Course Memo

SPRING 2022: This course will survey the historical and philosophical development and practice of Zen, as it is called in Japan, or Ch'an in Chinese, Son in Korean. We will read and discuss writings from dynamic major figures in the tradition from China, Korea, and Japan, such as Bodhidarma, Hui-neng, Pai-chang, Chao-chou, Tung-shan, and Yun-men in China, Chinul in Korea, and Dogen, Ikkyu, Hakuin, and Ryokan in Japan. We will examine the religious import of their colorful teaching stories, as well as how these stories were used in Zen practice. Related to these figures we will explore major themes such as monastic set-ups, societal influences, and ritual enactments. We will explore major practices including strategies for meditation, with instruction in experiential engagement in some of these practices. We will also look at the historical and cultural impact of Ch'an/Zen, including the development of the Way of Tea and its associated arts and Samurai Zen in Japan. We will conclude with some consideration of modern developments and Zen's popular importation to the West. [20 max enrollment; PIN code required]

SPRING 2023: A survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices and textual traditions of Zen Buddhism as this tradition developed in China, Korea, Japan, and its contemporary transmission to the West. Socio- historical aspects of the tradition’s development and history will also be considered.