Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program (HBMLP)
The Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program (HBMLP) is an intensive experience in the Buddhist way of life. It offers participants exposure to a way of being that is profoundly different from the constant busyness and distraction of contemporary society. Meditation and contemplation provide a connection to the world and other people. In the process of experiencing a different way of life in a Buddhist temple, one discovers different ways of approaching life in the rest of the world.
For 15 years, Woodenfish has offered program scholarships to ALL HBMLP participants to offset the costs associated with the time off of work or study and travel to China. We are dedicated to helping qualified applicants, regardless of financial situation, benefit from the transformative personal experience and hands-on cultural learning we offer.
Every accepted student will receive a scholarship that covers room, board and other expenses during the program. Beyond this we ask that participants pay a fee for two sets of tailored uniforms, a bag and a set of eating bowls which will be used throughout the program. This amounts to $250 (USD) and will be the property of the student.
Participants in the program are responsible for their own transportation to and from China.
Program Overview and Objectives
The objective of the program is to promote understanding of Chinese Buddhism by exposing the participants to the daily life, practice and theory of Buddhism within a traditional Buddhist monastic setting.
The Woodenfish HBMLP provides international graduate and undergraduate students interested in the study of religion, Buddhism and/or Chinese culture first-hand experience with the lifestyle, training, and rituals of contemporary Chinese Buddhist monastics. Moreover it includes academic lectures and discussions on Buddhist history and doctrine giving the students the appropriate framework for the experience.
The primary goals of the program include:
Offering participants a chance to personally experience Buddhism as it is practiced in modern day China
Providing courses on Buddhism and Chinese culture taught by Buddhist monastics and lay scholars
Introducing participants to the concepts and practices of Humanistic Buddhism
Experiencing and reflecting on Buddhist monastic discipline and traditions
Exposing participants to Chinese culture and language
Cultivating the mind through meditation and mindfulness
Applications for 2020 HBMLP (July 1-28) will open in December 2019:
To read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about HBMLP, please click here.
Have specific questions about HBMLP? Contact us at
Video Created by HBMLP '15 Student Dylan Pieper