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Tung Lin Kok Yuen International Conference

Buddhist Canons: In Search of a Theoretical Foundation for a Wisdom-oriented Education

27 & 28 November, 2021 (HKT) | Online & On-site at HKU
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Jointly organized by

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The Conference is sponsored by

Tung Lin Kok Yuen.

Speaker
Presentation Topic
Ven. K. L. Dhammajoti
Chair Professor, School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China
Intellectual Understanding versus Wisdom (paññā/prajñā) in Buddhist Education
Wu Jiang
Professor of the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona
Opening the Canon: New Challenges to Buddhist Studies in Humanities Education
Jin Y. Park
Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religion, American University, Washington
Buddhism and Engaged Citizenship
Albert Welter
Head, Department of East Asian Studies, The University of Arizona
Retrieving the Dharma Wheel: Searching for Meaning in the Sino-East Asian Buddhist Canon
Huaiyu Chen
Associate Professor, Buddhism and Chinese Religions, Arizona State University
Shaping the Order of Ritualized Community in Medieval Chinese Buddhist Monasticism
Ven. Bhikkhuni Dhammadinna
Director, Āgama Research Group, Department of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, Taiwan
Knowledge tied to or freed from identity? Epistemic reflections through the prism of the early Buddhist teachings (#available on Zoom ONLY.)
Guang Xing
Director and Associate Professor, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
Educating the Confucians about Filial Piety: Qisong’s Treatise on Filial Piety
Georgios T. Halkias
Associate Professor, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
Notes on the Translation and Transmission of Wisdom from the Earliest Canonical Collections of Tibetan Buddhism.
Oren Hanner
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, New York University Abu Dhabi
Vasubandhu on the Role of the Teacher and the Features of Wisdom-Oriented Education
Ernest C. H. Ng
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
From Tradition to Innovation: Wisdom-oriented Education in Buddhist Theory and Practice
Chengzhong Pu
Assistant Professor, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
On ‘foshuo佛説’ in the Title of Some Chinese Buddhist Sutras
Ven. Sik Hin Hung
Senior Fellow and Former Director, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
Attaining the acceptance of truth (kṣānti) through the three kinds of knowledge and its modern-day application.
G. A. Somaratne
Associate Professor, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
Conjoining Scientific Knowledge and Dhamma Knowledge for Creating an Authentic Person
Ven. Sumana
Ph.D. candidate, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
Attaining the acceptance of truth (kṣānti) through the three kinds of knowledge and its modern-day application.
Asanga Tilakaratne
Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies, Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Knowledge and Wisdom from an early Buddhist Perspective
Chung-hui Tsui
Honorary Assistant Professor and Tung Lin Kok Yuen Scholar in Buddhist Art and Culture, HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies
The Buddhist texts translation in Dharmarakṣa’s team
Bonnie W. Y. Wu
Lecturer, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
Attaining the acceptance of truth (kṣānti) through the three kinds of knowledge and its modern-day application.
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Ven. K. L. Dhammajoti

Chair Professor

School of Philosophy

Renmin University of China

Intellectual Understanding versus Wisdom (paññā/prajñā) in Buddhist Education

The fundamental aim of the Buddha’s teachings––Buddhist education––is the attainment of Wisdom (paññā/prajñā) that lead to the transcendence of the existential unsatisfactoriness of  saṃsāra. This is the true aim of the Dhamma/Dharmaas education. All the subsequent genuine Buddhist traditions that flowed out from the perfect Wisdom attained in the Buddha’s Enlightenment accord with this aim. Bāhiya’s story in the Pāli Udāna well illustrates this. Living a simple life of non-attachment, Bāhiya came to (and was made to) understand that he had become an arahant. But advised by a devatā, he realized his erroneous understanding; and finally practising pure awareness as instructed by the Buddha, he attained his liberation. His earlier conceptual understanding was mistaken, though convincing; practising wholeheartedly according to the Buddha’s instruction, he finally achieved liberating insight (Wisdom). In brief, spiritual insight is possible only through a radical transformation of our consciousness, not through conceptual knowledge. And this requires, in particular, meditative praxis and deep commitment. The same emphasis is consistently found in the doctrines of the Prajñāpāramitāand Yogācāra traditions. The former distinguishes the uniquely new prajñāpāramitādoctrine from the Śrāvaka-yāna and Pratyekabuddha-yāna by the “Equipoise of non-cling to all dharmas (sarvadharma-aparigṛhīto nama samādhiḥ)”, and states that “so long as the Vajra-like samādhi has not been acquired, [the bodhisattva] does not attain the All-mode Knowledge (sarva-ākāra-jñatā; i.e. Perfect Wisdom)”; the latter teaches the culmination of all spiritual training in the “transformation of the support-basis (āśraya-parāvṛtti)”––essentially, the revolutionary transformation, through meditative praxis, of our ordinary mode of consciousness into Wisdom. In all these traditions, the requisites for such a radical transformation are clear: firm resolution for True Enlightenment/Wisdom, receptivity to higher possibilities in the unfoldment of human potentials, meditation, and compassion.


Moreover, the distinctive stress is discernible that while ethical and meditative praxis are undoubtedly essential, true Wisdom cannot be achieved unless, to begin with, there is proper aspiration and commitment––not just intellectual acknowledgement––for its attainment. It is from this perspective that we should understand such statement as that in the Ratnakūṭa, one of the earliest Mahāyāna sūtras, that “the śrāvaka, even though accomplished in all ethical training, ascetic practices and samādhi (sarvaśīlaśikṣā-dhutaguṇa-samādhi-samanvāgata), will never be fully enlightened.” Rather than defensively reacting to such proposition, we should humbly appreciate its stress that no truly “wisdom-oriented education” (theme of this conference) is possible unless our emotion and volition are also deeply involved at the deepest, existential level––going far beyond the domain of mere ordinary intellectual learning. Accordingly, Mahāyāna stresses the need for the bodhicitta, and the perfection of prajñā through the perfection of karuṇā. Indeed, for modern Buddhists considering a “Wisdom-oriented education” system, there is a lot to learn from the ancient Buddhist traditions.

Enquiry
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Centre of Buddhist Studies of
The University of Hong Kong
 
Email - cbsevent@hku.hk

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