Young Scholars’ Chinese Buddhism Forum: six research results presented at DDM

Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies held the 2016 Young Scholars’ Chinese Buddhism Forum at 9 a.m. on September 9. The forum provided young scholars worldwide in Chinese Buddhism with an opportunity of cooperation and a platform of interaction, as well as necessary guidance and support for their research. The second-stage results presentation took place at the International Conference Hall of the institute. Featuring an interdisciplinary and cross-generation discussion on Buddhist studies, the meeting received an enthusiastic feedback from an audience coming from different fields of study.

To encourage young scholars to specialize in Buddhist studies and support the Dharma, DDM Abbot President Ven. Guo-Dong made special effort to come to the venue to address the participants. The venerable expressed that as Chinese Buddhism features tolerance, inclusivity, and adaptability, DDM founder Master Sheng Yen was therefore confident about the future of Chinese Buddhism, and expected its monastic and lay petitioners to uphold this mission to promote Buddhism to be practiced in human society and in daily life, and approach Buddhist studies in a humanistic manner.

The abbot president encouraged participants to keep up with their faith, aspirations, and patience for studying and practicing Buddhism. The abbot president quoted his own words—keep peace of mind in both agreeable and adverse situations. Maintain a calm and concentrated mind by practicing Chan and Buddha-name recitation. Have a sense of shame and repentance, and you can purify your mind. Dharma joy and Chan delight generates from the mind as bright as a mirror. Be grateful, repay kindness, and give of your life. With compassion and wisdom, you will enjoy happiness and harmony—to urge the young scholars to, while conducting collaborated research projects, keep a balanced mind and a calm character by practicing the protection of the spiritual environment, regarding every single day and second as a brand new level of learning and mental cultivation.

Ven. Guo Jing, director of CHIBS, indicated that the six groups of young scholars had had to pass strict review and selections, followed by undergoing vigorous research training over the past year. Their research results for the next year would have been much anticipated. It is a good sign that the platform has recently been developed for young scholars from Mainland China and Taiwan to interact and exchange ideas. We believe that such a forum will help them develop a solid experience and foundation for promoting Chinese Buddhism.

Ven. Hui Min, president of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, co-organizer of the forum, gave the young scholars a humorous reminder by saying that a scholastic career requires a healthy body-mind, life-long learning, and a perpetual habit of reading, noting, researching, presenting, and practicing. He praised the research atmosphere of the forum that advocates the adopting of new literature, new vision, and new methodology. On the other hand, Lu Lisheng, director of the Sheng Yen Education Foundation, announced good news that a professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies is to be established, and that a seminar on Buddhist Studies is going to take place at DDM Baoyun Monastery towards the end of this year.

All the 21 young scholars showed their appreciation for the enthusiastic support from the faculty and staff of Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies. Lee Zhihong from the National Taiwan University Graduate School of History said that the research funding and teachers provided by DDM had been of great benefit for his team’s field research and had enhanced the research results. While Yu Shufang from the Hwa-Fan University was truly touched by the Dharma thanks to DDM’s funding for her abroad research, which allowed her to experience Master Xuan Zang’s devotion. Zeng Yaomin from the National Taiwan University, who had worked with two students doing research in Germany, said that his team had developed a comradeship over the past two years, and that he had been able to re-examine his own research by collecting more data.

The CHIBS expressed that the forum had been well received by academics, the Buddhist circles, and young scholars; therefore CHIBS is already planning to hold the forum again the next year. It is hoped that young scholars from around the world could team up with those who share a common passion, working together to produce valuable Buddhist literature for the public by making the most of this triennial Buddhist forum.

Text by Mr. Chang, Yao-Chung (張曜鐘)
Photography by Mr. Wang, Yu-Fa (王育發)
Translation by Ms. Huang, Kate Wan-Chi (黃婉琪)
Editor: Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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