Dear Good Friends,
As I start my August retreat, I invite you to join me in reading and reflecting on the teaching of Hui-neng. The Translation I have chosen is by Red Pine (Although there are other translations of the Platform Sutra, this is the one that offers the best translation from my view).
If you are following along with me, I recommend that you go directly to the Platform Sutra and skip the introduction and the sections with commentary by Red Pine.
Read the first sections (1-11) of the Platform Sutra, notice your reaction to this reading, sit with it, and comment below. I will respond to your comments (privately) as necessary.
You may at any time, after reading this part of the sutra, visit the introduction by Red Pine for background and some understanding of the process by which Red Pine approached his translation. After you have responded to the questions and commented below, you may also read the commentary for this section.
During the month of August, we will continue each part of the sutra in this way. Read it first, then respond to the questions, followed by reading the commentary.
You may of course not follow my direction and not respond to the questionnaire. It is totally up to you.
The Teaching of Mahaprajnaparamita
The perfection of wisdom is the teaching which Hui-neng transmits. As is expressed in other Prajnaparamita texts such as the Diamond and Heart Sutras, this is the teaching that points us back to ourselves, to our own minds rather than some conceptual understanding.
The Diamond Sutra says:
All created things
are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow
like dew or like lighting
view everything like this.