Public Lectures on Buddhism and Buddhist Philosophy in Taiwan

When: 09.10.2017, at 12:00-14:00
Place: Tallinn University, M-213

On 9 October at 12:00, public lectures on Buddhism by Prof. Wen Huimin and Prof. Chen-kuo Lin will take place at Tallinn University in room M-213.

This event is organized together with the Taiwanese Representative Office in Latvia and Baltic Research Centre for East Asian Studies (AsiaRes).

1. Prof. Wen Huimin 釋惠敏 "An Examination of the Meaning of "Mātra" in Relation to Buddhist Meditation in the Yogācāra School"

"Vijñapti-mātra" (consciousness-only) is a well-known expression in the thought of the Yogācāra school. However, there are many other expressions of "mātra (only) " related to Buddhist meditation in the Śravakabhūmi (the thirteenth stage in the Yogācārabhūmi) and Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra, for example, jñāna-mātra, darśana-mātra, pratismṛta-mātra, manojalpa-mātra and nāma-mātra etc. This paper examines the meaning of these terms from their role in the meditation process, and concludes by suggesting a possible relationship or linkage between the refrain section (ñāṇa-matta, paṭissati-matta) of the Satipaṭṭhāna sutta(《念處經》) and the "vijñapti-mātra" of the Yogācāra School from the viewpoint of the meditation process.

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Wen Huimin 釋惠敏 is a Taiwanese Mahāyāna Buddhist bhikshu (monk), who is also a professor of Buddhist Studies. He was born in 1954 and graduated from Taipei Medical College with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy (1975). Having ordained in 1979, he subsequently obtained M.A.(1989) and Doctor of Letters (1992) at University of Tokyo. Now he is President of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (Taiwan), Director of Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA), Emeritus Professor of Taipei National University of the Arts, and Abbot of Seeland Monastery (Taiwan).

2. Prof. Chen-kuo Lin 林鎮國 "Emptiness and Modernity: The Debate of Two Buddhisms Revisited”

This talk is a reflection on the historical and philosophical development in modern East Asian Buddhism. The key question I am concerned here is, how did Buddhist thinkers respond to the challenge of modernity? This is not a new question. The Buddhist (and non Buddhist) thinkers have meditated on this question for a long time. But still this question should be addressed as the most pressing one, because the discourse of modernity has never been driven to such a depth before both in East and West. In the following, firstly, I will sketch the modern vs. postmodern dispute in the past decades. Under this thematic guideline, four trends of intellectual response to the controversy of modernity in East Asia will be briefly examined. They are the Kyoto school (Nishitani Keiji), Critical Buddhism (Hakamaya Noriaki and Matsumoto Shiro), Contemporary Neo-Confucianism (Mou Tsung-san), and Humanistic Buddhism (Yin-shun). At the end, by appealing to the theory of two truths, I will argue for the dialectic between emptiness and modernity as the way out of polemic.

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Chen-kuo Lin 林鎮國 is a Distinguished Professor in both the Department of Philosophy and the Graduate Institute of Religious Studies at National Chengchi University. His research interest includes Buddhist philosophy (Buddhist logic and epistemology, Mādhyamika, Yogācāra), Chinese philosophy (Neo-Confucianism, Daoism), and comparative philosophy. Currently he is conducting two research projects, “Cognition and Mind: A Study and Annotated Translation of Huizhao’s Treatise on Two Means of Valid Cognition” and “The Encounter of Chinese Buddhists with Indian Yogācāra Texts: A Comparative Study of Indian and Chinese Commentaries on Vasubandhu’s Twenty Verses (Viṃśikā)."