454th out of 508 books — 650 voters
The Sutra of Hui-Neng: Grand Master of Zen
Hui-neng (638�713) is perhaps the most beloved and respected figure in Zen Buddhism. An illiterate woodcutter who attained enlightenment in a flash, he became the Sixth Patriarch of Chinese Zen, and is regarded as the founder of the "Sudden Enlightenment" school. He is the supreme exemplar of the fact that neither education nor social background has any bearing on the atta...more
Paperback, 161 pages
Published September 14th 1998 by Shambhala
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Apr 07, 2007 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Buddhist interest and general 'enlightenment'
I recommend this book to anyone interested in what Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, or general 'liberation' or 'New Age' is about. Hui-Neng is a fantastic character, more so for his simplicity, his accomplishment, his directness, and the fact of his being a real person. His account of his life and enlightenment, and those who seek but do not attain has something for everyone, the vain, the proud, the stoic, the passionate... His view of Buddhism was welcome to me because, as he says, we find Budd...more
This book is also called The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, since Hui Neng was the sixth and last Patriarch of Zen/Chan Buddhism in China. (He chose not to name a successor). It is a collection of lectures he gave and conversations he had, compiled I don't know when. Hui Neng himself was illiterate. The message actually seems really similar to the modern Zen book I read, The Three Pillars of Zen (Hui Neng is from the Tang dynasty): remember that Buddha-nature is you, don't thinking that...more