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January 15, 2012


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This review was clearly written by an extremely knowledgeable student of Buddhist philosophy. Scholars who read it will have quite a lot to think about.

Good commentary and right-on criticism of modern Zen. In fact, I am presently reading "Existence and Enlightenment in the Lankavatara Sutra," by Sutton. Huang Po pithily hit the nail on the head when he said: "There's never been a single thing. If you can understand the gist of this, why talk of transcendeental bliss." In other words, Mind, or the Dharamakaya, subsumes all and has become all (the Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya). Consequently, only Mind, or the Dharmakaya, is ultimately real--and this is apparent to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who can rest in Suchness (Tathata).

Just exactly what qualifications does Red Pine have to do this sort of translation, just ask yourself that. And then look to see who it is published by. No academic press would touch his work.

In the Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks (T50 No. 2060), in the section on Fachong Biography it says "Again, (Fachong) came across those who (had been) intimately taught by master Ke, relying on the One Vehicle (Ekayana) lineage of Southern India to explain it." This reference appears in DT Suzuki's Studies, so I'm wondering if Red Pine has anything to say about Bodhidharma's lineage being the One Vehicle lineage of Southern India.

The review seems to make my fears come true. There is certainly nothing written here that makes Red Pine's translation seem worth buying. I too wonder what the cross over between Chinese versions is about. Didn't Red Pine explain it?

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