fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Barbara Reed 李柏嵐

Barbara Reed 李柏嵐
Barbara E. Reed is a 2016-17 Taiwan Fulbright Senior Scholar hosted by Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts in the Jinshan District of Taipei. She taught a graduate seminar on comparative religious texts and did research on the development of modern Buddhist universities in Taiwan. She is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Teaching in a Buddhist Pure Land: A Fulbright scholar on Dharma Drum Mountain

For one semester, I taught and conducted research in a Buddhist Pure Land! I spent the 2016 fall semester on Dharma Drum Mountain, a green mountainous Buddhist community located in Jinshan District, north of Taipei. This Buddhist community includes the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, where I taught a graduate seminar on Comparative Religious Texts. The Dharma Drum Mountain is also home to a 4-year Sangha University to train Buddhist monks and nuns as well as the international headquarters of Dharma Drum organization, known as the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education and the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies. Life on a Buddhist Mountain My life on the mountain was ideal for health, contemplation, and research. I ate the simple Buddhist vegetarian meals of rice, tofu, and vegetables—eating breakfast and dinner in silent rows with everyone facing the same direction. At times, I found the Chan Buddhist practice of eating in silence a surprising relief from struggling to keep up with Chinese conversations at meals. I was welcomed to eat lunch with the faculty in their dining room, who were the only ones who spoke during noontime meals. But even there, I felt that there was a

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal