Although commonly thought of as Japanese and known in America by its Japanese name, Zen, Chan Buddhism was truly made in China and was heavily influenced by Daoism. Chan has had a profound influence on Chinese and East Asian art and thought, but this philosophy remains relevant to modern life in both the East and West. Students will be introduced to the spirit of Chan through modern Mandarin interpretations of classic Chinese, Chan poems and stories. Students will explore Chan while building on their competencies in listening, speaking, reading and writing Mandarin Chinese.
Each class or every other class, students will be given a different Chan classic translated into modern Chinese along with a vocabulary list and grammar points for that reading. Students will be expected to read the text and prepare to discuss it in Chinese with the teacher and classmates during the next class meeting.