Gongfu and meditation in Buddhist practice: A view from the Shaolin Temple

Event description: 

March 19, 2014,  5-7pm

Geballe Room at the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities
220 Stephens Hall
University of California, Berkeley


Influential temples have long been a major part of the religious and educational landscape in East Asia, but it is only recently that major temples in the People’s Republic of China have begun to receive official sanction, have begun to revisit their traditional identities and adapt to the conditions in contemporary China. One of the Chan temples with the longest history is the Shaolin Temple on Mount Song, which has nevertheless had to almost completely rebuild following the Cultural Revolution. As part of this rebuilding, the temple’s integration of Shaolin’s historical connection with gongfu practice into Buddhist practice has distinguished it from many other temples.  As part of the celebration of its 40th anniversary, Abbot Shi Yongxin, who has led Shaolin since 1999, will engage in a panel discussion about gongfu and other practices within Chan disciplines. Mary Evelyn Tucker (Yale University) an authority on Asian Religions, and Jiang Wu (University of Arizona), an expert on Chan Buddhism in China, will respond to Abbot Shi Yongxin and engage him in dialog on his views about experience and practice in Chan Buddhism, and the roles Buddhism plays in modern China.
Panel discussants:
Abbot  Shi Yongxin, Shaolin Temple
Professor Jiang Wu, University of Arizona
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University
Mark A. Csikszentmihalyi, Co-Director, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion