Preface : Catherine Despeux
Meditation lessons from ancient China
The Ming scholars (1368-164) [...] felt that "in meditation, in the mountains, the days lie down ". They listen to the streams, the waterfalls, the sounds that match the beats from the heart with a delicacy where the subtle becomes indistinguishable and indistinguishable. They enter little by little little in nature and in a state where all the sounds perceived simultaneously plunge them into the ultimate silence, where not one noise wins over another. This is "to find your Heart", in Chinese xin, a term which designates both the heart as that organ, and the mind, the center of being. [...] Many painters have thus made meditation one of the themes of their painting, theme little put forward until this study by Cédric Laurent who, through the presentation of very beautiful texts, poems and paintings, sensitizes us to this aesthetic and to this philosophy of being developed and put into practice by scholars of the Ming, a golden age for Chinese landscape painting. He makes us realize the importance of meditation in them and among the neo-Confucians, especially those from the School of the Heart, who reinterpreted the texts classics of Confucianism in relation to Buddhism and Taoism. (Extracts from the preface by Catherine Despeux)
Cédric Laurent is a lecturer (HDR) in Chinese language, literature and civilization at Rennes 2 University. He teaches Chinese language, classical literature and history of Chinese art and conducts research on the relationship between painting and literature in China.
Catherine Despeux, a well-known sinologist and author of numerous books on Taoism in particular, is professor emeritus at Inalco and administrator of the Institute of Buddhist Studies.