Dao and Time: Personal Cultivation and Spiritual Transformation

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13th International Conference on Daoist Studies


Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles


20-23 June, 2019


Time is a major factor, if not the major factor, of human life. It is key to everything we do, in one way or another ruling our lives, determining our choices, and setting our goals. From a broader perspective, it appears in at least ten distinct dimensions, including most importantly cosmic time as apparent in the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang and described in astrophysics; biological time manifest in the evolution of humanity and the transformations living beings undergo in the course of life; and human time, obvious in life cycles (from womb to tomb). IT is relevant for education, professional development, medicine, and spiritual transformation.

          Measured by the movement of the stars and planets as well as various mechanical devices such as water and pendulum clocks and, more recently, quartz and atomic time keepers, time also plays a key role in history, described either in cycles of recurring patterns such as dynasties or in a linear mode, focusing on progress and an ultimate goal of human development. It is a key factor in philosophy with its discussions of ultimate truth and the relationship of space and existence to time, such as, for example, Heidegger’s major work Being and Time, and plays a key role in psychology, not only but strongly in terms of Jungian synchronicity. In addition, spiritual seekers discuss time in terms of eternity versus infinity and set course for the attainment of immortality; meditation practitioners learn to slow time down or ecstatically travel into faster, otherworldly realms; while diviners and fortune-tellers calculate a person’s fate and determine his best course of actions on the basis of various indicators that suggest the most auspicious constellations of temporal circumstances.

         This year’s conference, in close proximity to the 17th Triannial Conference of the International Society for the Study of Time (at Loyola Marymount University, June 23-29. 2019; see www.studyoftime.org), will focus on Daoist conceptions and applications of time in all different dimensions, but with a particular focus on personal cultivation and spiritual transformation.



Chairs: Robin R. Wang, Loyola Marymount University; Livia Kohn, Boston University

Sponsors: LMU School of Philosophy,  Three Pines Press

Standing CommitteeUSA: Liu Xun, Robin R. Wang // China: Chen Xia, Liou Tong-Miin // France: Adeline Herrou, Georges Favraud, Karine Martin /                                       Germany: Friederike Assandri, Elisabeth Friedrichs



After arrival in Los Angeles, the conference begins on Thursday, June 20, at 7 pm with an opening ceremony and keynote speeches. It ends at 13:30 pm on Sunday, June 23, after a closing plenary session. There are ten 1¾-hour sessions. Languages are English and Chinese.

–-Panels: Three 25-minute or four 20-minute individual paper presentations on the panel theme, followed by the discussant’s 5-minute comments and 20 minutes of open discussion (1¾ hours). In all cases, an effort will be made to join Chinese and Western representatives. PPTs should be bilingual. Some translation will be provided.

--Workshops: Emphasis on the experience of Daoist cultivation, martial arts (taiji quan), and forms of Daoist medicine (1¾ hours). The room will not have tables, chairs, or PPT equipment. It is specifically for practical experience.


FEES: $85 (Students and recent graduates $65), payable at registration to reserve a presentation spot; send via PayPal to <daoconf@gmail.com>.


DEADLINES: Scholarship applications: March 15, 2019 // Registration closes and abstracts due: May 12, 2018 // Program on website: June 10, 2018


VENDORS: There will be a limited number of tables available to distribute flyers or pamphlets and sell books, CDs, and other materials. This service is $20 and needs to be booked well ahead of time. Please contact daoconf@gmail.com.


HOUSING: Some on-campus housing--reserve EARLY (same email) // ALSO, local hotels, motels, AirBnB, and more.