Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Diamond Sutra: Chapters 12-16

The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom The Diamond Sutra
by Red Pine

(I am caught up with the reading, just not with blogging my thoughts and notes.)

Chapter 12

When this sutra is understood, that time and place should be memorialized. At least, make a note of it. They say this is the ending of the first part.

Chapter 13

Red Pine explains there are two ways to translate paramita, chooses one and explains why. My teacher Kyogen thinks the usage is meant to be ambiguous. That is, it means both "get to the other shore" and "perfection," as the sutra goes on to talk about the 32 marks of the Buddha, and the many grains of sand of the river Ganges.

Red Pine:
Prajna = logic of emptiness --> emptiness = absence or negation
Prajna Paramita = absence or negation of what is false, not of what is real

Sheng-yi says, "Every world is the result of karma. Without karma there is no world. The world is the result of the myriad delusions of beings in the past, and our delusions are like specks of dust. Due to the dust of our delusions, we undertake myriad actions and create the karma of our present world. ...But from the point of view of prajna wisdom, the dust of our delusions arrives from nowhere and departs for nowhere. Its nature is empty. Thus, it is not the dust of delusions." (Red Pine p. 212)

That is the logic of self/no-self.

Chapter 14

Subhuti was moved to tears.
He gets it.

Those beings shall be most remarkable blessed, Subhuti, who are not
alarmed, not frightened, and not distressed by what
is said in this sutra. And how so? Subhuti, what the
Tathagata proclaims as the best of perfections is,
in truth, no perfection.

Finally, the fearlessness is addressed.
Heart Sutra: "Because there are no obstructions, there is no fear."

Why are ordinary beings afraid?
Yin-shun says, "Because beings are confused by their everyday concocted views, when they hear about ultimate emptiness, they can't help feel alarmed and frightened. Disciples of other religions are afraid it will upset their supreme deity. Philosophers are afraid it will destroy their materialistic or nonmaterialistic conceptions. And students of Buddhism are afraid that if the wheel of rebirth stops they will have no place to stand." (Red Pine p. 233)

Sometimes I am that Buddhist.

Hui-neng says, "Only those bodhisattvas with deep roots can hear this truth and gladly accept it without being distressed." (Red Pine p. 234)
deep roots somewhat means well established practice

Yin-shun says, "The forbearance of birthlessness is the practice of prajna wisdom." (Red Pine p. 236)
Not explained, but I would say this is how there is no fear--nothing is created to defend that needs defending.

Only by resolving to liberate all beings can bodhisattvas truly free themselves of the perception of being. (Red Pine p. 240)
No longer all about me then.

The perfection of wisdom means an end to truth and falsehood. Every truth is dependent on conditions and in time becomes false, but not this teachings, which is the mother of those who are free of attachment to dharma and no dharmas, perceptions and no perceptions, truth and falsehood. (Red Pine p. 245)

Beware the analytical mind when looking at this, because then you might think well of course it's saying a whole lot of nothing about nothing because it's starting with a premise of nothing. This was a mistake, and this is why Nietzsche thought he was saying something new about the truth of perception because with his early translations about Buddhism he thought it was nihilism. No, with 'deep roots' this is experiential.

Huang-po says, "A bodhisattva's mind is like space. A bodhisattva gives away everything, outside and inside. Such great renunciation is like walking with a candle before you. You can't get lost. Lesser renunciation is like walking with a candle to one side or behind you. You're bound to fall into a ditch."

Note to self: save this for Zen and Money. Question for folks: what would it mean to give away everything as a lay person?

Chapter 15

body of merit -> sanbhoga-kaya
robe of buddhahood -> nirmana-kaya
body of truth -> dharma-kaya

Hui-neng says, "If people can hear this sutra and realize its truth, both self and other suddenly vanish, and they at once become buddhas. Renouncing the body has limited merit and cannot compare with the unlimited wisdom of upholding this sutra." (Red Pine p. 257)

Chapter 16

...for karma only exists as long as we distinguish cause and effect, pleasure and pain, good and evil. And in the light of wisdom, all distinctions appear for what they are: delusions empty of any self-nature. Thus, while shravakas seek to bring karma to an end by bringing anger and desire to an end, bodhisattvas do so by bringing delusion to an end. (Red Pine p. 270)

Hui-neng says, "In the space of one thought, one realizes the truth of birthlessness, puts an end to expectations, gets free of the upside-down views of other beings, reaches the other shore of the paramitas, leaves forever the Three Evil Paths, and realizes complete and final nirvana." (Red Pind p. 277)

Tao-ch'uan says, "Merit is not a wasted offering. My song goes: 'Boundless is the merit from worshipping a billion buddhas/ but it can't equal reading ancient teachings/ black words written on a sheet of plain white paper/ open your eyes and see what lies before you/ the wind is still but the waves are moving/ who is that person sitting in the boat?'" (Red Pine p. 278)

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