DRBU Seminar


A Special Seminar in the Arts


Professor Yang Chien-tien addresses students at DRBU's Chinwan Arts School Summer Seminar graduation exercises.
Show seated to his left are: Professor
Yang Ying-feng, Professor
Mikio Katagiri, Prof.
Doug Dounard representing Prof. John B. Tzu,
Dharma Master Heng Kuan, Dharma Master Heng Shun, Prof. Fred Kuo, and Prof. Tanaka.  

      "Who would ever have thought that we would come to America and find Bodhidharma? And which of you students ever dreamed that you could study art, by pulling your legs up into meditation?" These were a few of the remarks made by Professor Tanaka, newly appointed Assistant Dean of Dharma Realm Buddhist University's Chinwan Arts School, during graduation exercises for summer students held last month.

Dharma Realm's Summer Program included a three week intensive seminar entitled "Art, Religion, and the Human Spirit." This was the first sponsored by DRUB as part of the Chinwan-Toyama Consortium, a Chinwan Arts School and Toyama College of Arts and Crafts of Toyama, Japan.

The three week intensive was designed so that participants would, along with practical instruction in the arts, examine the intrinsic spiritual nature of any artistic endeavor, and learn to apply their understanding of this nature in the practical application of their art. Ideally, if art is based on high spiritual principles, and is in accord with the artist's self nature, the art will benefit people, enhance the environment; be ecologically sound, and non-harming.

The program (see daily schedule) included a series of lectures given by the Dharma Realm faculty at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas on the subject of the theme of the seminar, daily meditation periods and instructional talks given by Dharma Masters from Tathagata Monastery, instruction in T'ai Chi Ch'uan, and six hours a day of courses in architectural design, photography, general art, a course comprising seven field trips on the subject of art and architecture in the Bay Area, and graphic arts. Students took as many as three courses and received 1 1/2 units per course; some students also received one unit for an intensive in English as a Second Language.

      The program was set up by Art School Dean YuYu Yang. Professor Mikio Katagiri, President of Toyama College, accompanied students from Japan and joined the Chinwan staff during the seminar. Professors Fred Kuo, Yang Chien-tien, and Liu Kuo-chi provided much of the instruction. A student summed up the impressions of many who attended the seminar saying, "The discipline and spiritual vigor of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Dharma Realm were not at all what we expected, and we were surprised and found it difficult at first. I couldn't understand why people would want to pursue such a rigorous spiritual discipline in this modern age, and frankly, I didn't feel like participating. After living at Dharma Realm for a while, however, I began to see life in Japan and the life I saw on the field trips in a different way, and I began to see the importance and the need for the work that is going on at Dharma Realm. Now that the seminar is over I can honestly say that I have gained an important new perspective on my work as a student of architecture."



+ 3:45 AM rise (morning boards)
+ 4:00 AM Morning chanting in Tathagata Monastery
+ 4:50 AM tea and fruit
+ 5:00 AM Meditation
* 6:00 AM rise
* 6:00 AM T'ai Chi Ch'uan
  7:15 AM breakfast
* 8:00 AM morning classes
*10:00 AM morning meditation period with instructional talk
 11:00 AM lunch
 11:30 AM free time
* 1:30 PM afternoon classes
* 4:30 PM afternoon meditation and instructional talk
  5:30 PM super
  6:00 PM free time
+ 7:00 PM evening chanting
* 7:45 PM a series of lectures on art, religion, and the human spirit
  9:00 PM free time
*10:00 PM start resting for tomorrow


Students watch a demonstration of Kuo Tsai Lee's skill at the pottery wheel during the Chinwan Art School Semonar held at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas as part of Dharma Realm University's summer program.