“No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone” is one of Venerable’s favorite sayings, but I truly believe he is one his way to helping everyone!
When I think of the phrase, “Compassion in Action,” I immediately think of Venerable Xianzhong Shi. He is one of the most compassionate people I know. He lives his life as a shining example for all to follow. He is a humanitarian and never misses an opportunity to help others.
Venerable Xian Zhong works tirelessly to help those in need, not only here in the USA, but in many other destitute countries. When Venerable sees a need, he does what is needed to fill that gap. He is adored by his countless followers, supporters, and volunteers.
Venerable Xian Zhong is CEO of the International Bodhisattva Sangha USA and has been instrumental in setting visitation programs in over 40 prisons and over 100 libraries as well as setting up prison Sanghas. He has also coordinated several multi-day meditation retreats in California prisons. These meditation retreats were the very first of their kind to be approved by the prison warden in California. It is his dream to one day offer Dharma and meditation teachings in all state prisons on the west coast of the United States. Venerable deeply believes that everyone deserves a second chance, and he has touched the lives of many incarcerated men, many of whom have been released from prison and living meaningful lives while continuing to practice Buddha Dharma.
Venerable started a homeless feeding program and clothing redistribution program in San Diego, which spread to other cities in California. This program became successful with people offering to donate or offer food on their birthdays. What a meaningful way to celebrate one’s birth!
Several years ago, Venerable Xian Zhong, along with several others, founded the Palbar Ling Center (PLC). The PLC, under the guidance of Venerable, has been instrumental in helping many thousands of people in many different third-world countries during COVID. Once Covid hit, Venerable Xian Zhong jumped into action and set up different programs offering food, clothing, masks, medical equipment to those in desperate need. Through PLC, Venerable has offered relief to over 3,000 monasteries, helped those living in elderly homes and those that are living on the streets.
Three years ago, Venerable started the Palbar Ling Recovery Center in New Delhi, which helps poor and sick people who need to come to a major city for medical treatments. This program offers housing to those who are seeking treatment and has enabled people to have a place to heal and recover while seeking medical treatments.
Through his dedicated supporters, he was able to have 10 houses built in India for very poor families who had lost their homes and all their belongings due to floods. Additionally, in Bodhgaya, India, he organized the building of hand water pumps due to contaminated water and broken pumps, thus providing water to an entire village. He also has sponsored children in India to go to school, so they may have an education. His latest program in India is to restore 400+ ancient Stupas in the Himalayan regions.
On his continued quest to help those during Covid and with the help of PLC volunteers, Venerable Xian Zhong came across a small Buddhist Temple in Bangladesh. This Temple had no supporters, so Venerable committed to provide food every month to them. At that time, a little more than a year ago, there were only total of 12 students include 8 novice monks. The opportunity arose for Venerable to offer more support and he got to know the monk, Ven Debo Tissho, who was running the Temple. Ven Debo Tissho offered the little Temple who didn’t have much to Venerable Xian Zhong. Venerable adopted the Temple and Palbar Ling Bangladesh was born! Once this Temple got back on its feet, more poor and orphaned children begin to arrive- now there are 60 children ages 6-17 years old! Soon another 20 will be joining them. Now Venerable is providing for all of their needs as well as raising money to build a dormitory because the young boys are now sleeping on the ground. Thanks to Venerable, these young boys are now being provided education. Venerable Xian Zhong has also organized English lessons for the boys via Zoom from volunteers in the U.S.
The practice of loving-kindness and compassion is the path that Venerable Xian Zhong walks upon. He sets a beautiful example for us to follow because “no one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” You have provided us with many opportunities to help those in need. Thank you for making all of our lives better.
Happy birthday Venerable Xian Zhong!!!
My question is: When do you sleep, Shifu? If I had to answer, I would say he doesn’t, because Bodhisattvas never do.