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Dharma Drum Buddhism Forum – A New Perception on Chinese Buddhism










The Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, the Sheng Yen Education Foundation and Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts jointly organized the Chinese Buddhism Young Scholars' Forum at the DDM campus on the 8th & 9th of September 2017.


The forum is an interactive platform for outstanding academic research on Buddhism. Over a hundred audience members, including renowned professors, young scholars and members of public institutions, universities and colleges from all over the world gathered to participate in the forum. It was a collective learning experience by sharing and exchanging intellectual thought, acknowledging outstanding contributions from academic achievers and a place to re-kindle the splendor of Buddhism through interactive discussion and the exchange of ideas.

DDM Abbott President Venerable Guo Dong presented the aims of the forum at the start, stating the objectives were to attain intellectual enlightenment through vows of great compassion, to allow collective wisdom through concentric efforts, to develop potential through working together and to complete mastery through unyielding determination. Venerable Guo Dong expressed his gratitude to the supporters of the Dharma from all walks of life for carrying on Master Sheng Yen's aspiration to cultivate Buddhist talents. He urged the participants to vigorously improve their academic endeavors by cultivating beneficial blessings through the practice of patience and accruing of karmic readiness with vigorous diligence. Further, the Abbott President asked participants to apply research studies to aspire people to purify the human heart and spread goodness in society to uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth.

The chief organizer of the forum, the Director of the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, Venerable Guo Jing, stated that the objectives of the forum were met by thirty-three young scholars this year. Within nine seminars in two days, these scholars sought advice, discussed and exchanged opinions with the objective of complementing resources and sharing research results.

Venerable Guo Jing also relayed the aspirations of Master Sheng Yen for "Buddhist scholars", encouraging them to not only research historic and cultural issues, but to focus their contributions on the purification and uplifting of the moral quality of humanity. This should be the primary objective of their research endeavors.

By encouraging people to unleash their intrinsic temperament toward learning, the Dean of the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, Venerable Hui Min, proposed that young scholars adapt to the changing times by applying the results from neurological research into behavioral patterns to break through the different erroneous instincts of memory to form a life-long learning habit of abundant knowledge by reading, recording, researching, publishing and practical application of study. Further, Venerable Hui Min stated that by utilizing the Pomodoro Technique of time management, one can maintain physical and mental health through a graceful and balanced lifestyle by exercising, eating well and enjoying good rest. This lifestyle helps to weaken inertia and form positive mental states.

This forum included an emphasis on new publications, new perceptions, and new methods in researching Chinese Buddhism to signify the passing of the legacy of Buddhism to a new generation. Research sub-topics were neither bound by space nor time and the young scholars were free to form their own groups, inviting mentors of their own choosing to chair and comment on their work.

Scholar Wang, Fang from Tokyo affirmed that the unique method of self-selecting fellow academic peers in this forum has led her to meet and work with the exceptionally small number of scholars researching on the same topic in Japan, increasing her hope to undertake extensive research into north-Asian Buddhism in the modern era.

The diversity of the group members in the forum was further illustrated by a second-time participant from Singapore, Xu Yu Ying. She noted that her group consisted of new members from Tokyo University, Yale University and Arizona University, while their invited mentors to comment and guide them were professors from Hong Kong University and Nanjing University. Interestingly, one of her group members was a public visitor at DDM three years ago whom she coincidentally sat together with in the previous forum and who had vigorously questioning her thesis, but now they have become like-minded people working on the same ideals.

Texts: Chang, Yao-Chung (張曜鐘)
Photos: Wang, Yu-Fa (王育發) / Chang, Yao-Chung
Translation: Chang, Cheng-Yu (張振郁)
Editor: Christine Huang (Canada), DDM Australia Editorial Team




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