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Zen Patriarchs and Art
Dharma Realm Buddhist University’s fall 2017 public lecture series is off to an exciting start, with a presentation by Dr. Chang Qing on “The Spirit of Meditation: Zen Patriarchs and Art,” held at the Sudhana Center.
Dr. Qing specializes in Chinese Buddhist art, including Buddhist architecture, sculpture, and painting. He received his B.A and M.A. from the Archaeology Department at Beijing University and his Ph.D. from the Art History Department at the University of Kansas.
Dr. Qing’s lecture merged his study of the lineage of Chinese Buddhist Patriarchs with illustrations and examples found in Chinese Buddhist art.
A part of the talk covered paintings of the lineage of Chinese Buddhist patriarchs found in the caves of China. Among these was Bodhidharma, an Indian Buddhist monk who brought the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha from India to China, thus making him the first in the lineage of Chinese Buddhist patriarchs.
Brianna, an M.A. student, was struck by Dr. Qing having shown “a hard to believe myth: Bodhidharma surfing down a river on a reed. It made me reflect: Did this really happen? A hefty guy on a reed; it’s magical. Whether it happened or not, it’s an interesting story, and makes you curious to learn more about this person.”
Dr. Qing left students wondering and open to other alternative ways of being, or at the very least, led them to suspend judgment with regard to what is or is not possible.