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The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra Paperback – 15 Apr 1993

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Parallax Press (15 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938077511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938077510
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

The Diamond Sutra was written over 1,500 years ago, and Thich NhatHanh's lively and penetrating commentaries show readers how they can applythese ancient Buddhist teachings to contemporary life. Text and commentaryexplain in detail how to cut through the dualistic, left-and-right-handed wayof looking at the world to one that brings us into contact with a deeper, widerreality of interbeing. The fruits of the Diamond Sutra include moreharmonious relationships with the family, in the community, in personalrelationships, and an ability to act in the world skillfully and effectively.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Very occasionally, very,very occasionally, you find a book that makes a difference for you. For years I had wandered around, stuck outside the wall erected by Indian esoteric thought and confused by cultural language and thought differences. I craved understanding, but the wall seemed impenetrable. This little book by Thich Nhat Hanh opened a door in that wall that I didn't even realise existed - utterly brilliant, and all the clearer for being short and written in simple 'Western English' .
David P
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Format: Paperback
A is not A. Does this famous bit of illogic from the Diamond Sutra mean anything? Douglas Adams parodied this as "simultaneous tea and no tea" in one version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And it is the Scylla and Charybdis that destroys Franny in J. D. Salinger's almost forgotten novel. It seems to say "1 is not 1", that is, that one is many. This is the starting point for Thich Nhat Hanh's activist view of the interconnectedness of all things -- what might be called the ecological view of being. Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969, honoring his long life as a Zen Buddhist monk and his leadership in what was known (so long ago!) as the Vietnamese Peace Movement. Thich Nhat Hanh cautions the reader to study the sutra first, before allowing herself to be influenced by his commentary. After all, he says, it may still be possible to notice something new! (For example, is it not logic at all, but something like "x = !x", i.e., a programming instruction to assign the negative of a variable's contents back to the variable?) The curious thing is, the prajñaparamita literature is one of the coldest streams in the flow of Buddhist thought, and yet it has consistently produced the bodhisattvic ideal, this ecological view that all beings must participate in nirvana, or none do, that there is no personhood in isolation, that no one would willingly go to heaven if she had to leave a child in hell.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great stuff
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f50563c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90a8b9f0) out of 5 stars Unlocking the mysterious Diamond Sutra 2 Mar. 2007
By Doug M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Diamond Sutra is a companion sutra, or sermon of the Buddha, to the more famous Heart Sutra. The Heart Sutra is said to be a summation of the Diamond Sutra. Suffice to say that the Diamond Sutra is pretty difficult to understand, let alone appreciate. Thich Nhat Hanh takes on this difficult sutra with patience and thorough explanations. The repetitous language of the sutra will put off most new Buddhists, but in this book, Thich Nhat Hanh breaks down explanations section by section, so you have time to digest what's being taught.

I think Thich Nhat Hanh makes a great effort in teaching such a challenging text, and having worked my way through this book a couple times, I have found the Diamond Sutra to be one of my most favorite sutras in Buddhism. Hopefully you will too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f31c840) out of 5 stars In Search of Truth, Virtue, and Happiness 12 Sept. 2008
By Tom McGee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite authors. He is an exceptionally talented writer who has the ability to present information in a very visual manner. The subject matter of this book did not lend itself to the author's usual distinguished writing style. Rather, he translated, amplified and simplified Buddhist doctrine, the Varjracchedika Prajnaparmita Sutra, in this 115-page back pocket sized book.

Thich presents the 32 parts of the Sutra in the first 25 pages of the book and uses the remainder to repeat and provide commentary on each part. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist Monk who has spent a significant amount of time studying the Sutra. It is not an easy thing for a non-Buddhist layman to understand and buy into without serious study and contemplation.

The belief in this doctrine is that life, self, and things are not what they seem to be. The author states that "we must go beyond words and our concepts of reality to be in touch with the true nature of things."

This was not my favorite book by this author, but it was thought provoking and I do have a basic understanding of the doctrine after reading this book. I recommend it for open minded thinkers in search of virtue and happiness.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f31c744) out of 5 stars One of Thich Nhat Hanh's best! Reveals the Central Teaching 16 April 2008
By Ted Biringer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of Thich Nhat Hanh's best!
This modern day Vietnamese Zen master opens the Diamond Sutra with his own diamond sharp insight. Besides Zen Keys, I think this is his most "Zen" like book. His commentary stays focused on the message of this Classic Prajna Paramita Sutra.

This is the Sutra that the legendary Sixth Ancestor of Zen, Hui-neng, recommended to everyone that wanted to awaken to the highest truths of Buddhism. Thich Nhat Hanh shows us that he is a true Dragon of Zen with his gentle, yet direct treatment of this classic text. If you want to get to the blood and guts of the Diamond Sutra, this is a great guide.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f44600c) out of 5 stars A Thay's worthiest work 25 May 2005
By Quick to Judge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This work doesn't try to "hide any reference to our self nature", it tries to reveal that self is a delusion. As Master Hanshan says: "the bodhisattva should contemplate the nonexistence of a self," (from his commentary on the Diamond Sutra [Jin-gang Jing Jywe-yi]) so any attempt to ascribe to Hanshan the very non-Buddhist notion of any "self nature" would be (at best) a misrepresentation. Certainly this work does represent Thich Nhat Hanh's own interpretation of the tradition, but his "philosophy" is representative of mainstream Buddhism (to the extent anything ever is).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x901caf0c) out of 5 stars Wonderful!!! 30 Dec. 2009
By N. Chris Gobert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Everytime I think a concept is beyond my ability to comprehend, Thich makes the point loud and clear.
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