our food to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all living beings. We reminisce that each meal comes from the hard work and good will of many generous donors. As is also true for everything we are blessed with, the food is a lesson in humbleness and gratitude.
• 7:20 A.M. Reading scriptures and letting them sink into our minds is a profoundly appeasing and enlightening experience. Not only that, but in our daily lives, the scriptural lines we have memorized are very useful to us as well. Whether we are pondering the biggest questions about world peace and life, or simply dealing with a bad mood, the scriptures are always a timely source of insight and inspiration.
• 8:25 A.M. Lectures are conducted by learned instructors, who make use of extensive scriptural knowledge, experience, and perspectives to enrich our scriptural understanding and spiritual aspirations.
• 9:30 A.M. Spiritual practice is rooted in understanding. In group discussions, fellow monastics share thoughts, experiences, and contemplations about the scriptures and about our teachers’ teachings. This way, we give rise to new insights and deeper understandings for everyone.
• 10:30 A.M. Chores within the monastery include all the tasks necessary to keep the monastic community running — cooking, clothing repair, transportation, health, maintenance, and so on. We work together to maintain a good environment for everyone’s practice and studies. In doing so, we also cultivate a heart to help and serve others.
• 1:45 P.M. While prostration can also strengthen the body, it is ultimately a practice to cultivate virtue and engage in honest self-reflection.
• 2:15 P.M. Scriptural debate, in its format, consists of a question-and-answer exchange between two fellow practitioners. This centuries-old dialectical process is rigorous and down-to-earth. It leaves no questions unanswered, and no misconceptions or blind points untreated. It is a powerful tool for us to accurately examine our own views and discern the scriptures’ meanings. In turn, it allows us to better apply the teachings in our daily lives.
• 4:30 P.M. After a day’s classes, monastics engage in various after-class activities. Some also spend the time reviewing their day of learning or sharing their growth with peers.
• 7:00 P.M. Nearing the end of a busy day, the night prayer helps us settle down, reflect on the conduct of our mind and body, and strengthen our aspirations for a life of virtuous cultivation. Before going to sleep, we gather by class to rejoice in the good deeds of ourselves and others, as well as to reflect on areas for growth and improvement. As we prepare for sleep, we strive to sustain a virtuous mindset in calmness and awareness, grateful for the gift of today, and ready to make the best of tomorrow.
• 7:00 P.M. Nearing the end of a busy day, the night prayer helps us settle down, reflect on the conduct of our mind and body, and strengthen our aspirations for a life of virtuous cultivation.
Before going to sleep, we gather by class to rejoice in the good deeds of ourselves and others, as well as to reflect on areas for growth and improvement. As we prepare for sleep, we strive to sustain a virtuous mindset in calmness and awareness, grateful for the gift of today, and ready to make the best of tomorrow.
Little Sands Campus

Located in peaceful Little Sands, the GEBIS Little Sands Campus is an important site to conduct monastic practice and public gatherings. The campus was established in 2010, and has since been developed to include a prayer hall, dormitories, an educational building, an administrative building, landscaping, and so on.

Drag to Explore

Drag to Explore
Explore Prayer Hall
In the prayer hall, there are several beautifully crafted statues of buddhas and bodhisattvas, along with the entire Buddhist scriptural collection.
The GEBIS Little Sands Campus has been the site for many Buddhist events and gatherings, including open houses, retreats, and seminars. In the future, various events and classes will continue to be offered at the Little Sands Campus, with something available for everyone.
Montague Campus

The GEBIS Montague Campus is situated amid the unique and lovely communities and natural environments of this island province. In Master Zhen-Ru’s vision, this campus will eventually become the educational hub for our entire monastic community, a center for Buddhist higher education, housing ordained practitioners from all over the world.

Since the Little Sands Campus was established, it has grown to steadily house about 200 monks studying there year long, along with an additional 200 who stay as visiting monks over the summer.

