Guest Lecture: Pilgrimage into Freedom: a Buddhist Phenomenology of Mind

Speaker: Shaku Jinsen (KULeuven – Chingokuji, Japan)

When: 7:30–9 pm, March 13, 2019

Venue: Library Lab Magnel, Arts and Philosophy Faculty Library, Rozier 44, Ghent University

This lecture is part of the “Permanent Training in Buddhist Studies (PTBS)” Lecture Series of the Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies.


An introduction to the philosophy of Kūkai (774–835) and the Shingon-school of Japanese Buddhism.

In 9th century Japan the Buddhist monk and philosopher Kūkai devised a grand scheme incorporating all forms of knowledge known to him. Buddhist and non-Buddhist, religious and non-religious; every lifestance that had been transmitted to Japan at that point, was put together in an ascending order of spiritual depth and philosophical scope. On the basis of two of the major works of Kūkai; the’ Precious Key to the Secret Treasury’ and the ‘Ten Layers of Mind’, we will introduce the key points of this grand summary of human experience and Buddhist philosophy. We will also touch on the significance of Kūkai’s philosophy as a model for cultural/spiritual integration in Japanese culture in general, and try to ponder the possibilities and limits of this model for our (post-) modern times.​

About the Speaker:
Shaku Jinsen, KU Leuven and Chingokuji, Japan. After graduating from the Japanese Studies department at the KU Leuven University, Belgium, Shaku Jinsen received his Master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy at the University of Koyasan, Japan. He became a Buddhist monk of the Shingon-school of Japanese Buddhism. He currently resides both in Belgium and Japan, leading the Buddhist centre Yo e an in Belgium and assisting the activities of the Shingon-temple Chingokuji in Kagoshima, Japan.