The Rev. Chu Mwo is a native of Chechiang, a province on the northeastern coast of China. As a youth around twenty-five years ago he set out for Malaysia.
Rev. Chu Mwo at first taught at Bodhi Highschool, and became the first president of the Malaysian Buddhist Association during the first twelve years of its establishment. The collective sangha went to work and in a couple of decades schools, elementary and secondary as Well as universities, institutions, temples and aranyas now dot the entire peninsula.
Rev. Chu Mwo visited America twenty years ago in 1957, where he dwelt in Hawaii for about a year. He remembers that Buddhism was fairly unknown then and there was only a 'handful' Of American believers. The fact that Sangha members now populate the bodhimandas in all the big cities of both Canada and the U.S. Vancouver, Toronto, N.Y., Washington D.C., S.F. and L.A. to name a few indicates that through hard work the dharma blossom has started to bloom in profusion.
Asked whether he thought there were any differences among the many sects of Buddhism all over the world the Rev, Chu Mwo replies:
"Let us not dwell on the differences, discriminating between Mahayana and Hinayana, the Northern and the Southern school, Tibetan, Chinese, Burmese, Japanese, Indian, Buddhism and so on, for in truth there is only One Buddhism. Sakyamuni Buddha conceived of it as one, it was and still is 'one unity behind all of its various transformations. With Buddhism's spread to so many countries, it naturally took on some of the culture, aspects, color and customs, which were indigenous to the native lands. But the source, the underlying spirit and the wisdom that guide it is one and the same. We should not attach too much to the external marks if we are sincerely trying to reunite the Buddhist Church and kindle the Dharma Flame."
Rev. Chu Mwo points out that here is where the work of translation, the building of educational facilities and dissemination of Sutra material is extremely important. With the translation of the Buddha's teaching into all languages, we will have a common base of communication and understanding.
Rev. Chun Mwo leads a busy life, Aside from acting as abbot to several large monasteries in the cities of Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, he also devotes his time to the building of schools. For example, the Malaysian Buddhist Institution in Penang of which he is principal provides high school courses as well as 'intensive' training in Buddhist scriptures and meditation. He sees that Buddhists off both east and west must unite and work unstintingly in order that the Torch of Dharma Wisdom illuminate the whole world.
On Rev. Chu Mwo’s visit to San Francisco in July he was warmly welcomed by the Ven. Master Hua. On a trip to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah he was pleasantly astounded. The sight of forty to fifty children from the nearby community chanting the Buddha's name, meditating and learning Mandarin reflects a stupendous improvement from twenty years ago. The Sangha, now comprised of around forty Bhiksus and Bhiksunis, mostly American and Chinese disciples who have left home under the Master in this country, also: form a dynamic nucleus through which much actual work in propagating Buddhism is done. The on going, translation of Buddhist texts and, language training is providing the very bridge that facilitates the cross-cultural understanding of all religions.
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