DRBY Spring Conference 2008

Speaker Profiles




Rev. Heng Sure was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1976. For the sake of world peace, he undertook an over six hundred mile pilgrimage from South Pasadena to Ukiah, repeatedly taking three steps and one bow to cover the entire journey. In the entire two years taken to make the pilgrimage, he observed a practice of total silence. Rev. Heng Sure has an M.A. in Oriental Languages from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He serves as the Managing Director of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery and teaches on the staff at the Institute for World Religions. He is actively involved in interfaith dialogue and in the ongoing conversation between spirituality and technology.

Dharma Master Heng Yin received a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin and was subsequently accepted to the Ph.D. program. She first learned about the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) in 1990 when the Master and his disciples visited UT and taught meditation and Buddhism. She came to CTTB for a summer Chan session. A few months later, she enrolled at Dharma Realm Buddhist University and moved to CTTB where she soon committed herself to the monastic life. DM Heng Yin has been active in the Buddhist Text Translation Society and is currently the Principal of the Developing Virtue Girls' School at CTTB.

Dr. Martin Verhoeven, when training under Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, also undertook the bowing pilgrimage dedicated to world peace with Reverend Heng Sure. Marty graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His areas of interest are the historical teachings of Buddhism and the process of religious acculturation. Marty has studied and lectured extensively throughout Asia, Europe, the United States, and Canada. Currently, he is a professor at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU). He also teaches a weekly meditation series at Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.

Doug Powers holds an M.A. from GTU and a B.A. and an M.A.T. from the University of Redlands. He is Vice President of Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) and currently teaches Western Philosophy and Psychology at DRBU. Doug has also been teaching at Berkeley High School for over 30 years. An advocate for introducing Buddhism to high school students, he has been known to hold impromptu meditation sessions at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. Doug is a regular facilitator at Berkeley Student Roundtable discussions and an advisor for Dharma Realm Buddhist Youth.

Dr. Ron Epstein holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in Chinese language and literature from the University of Washington. He taught Buddhist studies and world religions at San Francisco State University for many years and has recently retired. His research interests include the Mahayana sutras, Yogachara Buddhism and applied Buddhist ethics. Ron took refuge with Venerable Master Hsuan Hua in 1967 and was one of the original translators of the Surangama Sutra from Chinese to English. Together with a team of translators from the Buddhist Text Translation Society, Ron is currently working on the second translation of the Surangama Sutra.

Venerable Master Hsuan Hua - (a.k.a Master Hua)- Founder of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA)

DRBA - Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBY’s parent organization)

DRBY - Dharma Realm Buddhist Young Adults

CTTB - City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (DRBA’s head monastery, located in Ukiah, CA)

DVBS/DVGS - Developing Virtue Boys/Girls School (DRBA’s secondary school located inside the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, CA)

DRBU – Dharma Realm Buddhist University located inside the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, CA