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The Zen Doctrine of No Mind: The Significance of the Sutra of Hui-Neng Paperback – August 1, 1991


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The Zen Doctrine of No Mind: The Significance of the Sutra of Hui-Neng + Zen Buddhism + An Introduction to Zen Buddhism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (August 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877281823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877281825
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I loved this,or I love it since I am still reading.
penelope truex
The answer is deceptively simple, maybe it is too simple ... perhaps to get insight into one's own mind and how it works.
Erika Borsos
This one book helped me more than any other book on Zen.
Peter L. Olcott Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Smith on March 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the modern works on Zen, this book is unique. Through careful pacing, D.T. Suzuki generates the state of No Mind in the reader. To read this book is to not only understand it, but to directly contact the Zen Mind. This is not a hip or facile text, but one that stands on its own next to the great Sutras of earlier ages. Read as meditation, and meditating as one reads, this book is a mighty sword. Read for information alone, it will perhaps arouse the desire to meditate and attend to the art of mindfulfness
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ian Andrews on September 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Whenever we are treated to a book written by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, the late Japanese academic scholar and Zen practitioner, we can count ourselves as being in the capable hands of a master expositor of the original Zen tradition of Buddhism. With this book, _The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind, The Significance of the Sutra of Hui-neng (Wei-lang)_, we are taken into the inner sanctuary of the Zen teachings as they were expressed by one of its greatest early propounders, Hui-neng, the Sixth -- and last -- Patriarch of Zen. As Suzuki tells us, Hui-neng was somewhat of an unlikely hero of early Chinese Chan/Zen as he was an illiterate day-worker in the rice mill at the monastery of his master Hung-jen, the Fifth Patriarch of Chan/Zen. Hui-neng had overheard someone reciting the Diamond Sutra one day and had an awakening. He immediately decided to seek the way of Buddhahood, and eventually spent a month travelling on foot to reach the Patriarch's monastery in the mountains.

In the opening paragraph of the book, Suzuki pays the highest tribute he can to Hui-neng by comparing the effect that his legacy had on the tradition of Zen as second only to that of its founder, Bodhidharma: "Without Hui-neng and his immediate disciples, Zen might never have developed as it did in the early T'ang period of Chinese history." He then goes on to praise the work attributed to Hui-neng, the Platform Sermons of the Sixth Patriarch, as an important addition to the Zen tradition overall, saying that: "It was through this work that Bodhi-Dharma's office as the first proclaimer of Zen thought in China came to be properly defined.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter L. Olcott Jr. on October 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have read about fifteen books on Zen. This one book helped me more than any other book on Zen. The big advantage of this book is the author's own realization of Satori, combined with his excellent understanding of English. Whatever may have been lost in the translation of the original Buddhist scriptures has been restored by this author. This is the only author that has both a deep realization, and an excellent command of the English language.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on January 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
D.T. Suzuki writes very clearly what many who preceded him have stated, "the zen doctrine states there is no enlightenment to attain" ... The reader then is left to ponder, why buy the book? The answer is deceptively simple, maybe it is too simple ... perhaps to get insight into one's own mind and how it works.
The classic conundrum for human beings is -- seeing and understanding "the simple things". We create meandering pathways in our minds and attach emotions to these thoughts -- then we attach feelings to those thoughts -- we follow the thoughts and feelings believing that what we think is reality itself. Thinking is not the same as reality!
Three sentences from this extraordinairy book illustrate my point. "As the attainment of the Tao does not involve a continuous movement from error to truth, from ignorance to enlightenment, from 'mayori' to 'satori', the Zen masters all proclaim there is no enlightenment whatsoever, which you can claim to have attained." [p.53] "The doctrine of the Unconcsious as expounded here is, psychologically translated, that of absolute passivity or absolute obedience. It may also be translated as the teaching of humility." [p.67] This should serve to whet the appetite of those who are on the road to self-discovery ... for anyone else the book is useless. Erika Borsos (erikab93)(revised)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TOM CORBETT on December 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have only ever given five stars to one other book reviewed on Amazon, this book if understood is life changing. Hui Neng (the 6th Patriarch of Zen) teaches that from the start there is not a single thing... anywhere. this is the teaching of shunyata (emptiness). Shunyata must be seen for oneself, tasted by oneself. if it is not experienced there will be no understanding whatsoever about the Buddhist teaching of emptiness, only dry intellectualizing (which is far from the truth). When you see emptiness for the first time you realize that everything has always been empty. that form has always been emptiness.

Suzuki Roshi quotes Shen Hui often. Shen Hui was one of the leading disciples of Hui Neng. Shen Hui said "tan chien wu" just see into nothingness. for buddhism 'nothing' is required, 'nothing' is needed, 'nothing' is missing. this is like saying all you need to do is "just breathe", or "just be", or "just live". nothing is required. nothingness is required. but this is only a stage. tan chien wu must be dropped. dropping off body, dropping off mind. at the stage of nothingness one has relinquished all things except for nothing. if one holds onto nothing, one holds onto everything... drop it all! "just nothing" is still an attachment.

for me the groundbreaking quote that Suzuki Roshi uses is that of the National Teacher - Hui Chung. Hui Chung says clearly that there is "no name whatsoever for it". it is nameless. It is formless, it is not even formless. words just will not do, they cannot express the fundamental. which is not any thing to be expressed whatsoever. another zen worthy said... "relying on a name is like a donkey attached to a pole for eons." one must go beyond words and names to experience this state which is not any kind of state.
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