Congratulations to Adrian Liu, the recipient of the 2017-18 Best Undergraduate Paper on Buddhism!
The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies selects one undergraduate paper from all Buddhist Studies classes at Stanford to receive the award for the "Best Undergraduate Paper in Buddhism" every year. The recipient of this award for the 2017-18 academic year is Adrian Liu. Adrian is a junior, majoring in Mathematics and the Philosophy and Religious Studies Combined Major.
Here is the abstract of his paper, "Intellectual and Non-intellectual Understanding in Shunryu Suzuki’s Teaching." Shunryu Suzuki was a pioneering teacher of American Soto Zen, and emphasized practice and experience above intellectual understanding—in contrast to the intellectual and sudden realization-focused Zen previously introduced to the United States. Drawing primarily from Suzuki’s lecture collections Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and Not Always So, the paper analyzes the respective roles of intellectual and non-intellectual understanding in Suzuki’s pedagogy, both in his direct statements and in his pedagogical choices. The paper argues that, without disparaging intellectual understanding, Suzuki emphasizes practice and direct experience, equating these with a more complete understanding of reality.