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Hello everybody,

This is a brief update on what has been happening after I received my Ph.D. in East-West psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. First, I spent a year in St Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco for my residential internship in psycho-spiritual service as a Buddhist chaplain. Then, I was a teaching fellow with the East Asian Studies program of Harvard University, where I had gotten my M.A., and I chaired the Harvard Buddhist Community.

Back in China, I founded the Beijing Clear-Orientation Center for Counseling and Meditation of which I am the director today. My main work for the past ten years has been integrating psychotherapy with Buddhist practice especially meditation practices. I am deputy director and research fellow of the Hebei Research Institute of Chan Buddhism in China, deputy secretary and board member of the International Transpersonal Association, an international affiliate of American Psychological Association, and a member of International Zen Therapy Institute, a member of Chinese Society of Psychology.

Since 2009 I also have been honing on the theory and practice of the meditation-initiated integrative therapy (MIIT) and its updated version known as Grounding and Communicating as an Integrative Therapy. Currently I provide individual and group counseling as well as workshops and training programs in China and internationally.

I case you would like to read something I have written, I have published more than 30 papers in psychology, meditation and Buddhism, comparative religion in China and internationally. Among them are the pieces below.

Cheers,
ZHU Caifang (Jeremy)

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Dear all,

I have just received permission from my publisher to share my new book about Buddhism in Spain, a brand new new-release. The book can be downloaded from the zenodo platform: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4572509

You can share it with whoever you think might be interested, as it is freely available. It has two chapters in English, an introductory update on Buddhism in Spain and a presentation of some Vajrayana monasteries and retreat centres in Spain. The rest is written in Spanish.

I very much hope you will find my new book interesting!

Cheers,
Paco

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​It’s been a while since the last one, so it’s time again for an update about what happened since I moved from Rāṣṭrīya Sanskrit Sansthan to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

I am proud to report that I had the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Centre for Sanskrit Studies at JNU, as Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies in Cambodia, and as Research Associate in the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Himachal Pradesh. I was also invited to teach Buddhist Philosophy at various universities such as Latvia University in Riga and National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. Some of my papers I have written during this time can be found on https://jnu.academia.edu/httpssanskrit985wordpresscomblogabout   ​

Among the projects I have been working on is a translation project granted by Khyentse Foundation as part of the ‘Buddhist Literary Heritage Project’ (BLHP) to translate the Sutra of the “Ārya Pitā Putra Saṁvāda sūtra.” I executed the project with Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and Prof. Ani Kunga Chodron from George Washington University,’ USA. Now a new translation of Pañjikā of Prajñākaramati into English is going on. My latest book, “Essentials of Pali: Language and Literature,” will be published soon this year.

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Dear all,

I would also like to share with you the study and work with Buddhist studies I have been doing in the past years. My dissertation, under the supervision of Prof. Renger, is about the collective practice of Buddhism in contemporary China, based on my fieldwork of a group of temples and nunneries in Mainland China conducted in 2014-2018. Most recently, I had the pleasure of publishing an article on Buddhist leadership transition in the Journal of the Oxford Center for Buddhist Studies (JOCBS) in 2020. My research topic continues with contemporary Chinese Buddhism, with particular interests in and focuses on Buddhist nuns, common Buddhist practices in urban areas, Buddhist charities, Buddhist material culture, and Buddhist leadership of the younger generation in China today. I look forward to hearing about other similar projects!

Kind regards,
Yuanying

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Dear all,

I also wanted to tell you about the things I have been doing in relation to Buddhist studies in the past years. Perhaps you already know that my research is focused on Buddhism in Spain. It is part of a more general research on religions and religious minorities in Spain. I have just updated my page about the research project of Buddhism in Spain that I have been developing in the last decade. The publications generally include links to pdfs. You find the web page here: http://historel.webs.ull.es/budesp/budengl.html

Cheers,
Paco

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Hello from Daniela Campo

Hello,

Here’s an update for the network. Since a few years, I am based at the University of Strasbourg in France. My research focuses on the evolution of Chinese Buddhism in the twentieth-century; so far, I have especially worked on Buddhist hagiographies, monastic codes, and Dharma lineages. Although I am an historian, I always try to take into consideration the impact that religious phenomena of the Republican period (1912–1949) have in contemporary China: this approach provides me in fact with an excuse to do fieldwork in Chinese Buddhist monasteries as often as I can! Collective projects are one way of doing research I especially like, as I always feel greatly inspired and enriched by exchanges with colleagues approaching the same topic from different angles and perspectives; these projects also represent for me an inspiring way to shift to new research themes, and to add a strong interpersonal dimension to my work. That is why, since I finished my doctorate in 2011, I took part in four different projects, before launching one with my friend and colleague Ester Bianchi (Perouse University) on the reinstatement of Vinaya in China and Taiwan in the twentieth century (https://vinayarevival.com/). Ester and I had the chance to work for three years (from 2015 to 2018) with an amazing team of international scholars, and the generous funding granted by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation allowed us to organize conferences in Italy and Taiwan, including group fieldworks to relevant sites in both countries! We are now busy with the edition of the volume. I recently joined a brand new collaborative project launched by Vincent Goossaert (Chinese Religious Text Authority 宗教書籍規範索引: CRTA), which aims at building a collaborative catalogue database mapping late-Imperial and Republican Chinese religious texts. The first CRTA workshop reuniting more than twenty specialists from all over the world took place in the French Alps in December 2019, and it was just amazing to translate and analyze different Chinese religious texts working in small teams with colleagues. This year, I have embarked on two new exciting researches: I am writing a monograph on a large Chan female monastery in Jiangxi based on materials that I have gathered in almost fifteen years, and I have begun a long-term research on the new Buddhist genre of sermons or religious instructions having emerged during the first half of the twentieth century.

