Posts Tagged ‘Red Pine’

A Mystical Odyssey through the Sagathakam

As mentioned back in August, our winter series will be based on the concluding segment of The Lankavatara Sutra entitled Sagathakam. The title succinctly translates as Verse Anthology. Red Pine writes of the significance of this final section of the sutra: Before passing the results on to the reader, I should note that I have decided not to include the collection of verses that were appended to the Lankavatara sometime between Gunabhadra’s translation (443), in which it is absent, and Bodhiruchi’s Read more [...]

Avīci Hell

Perhaps the best known hell-realm within Buddhism is Avīci Hell. It’s the most ferocious and unrelenting dominion that houses the most grievous perpetrators such as those who commit matricide and patricide, rapists, in particular one Ananda (not to be confused with Gautama’s cousin)—who raped his own cousin, the Theri Uppalavanna, heinous murderers (certainly serial murderers have a special place reserved for them in Avīci) and overt slanderers against the Buddha and the Buddhadharma—most Read more [...]

No form, No appearance

Twenty: No form, No appearance “What do you think, Subhuti? Can the Tathagata be seen by means of his perfectly formed body?” Subhuti said, “No, Blessed One. As I understand it, the Tathagata is not to be seen by means of his perfectly formed body. Why? Because the Tathagata has taught that what is called a perfectly formed body is not a perfectly formed body. Such is merely a name. Therefore it is called a perfectly formed body.” The Buddha asked further, “What do you think, Read more [...]

The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma

The following is the first in a series studying "The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma"--as translated by Red Pine. 1. Outline of Practice MANY roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice. To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn’t apparent because it’s shrouded by sensation and delusion. Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who meditate on walls,’ Read more [...]

That’s a Wrap!

This past month studying and commentating on the new Red Pine edition of the Lankavatara Sutra has truly been an auspicious time for me; my hope is that this may prove of some benefit for present and future students of the Buddhadharma. At the beginning of this blog series I remember writing how I hoped that this new translation would be the definitive Lanka for new generations of dharma-students. Red Pine is to be highly commended for rendering this new and vibrant translation for readers Read more [...]

The Long and Winding Road

As the Lanka winds-down, we are left with some very constructive impressions. Red Pine masterfully translates the great malady that affects all sentient beings—the diurnal wheel of samsara and its accompanying dependent origination: “Fools let their thoughts wander among the names and appearances of convention to which they are attached. And as they wander among the multitude of shapes that appear, they fall prey to views and longings concerning a self and what belongs to a self, and they Read more [...]

The Other

Section LXXXII of the Lanka delineates the nature of the Tathagata-garbha and the Alaya vijnana (repository consciousness). This can be quite confusing because although apparently different—one pure, one defiled—they are also essentially synonymous in nature. A good analogy to break this down is the nature of “twins”; while they may be different in temperament and personality, they are a product of the same seed-bed, or womb. In UnbornMind Zen the bodhichild is the developing light-bearer, Read more [...]

Mind Games

Sections LXXX-XC entitled “Final Questions” by Red Pine actually combines the former Suzuki chapters 4-9 into one chapter, 4. At the beginning of this Lanka series mention was made concerning the various stages that comprise the Bodhisattva path, and that “stages are provisional and are meant to be transcended if not abandoned.” Section LXXX reveals these stages to be just that—provisional—in that it provides the developing bodhisattva a focusing device to measure their ascent Read more [...]

Instant Karma

The Lanka once again makes reference to not equating words with meaning: “Mahamati, if one person points to something with their finger, and a foolish person looks at their finger, they won’t know what they really mean. In the same manner, foolish people become attached to the finger of words. And because they never look away from it, they are never able to discover the true meaning beyond the finger of words.” (Red Pine, pg. 220) Love the allusion, “finger of words”, reminiscent Read more [...]

Living in the Material World

Materialism is the great bane of all Lankavatarists. The Lanka pulls no punches in relaying the dangers of materialism: “Materialists employ all manner of expressions, arguments, metaphors, and embellishments to attract and deceive foolish people. They do not accept the personal understanding of what is real, nor are they aware that their projection of what exists is a delusion. Falling prey to dualities, they confuse simpleminded people and also harm themselves and cannot escape their continuation Read more [...]
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