Overview

The Diamond Sutra, composed in India in the fourth century CE, is one of the most treasured works of Buddhist literature and is the oldest existing printed book in the world. It is known as the Diamond Sutra because its teachings are said to be like diamonds that cut away all dualistic thought, releasing one from the attachment to objects and bringing one to the further shore of enlightenment. The format of this important sutra is presented as a conversation between the Buddha and one of his disciples. The Sutra ...

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The Diamond Sutra and The Sutra of Hui-neng

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Overview

The Diamond Sutra, composed in India in the fourth century CE, is one of the most treasured works of Buddhist literature and is the oldest existing printed book in the world. It is known as the Diamond Sutra because its teachings are said to be like diamonds that cut away all dualistic thought, releasing one from the attachment to objects and bringing one to the further shore of enlightenment. The format of this important sutra is presented as a conversation between the Buddha and one of his disciples. The Sutra of Hui-neng, also known as the Platform Sutra, contains the autobiography of a pivotal figure in Zen history and some of the most profound passages of Zen literature. Hui-neng (638–713) was the sixth patriarch of Zen in China, but is often regarded as the true father of the Zen tradition. He was a poor, illiterate woodcutter who is said to have attained enlightenment upon hearing a recitation of the Diamond Sutra. Together, these two scriptures present the central teaching of the Zen Buddhist tradition and are essential reading for all students of Buddhism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834826090
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 580,595
  • File size: 2 MB

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Chapter 5: Dhyana

The patriarch [one day] preached to the assembly as follows:

In our system of meditation, we neither dwell upon the mind [in contradistinction to the essence of mind] nor upon purity. Nor do we approve of nonactivity. As to dwelling upon the mind, the mind is primarily delusive; and when we realize that it is only a phantasm there is no need to dwell on it. As to dwelling upon purity, our nature is intrinsically pure, and so far as we get rid of all delusive ideas there will be nothing but purity in our nature, for it is the delusive idea that obscures tathata [suchness]. If we direct our mind to dwell upon purity we are only creating another delusion, the delusion of purity. Since delusion has no abiding place, it is delusive to dwell upon it. Purity has neither shape nor form; but some people go so far as to invent the "form of purity," and treat it as a problem for solution. Holding such an opinion, these people are purity-ridden, and their essence of mind is thereby obscured.

Learned Audience, those who train themselves for imperturbability should, in their contact with all types of men, ignore the faults of others. They should be indifferent to others' merit or demerit, good or evil, for such an attitude accords with the imperturbability of the essence of mind. Learned Audience, a man unenlightened may be unperturbed physically, but as soon as he opens his mouth he criticizes others and talks about their merits or demerits, ability or weakness, good or evil; thus he deviates from the right course. On the other hand, to dwell upon our own mind or upon purity is also a stumbling block in the path.

The patriarch on another occasion preached to the assembly as follows:

Learned Audience, what is sitting for meditation? In our school, to sit means to gain absolute freedom and to be mentally unperturbed in all outward circumstances, be they good or otherwise. To meditate means to realize inwardly the imperturbability of the essence of mind.

Learned Audience, what are dhyana and samadhi? Dhyana means to be free from attachment to outer objects, and samadhi means to attain inner peace. If we are attached to outer objects, our inner mind will be perturbed. When we are free from attachment to all outer objects, the mind will be in peace. Our essence of mind is intrinsically pure, and the reason why we are perturbed is because we allow ourselves to be carried away by the circumstances we are in. He who is able to keep his mind unperturbed, irrespective of circumstances, has attained samadhi.

To be free from attachment to all outer objects is dhyana, and to attain inner peace is samadhi. When we are in a position to deal with dhyana and to keep our inner mind in samadhi, then we are said to have attained dhyana and samadhi. The Bodhisattva-shilasutra says, "Our essence of mind is intrinsically pure." Learned Audience, let us realize this for ourselves at all times. Let us train ourselves, practice it by ourselves, and attain buddhahood by our own effort.

Chapter 25: The Illusion of Ego

Subhuti, what do you think? Let no one say the Tathagata cherishes the idea "I must liberate all living beings." Allow no such thought, Subhuti. Wherefore? Because in reality there are no living beings to be liberated by the Tathagata. If there were living beings for the Tathagata to liberate, he would partake in the idea of selfhood, personality, ego entity, and separate individuality.

Subhuti, though the common people accept egoity as real, the Tathagata declares that ego is not different from nonego. Subhuti, those whom the Tathagata referred to as "common people" are not really common people; such is merely a name.

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Table of Contents

THE DIAMOND SUTRA
Foreword by W. Y. Evans-Wentz 3
Translator's Preface 11
1. The Convocation of the Assembly 17
2. Subhuti Makes a Request 18
3. The Real Teaching of the Great Way 19
4. Even the Most Beneficent Practices Are Relative 20
5. Understanding the Ultimate Principle of Reality 21
6. Rare Is True Faith 22
7. Great Ones, Perfect Beyond Learning, Utter No Words of Teaching 24
8. The Fruits of Meritorious Action 25
9. Real Designation Is Undesignate 26
10. Setting Forth Pure Lands 28
11. The Superiority of Unformulated Truth 29
12. Veneration of the True Doctrine 30
13. How This Teaching Should Be Received and Retained 31
14. Perfect Peace Lies in Freedom from Characteristic Distinctions 32
15. The Incomparable Value of This Teaching 35
16. Purgation through Suffering the Retribution for Past Sins 36
17. No One Attains Trascendental Wisdom 37
18. All Modes of Mind Are Really Only Mind 39
19. Absolute Reality Is the Only Foundation 40
20. The Unreality of Phenomenal Distinctions 41
21. Words Cannot Express Truth; That Which Words Express Is Not Truth 42
22. It Cannot Be Said That Anything Is Attainable 43
23. The Practice of Good Works Purifies the Mind 44
24. The Incomparable Merit of This Teaching 45
25. The Illusion of Ego 46
26. The Body of Truth Has No Marks 47
27. Is It Erroneous to Affirm That All Things Are Ever Extinguished 48
28 Attachment to Rewards of Merit 49
29. Perfect Tranquility 50
30. The Integral Principle 51
31. Conventional Truth Should Be Cut Off 52
32. The Delusion of Appearances 53

THE SUTRA OF HUI-NENG
Foreword by Dih Ping-tsze 57
Forewords by Christmas Humphreys 58
Foreword by Joe Miller 61
Translator's Preface 63
1. Autobiography 67
2. On Prajña 79
3. Questions and Answers 88
4. Samadhi and Prajña 94
5. Dhyana 98
6. On Repentance 100
7. Temperament and Circumstances 109
8. The Sudden School and the Gradual School 129
9. Royal Patronage 138
10. His Final Instructions 142
Appendix by Ling-t'ao, the Stupa Keeper 155

Notes 157

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted June 3, 2013

    WLK

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    Amara picks..

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