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Platform Sutra, The: The ZEN Teaching of Hui-Neng Paperback – 5 Feb 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: COUNTERPOINT (5 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593761775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593761776
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Transmitted in prose, the Sutra here is imbued with its original poetic resonance, a tribute to Red Pine's own commitment to the muse and dharma respectively... Here then, at last, is a contemporary translation of Buddhism's definitive Big Meditation and what an immensely readable treasure this book is!"

About the Author

Red Pine lives and work in Taiwan. He is the translator of "The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain "and" "of "The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own several versions of the Platform Sutra but this is my favourite. Unlike many translations of this Sutra, which are based on the Tsung-Pao edition, this translation is based on a text found at Shangssu Temple, in the Tunhuang Caves, by Ren Ziyi in 1935. This text was later edited by Yang Zengwen in 1993. It is one of the oldest and best preserved editions of this text and may represent something closer to the original text (if a single original text existed). However, Red Pine also translates the sections from the Tsung-Pao edition that are not included in the Tunhuang Museum Text. These are included both in his commentary (for shorter sections) and in an appendix (for longer sections), for those who are interested. Also provided is a guide that allows the Tsung-Pao edition to be reconstructed from these additional materials. (For those who specifically want a translation of the Tsung-Pao text I recommend The Sutra of Hui-Neng: Grand Master of Zen, by Thomas Cleary). Red Pine also includes, in an appendix, the text in Chinese.

As always, Red Pine not only provides a fine translation of the core text but also an extremely helpful and interesting commentary, giving both background and context. Also provided is a most engaging and interesting introduction to the work.

Red Pine (an award winning translator), always seems to take great care and give a good deal of thought to all his translations. I certainly value all the works of his that I own.

An excellent work and a welcome addition to any Zen bookshelf. Thank you Red Pine.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely book and thank you for the translation Red Pine for you endless hard work, I would recommend this, it may take a few reads or one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I simply just don't like the layout of the book so far. Seems a bit jumbled. I downloaded the sutra from the internet a few years before buying this book and had many deep realisations hence the purchase of Red Pine translation and commentary. I have other Red Pine books and havent found them to be troublesome so maybe I'll give it another go in a few years.
Definitely not a reflection on Hui Neng or this particular sutra. The sutra is a classic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x940829fc) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9409a594) out of 5 stars At last a good translation of the Platform Sutra! 5 Dec. 2006
By Bill Butler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I eagerly anticipate any new book from Red Pine (Bill Porter), and this is another wonderful achievement from this great translator and seasoned Zen practitioner.

The text of the master Hui-neng's teaching is clear and straightforward, and Red Pine's notes bring great value as in his past books. He's a master of translation, but also of interpreting ancient Chinese culture, as he's shown in his brilliant translations of ancient Chinese poems.

Hui-neng's teaching on thoughts and thinking during meditation (section 17) are particularly helpful, in a time when Zen meditation is so often misunderstood as an escape from thoughts.

This will easily replace Yampolsky's translation both in clarity and, at least to this non-scholar, in accuracy, since it's based on a more ancient and reliable source text.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9409a5e8) out of 5 stars Another masterwork 18 Jan. 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Red Pine is simply the best translator of and commentator on Chinese Buddhist texts that I have encountered. I heard him describe his translation process in the following terms (though my paraphrase from faulty memory will only do it faint justice): "I dance with the original text: I need to know it intimately, to move and breathe with it, but if I get too close, try to control it, I step on its toes and we fall over."

His translation is always exquisite, his commentary clear, and he always brings a fresh and challenging perspective top the text. Wonderful - keep it up!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9431af0c) out of 5 stars Essential Mahayana reference enthusiastically recommended for Zen Buddhism reference shelves 12 May 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Award-winning translator Red Pine has rendered the work of the controversial Sixth Patriarch of Zen into English in The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-Neng. Red Pine's commentary illuminates this classic; unlike other sutras, which transcribe the teachings of Buddha himself, The Platform Sutra transcribes the spiritual and practical teachings of Hui-Neng, whose seventh-century school of Direct Awakening still thrives today and whose wisdom continues to influence the Rinzai and Soto schools of modern Zen. The full, original Chinese text with an accompanying list of Chinese names for texts, places and the like along with extensive notes enhances this essential Mahayana reference enthusiastically recommended for Zen Buddhism reference shelves. "Fellow students of the Way, be careful. Don't think that meditation comes first and then gives rise to wisdom or that wisdom comes first and then gives rise to meditation or that meditation and wisdom are separate. For those who hold such views, the Dharma is dualistic: If the mouth speaks of goodness, but the mind doesn't think of goodness, meditation and wisdom aren't the same. But if goodness pervades both the mouth and the mind, if what is external and internal are alike, then meditation and wisdom are the same."
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9409a870) out of 5 stars Excellent translation and reference source 20 Dec. 2007
By R. Lau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I like this translation a lot. The translation into English is clear. But Red Pine's commentary is what makes this a valuable resource as it gives those not so familiar with Buddhist technical terms a clear understanding of the text. Moreover, I really like the classical Chinese in the appendix, so I can compare my translation efforts to that of Red Pine, thereby improving my own skills in reading classical Chinese. A very valuable and necessary resource. When reading it one really feels that the 6th Patriarch, HuiNeng is right there next to you extolling you to experience your mind directly.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9409aab0) out of 5 stars Disappointed. 24 Nov. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Most of the reviews make this a good reference book, not a translation you'd want to use more personally. I doubt it will replace Yampolsky's translation. For my money, I prefer Cleary's translation of the later verison of the Sutra. Cleary's translation is much cleaner and easier to read.
I think fan's of Red Pine will, like me, find it disappointing, mostly because the notes, in this case, make it rather confusing. Red Pine has made this approach work seamlessly, elsewhere, but not here. Still, I look forward to his Lanka, after all, this is the guy who gave us Han Shan and for that I'll be forever grateful! Let us not forget his Bodhidharma and Diamond, either!
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