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The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma [Kindle Edition]

Bodhidharma , Red Pine
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $5.11 (36%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

A fifth-century Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is credited with bringing Zen to China. Although the tradition that traces its ancestry back to him did not flourish until nearly two hundred years after his death, today millions of Zen Buddhists and students of kung fu claim him as their spiritual father.

While others viewed Zen practice as a purification of the mind or a stage on the way to perfect enlightenment, Bodhidharma equated Zen with buddhahood and believed that it had a place in everyday life. Instead of telling his disciples to purify their minds, he pointed them to rock walls, to the movements of tigers and cranes, to a hollow reed floating across the Yangtze.

This bilingual edition, the only volume of the great teacher's work currently available in English, presents four teachings in their entirety. "Outline of Practice" describes the four all-inclusive habits that lead to enlightenment, the "Bloodstream Sermon" exhorts students to seek the Buddha by seeing their own nature, the "Wake-up Sermon" defends his premise that the most essential method for reaching enlightenment is beholding the mind. The original Chinese test, presented on facing pages, is taken from a Ch'ing dynasty woodblock edition.



Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: Chinese, English

About the Author

Red Pine lives and work in Taiwan. He is the translator of The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6522 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press (November 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EYXBGM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,509 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for any reader of Zen July 24, 2005
Format:Paperback
I first began researching Zen in the secondary sources: inspiring and thoughtful and informative authors like D.T. Suzuki who cited the patriarchs. At some point one realized that it's going to be essential to read the primary sources themselves. This is one of them. Here is a first rate translation of the First Patriarch of Zen. Red Pine gives a nine page introduction to Bodhidharma, facts separated from lore, providing the reader a concise introduction to what one should know about the First Patriarch of Zen, who arrived in China from India about 2000 years ago. The divisions of the book are four teachings traditionally attributed to Bodhidharma:

Outline of Practice

Bloodstream Sermon

Wake-up Sermon

Breakthrough Sermon

As usual, Mr. Pine offers you the original Chinese text throughout, and provides extensive and very helpful explanatory notes, this time offered as endnotes to keep the texts of the four teachings unencumbered.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear as a bell. October 9, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a little jewel. Every time I open it I am impressed anew with its clarity and immediacy. This is due,I think, not only to the timelessness of the teachings themselves, but to Red Pine's intelligence & sensitivity. Many thanks, Red Pine.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Zen Buddhist classic August 22, 1996
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A fifth-century Buddhist Indian mystic, Bodhidharma proves to be one of Buddhism's most enigmatic masters. Acknowledged as the father of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma's teachings represent the every essence of Zen itself. Deep and pithy, he sermons guide the reader to the very summit of Buddha mind, urging the reader to look within beyond the veil of appearance. Not an ordinary book that will be read only once then tucked away on a bookshelf, Red Pine's translation of Bodhidharma's teachings will be a constant companion for many years. I highly recommend this book for both the beginner and the seasoned practitioner of Zen
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something New Each Time Read December 30, 2003
Format:Paperback
If you haven't noticed by now, truth is not exempt from change. This wonderful traslation of some of the core teachings of the credited founder of Zen, Bodhidharma, makes this very clear to me. Everytime I read this tremedously important work new insight comes forward, making clear how the "way" is never locked in place. Not to mention this is one of very few books out there in English which gives an account of some of this famous master's teachings.
If you read this book with a sincere effort to realize this life, it will no doubt give you what you came for. As for a book of mere entertainment, this is not that. It is thought provoking, the meanings of every page are not spoonfed to us. We are left to search for their meanings within on our own, Red Pine simply tries to present us with the original sayings. Commentary can often confuse someone into believing that the observation an uthor makes is one and the same with what was originally said. I like how Red Pine does not do this. I believe the best translator's try their best to present us with the closest accounts as possible of what the original work was about. I believe Red Pine has certainly done this.
Enjoy this book:)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything more concise would be silence February 23, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read this book maybe twenty-five times now and I keep returning to it because what is contained is about as bare bones a relation of perspective as can be given. I admire directness and a concise approach as much as I admire Zen itself. Bodhidharma "tells it like it is" and then closes his mouth. Red Pine is a treasure to the English speaking world.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Do not doubt that your mind is basically pure." July 23, 2001
Format:Paperback
Red Pine (aka Bill Porter, author of ROAD TO HEAVEN and a celebrated translator of Buddhist poetry and scripture) gives us a spirited translation of four talks attributed to Bodhidharma even though debates over authorship, and even the existence of Bodhidharma as more than a legend, have not rested.
Bodhidharma's "Outline of Practice" outlines the dharma as this Brahman-born monk taught it in China after being sent there by his teacher, Prajnatara. A confusing distinction made in these talks, especially the "Outline," has to do with what Bodhidharma calls "reason" (again, in this translation) and meditation practice. They are presented as two avenues to "zen," but the definitions make it hard to distinguish them. Throughout, there is an inside/outside (or mind/body) kind of thinking which may be expedient thinking for the sake of his students, or his own enduring mind-habit.
Otherwise, his teaching is very clear: attain your true self, attain what the Heart Sutra is talking about; and at that point, what is there to do? Realizing the paramitas without a trace of actor or action, the student can use form with a clear mind and help others.
In the "Bloodstream Sermon," there are questions and answers, as Bodhidharma teaches and occasionally spars with monks in China (at a time when Buddhism in China was heavily philosophical). Bodhidharma has mastered the philosophy enough to turn it on its ear and make it point these sleepy students to "just doing it." If you do not find your true self, he says, all invocations, offerings and precepts are useless. "The thousands of sutras and shastras only amount to a clear mind."
With the "Breakthrough Sermon," the conceptualizing gets pretty convoluted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good. I understand that wherever available
Just a few words on the translator. Red Pine's translations are very, very good. I understand that wherever available, he compares all existing versions in order to get the best... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ananda
5.0 out of 5 stars A root philosophy of Martial Arts
A founder of Zen explores the mind.
Published 3 months ago by cloustonenergy
1.0 out of 5 stars Buddhadharma Butchery
I have been studying, practicing, and teaching Buddhism (including Zen) for forty years. In this time I've read dozens of Zen books, and "The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma" is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. Ron Gardner
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Zen
While the interleaved Chinese might be helpful to scholars, I think it is just attractive filler.

The text itself is four sermons attributed to Bodhidharma. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Marc B. Paine
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bodhidharma has no car.
It presents useful directions and explanations not just more words with questionable meaning. The best book on Zen I read.
Published 7 months ago by Egon
5.0 out of 5 stars Have to keep replacing this for my library. It has walking shoes.
I have bought three copies of this book. I love it so much I want to share it with almost everyone. Especially the people I have a high opinion of. Read more
Published 10 months ago by B. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars yin wei
am I to rate the book as a product, or the meaning of the book? it was in physically good shape, although it teaches that physical form is illusory. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael Coyne
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
bodi was the man. anyone willing to cut off their own eyelids to keep from dozing during meditation is worth taking a look at.
Published 15 months ago by yoda jazz
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Buddhism
A must have book to read in Chinese Zen Buddhism. The book is translated from Chinese, with both original Classical Chinese writing and English on the opposite page. Read more
Published 16 months ago by KS
3.0 out of 5 stars not to bad just not great
ok book but not for me every one to there own but i found it to just be ok not great
Published 16 months ago by koddee
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