Com in seminars organized by the Swiss Pavilion of the “focus” of Buddhism.
Now in China social has appeared a is obviously of social phenomenon, is “religious” of resurgence, social began general concern religious, this “concern” is from Visual level first began of, because many people and no opportunities contact to religious of taught acting was internal ceremony, but first from some external “Visual” symbol began familiar this unit religious resurgence, many theme, and symbol more is to Visual of experience form began slowly return to social daily experience among.
For example, we know there are many “religious” activities related to, for example, charges the Zen and yoga activities, although these “religious” background was weak or strong, but the Basic is derived from the traditional religious forms. Why is this paid-for religious spending? One important reason for this is because today’s society contains a strong sense of religious needs. From the fields of religion, education and market behavior often mixed together, if only from an external perspective, we can easily see that the logic of consumerism, and religion appears often as a commodity, for example, now often see some of the so-called Club-style meditation, gathering activities, often with a strong religious and cultural consumption. In fact, judging from the Buddhist community, Chan Buddhist “commercialized” is not new, but from the Ming and Qing dynasties onwards the religious market normal trading activity, so many monks in modern times is committed to the Elimination of the Chan Buddhist “commercialized”.
Therefore, from an external perspective, consumerism is today “religious revival” a feature of “religion” or “types of religious” gradually produce new model of consumerism. After rapid growth in wealth as modern people, it needs to provide spiritual goods. Whether it is meditation or, there are a variety of “types of religious” experiences, and even some forms on the surface to be “spiritual” activity, but there is still a strong logic of consumerism. It is a derivative of the consumerism trend of contemporary China, especially the metropolis like Shanghai, is obvious. Some relations between believers and temples, for instance, is often connected through a variety of ritual activities, when temple ceremonies, they will be handed over to the temple funds, monks blessing, salvation and so on, they simply give money, meaning loss of Dharma education, seen from the outside, it evolved into a market transaction.
Of course, all kinds of gathering activity the more stylish, held in temples, clubs, cafés and other space incense road, harp road, ceremony, although not necessarily all of these activities are presided over by religious people, but also tend to have some visual characteristics of Buddhism and Taoism, for example on the “Zen” of symbols, and so on. Which is, of course, in order to meet the needs of the emerging class of spirit, this type of market consumption patterns than in front of the temple to support mode is “religious”, but its visual characteristics tend to be religious. Of course, in the field of consumer, because their motives are often involved in such activities is out of the worldly life does not meet, is attracted by the sanctity of religious, often not from the market logic to understand. In addition to yoga, chicken soup for the soul, spiritual growth, such as the name of various training courses, its more obvious characteristics of market logic, but this kind of activity, often there are the core of “spiritual teacher”, mentor and student relationship will be more complex.
Watch the contemporary resurgence of traditional religion, another important external perspective is the cultural identity dimension. For example, some of our popular middle-class lifestyle, with obvious religious symbols for many features, but sometimes we are not fully aware of. Such as muji product philosophy behind the “minimalist” concept, and “Zen” philosophy is closely related to the religious ideas and symbols because it is intimate, but not so much think of the “religious” aspect, but rather as a sort of inherent cultural identity. City Hall managing large trash Let rubbish into
Of course such as the guqin, the tea ceremony, calligraphy, heat and so on, in fact, have to do with cultural identity, but these cultural forms is often with Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism as a whole hook up, so we sometimes do not bother to think they belong to a particular religion, but we often through these visual symbols, a visual identity is closely linked with Buddhism and Taoism culture them. Of course, in the resurgence of the traditional culture in the process of all religions for some segments like “Zen tea” symbols often associated with Buddhism. On traditional culture and daily level, we can observation to many similar of phenomenon, even we itself are began was involvement to such of field domain among, like I has been preference coffee, but recently years, found many of friends are began concern drink tea, in home decorative Shang also began will “tea” of elements introduced, this is both strange also is normal of a phenomenon, because religious began through these culture of Visual symbol began again returns to daily.
