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Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-neng (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – November 8, 2005
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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.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. He had a lot of karma for all these people were trying to stick a knife in his back. So he had to go away in the forest for sixteen years and live with hunters and kill, living under trees with no roof over his head. Finally, after that length of time, he came out and took the Precepts and became a monk before he began teaching.
So The Sutra of Hui neng is almost like an autobiography of Hui Neng-a somewhat brief one-yet quite deep and insightful. So toss this book up, it always lands heads. Read this book often-it may seem slow at parts due to the ancient dialects-but true wisdom is on every page. Read it enough times, and your minds eye can open up! So what, [money] for this kind of crazy man's wisdom-what a bargain! Enjoy:)
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):
The body is the bodhi tree and
The mind a mirror bright
Carefully we clean it day by day
So no dust may alight
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.