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Keynote speeches and Symposiums in the 7th Chinese Buddhism & Sheng Yen International Conference

In their macro-analysis, the first keynote speeches in the 7th Chinese Buddhism & Sheng Yen International Conference portrayed ancient literati monks as the significant figures that kept in contact with the society and political authorities, so as to blend in Buddha Dharma with the public.

Furthermore, the second speaker explored the beliefs and practices behind the monks’ endeavors of Dharma dissemination. At last, turning to the micro-analysis, through the studies of monks’ autobiographies writing, the third speaker then revealed their personal body- mind experiences in their life. In the long range impact, intrinsic strength within the ancient monks was deliberately shown thereof.

Integrating Buddhism into Chinese Culture:

Integrating Buddhism into Chinese Culture:
Literati Monks as Buddhist Junzi (“Confucian” Gentleman) – Implications for Understanding the Nature of Buddhism and Its Role in Society, Past & Present.


According to Albert Welter, Professor and Department Head, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona, literati monks are “architects of Chinese Buddhism”. Buddhism was successfully established in China not because these monks lived in seclusion but because they kept close contacts with the society and the political circles, which made East-Asian Buddhism flourished late on.



Assimilate Pure Land Practice by Chan Meditation

Master Sheng Yen’s Meditation Approach and His Interpretation and Direction of “Assimilate Pure Land Practice by Chan Meditation”

Chen, Chien-Huang (陳劍鍠), Director, Center for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism, The Chinese University of Hong Kong sorted out Master Sheng Yen’s dharma linage as Soto as well as Linzai Schools. In his keynote speech, he aimed to explore how the Master interpreted and assimilated Chan meditation by Pure Land practice as the means and references of his proposes, and ascertained how Master Sheng Yen implement Theravada Buddhism, Japanese Zen, and Yoga practices into the clear-ordered Chan practices for the needs of disciples coming from various cultural backgrounds and karmic capacities, and then established the Dharma Drum Linage.


The Body-Mind and Family-Country Elements in Mahayana Buddhist Autobiographic Writings

Liao, Chao-heng(廖肇亨), Research Fellow, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, studied the monks’ biographies writing, and shared that these autobiographic at the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties revealed the zeitgeist and nuances of dharma gates of the specific period, namely the relationship between “practice of the body and mind”, and the “ideology of the family and country”




Symposiums:

Buddhism and Economy Symposium

Chan, Chang(詹場), Associate Professor, Department of Finance and Cooperative Management, National Taipei University, and his colleagues, applied Master Sheng Yen’s perspectives on business management and re-examined the value of modern enterprises. Chiang, Ching-yi(江靜儀), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Finance, Ming Chuan University, and her colleagues, compared the “Happiness Economy model” in Economy with that in Buddhism, and revealed the current theoretical limits in psychology, philosophy, and economy traditions. What is true happiness? How to attain it? Indeed, a good issue to think over!

Buddhism and Psychology Symposium

Peichao Zhang(張沛超), Ph. D., School of Philosophy, Wuhan University and Senior Counseling Psychologist, shared with the audience his reflections based on his own true experiences. In this symposium, many elites specialized in psychology were congregated; in this gathering, they tried to obtain the connections between Buddhism and psychology through these dialogues, and applied the findings to daily life in their field.

Buddhism and Medicine Symposium

Lee, Po-Chang, (李伯璋) Director General, National Health Insurance Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare and Chairperson of the Board, Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center, together with the other speakers , discussed the issue of “Regenerative Medicine and Organ Transplants”, and unveiled the current dilemmas that we encountered. Venerable Guo-Jing (果鏡法師), Director, Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies and Associate Professor, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts further expounded that those who are willing to make their wills to save lives by their organ transplants are Buddhisattvas. Furthermore, in this regard, being respectful to the donators is of utmost importance. Taken this chance, we should share the Buddha dharma with them, showing them the path via the wisdom of bodily- detachments.

Master Sheng Yen’s Digital archives mainly presented in this conference, in a form of an integrative website, sharing materials such as digital images of Master’s holograph manuscripts, electronic version of Master’s chronicle etc. According to Hung, Jen-jou (洪振洲), Associate Professor Department of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, the in-charge team has made 34,000 files readily accessible online up until now, and would keep digitalizing Master’s manuscripts of books, lectures, and notes; collecting Mater’s documentary information; as well as constructing oral histories through the interviews with Master’s good old friends.

The Complete Works of Master Sheng Yen were also integrated in “Master Sheng Yen's Chronicle”, linking the books, and the events to the Complete Works. Thematic and formats based on chronicles would be set online in the future, so the public could have thorough comprehension of Master Sheng Yen’s thoughts and the following developments.

In the conference, Introduction to The Treasure of Tathāgata: A Research of Master Sheng Yen’s Thought on Tathāgatagarbha (如來藏思想); TianTai Studies (天臺研究), and The Essentials of Practice and Attainment within the Gate of Chan (禪門修証指要) were also presented. Further details can be found at Sheng Yen's International Conference

Texts: Dharma Drum Monthly (法鼓雜誌)、 Chang, Yao-Chung (張曜鐘)、Elenda Huang (頤嵐達)
Translation: Elenda Huang
Editing: DDM Australian Editorial Team

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