Summer 2012 Buddhism Programs

Two 2012 Woodenfish Summer Programs, one in Taiwan and one in China, aim to introduce students and faculty to various aspects of Buddhism:


Date: July 15 to August 12, 2012

Venue: Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Applicants: Undergraduates and graduates

Application deadline: April 15, 2012 (Rolling Basis Selection)

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Program Content: The Woodenfish program is designed to immerse Westerners in Buddhist monastic life, and give them first-hand experience with Zen that would likely be unavailable to them in their home countries. This year Woodenfish will be held in conjunction with another annual program at Fo Guang Shan Monastery: The World Youth Summit on Interfaith and Cross-Cultural Education, which gathers together students from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China—many of whom already have first-hand experience with Zen Buddhism—for the purpose of discussion, practice, and self-cultivation.  By combining these two programs this year, Fo Guang Shan hopes to facilitate greater cross-cultural, interfaith dialogue and to provide more opportunities for students from various countries and different backgrounds to exchange their ideas, learn from one another, and develop lasting friendships.  This year’s Woodenfish Program is divided into four main segments: 14-day Orientation, Monastic Lifestyle & Classes; 7-day silent meditation retreat; 5-day cross-cultural exchange; and 5-day cultural tour of Taiwan.


Date: June 25 – July 10, 2012

Venue: Mt Putuo, Mt Tiantai and ‘Five Mountains and Ten Monasteries’ in the Song

Applicants: Faculty, graduates and uppper-level undergraduates

Application deadline: April 15, 2012 (Rolling Basis Selection)


Program Content: “Buddhism in China” is an annual program, sponsored by the Woodenfish Project, that offers graduate students and advanced undergraduates opportunities for direct and intensive engagement with important historical centers of Chinese Buddhism and culture. The 2012 program focuses on visits to sites in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. We will visit important sites on sacred mountains, Mt Putuo (the abode of Avalokiteśvara, one of four great Bodhisattvas in China), Mt Tiantai (the home of Tiantai Buddhism), and most of eminent temples and monasteries in Suzhou and Hangzhou, including “the Five Mountains and Ten Monasteries” named in the Song Dynasty. In addition, we will visit Daoist Temple in that area. Through personal tours of these locations, participants gain on-the-ground knowledge of the history and diversity of Buddhism in China, its relationship to other cultural institutions, and its ongoing vitality. Special attention is given to providing participants with access to potential sources and avenues for research. Another of the program’s aims is to promote interactions with Chinese scholars and religious professionals.

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