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Meditate nyc venerable yifa.jpg
Yifa in 2008
Born1959 (age 62–63)
EducationNational Taiwan University
Yale University
University of Hawaii
Senior posting
TeacherHsing Yun

Yifa (Chinese: 依法, born 1959) is a Taiwanese scholar and writer and the founder of the organization, Woodenfish Foundation. She is a nun ordained in 1979 by Fo Guang Shan, a Buddhist organization in Taiwan. Yifa holds a law degree from the National Taiwan University, a masters in comparative philosophy from the University of Hawaii, and a doctorate in religious studies from Yale University. She served as a department head and dean of University of the West during her tenure at the college.[1]


Yifa has participated in many interfaith dialogues such as the Gethsemani Encounter and contributed to the UNICEF South Asia's Safe Motherhood Project. She is also the current director of the Woodenfish program for college students.[2]

In 2003, Yifa was awarded an Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award. In October 2006, she was honored at the 9th Annual Juliet Hollister Awards Ceremony, which was held at the United Nations Headquarters.[3] Yifa was recognized along with Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was honored posthumously.

Venerable Yifa has also been involved in translating sutras from Mandarin to English. Since 2006, Yifa and others have published translations of the Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Pūrvapraṇidhāna Sūtra and the Amitabha Sutra.[4] Yifa is based in Beijing, China and travels often to meet with scholars and members of the global Buddhist community.

List of books[edit]

  • Authenticity: Clearing the Junk, A Buddhist Perspective [5]
  • The Tender Heart: A Buddhist Response to Suffering [6]
  • Discernment: Educating the Mind and Spirit [7]
  • Safeguarding the Heart: A Buddhist Response to Suffering and September 11[8]
  • The Origins of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Chanyuan Qinggui[9]

Yifa has also co-authored Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Reflect On the Role of St. Benedict, along with Norman Fischer, Joseph Goldstein, Judith Simmer-Brown, David Steindl-Rast, and editor Patrick J. Henry.[10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Danny Fisher - April 20th 2007 blog
  2. ^ Brief bio of Venerable Yifa, Phd - Program Director
  3. ^ The 9th Annual Juliet Hollister Awards Ceremony, honoring Dr. Ven. Yifa, Chief Arvol Looking Horse and the late Daniel Pearl
  4. ^ "Sutra Translations". Woodenfish. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  5. ^ Lantern Books link
  6. ^ Lantern Books link
  7. ^ Lantern Books link
  8. ^ Amazon.com link
  9. ^ Barnes & Noble link
  10. ^ Amazon.com link