Buddhist Meditation and Generosity to Chinese Buddhists during the COVID-19 Pandemic


In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
Ampere A. Tseng (曾安培) Professor Emeritus and Director, Manufacturing Institute, Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona USA

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This article studies the practices of meditation and generosity among Chinese Buddhists in 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak to provide insight into the interplay of religion, faith, well-being, and the pandemic more broadly, as well as to understand the specific ways in which Chinese Buddhists may draw on their faith to combat the ill effects of the pandemic. In particular, we trace the experience of Chinese Buddhists in mainland China, Taiwan, the United States, and other countries, identifying two popular Buddhist practices: meditation and generosity. We study their motivation for those practices, and the different ways Buddhist sites have sought to remain active in offering services to followers. We explore the role of faith in nurturing resiliency in the Chinese Buddhist community and conclude with specific recommendations for the prosperity of Chinese Buddhism during a pandemic and for leveraging specific tenets of the faith to reduce pandemic risks.

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