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Letter to The Globe and Mail

On August 12, The Globe and Mail published an article regarding our Buddhist community in PEI. Some information in the article was inaccurate or misconstrued. This is the letter we sent to The Globe.


Dear Sir/Madam,

On Aug 12, The Globe and Mail ran an article “Monks, money and the fierce debate over PEI’s scarce land”. Key facts given by us were overlooked or misconstrued. We believe that The Globe plays an important role in providing quality journalism and accurate information to the public. We ask for the following to be published:

Our Community

  • Bliss and Wisdom (“BW”) is a community dedicated to learning and preserving Tibetan Buddhism with the largest number of non-Tibetans studying Tibetan Buddhism
  • There is no legal entity called “Bliss and Wisdom.” This name references the Buddhist community founded by the late Venerable Master Jih-Chang, including various NPOs and monasteries that follow his teachings
  • Anyone who acknowledges the late Venerable Master Jih-Chang and Teacher Zhen-Ru as their spiritual teachers is part of our community. However, that does not mean that their business or land are part of the community. There is no big business or unit that funds the community
  • Our mission requires a safe and stable location that supports religious freedom. After the two monasteries (GEBIS and GWBI) settled in PEI, the lay followers came. To support their daily living and one another, they started businesses, bought land and houses to live in. It developed organically

Our Mission: A Race Against Time

  • We have embarked on the world’s largest translation project of Tibetan sutras in our efforts to preserve Tibetan Buddhism
  • Currently, Buddhist teachings and traditions are extremely well preserved in Tibetan Buddhism
  • However, due to political and religious tension, much of Tibetan tradition and culture (Buddhist sutras, teachings, language etc.) have been and will be lost. Many elderly Tibetan Buddhist masters have passed on – their oral teachings lost forever. This 1959 Time magazine article details the history between China and Tibet
  • In this race to preserve world heritage and culture, GEBIS and GWBI are collecting Buddhist sutras (some are the last copy in the world) and artefacts, preserving and translating them
  • To do so requires nurturing monastic translators on a scale unseen in the past centuries: being well-versed in the traditional 15 plus-year Tibetan Buddhist curriculum, The Five Great Treatises
  • On multiple occasions, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has publicly expressed his gratitude to BW for carrying on this task
  • Tibetan Buddhist masters regularly travel to PEI from India to give teachings to us. When discussing their overseas teaching schedules, His Holiness specifically mentioned that going to PEI, Canada is a must

Funding Mainly from Individuals

  • About 80,000 people attend Buddhist learning sessions globally. Many of them donate to us. Again, there is no centralized funding
  • In 2022, 99.9% of GEBIS donors were individuals, averaging CAD505 per person. They contributed to 98.5% of the dollar amount
    • 98% of these donors were from Taiwan, Singapore, US and Canada; 2% were from other countries

Not Everyone is a Communist

  • Teacher Zhen-Ru was directly appointed by Venerable Master Jih-Chang to be his successor for her profound understanding and application of Buddhism
  • All accusations of Teacher Zhen-Ru having close links to China are false. She has not set foot in China for more than 15 years
  • BW is not under the influence of any country’s government
  • In state-controlled societies, all outlets that influence public opinion (media, religious schools etc.) are either government-funded or under close watch. To conclude that one has close links to the Chinese government just because one is born in China, has a family member who worked at a media outlet and a teacher from a religious school is rather far-fetched

17,000 acres of land: ?

  • We are unable to arrive at 17,000 acres and have contacted the Coalition for the Protection of P.E.I. Lands to verify how they arrived at this large number


G&M Info Source: Biased with Personal Agenda

  • As a key source, Mr. Jian Qinghua is biased with his personal agenda. He was not “dismissed from the group’s inner circle after criticizing Ms. Zhen-Ru’s leadership”. Instead, he was found on two occasions (2008 and 2009) to have violated monastic rules – fundraising without consent. In 2009 he was removed from all his leadership and managerial roles and was on probation until 2017 when he left on his accord and thereafter was officially expelled

We appreciate the time and effort spent on this report. If you could also include the above-mentioned information, we feel it would be a more complete report to your readers regarding the Bliss and Wisdom community – over 30 years of effort in preserving and translating an endangered world heritage and philosophy.