Venerable Xian Zhong was born in Ladakh, India. Though born in a Buddhist family, he did not receive much of an opportunity to learn about the Dharma. At the age of 22, he departed his hometown with the mission of finding a place to study and practice Buddhism. Eventually his path led him to Taiwan where he studied Buddhism under the guidance and tutelage of Venerable Master Huei Guang. In 2004, he was officially ordained as a Buddhist monk.
In 2007 he arrived in the United States with the objective of working with the IBS Prison Program. Since joining the program in 2008, Venerable Xian Zhong has established eight sanghas and created eleven libraries within four different prisons. Additionally, Venerable Xian Zhong has coordinated several two-day meditation retreats in different prisons. These meditation retreats were unique due to their being the first of their kind to be approved by the warden in the state of California.
Since joining the prison program, Venerable Xian Zhong has been given the opportunity to visit five prisons on a regular basis as well correspond with another six via letter writing. Opening his heart to those who have lost their way, he continues to support individuals who are incarcerated realize their true nature. With the belief that everyone deserves a second chance and that many incarcerated individuals can benefit from the Buddha’s teachings, Venerable Xianzhong’s dream is to one day offer Dharma and meditation teachings in all 36 of California’s state prisons.