From the 1950s to the present, Tibetan Buddhism has been experiencing a boom in Taiwan. Chinese lay Buddhists were the pioneers before Tibetan masters were invited to teach and open centers and monasteries. Gongga Laoren (1903-1997), a Chinese laywoman who studied with Tibetan masters in Tibet in the 1940s, then fled to Hong Kong and finally to Taiwan in the late 1950s, was at the origin of the development of Tibetan Buddhism on the island. She focused on founding and growing her own community while contributing to the arrival of Tibetan masters. Her life, actions, and achievements will show the fundamentals behind the success of Tibetan Buddhism in a Han cultural milieu.
Located in the Kham region, the Dergé printing press, officially founded in 1729, is one of the most famous institutions in the Tibetan world, but its history remains relatively unknown, if not through the largely simplified versions of the kingdom's historiographers. Historians have so far focused on publishing the two great collections of the Tibetan Canon, Kangyur and Tengyur, considering the date of foundation of the building (parkhang) intended to house the xylographic blocks such as that of the beginning of the project editorial. The examination of the prints produced from the oldest blocks (from the beginning of the 18th century) nevertheless makes it possible to trace the history of the first developments of the printing press and to analyze more finely the strategy of the House of Dergé in the establishment of a company participating in the influence of the kingdom. Put in perspective with similar projects in the rest of the Tibetan world during the beginning of the 18th century will show, moreover, how these editorial companies constituted not only a religious stake but also a political one.
Tibetan cinema in Tibet, despite its short history (barely 15 years), can already boast of having seen emerging filmmakers internationally, such as Pema Tseden and Sonthar Gyal. Their films all have the background of the rural world from which they come, that is to say the Amdo, whose social upheavals they manage to represent through the itineraries of singular individuals (monk, nomadic pastor , farmer, director, trader). However, with two exceptions, male characters dominate the screen, with female roles being limited, not very audible and not very visible. We will be interested in this communication to describe and try to explain this under-representation of women in the cinema produced in Amdo today, while showing the rapid evolutions in progress.
For forty years, a corpus of dated works has made it possible to elaborate a chronology of the art of the Newars of Nepal. In her latest book, the great specialist Mary Shepherd Slusser presents carbon-14 analyzes that shatter the acquired system without offering a coherent chart of dating. This short intervention should open a debate with the public.
Considered to be one of the three great Chinese travelers who traveled to India in search of the remains of Buddhism and the texts of this religion, the monk Faxian (circa 340-around 420) is also the first of this triad, in the chronological order, with Xuanzang (602-664) and Yijing (635-713).
If the second became the ideal pilgrim, haloed by a glory gained during his lifetime, Faxian remains a pioneer whose course deserves to be revisited.
When the esoteric doctrines of the last phase of Indian Buddhism spread in Tibet, there emerged a progressive development of yogic practices and ideas that considered light as an essential ontological principle. In these traditions, we can observe an evolving model of visionary yoga.
Gradually a metaphysics of light took form that strongly characterized the yogic theory and praxis. Light was seen as the fundamental structural component of all the universe, both from a cosmological and ontological point of view.
In this lecture I will focus on the main traits of this metaphysics of light, as it emerges from the esoteric treatises of the Indian Buddhist Kālacakratantra, and of the Tibetan heterodox treatises of the Rnying ma rgyud ‘bum and of the Zhang zhung snyan rgyud.