Very best,
daniela campo

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Hello from Patrice Ladwig

Hello,

Here also a small update for the webpage from my side. Since 2018 I have been working at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen, Germany), and carry out research in the context of the Max Planck-Cambridge Centre for the Study of Ethics, Human Economy and Social Change (‘Max-Cam’). My project focuses on recent economic transformations in Laos, and their impact on Buddhist institutions and practices. After a long period of isolation following the communist revolution in 1975, the politics of reform, and investments from neighboring countries have lead to substantial economic growth in urban areas of Laos. In my research, I want to trace the effects of the expanding economy onto the religious field, and especially rituals. I am trying to understand how and why specific actors channel parts of their new acquired wealth into Buddhist rituals, and thereby support temples and Buddhist institutions.

In 2019 I stayed in Laos for several months, and first undertook fieldwork in the capital Vientiane. There I worked with Buddhist ritual lay-specialist called mo phon who officiate at certain life-cycle rituals, in case of illness etc. My main interest here was to analyze how the remuneration for these ritual services and the associated moral economy have changed, and how these ritual specialists now care for a diversified, but also socially stratified audience. I also worked with businesses and companies, which perform large group donations and renovate Buddhist temples. Some more vignettes of my fieldwork on Buddhism and the economy can be found here:

The second part of fieldwork was carried out in large monastery school outside of Luang Prabang in northern Laos. About 500 pupils (mostly from very poor countryside families) live and learn in this Buddhist boarding school, which is largely financed by donations by wealthy Lao. The monastery school in this sense acts as an institution that redistributes wealth.n The school has also become a migration node for young men from impoverished families from rural areas. Temporary ordination as a novice or monk enables them to get a better education. After they have taken their final examinations, they disrobe and move on to live in urban areas.

At the moment I am still busy publishing results from past projects, some of which were more historically oriented. With my colleague Gregory Kourilsky (École française d’Extrême-Orient, Vientiane) I undertook research on Buddhist law financed by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies (2017-19), Additionally to my anthropological research, I continue publishing on Buddhism under colonialism and during the Cold War in Southeast Asia.

Kind regards, Patrice Ladwig

Link 1, 2, 3

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Hello everyone,

like Dan, I would also like to report on my recent work and progress. My fieldwork, which is the basis for my PhD, took place in 2013-2014 in Thailand in the Santi Asoke communities. Since then, I have compiled my thesis and continued work under the supervision of Prof. Renger. I have also had the opportunity to present at conferences from the American Academy of Religion (AAR) in San Diego, the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS) in Austria, and the “Cultural Transformations of Buddhism Today Workshop” at Peking University, Beijing, as well as at my home base at the Freie Universität. I also had the pleasure of publishing a chapter in Karma Lekshe Tsomo’s edited volume Buddhist Feminisms and Femininities in 2019. Most recently, the University Alliance for Sustainability (UAS) has granted me a junior research stay at the University of British Columbia, Canada (UBC) for the last two months of 2019. My research topic continues with contemporary Buddhism, however within a Canadian context as my case study is based on the Thai Forest monastery, Birken, an off-grid monastery in British Columbia almost entirely run off of sustainable and reusable technology. My current projects are opening unexpected doors and I look forward to continuing my research and completing the final stages of my PhD in the upcoming year. I look forward to hearing about other current developments or similar projects!

Kind regards,
Robekkah

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We would like to draw your attention to an exciting project of the Saxon Academy of Sciences on Buddhist cave complexes in the region of Kucha, located on the northern Silk Road in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. These caves house impressive wall paintings (approximately from the 5th to 10th centuries) which are currently being fully made accessible, documented, and scientifically evaluated. The goal is to document and evaluate the iconographic programme as well as the image content of the paintings in an historico-cultural manner, including their literary basis, and where applicable, their affiliation to Buddhist schools. In the process, influences of pictorial traditions from India, Iran, classical antiquity, and China are also examined. This project will create the world’s largest centre for research on the Kucha paintings at the Academy in Leipzig, in cooperation with scholars in various European countries, China, Japan, and the USA.

One of our members, Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Monika Zin, is involved in the project as research team leader. For more information, click here.

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Hello from Dan Smyer Yu

Dear all,

It’s been over five years since I moved from Germany to Yunnan, China. I took a faculty appointment in fall 2014 as a professor of anthropology and the founding director of the Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies at Yunnan Minzu University. Recently Yunnan University offered me a Kuige Professorship in Ethnology. It’s a good one that I couldn’t turn down. The title “Kuige” is associated with the legacy of the late ethnologist Fei Xiaotong, a student of Malinowki and the founding father of China’s ethnology. “Kuige” is the abbreviated name of a local deity temple outside Kunming. The full name is “Kuixingge.” During WWII, the whole department of anthropology/ethnology at Peking University was relocated to Kunming, Yunnan Province due to Japanese invasion. Prof. Fei and six other prominent scholars came to Kunming; however, Japanese were flying in from Burma to bomb Kunming. So they took refuge in Kuige Temple to continue their ethnological work under the auspice of Yunnan University. So here I am having a small fraction of Fei’s charisma :). My current research is in the direction of Himalayan Buddhism, Buddhism and Himalayan geopolitics, environmental humanities, indigenous ecological wisdoms, and Buddhism hybridized with indigenous religious practices. Here’s a link to one of my recent publications: https://www.aup.nl/en/book/9789462981928/trans-himalayan-borderlands.

Very best,
Dan Smyer Yu

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