Born Liu Yingcheng, he began his study at the Shaolin Temple in 1981 at the age of 17. It was under the discipleship of former abbot Xingzheng that he converted to the Three Jewels and recieved the dharma name Shi Yongxin. For three years he travelled to other monastaries for Buddhist studies and cultivation, returning to the Shaolin Temple in 1984. He then assisted Xingzheng and the elders with daily operations until being fully oprdained at Pu Zhao Monastery, Jiangxi Province. He reamined there for the next three years, returning to Shaolin yet again in 1987. This time, returning to take over running the monastary after the passing of Xingzheng. Appointed director of Shaolin Temple Management Committee, he served the temple in this capacity until officially inaugurated Shaolin Abbot in August of 1999.
Since his inauguation, Ven. Abbot Yongxin has done much for Shaolin. He has overseen numerous renovations as well as the compiling and classification of classic Shaolin texts. Such works include: The Secret Book of Shaolin Kung Fu and Medicine, Shaolin Kungfu and Works of Shaolin Kungfu, Chan Dew Collections, Selected Papers on Shaolin Study, Shaolin in My Heart, and other such titles. He has been tireless in his efforts to restore, revitalize, and protect "the tangible and intangible heritage of Shaolin Temple." Ven. Abbot Yongxin also promotes cultural exchanges--both foreign and domestic-- as well as various Buddhist activities in order to help spread the Shaolin culture.
Ven. Abbot Yongxin has received various appointments throughout his tenure, including:
- Henan Provincial Political Consultative Committee: March 1993 - Director of Buddhist Association of China: October 1993 - Re-appointed director of Shaolin Temple Management Committee: 1997 - Elected representative of the Ninth National People’s Congress: March 1998 - Chairman of the Henan Province Buddhist Association: July 1998 - Elected as Vice Chairman of the Buddhist Association of China: September 2002 - Elected representative of the Tenth National People’s Congress: March 2003 - Elected representative of the Eleventh National People’s Congress: March 2008 - Elected as Director of Overseas Communication Committee of Buddhist Association of China: February 2010