Shì Dōngchū 釋東初 (1908-1977)
Shì Dōngchū 釋東初 (1908-1977) was a prolific monk of the Cáodòng branch 曹洞派 of the Chán school 禪宗 who wrote and published many key works on modern Chinese Buddhism.
Dōngchū was tonsured in 1920 at the Guanyin monastery 觀音庵 in Jiāngsū by one Jìngchán 靜禪, and took the full precepts in 1929 at Baohua shān 寶華山. In 1934 he graduated from the Minnan Buddhist Seminary 閩南佛學院 and began teaching at the Jiaoshān Buddhist Seminary 焦山佛學院 located at Dìnghuì Temple 定慧寺 on Jiāo Mountain 焦山 in Zhènjiāng 鎮江, Jiāngsū. He taught at the Seminary until 1937. In 1935 he received transmission in the Cáodòng branch 曹洞派 of the Chán school 禪宗 at that temple.
In 1949 Dōngchū came to Táiwān and became active in reorganizing the Chinese Buddhist Association 中國佛教會 there. In the same year he began the periodical Human Life Magazine 人生雜誌 at Fazang Temple 法藏寺 in Běitóu 北投, where he had established himself with the help of the Taiwanese Sōtō priest, Zēng Pǔxìn 曾普信. In 1955 he established the Center for Chinese Buddhist Culture 中華佛教文化館, and around the same time republished a version of the Taishō canon 大正大藏經. He was an important influence on Shèngyán 聖嚴, to whom he gave transmission in the Cáodòng 曹洞 Chán 禪 lineage.