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English>>Life & Culture

Where to find inner peace in the busy

By Li Yuting (Global Times)

11:15, November 16, 2012


It's still hardly a mainstream pursuit, but there are more and more city dwellers looking for interesting ways to find inner peace in the busy, urban lives. And studying aspects of traditional Chinese culture in order to achieve this is becoming an increasingly attractive option.

Traditional Chinese culture, known as guoxue in Chinese, or simplified to "sinology" in English, covers a wide range of subjects, including ancient book reading, writing, calligraphy, guqin playing, tea-ceremony arranging, and period-costume dressing among others.

These facets of ancient Chinese life began to be readily re-explored by locals in Shanghai about a decade ago. To begin with, a number of courses and lectures were set up by Shanghai institutes such as Fudan University and East China Normal University. And today there is a wide range of venues and institutes offering classes in these arts and crafts to the general public.

Guoxue Xinzhi

The sinology club Guoxue Xinzhi features several series of activities that promote traditional Chinese culture. One of these series, known as Xinzhi School, is dedicated to the academic study of classic literary texts. Zuo Zhuan (Zuo's Commentary on Spring and Autumn Annals) and Li Ji (Book of Rites) are two of the most commonly studied books.

And every month, the Guoxue Excellent Lecture is held at Jing'an Book Club (located on Weihai Road), highlighting cultural topics such as novels including A Dream of Red Mansions, and ancient wares. Meanwhile, the Haishang Boya Forum gives participants an incisive look into the history of Shanghai. Guoxue Xinzhi also offer events centered around Han costumes, as well as calligraphy courses. Most of the invited lecturers or teachers are from universities and have extensive expertise in traditional Chinese culture.

"Guoxue is also a lifestyle, and it emphasizes self-cultivation and the inner peace of a person," Xu Yuan, founder of Guoxue Xinzhi, told the Global Times. He established the organization three years ago as a way of bringing together groups of people with common interests.

This month there will be classes called "ancient poetry writing" at Xinzhi School, according to Xu.

Admission for each class at Xinzhi School is 40 yuan ($4.62) for members (membership costs 1,000 yuan a year) and 50 yuan for non-members. Other series events such as forums and lectures organized by Guoxue Xinzhi are free.

Add: Bldg 6, Lane 112 Changshu Road 常熟路112弄6号楼新知书院
Tel: 400-881-8018

Oasis Club

Guoxue Class is one of the themed classes at the Oasis Club, which features a variety of classes covering traditional Chinese culture such as tea ceremonies, calligraphy, Tai Chi, dance, music and fine arts. The Guoxue Class is held every Thursday night at 7:30 pm, where lecturer, Hu Xuanwei, leads participants in a discussion of the wisdom and thought behind classic Chinese books. The lecture is always given in Chinese.

"Classic Chinese books can be interpreted as guides to modern life by using history as a mirror," Hu told the Global Times. "And better understanding makes it almost like practical philosophy, and this has its everyday uses especially in management. So you find today that guoxue is very popular among high-level employees in companies."

Hu also holds guoxue lectures at Shanghai Ocean University and teaches sinology classes to companies. Hu read and studied I-Ching, (Book of Changes) at the age of 16, and later he studied other classic works including The Analects of Confucius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu and the Buddhist tome Diamond Sutra.

An admission fee of 30 yuan per class is charged, or students can donate two books of their choice to receive a free class.

Add: 10/F, Shuguang Building, 189 Pu'an Road 普安路189号曙光大厦10楼
Tel: 6048-6468

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