Master YongHua, 永化 Thích Vĩnh Hóa
Master YongHua was born in South Vietnam and came to the United States in 1973 to attend college. He earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago.
After working in the corporate world for decades, he decided to leave the home life to study Chan under Great Master XuanHua, Tuyen Hoa, in 1995. In 1999, he became fully ordained under Master Man Giac. He then went to Taiwan to study Chinese and the Vinaya (the Buddhist rules of morality) for 2 years. He returned to the United States in 2001 and practiced in seclusion until 2005, at which time he began teaching Chan and accepting disciples.
Master YongHua is the founder of Bodhi Light International (BLI) – a non-profit religious organization dedicated by benefitting all living beings through the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism.
Through BLI, Master YongHua has been offering free programs and retreats for over 15 years. In 2012, Master YongHua founded Lu Mountain Temple, which became BLI’s home base in Rosemead, California. In 2018, BLI’s operations were moved to a new facility – Wei Mountain Temple – also located in Rosemead, California. Wei Mountain Temple currently offers Chan meditation programs every Saturday and Buddhist Dharma assemblies every Sunday. Master YongHua also lectures on the Mahayana Sutras every weekend.
Every year in the United States, Master YongHua hosts a total of 13 weeks of Chan meditation retreats and 2 weeks of Buddha recitation retreats, both in the summer and in the winter. In the last 5 years, these offerings have expanded to new temple locations, including Gold Forest Chan Center in San Jose, California and Dharma Treasury Temple in San Francisco, California. The expansion has also occurred internationally with the opening of Jeweled Mountain Temple and Jeweled Conch Seon Center in South Korea. (Please consult the website for further information regarding these other temples.)
There are currently 15 monastic disciples training under Master YongHua, as well as many lay disciples, who comes from 15 different nationalities and range in age from 1 to 80. Although they have very diverse backgrounds, Master’s disciples share a common passion for cultivation, hoping to realize their fullest potential by devoting their lives to the service of others.
Master YongHua provides individualized guidance to help each person find methods that are most appropriate to his/her current cultivation level. In his lectures, Master YongHua devotes a significant amount of time to answering questions. This allows him to tailor his teachings to the needs of individual students, many of whom have attained high levels in their meditation practice and have seen significant improvement in their health and personal relationships.