Roundtable Forum on Chinese Chan Buddhism Studies and Broadening Practices of Education

In memory of the10th anniversary of late Master Sheng Yen’s passing

On Sept 20th and 21st, the “Roundtable Forum on Chinese Chan Buddhism Studies and Broadening Practices of Education” was held by Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, CHIBS, gathering dozens of prominent youth scholars from the past two “Youth Forum” and alumni from CHIBS, as well as the monastics from DDM Sangha. Nineteen academic papers in total and one keynote speech were presented.

Upon the 10th anniversary of the late Master Sheng Yen’s passing, with the Roundtable forum hosted by CHIBS, it is in the hope to carry on Master’s aspiration on the revival of Chinese Chan Buddhism, and extend the new horizon in the field of academic and Buddhist practices.

In his opening remarks, DDM former Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong (果東法師) exhorted all youth scholars to carry out Buddhist propagation of Orthodox Buddhism based on the essential motto of CHIBS, “We combine understanding with practice, and Join compassion with wisdom. Practicality is our priority, and benefiting others is our emphasis.”

Professor Lee Chih-fu (李志夫), Honorary Director of CHIBS, recalled in his keynote speech how late Master Sheng Yen propagate Chinese Buddhism with his compassionate aspiration, in addition to Master’s profound contribution during his entire life. He thus concluded that late Master Sheng Yen can bring about new visions because he kept on learning with great modesty, and strongly aspired to benefit all sentient beings.

As extensive themes as they were, the forum encompassed all aspects of Buddhist studies such as Buddhist culture, propagation of Dharma teachings, literature research on Buddhist doctrine, and various Dharma gates in the tradition of Chinese Buddhism.

Professor Huang, Kuo-Ching (黃國清) from Graduate Institute of Religious Studies, Nanhua University sorted out the current issues of Chinese Buddhism Education in Taiwan. In that he emphasized that Buddhist doctrines should be put forward as the core of Buddhist Studies and propagation of orthodox Buddhism.

In the domain of Buddhist Art and literature, through the studies of Buddhist relics, poetic verse, and the artworks of flying celestials, many youth scholars reconstructed all together to portray ancient eminent monks’ endeavors on propagation in history.

Among all, Chien, Kai-ting (簡凱廷), Assistant Professor of Department of Chinese Literature, National Cheng Kung University, re-investigated those historical rare books not being part of the Canon; Whereas Dr. Hsu Shu-ya (許淑雅), graduated from College and Department of Buddhist Studies, Fo Guang University, centered on Master Da Hui Zong Gao’s (大慧宗杲) practices of Hua Tou Chan; Doctoral student Chang, Ya-wen (張雅雯) from Dharma Drum of Liberal Arts scrutinize Dharma teachings in an approach of “stick and shout.”

Three generations of researchers in Buddhist studies came together at the forum to exchange new research, new historical records and new methods which have led these academic works to gain vitality.

As Master Sheng Yen once said, “Buddhism has no future without Buddhist education.” Venerable Guo Jing (果鏡法師), present director of Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies further expounded that Master Sheng Yen not only advanced talent training for DDM but also for the entire Buddhists world, to extend the benefits of Dharma teaching to all sentient beings.

Texts: Jiang, Ying-Zhi (江胤芝)Dharma Drum Mountain Monthly
Photos: Wang, Yu-Fa (王育發)
Translaiton: Elenda Huang
Editing: DDM Australian Editorial Team

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