[KS] Korean Buddhist Meditation conference, retreat, and tour (Buswell)

Buswell, Robert buswell at humnet.ucla.edu
Fri Mar 4 15:32:31 EST 2011

Kanhwa Sŏn Meditation Conference, Retreat, and Tour (Buswell)
I am pleased to announce that Dongguk University and the Chogye Order of Korean Buddhism are offering scholars (and perhaps a few graduate students) in Buddhist Studies and Korean Religions the opportunity to join a retreat, conference, and tour related to Kanhwa Sŏn看話禪 (the “observing the keyword” meditative technique, the Korean counterpart of kōan meditation) in Korea, August 15-23, 2011. These events are being scheduled to coincide with a two-day international conference on Kanhwa Sŏn to be held at Dongguk University, which will be a follow-up to a similar conference that I coordinated last year. The conference schedule is already set, so participants in this program are not expected to deliver a paper; they need only be in attendance.
The conference will be preceded by a four-day Kanhwa Sŏn retreat specifically tailored for professors and scholars, which will be led by Subul Sŭnim, one of the most renowned contemporary teachers of this meditative technique in Korea today. Subul Sŭnim has designed an approach to Kanhwa Sŏn that speeds the development of “doubt” so that retreatants quickly generate a “personal experience” (ch’ehŏm  體驗). The retreats are done free-style, so retreatants may tailor their practice to fit their needs (and knees!).  I participated in one of Subul Sŭnim’s retreats a couple of years ago and found his approach to be extremely effective; it gave me real insights into the purpose and value of the Kanhwa Sŏn technique.
After the conference, participants will be escorted on a tour of traditional Kanhwa Sŏn monastic centers deep in the mountains of the Korean peninsula.  In addition to visiting some pristine Buddhist monastic sites, some of which are even off-limits to laypersons, participants will also have a chance to meet and talk together with several advanced monastic practitioners and teachers of Kanhwa Sŏn. A similar tour after our conference last year was a real hit among the Western scholars who participated.
For those scholars who do not speak Korean, translation between Korean and English will be provided during all the events.

The retreat will be held August 15-19; the conference August 20-21, and the tour August 22-23, 2011. Participants should plan to arrive in Seoul by August 14 and depart on August 24th; you are free to make your own travel arrangements.

All expenses in-country (lodging, meals, transportation) will be covered by Dongguk University and the Chogye Order; participants are only responsible for their own international airfare to and from Korea (airfares will not be reimbursed).

If you are interested, please apply by sending an email request and a CV to me, Robert Buswell (Buswell at humnet.ucla.edu<mailto:Buswell at humnet.ucla.edu>), and Professor Ryan Bongseok Joo (bjoo at hampshire.edu<mailto:bjoo at hampshire.edu>) of Hampshire College. Deadline for applications is 15 May 2011. Both of us will be present throughout all three events.


Robert Buswell
Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies
Director, Center for Buddhist Studies, UCLA
Director, Academy of Buddhist Studies (Pulgyo Haksurwon), Dongguk University, Seoul
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