The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

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Daily Zen Library. Related Journal Entries The Platform Sutra Daijian Huineng — The samadhi of oneness is straightforward mind at all times, walking, staying, sitting, and lying. That's why he obtained the Ancestor's robe and bowl" — Ch'an proverb If The Platform Sutra - Part II Hui-neng There was a priest named Fa-ta who had been reciting the Lotus Sutra continuously for seven years, but his mind was still deluded, and he did not know where the true Dharma Email Address.

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Some consider Huineng, not Bodhidharma, to be the true father of Zen. His tenure, at the beginning of the T'ang Dynasty , marks the beginning of what is still called the "golden age" of Zen. Huineng stands at the juncture where Zen shed its vestigial Indian trappings and found its unique spirit -- direct and unflinching.

From him flow all schools of Zen that exist today. This is a seminal work of Zen literature. The Platform Sutra presents itself as a collection of talks given by the Sixth Patriarch at a temple in Guangzhou Canton.

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Its passages are still actively discussed and used as a teaching device in all schools of Zen. Huineng also appears in some of the classic koans.

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Historians believe the Platform Sutra was composed after Huineng had died, probably by a disciple of one of Huineng's dharma heirs, Shenhui Even so, historian Heinrich Dumoulin wrote, "It is this figure of Hui-neng that Zen has elevated to the stature of the Zen master par excellence. His teachings stand at the source of all the widely diverse currents of Zen Buddhism.

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In classical Zen literature, the dominant influence of Hui-neng is assured. The figure of the Sixth Patriarch embodies the essence of Zen. Huineng's teachings focused on inherent enlightenment, sudden awakening, the wisdom of emptiness sunyata , and meditation. His emphasis was on realization through direct experience rather than study of sutras.

Selection from the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch: Chapter 1, Part 1 of 2

In legends, Huineng locks libraries and rips sutras to shreds. Bodhidharma ca.

Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Liuzu Tan Jing)

Bodhidharma was the First Patriarch of Zen. According to Zen legend, Bodhidharma bequeathed his robe and alms bowl to Huike or Hui-k'o, , the Second Patriarch. In time the robe and bowl were passed to the Third Patriarch, Sengcan or Seng-ts'an, d. Hongren was abbot of a monastery on Shuangfeng Mountain, in what is now Hubei Province.

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According to the Platform Sutra , Huineng was a poor, illiterate young man from southern China who was selling firewood when he heard someone reciting the Diamond Sutra , and he had an awakening experience. The man reciting the sutra had come from Hongren's monastery, Huineng learned.

Huineng traveled to Shuangfeng Mountain and presented himself to Hongren. Hongren saw that this uneducated youth from south China had a rare understanding.