Dang consumption doctrine, and material doctrine increasingly flourished of when, public on sacred sex, and beyond sex of pursuit on began natural appeared has, this is human spirit development of a important traits, dang material desire level reached must of degree, will makes spirit level of pursuit began appeared, despite this spiritual life of sought often also does not must purely, and and material doctrine, and habitual of culture identity related, but this is is economic fast development of social by will by of a article path. For example most of the 80 ‘s and 90 ‘s you by literary, artistic works attain a sense of meaning in life, when many of the cultural vanguard movements are a form of expressing themselves through a renewed search for meaning. Next, I’m going to “Visual” to show you some.
First incense to pray is the Spring Festival pictures, this is more common in recent years, “Visual”, of course, we can easily associate with the model of consumerism, such behavior can also be called a culture of identity, is a cultural custom. People with Buddhas and bodhisattvas through incense formed some sort of interest within the meaning of the exchange relationship, I burned incense, gods or Buddhas, bodhisattvas and their family will be blessed to me. This logic of consumerism with the spirits lurking in the deep consciousness of our nation, and has been hidden, when people lack a sense of time, tend to fall into similar to the Taoist temple to pray, this is an unconscious Act. So we can pay attention to, and burned incense to pray why are becoming more and more popular over the years, even with a “crazy”, participants in burning incense around the lunar new year’s day every year, not only the blessing are middle-aged and older, young emerging sectors are slowly join the ranks of blessing, all in news coverage every spring festival, you can observe very clearly. What did that prove? This part of the young middle-class groups, in their educational experience and not much traditional cultural background, he grew up living in a religious environment, has today become participants in a religious site, in fact, is more or less for the anxieties of life, the sense of malaise about the future of the future, that is, lack of significance.
Second is an old house converted private clubs and clubs in this category today, more and more, and most of them are based on Confucian culture as the core. Such a “traditional religious culture” of space, the audience began to expand into a number of emerging sectors, such as entrepreneurs, public officials, celebrities, and so on. Observe this kind of space, for most people, most can be described as some kind of interpersonal space, but as above, this category “types of religious” appearance of the space, and above consumerism, cultural identity and the meaning of anxiety related. This a class although has must of social status, but in culture identity Shang basically is blank, they how many on traditional culture some identity, more important of, they inside has disturbed sense, dang I yiqian for field interview Shi, had with some similar class of people Exchange, on obviously feel they life meaning of sense actually pretty strongly, certainly this sense is complex, not only has purely spirit Shang upgrade of pursuit, also and on reality wealth changes of anxiety about.
There is, of course, the so-called middle-class culture, in recent years, some groups began trying to escape from the city, pursuing a certain ideal of idyllic, secluded life and urban culture is more or less a certain degree of criticism and discontent. But this “culture” is an obscure hybrid, and consumerism also closely together, that is, “life is elsewhere” also can be made into a variety of products for consumption. In this cultural movement, Visual symbols of the religion are very obvious. Now concern the zhongnan mountain seclusion, is a case in point. In our Web search Zhong will find middle class emerging class of urban and rural life on an imaginary, “Zhong Nanshan,” this symbol following some sort of comfort. They seem as long as far away from the city, will be able to settle in Paradise soul. But in fact, the group is unlikely to care about their spiritual resources which systems, Confucianism and Taoism or Buddhism, they use “religious symbols” are mixed, there is no clear religious affiliation. They just urban culture, materialism, consumerism is very resentful, will enter the forest, “Zhong Nanshan,” has also gradually became a symbol of resistance to urban life.
So today’s religious or “class of religion” (also referred to as spiritual) symbols, probably can be observed in terms of the above, which essentially reflects today’s return of religious movements, of course, the religion needs to put a quotation mark. While it may represent a simple dissatisfaction with consumerism, but he may appear as a very commercial. Now run many of the for-profit tea, sweet soon, will actually foster a operating as a market of “spiritual marketing”, and include a tea ceremony, incense, yoga, meditation, and so on, was supposed to get rid of consumerism, the “spiritual” movements at this time back to the logic of consumerism.
Our “traditional religions” and “Watch” which will be found? Traditional religion in modern society has started a number of heterogeneous content, monks, using mobile phones, for instance, is often seen as incompatible with the traditional Buddhist image. This Zhang photos is Shanghai University next of a temple, building layout are compared traditional, but the monk monks is is a Deputy foreigners faces, although we will think such of picture compared “aesthetic”, but this “watched” is still let we was some strange, we where of culture, and group identity makes we on Buddhist of cognitive still some preconceptions, we will on this dressed in Han biography monk clothing of Westerners how many will feel strange, but in Taiwan, such of “Visual symbol” is easy see.
