The Zen Teaching of Hui-Neng
Hui-Neng was the Sixth Patriarch of China’s Zen sect. Over the centuries, he has become a most venerated teacher of one of the world’s great spiritual traditions. During my personal retreat this August, I will be focusing on the Dharma as presented by Hui-Neng. I read the platform Sutra many years ago and studied it as part of a curriculum in a Buddhist Studies class I took. Now it is time for me to take another look! Hui-Neng is one of the great ancestors of our Ordinary Zen Sangha.
During my August retreat, there will be no practice sessions at the Zendo, however, I would like to invite you to join me in exploring highlights of Hui-Neng’s talks by participating in a series of posts about the Platform Sutra through a questionnaire, that will be attached to each post. The questionnaire will be private between me and each participant and I may respond to your comments and questions. I hope to publish a post each week.
The translation that I am interested in is by Red Pine and can be found on Amazon. The Sutra is compiled into 57 sections. I am interested in sections 1-37, based on a talk, or series of talks involving the transmission of precepts and the basic teachings of Zen first compiled by his disciple Fa-hai sometime between the years 700 and 720.
“If, after having read this sutra, readers think they have gained something, then they will have misunderstood it. We can not gain what we already have. Or if readers think they have lost something, that they have been held up at mind-point and robbed of their most treasured conceptions, then they too will have misunderstood it. We cannot lose what we don’t have. All we have is our buddha nature. To claim that this sutra teaches anything more than this would be to add feet to a snake.” — Red Pine
I am available by email or text if you have any questions.