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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A penetrating insight into Zen Buddhism by an early master, 29 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
The teachings of Huang Po bear re-reading many, many times. So compressed and dense is this work that it is impossible to absorb the full import of Huang Po's insights at first pass. I've read it at least a dozen times and continue to discover new insights. This is one of three books I'd want on a desert island.
Don't be put off by its compression.
This book was translated by John Blofield in the 1950s and appears to remain the only English translation. I'd love to know what happened to Blofield, who apparently was living in Thailand at the time he translated the work.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unquestionably a classic, 24 Aug 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
Huang Po (d. 850) is perhaps one of Zen Buddhism's most brilliant Zen masters. This translation by John Blofeld of Huang Po's dialogues brings to light Zen Buddhism's most esoteric theme which concerns Buddha Mind. Different than the Western concept of Mind, Huang Po reveals the transcendent nature of Buddha Mind which traditional Zen Buddhists believe is the source of all things. This book is a must for anyone wishing to put their foot into the waters of Zen Buddhism. It is a classic in every since of the word. It always seems to say more than print is capable of expressing.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, 3 April 2007
This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
This is one of two books that somebody lent me some 35 years ago as an introduction to Buddhism. While I found the other book Walpola Rahula's What The Buddha Taught accesible and informative Blofeld's Zen Teaching of Huang Po was incomprehensible. Luckily I was able to to go back and get tutorials from a man who turned out to be an amazing teacher.

I'm still reading it, there's no end to the depths of understanding that can be found in this book. It does require patience and you might find the books of Wei Wu Wei (Terence Gray) helpful. You might try All Else is Bondage as a starting point. Or the Douglas Harding book 'On Having No Head'.

"Our original Buddha-Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any atom of objectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy - and that is all." from chapter 8, page 35. This short quote is the essence of the book.

If you are seriously interested in Zen you will find this book an esssential companion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
A masterpiece! Simplicity, straight to the heart of Zen. And all that in a very small book.
(This review is by the recipient of the present.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The One Mind, 20 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
This book presents to us the teachings of 9th century chinese zen monk Huang Po.

The text is sometimes disconcerting, and is quite radical in its defense of the inexpressible character of reality, an opinion I agree with, and in defending the sudden stop of all unnecessary thoughts, which does have its merits, since if you stop thinking altogether you would also stop producing unwholesome thoughts, I would however contend that this can also be achieved through a gradual process.

Throughout the text, and in typical zen fashion, Huang Po denies the efficacy of traditional buddhist goals and activities of the Three Vehicles, including practicing the paramitas and reading the sutras, and even characterizes them as detrimental to the proper buddhist way. This includes the practice of compassion, if done with the view of obtaining rewards. However this is also the view posited by the other buddhist schools as well.

The doctrine of One Mind exposed in the text should be understood carefully, always remaining well-grounded in existence as it presents itself to you. No-one will deny that external objects exist, but of course they are only important to you if you let their image enter your mind. You should think of these external objects, as no definite objects at all, but as part of an integrated flux of reality, as things possessing a wider context.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, 13 Nov 2009
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
This translation of a great master is deeply penetrating and revealing. It borders, as does all the great Zen teaching on being shattering because of its constant sorties into nonsense and paradox.All good Zen teaching leaves us with a sense of something immense that is lost and something far greater to be found and these teachings are no exception for anyone who is willing to read and re-read in order to receive the transmission that is available within the gaps of the words.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are the One Mind, 18 Oct 2008
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
This book is very good, and the first chapter encapsulates the whole thing. However, the point is that the One Mind is you. Or more accurately, the One Mind is your authentic experience of the entire universe - from your own place.
One's field of experience has no edges; the beginning of it cannot be remembered, and the end of it cannot exist in experience. Nothingness can't be experienced.
The book is good, because the author had clear sight into his own being.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The compelling mysteries of man, 17 Jun 2014
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G. Mather "geemath" (Lancashire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
Ah, Huang Po. Back to the 9th century: "All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind beside which nothing exists." The combination of the sage and John Blofeld - no mean sage himself - is very compelling. I keep more than one copy of this book on my shelves in case of fire, theft, or civil turmoil. I might, with a bit of encouragement, leave them to the nation. Reluctantly, of course.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
I think and feel that this book is my favourite Zen book of all which is ironic as Huang Po would have given me two whacks for that, one for using the word favourite and the second for reading it as he hated written Zen texts. I have read this book many times over the last few years simply because its such a great reference to ones own meditations.

If I were to go on a journey this one book would make it into my luggage every time. Its short clear and simple, its everything you need to know what Zen is and isn't. No need to shave your head, wear orange and chant just read Huang Po with all your heart.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent clear account, 1 Oct 2009
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This review is from: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind (Paperback)
I have been reading serious Buddhist texts for about 18 months now. This is easily one of the best I have read so far. Please note that it has nothing to say about the trappings of the religion. Consequently, it might not suit those people who like, for instance, the rich visual symbolism of Tibetan Buddhism; but I would recommend it to anyone who prefers the more spartan Chinese and Japanese varieties of Buddhism that seem to concentrate on the core spiritual values. Once you have read this book, you will be mentally prepared for the profound but laconic style of Suzuki's "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind".
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The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind
The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind by John Blofeld (Paperback - 1 Jan 2006)
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