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Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 19:30

Chan (Zen)

Prof. Lou Yulie, Department of Philosophy, Beijing University

Swedish Embassy

'Chan' is a transliteration of a Sanskrit term Dhyana which is a way of concentration and meditation. Zen, its better known Japanese name, is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character Chan.

Buddhism arose in India where dominant interests were quite different from those of China. The Indian culture emphasized the pursuit of spiritual knowledge, while the Chinese culture was preoccupied primarily with establishing an orderly society. Consequently, the Chinese eventually made Buddhism quite different from its Indian origins. For example, the most influential Buddhist sects in China, such as the Pure Land, the Tian Tai and the Chan, arose indigenously. Chan flourished in China during the Tang Dynasty, and peaked in the Song Dynasty. With the philosophical and psychological upheaval following WWII, Chan has enjoyed a revival in the East as well as a newborn interest in the West.

Mr. Lou Yulie, professor of the Department of Philosophy, Beijing University, a renowned scholar on the subject, will speak to BIS members on the development, practice and the key theories of this fascinating philosophy.