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The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind Paperback – January 18, 1994

4.9 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

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

About the Author

John Blofeld (1913-1987) was a world-renowned scholar and writer who devoted his life to the study of Eastern religion, especially Taoism and Buddhism.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 18, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802150926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802150929
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There seems to be unanimous agreement that this deceptively compact text repays careful digestion, a mine of wisdom compressed within its pages -for those prepared to dig it out. Huang Po's discourses (and the Wan Ling record) remain some the most lucid expositions of Zen. They were delivered when the Zen tradition was still fresh. Huang po's 'sermons' were addressed to practising Buddhists. They presuppose that you are 'looking' into the meaning hinted at - the 'MIND' - which is neither 'yours' nor 'mine' - and in that sense 'VOID' - yet
embraces everything in the phenomenal universe.

Zen is sometimes regarded as an 'obscure' doctrine, but Huang P'o sermons have a refreshing sense of focus. Skirting the boundaries of what is virtually indescribable, he necessarily ends up uttering paradoxes - sometimes paradox -within-paradox, within paradox - and yet, in such a way that it actually brings focus, 'jiggling' the mind out of its habitual tendency to cling to dualities and contraries. In short, it resumes its inherent condition. We don't 'do' it - 'IT' does itself. All we have to do - is to get out of the way.

Thus, Huang P'o's 'direct pointing to the Mind.'This is Zen as it was originally taught, before all the wrangling about 'fixed koans' and answers - or getting stuck with 'just sitting.'Huang P'o speaks with unshakeable conviction that we can AWAKEN RIGHT NOW - if we look into what he is saying. He doesn't want to tie anyone up. It has to be 'your own thing' - nobody else can do it for you. This is squeaky clean Dharma!

P.S Besides the Huang-Po material, Blofeld also translated
Hui-hai's 'Treatise on Entering the Gate to Sudden
Enlightenment.' Between them, these two Zen 'sermons'
represent some of most lucid expositions of Zen - ever
set down in writing. They posess astonishing focus and
compression, without a wasted word.
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By A Customer on August 24, 1996
Format: Paperback
Huang Po (d. 850) is perhaps one of Zen Buddhism's most brilliant Zen masters. This translation by John Blofeld of Huang Po's dialogues brings to light Zen Buddhism's most esoteric theme which concerns Buddha Mind. Different than the Western concept of Mind, Huang Po reveals the transcendent nature of Buddha Mind which traditional Zen Buddhists believe is the source of all things. This book is a must for anyone wishing to put their foot into the waters of Zen Buddhism. It is a classic in every since of the word. It always seems to say more than print is capable of expressing
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want Chan (Zen) teachings, this book is what you need. I read it several times, then supplemented it with Bodhidharma's teachings as one reviewer suggested. However, upon reading Red Pine's Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma I immediately returned it and bought another copy of Huang Po as a backup. I did not have a problem with Bodhidharma's teachings as much as I simply felt that Huang Po explained the One Mind in a way that resonated clearer with me. Both Bodhidharma and Huang Po taught naught but the One Mind, so neither will lead you astray. I gave away all of my other Zen books when I read Huang Po. Reading a dozen Zen books will not bring me any closer to "attaining" enlightenment, just as boiling the ocean is not necessary in order to make a cup of tea. My only complaint is that this book is not available in hardcover.
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Format: Paperback
The teachings of Huang Po bear re-reading many, many times. So compressed and dense is this work that it is impossible to absorb the full import of Huang Po's insights at first pass. I've read it at least a dozen times and continue to discover new insights. This is one of three books I'd want on a desert island.
Don't be put off by its compression.
This book was translated by John Blofield in the 1950s and appears to remain the only English translation. I'd love to know what happened to Blofield, who apparently was living in Thailand at the time he translated the work.
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Format: Paperback
This was the first Zen text that I had ever seen. I had read the Tao Te Ching, and the Teachings of the Buddha. I was familiar with the life of Padmasampavha, and the wisdom of Confucious. Nothing came close to imparting the understanding that I achieved while reading the Zen teaching of Huang Po. Beginning with the translator's introduction, the clairity and simpleness that is Zen transmission speaks from every page. The Tathagata said "I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled enlightenment". Huang Po achieved nothing around 830, c.e., and his words, along with (of course) much meditation, can help anyone else do the same.
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Although I never considered myself a student of Zen Buddhism until I read this book along with Red Pine's Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma, I do now. Having been a student of Advaita Vedanta for years, I have crossed over. Originally I was drawn to Huang Po because of studying the Dr. David Hawkins's books who I highly respect. On the Map of Consciousness he devised, he calibrated Huang Po in the 900's which is extremely high on a scale ranging from 1-1000. Only the World Teachers like Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Zoroaster etc. calibrated higher. Although Zen has much in common with the nondualistic teachings of Advaita, the Teachings are, well, Zen! I can not begin to recommend this book highly enough for students ready to pierce the unadulterated Truth beyond words that comes with the tacit Understanding of One Mind or Universal Mind. Lying beyond the concepts of intellect, the wordless Transmission of Mind to Mind comes through the text of this book and teachings. Make no mistake, these are the highest teachings that have the Grace and Power to take the student beyond him/herself into Self or that Primordial Awareness of One Mind. Truly a Dharma Jewel in its undivided Shining Brillance. I love it!
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