1) “Nirvāṇa as Permanence, Joy, Self, and Purity in a Medieval Chinese Buddhist Context”
Wendi L. Adamek, Lecture for the China Interest Group
Friday Feb. 3rd, 3:30-5:30pm
Craigie Hall C 110
Tathāgatagarbha (buddha matrix) doctrines concerning the actualization of universal buddha-nature potential could be considered to challenge fundamental Buddhist teachings about karma and non-self. This has been a recurring thorny issue in tathāgatagarbha theorization since its inception. The aim of this paper is to examine selected sixth- and seventh-century Chinese contexts for the development of tathāgatagarbha-influenced soteriology, using the lens of the Nirvāṇa-sūtra characterization of nirvāṇa as permanence, joy, self, and purity (chang le wo jing 常樂我淨). Chinese interest in the Nirvāṇa-sūtra’s chang le wo jing rubric can be seen in various Northern Dynasties, Sui, and Tang texts and images that supported tathāgatagarbha soteriology.
Wendi L. Adamek is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary and holder of the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies. She specializes in Chinese Buddhism and her publications include The Mystique of Transmission and The Teachings of Master Wuzhu.
2) “The Diamond Sutra: How It Applies to Our Lives”
The Venerable Chang Wu, lecture for the Numata Speaker Series
Thursday Feb. 9th, 12:30-1:45pm
The Diamond Sutra is one of the most popular sutras in the history of Chinese Buddhism. It conveys precisely the core teachings of the Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Wisdom) sutras, which expound on the theme of emptiness. “Emptiness” is the term that asserts the insubstantial nature of reality, and thus the ultimately unreal nature of any conceptual description of that reality. The sutra begins with a cardinal question, “When one resolves to attain unsurpassed complete enlightenment, in what should one abide and how should one subdue his/her thoughts?” The Buddha answers that one should help all sentient beings reach liberation yet in one’s own mind no sentient being has been liberated. This is the teaching of freeing oneself from the notions of self, other, sentient being and life span.
In this lecture, the core teachings of the Diamond Sutra will be explained. We will also discuss what we can learn from the dialectical reasoning that is used throughout this sutra. Most importantly we will examine how we can make use of the teachings and apply them in our daily life.
The Venerable Chang Wu is a Buddhist monastic in the Chan (Zen) tradition. She is currently the Abbess of Dharma Drum Vancouver Center, a monastery in Richmond, BC, Canada. For almost 15 years, she has been teaching classes in Buddhist philosophy and meditation to people of widely different backgrounds and age groups. Ven. Chang Wu also leads meditation retreats for more advanced practitioners, and has played an active role in organizing and contributing to scholarly conferences and interfaith dialogue around the world.
Wendi L. Adamek
Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies
Department of Classics and Religion
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB Canada T2N1N4