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Chinese Insights: Gong’an (Koan) and Chan (Zen)

Calendar Monday, 20 May 2024
Calendar 12:00-13:30


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Picture of a Buddhist statue against a tree and sky backdrop, with Chinese flower graphics next to the image - Llun o gerflun Bwdhaidd gyda choeden ac awyr yn gefndir, a graffeg blodau Tsieineaidd wrth ymyl y ddelwedd
Understanding Chan through the introduction of some Gong’an (Koan) stories
Monday 20 May 2024
Room 1.77/Council Chamber, Main Building
12:00 to 13:30
Open to all

Chan Buddhist is the most Chinese Buddhist school. It originated from India, was formed in China, and then spread to Japan. It was translated into Zen in Japan and was introduced to the Western world at the end of 19th century.

Chan lets one see one’s nature and become a buddha through pointing directly to the human mind. How do you directly point to the human mind and give people a sudden enlightenment? One of the important ways is the Gong’an (Koan).

This talk will give the audience a general understanding of Chan through the introduction of some Gong’an (Koan) stories.

Chinese Insights talks, led by tutors from the Cardiff Confucius Institute, offer a great opportunity to delve deeper into Chinese culture and language. From learning about traditional Chinese tea to Beijing Opera and the art of paper cutting and origami, there’s something for everyone to discover and enjoy.

Event format 

The event will take place in person.

Simultaneous translation

The event will be delivered in the medium of English. You are welcome to ask questions in the medium of Welsh during the Q&A session. If you intend to do this, please contact by Wednesday 8 May to request simultaneous translation.

Please note that 10% or more of those planning to attend will need to request this provision in order for it to be sourced and will be subject to resource availability.


Please register for the event.

We apologise that the entire registration page is not available in the medium of Welsh.  Unfortunately, the platform we use does not offer this service.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment has been conducted for this event. If you would like to see a copy of the risk assessment, email

Data protection notice

Please note that when registering, your data will be held in accordance with our Data Protection Notice. We will process the personal data you provide to us in accordance with data protection regulations.

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Room 1.77/Council Chamber
Main Building
Park Place
CF10 3AT

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