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Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-neng (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – November 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Shambhala Classics
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590301374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590301371
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The "diamond sutra" helps clarify the often misunderstood Buddhist notion that reality is a projection of one's mind. Hui-Neng, a seventh-century Chinese Ch'an master, is credited with imbuing the Buddhism imported from India with a distinct Chinese identity. His sutra, the "platform sutra," led directly to Zen as we know it today.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It is a very simple teaching it a very deep one...
Bolokan Lucian
This book translates The Diamond Sutra in an easy-to-understand way.
book worm
Read it enough times, and your minds eye can open up!
Swing King

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Swing King on May 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Sutra translation into English is absolutely no easy task, yet A.F. Price does an excellent job here. The Diamond Sutra is probably the singlemost important sutra to all of Mahayana Buddhism, and particularly those schools of Zen. For those unfamiliar with this sutra, it is simply a dialogue between Subhuti, Buddha's disciple-and the Buddha himself.
The Diamond Sutra says, "All things that appear in this world are transient. If you view all appearances as nonappearance, then you will see the true Buddha.'' "All things that exist are like a dream, a phantom, a bubble, a reflection; they are like dew or lightning; thus should you view them.'' "If you are attached to color and sound and want to see your true nature, you are on the wrong path.''
This sutra demonstrates, in it's basic presentation, how the mind that discriminates this from that: I like this, I don't like that/ correct/incorrect-is forever chained to delusion. But a Buddha cuts through all opposites thinking. A Buddha sees past the evident and does some investigation. Understanding does not help us-action is understanding! Basically our ideas blind our eyes-but our eyes originally have no idea-they just look. So if we can attain a mind like that, a just looking mind, not a same/different mind-we can take true steps toward liberation.
Then we have the Sutra of Hui neng, another Buddhist classic. Hui Neng, as many of you may know-was the 6th Zen Patriarch in China. Hui Neng heard just a very few lines from the Diamond Sutra and completely understood himself with no practice at all. But he had a lot of karma. Many were trying to kill him for having received transmission from a very famous Zen Master, the Fifth Patriarch, and became the Sixth Patriarch with no training, no education.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I believe this was the original English translation (completed in the 1920's or 30's) of the Sutra of Hui-Neng, the 6th patriarch of Zen Buddhism. As such, it is a fine and sensitive effort and stands as a historical landmark in Zen's introduction to the West, but the translator was not a native English speaker, if I understand it correctly. To my taste at least, a better -- and more recent -- translation is that by Thomas Cleary.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dave Hovde on May 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
The diamond sutra is the oldest extant book in the world. It has been described as a concise summary of the entirety of Buddhist thought. The name diamond is associated with it because it cuts through all of the different dogmas, systems of thought, and attempts to reveal reality as directly as possible. The 32 chapters (1-3 pages each) can be read in a single sitting.
The sutra of Hui-Neng is also included which is a longer, more biographical work by the sixth patriarch that serves as a commentary on the Diamond Sutra. The most enjoyable part of this work is a poetry contest held by the fifth patriarch. This contest was open to any of the monks but was effectively between the star student that was well respected but did not have a proper understanding of the Dharma (teaching) and the anonymous, low-born, illiterate Hui-Neng that had no social standing or formal knowlege, but understood the Dharma. Here is the classic exchange (paraphrased from memory):
Good Student:
The body is the bodhi tree and
The mind a mirror bright
Carefully we clean it day by day
So no dust may alight
Hui-Neng:
There is no bodhi tree
Nor a mirror bright
Since all is void and empty
Where can the dust alight?
I recommend this book to anyone serious about learing about the essence of Buddhism as opposed to the rituals and systems of thought associated with it. As the sutra says: The religion given by Buddha is not Buddha religion.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ant on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book, comprising two closely related & relatively short sutras, is elemental to Buddhist thought. The first, The Diamond Sutra is a discourse between the Nagarjuna Buddha & his disciple Subhuti. So named for its proficiency to `cut away' the illusion of duality, it probes the nature of dualistic thought with questions from each to the other. The questions seem simple enough & generally evolve around the dissolution of names in the subjective world. The goal is to `snap' the mind into seeing all as no-thing, though Buddha stresses that this should not be viewed as nothing or nihilism. Easier said than done.
The second Sutra, composed from sermons given by Hui - Neng, an illiterate wood cutter who upon hearing the Diamond Sutra became enlightened unto its meaning & eventually became the sixth patriarch of Buddhism to China, (the thirty third in the lineage from Shakyamuni), is an extrapolation of the essence of the Diamond Sutra & what many consider the root of Zen. In it is recorded questions asked by him to followers of Buddhism, & his answers to theirs which almost always show the superficial ways in which people `understand' Buddha's message. His simple but intuitive answers leave you saying `of course!' over & over again. His message is occasionally Koan like & thus can be studied as such. Rarely in the text does he speak of laws or ethics, more intent instead to dwell on the ultimate nature of mind & reality, his reasoning being that once illusion is dispelled, wisdom is immediate. Surprising is his warning against Meditative practices, so incorporated in Zen, particularly the Rinzai style, as, he cautions, `Immobility is immobility & not dhyana', preferring the idea that satori is merely realized & that meditative practices may lead one to dwell on nothing.
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