A Paper by Prof. Kawai Published in the 7th Issue of the Investigation of Arts and Principles of Body-Mind Transformation
An English Paper by Prof. Toshio Kawai was published in the 7th Issue of the Investigation of Arts and Principles of Body-Mind Transformation, led by Prof. Toji Kamada (Institute of Grief Care, Sophia University; Religious Philosophy and Folklore, Kyoto University).
This paper focuses on the Hua Yen sutra, the Kegon (in Japanese) of Mahayana Buddhism with the aim of discussing East Asian spirituality with reference to the Japanese contributors at the Eranos conferences.
Originating in West India, the Hua Yen sutra has been influenced by the meditation experiences of the Indian people and the Central Asian mysticism of “light”.
Furthermore, the Hua Yen sutra was organized as a philosophy in China. The interpenetration of all things is the essential part of Hua Yen sutra, which is expressed in magnificent mandalas. The philosophy of the Hua Yen is distinct from alchemical “fusion” and “death and rebirth”, and can add meaning to the Jungian concepts of “symbol”, “archetype”, and “synchronicity”.
In Japan, the Hua Yen developed in the context of nature and art. In Japan, due to indigenous animistic beliefs, such as the concept of all things housing a deity, and the influence of Shinto, mandalas came to depict natural landscape. Traveling through nature on pilgrimages also became an important part of religious training in Japan.
The Japanese internalized nature by making it smaller and more aesthetic, for example, in Japanese gardens, Bonsai, Ikebana and the tea ceremony. This tradition may have contributed to the wide acceptance of Jungian psychology and sandplay therapy in Japan.
Report by Hisae Konakawa (Research fellow)
Toshio Kawai. (2018). Transformation of East Asian spirituality: with the reference to Eranos lectures. Investigation of Arts and Principles of Body-Mind Transformation, 7, 267-272.
〔Table of contents〕
1. Hua Yen sutra between nothingness and fullness
2. India and meditation
3. Central Asia and Light
4. Chinese philosophy and pragmatism
5. Japan: nature and aesthetics
You may read the annual research reports here: Investigation of Arts and Principles of Body-Mind Transformation