Certainly, traditional religious of different quality of, or said “modern”, still is in transformation of process in the, like this Zhang released Zhang photos is Swiss as Museum exhibition of works, participate in crowd still is to old mainly, still has representative traditional Buddhist of Visual features, is old of lay groups mainly, this and we General on Buddhist of “aging” is anastomosis of, despite behind is Pudong of modern building, but such of Buddhist image looks still is old, and traditional of.
Question: I think Han Buddhism full secularization, what do you think about it?
Cheng Qing: the decline of Buddhism in China there are a variety of reasons, and now Taiwan representing another possibility of rehabilitation, city, can achieve, but I am not sure. In traditional social in, Imperial, and literati and Buddhist of relationship is close, but in today of China social in, social elite is and Buddhist of relationship very alienation, everyone by see of Buddhist image, in public space in most is released, and incense and so on, and mass released also brings has many negative of perception, this let many social elite from outside phase Shang on hard accept, because they regardless of is from behavior mode also is aesthetic fun aspects, are cannot accept this Buddhist of symbol. Although now starting to reconnect with the mainstream sectors of society such as entrepreneurs, celebrities, but most Buddhist close, simply feed, and in teaching and practice, is very rare. Intellectuals close to Buddhism was relatively small, at best, be seen as part of traditional culture. Of course, I think it is possible to change, albeit slowly.
Question: should this change from inside, outside there is no significant change.
Cheng Qing: of course, you can’t just blame external community, essentially because Buddhism is only available for rendering the contents. Just like people to burn incense, temples and very disgusted, but he cannot reject, because it is the general belief of the Chinese model, so for thousands of years, and folk belief after being diluted, he can only come to burn incense to the Buddhist temples to pray for, Buddhist temples also cannot provide the appropriate education.
Question: we’ve had a lot of people, they put their homes in Shanghai sold, money donated to the temple, behind the behavior of our message is superstition, explained that monasteries was old-age security.
Cheng Qing: in fact, just like us, today, religion has many inherent difficulties, many temples and Buddhism without too much education, but as a family, you have to convey certain basic Buddhist principle of believers. So often say, you want to do more charity, charity have any merit, but this kind of information, if not behind teachings and practice support, finally is easy to fall into the world’s trading patterns. As a temple and needs believers support from believers, they need a spiritual Temple to settle, but if there is no continuing education on Buddhism, it will generate a lot of disputes and conflicts, in fact, very much these phenomena in the Buddhist community. If religion is not a reasonable education, participants will always be at the level of this trade to practice religion. For example used to tackle the burning incense to pray? We teach level can be explained, but the problem is how to explain, let believers to truly understand. But we generally explain the logic is, to support you, Buddha will bless you, the logic chain is problematic, that’s superstition.
Question: where is this fundamental? The emergence of this behavior probably is related to the system, because our system is not supporting religion, religious support is very small.
Cheng Qing: I personally think that the stage. In 30 years in the process of development, is a process of strong accumulation of resources, because the Temple had been destroyed in the past, need to amass funds for construction, so this generation of monks whose main mission is to restore the temple. But this generation of monks for Buddhist study and practice will be lacking, but this is the Mission of this generation of a family. But today those 20 or 30 monks, will teach and practice level gradually, if such a trend continues, perhaps the next 20 years will appear a different image of monks. Today Taiwan Buddhist position is higher, mainly due to the late 60 ‘s and 70 ‘s had a lot of college students to learn the Buddha, monks, eventually went to Japan and the United States received doctorate in Buddhism, resulting in social status in the Buddhist community as a whole follow up. But on the Mainland, does not have the means to have such a group, this is a staged process, but I think this is the future direction of development of Buddhism in China.
Because, historically, the inheritance rely on the teachings and practice of Dharma, practice behind a system theory to support, we know what is the truth behind the phenomenon, not simply think that it’s just about the mythology of gods, bodhisattvas. Enhance the education level in the Buddhist community, are today must go to efforts of Chinese Buddhism, again revived Chinese missionary, if there are no teachings, you see the temple, still a simple prayer and superstition.