In an effort to continue to provide ideal learning and practicing environments for the increasing number of teaching staff and student monks in the community, plans to construct GEBIS Montague Campus were initiated in 2015.

The first major building to be built was a dormitory complex which combined Chinese and Western architectural styles. It was approved for construction in July 2015 and was completed in September 2017. Currently, it houses 128 happy resident monks.
A Fusion of Architectural Styles
The first dormitory consists of a north and south wing, connected in the middle by an elegantly designed central entrance. In addition to enough living spaces for 128 monastic members, it also has classrooms, dining halls, and temporary gathering spaces for the entire sangha community. Master Zhen-Ru’s vision for the monastery was for it to embody PEI’s local architectural techniques and craftsmanship, together with a classical Eastern external design.
Vision for the Next 10 Years
With the first dormitory complex complete, the second complex is planned for construction in 2018, with its projected completion in 2019.

Plans are being made to further develop the GEBIS Montague Campus over the next 10 years. It is expected to have a multipurpose auditorium (able to seat 3000 people), three dormitory complexes (to provide housing for 800 to 900 people), a central educational building (for classes, translation work, and scriptural and book collections), an arena for scriptural debate, and a sports stadium.
Community:
a place like home

It is not at all uncommon for people to praise PEI for its natural beauty. For us, even more beautiful than the island’s landscape, are the hearts of its people. Sincerity, care, selflessness - these qualities shine within every friend and neighbor that we have come across. There is a saying, “The true value of life is making others happy”, and their actions truly embody these words. We are inspired and grateful to be a part of this wonderful community, to share and pass on this beautiful virtuous spirit together.
The Neighborhood
Each time we visit our neighbors, we are greeted with warm smiles and caring words. Wishing to express our appreciation for the loving community, we also invited our neighbors to visit our monastery.

We were happy to have many of our neighbors celebrate Chinese New Year with us, with calligraphy couplets, spring rolls, and any other new experiences in February 2017. They were so receptive.

In December 2017, we invited our neighbors into our in Little Sands monastery for a tour of our newly completed dormitory building. Our neighbors were excited to see the progress from the outside followed by a brief tour inside.
Trick-or-Treat - A First Experience of Halloween 2017
It was a special year for many of the young student monks. It was the first time they got to participate in Halloween in the Western hemisphere! The youngest members of our monastery spent a whole week preparing masks, props, and face painting designs, to look their best for this special experience.

A few days before Halloween, we phoned our neighbors around the monastery, asking whether our young student monks could pay them a Trick-or-Treat visit. Every one of them agreed with joy and excitement! Their only worry was not having enough sweets to fend off such a big group of Trick-or-Treaters!

This experience means a lot to our young student monks, and to us. We feel truly blessed to have such wonderful neighbors!
Home, Sweet Home! - Gingerbread Houses for the Christmas Season
After receiving so many sweet treats on Halloween, our student monks wondered, “Can we do something in return?”. With Christmas not far down the road, some of the older student monks in our novice monk preparatory classes decided to invite everyone in the monastery to make gingerbread houses together. From baking the gingerbread pieces, to finding the right mix of sweets for decoration, to actually putting the houses together, the whole process took almost an entire day!

During the week leading up to Christmas, we gave some of these gingerbread houses to our neighbors, thanking them for the care they have extended to us all these years - including being so generous at Halloween.
We asked our neighbors what they did for Christmas. Some of the answers we got left resounding impressions on us. One neighbor said that his family has little interest in going shopping over Christmas season because Christmas is a Holy time of the year, a time when we can be reminded to help others to the best of our abilities. Instead, he said, his family would spend Christmas together with an old friend who does not have any family members around.

It was truly a touching thing to hear!

Another family expressed that they would always welcome our visits, since it gave us many great opportunities to practice our English. We are happy to be in PEI, amidst the warm and loving atmosphere of the communities.

To us, this lovely Island has truly become our home, sweet home!