Press Releases

Tsz Shan Monastery Supports CUHK to Establish
‘Ashoka Tree’ Youth Personal Growth Programme

18 July 2016

(Hong Kong, 18 July 2016) The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is honoured to receive a generous donation of HK$1 million from the Tsz Shan Monastery in support of the ‘Ashoka Tree’ Youth Personal Growth Programme established by the Department of Psychology, with the objective of improving the mental wellness of youth through learning Buddhist theories and practicing ‘Chanwuyi’ (‘Chan’ means enlightenment; ‘Wu’ means Kung fu; ‘Yi’ means healing). A donation ceremony was held recently, officiated by Venerable Thong Hong, Abbot of Tsz Shan Monastery and Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK. Prof. Fanny Cheung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, as well as distinguished guests from the Tsz Shan Monastery, also joined the ceremony. Prof. Agnes Chan, Director of the Chanwuyi Research Center for Neuropsychological Well-Being, Department of Psychology, introduced to the guests details of the ‘Ashoka Tree’ Personal Growth Programme.

In April 2016, Tsz Shan Monastery and CUHK jointly organized a two-day ‘Zen Meditation Training Programme’ with the participation of more than 130 university students and members of staff. Carrying on the success of the programme, the ‘Ashoka Tree’ Youth Personal Growth Programme will be launched with an aim to promote mental and physical well-being of youth aged 7 to 23 through learning Buddhist theories and practicing Chanwuyi. Selected participants will start a nine-month training in October.

Prof. Joseph Sung said in his welcoming address, ‘I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Venerable Thong Hong and the Tsz Shan Monastery for their generosity in support of our endeavours in promoting mental health and research in neuropsychology. It is believed that the ‘Ashoka Tree’ Youth Personal Growth Programme will help students achieve a peaceful mind by practicing Chanwuyi. It can also help reduce their stress level and enhance their learning capacity.’

In his speech, Venerable Thong Hong highlighted the importance of promoting all-round development of youth, a vision shared by both the Tsz Shan Monastery and CUHK. ‘Through practicing Chanwuyi, students will be able to develop a peaceful mind in the face of challenges. It will also help them cultivate virtues and find happiness in life,’ he said.

This gift from Tsz Shan Monastery to CUHK is made possible from donations the monastery received from the public. The monastery will continue to use its public donations to fund social welfare projects so as to bring benefits to the wider community and the society as a whole.