The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma

The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma A fifth century Indian Buddhist monk Bodhidharma is credited with bringing Zen to China Although the tradition that traces its ancestry back to him did not flourish until nearly two hundred years aft

  • Title: The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma
  • Author: Bodhidharma Red Pine
  • ISBN: 9780865473980
  • Page: 221
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A fifth century Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is credited with bringing Zen to China Although the tradition that traces its ancestry back to him did not flourish until nearly two hundred years after his death, today millions of Zen Buddhists and students of kung fu claim him as their spiritual father While others viewed Zen practice as a purification of the mind or aA fifth century Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is credited with bringing Zen to China Although the tradition that traces its ancestry back to him did not flourish until nearly two hundred years after his death, today millions of Zen Buddhists and students of kung fu claim him as their spiritual father While others viewed Zen practice as a purification of the mind or a stage on the way to perfect enlightenment, Bodhidharma equated Zen with buddhahood and believed that it had a place in everyday life Instead of telling his disciples to purify their minds, he pointed them to rock walls, to the movements of tigers and cranes, to a hollow reed floating across the Yangtze.This bilingual edition, the only volume of the great teacher s work currently available in English, presents four teachings in their entirety Outline of Practice describes the four all inclusive habits that lead to enlightenment, the Bloodstream Sermon exhorts students to seek the Buddha by seeing their own nature, the Wake up Sermon defends his premise that the most essential method for reaching enlightenment is beholding the mind The original Chinese test, presented on facing pages, is taken from a Ch ing dynasty woodblock edition.
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    127 Comment

    • Mista says:

      "IT" cannot be stated clearer

    • Maddie says:

      Excellent clear interpretation of the dharma - "one mind" as transmitted by Gautama the Buddha, Red Pine does an awesome job recounting the the history, myth and legend surrounding the mystical figure of Bodhidharma. Straight forward and very easily understood, the "precepts" are powerful and profound - cuts straight to the heart of Buddhism. It dispels Buddhist "Idol worship" ceremonies, mystique, traditions like a great cliff notes should. No offense, but Catholics could use a dude like this t [...]

    • Achint Kumar says:

      This book deals mostly with the mind,delusion,karma etc.Book is very small and each sentence is meaningful.Not a single sentence is without a purpose.Some paragraph was not easy to understand for me.Still i am feeling delighted after reading this book.

    • Peycho Kanev says:

      MANY roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice. To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn’t apparent because it’s shrouded by sensation and delusion. Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who meditate on walls, the absence of self and other, the oneness of mortal and sage, and who remain unmoved even by scriptures are in complete and unspoken agree [...]

    • Vanessa says:

      this book is FUN! written by a 5th century Zen monk yet the tone feels very current and refreshing to me."Buddhas don't save buddhas. If you use your mind to look for a buddha, you won't see the buddha. As long as you look for a buddha somewhere else, you'll never see that your own mind is the buddha. Don't use a buddha to worship a buddha. And don't use the mind to invoke a buddha. Buddhas don't recite sutras. Buddhas don't keep precepts. And buddhas don't break precepts. Buddhas don't keep or [...]

    • Serdar says:

      A short book, but a tremendously useful one. One commonly misunderstood aspect of Buddhism is how it used elements of the Brahmanic belief systems in a metaphorical way, not a literal way. One of the texts in this book explicitly spells that out, and shows this was a tradition that accompanied Zen Buddhism from its early days in China. The translation is also highly readable.

    • Chris says:

      The book started off with a description of the four noble truths. While the Bodhidharma is kind of severe through his teachings, I enjoyed how he broke the Buddha's metaphors down. I remember an instructor once saying that by cleaning the house you are at the same time polishing your soul. As if the physical things we do can improve our spiritual growth. The Bodhidarma kind of puts the metaphor into the context of a spiritual teaching not to be taking literally.The mind is the Buddha. This is a [...]

    • Jordan Debben says:

      These are the writings of the man credited with the founding of the first Shaolin Temple, and the invention of Zen Buddhism. By all accounts this dude was mad as a bucket of fish but it certainly makes an interesting read for anyone curious about the worlds religions. Miracles attributed to him include coming back from the dead and using a single twig as a boat.From the "Bloodstream Sermon"'Arhats don’t know the Buddha. All they know are so many practices for realization, and they become trapp [...]

    • Claire says:

      I have so much difficulty not absolutely adoring bilingual texts. (Then again, I absolutely adore what seems like most human records, come to think of it.) I find it so pleasing to identify the characters for whatever with the hint of the English translation on the other side. This is the first reason I particularly appreciated this book. Then the other, perhaps more important reason, regards what was actually being translated between the two tongues. It seems the dominant language of the text i [...]

    • Scott says:

      The format here is English text with the Chinese of which it's a translation on the facing pages. So if you're working on learning to read Chinese, this could be a help. I'm not learning Chinese so the main result for me was that it boosts the page count to that of a short book from what otherwise would be a ridiculously short book, coming in at about 60 pages. Even so, this seems overly long for a doctrine that claims to go beyond scriptures. As Zen writing goes, this one doesn't stand out from [...]

    • Tim says:

      As a Christian maybe I shouldn’t be recommending this book, but it’s probably the best Buddhist book I’ve read (and there was a time when I read a lot of them), and one of the better books I’ve read in general. Talk about the diamond that cuts through illusion – the Diamond Sutra doesn’t really cut the way this book does. It’s pretty powerful, straight-ahead stuff. Incidentally, I once read that part of this book was a source for a section of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, but that [...]

    • John says:

      This is an especially awesome, extremely short, tersely-written book. Rereading it now, I think about the first time I read it, at work in the parking lot, a night that it was raining. Sitting in the booth, watching the reflection of the streetlight in a puddle by the speed bump, seeing the image disturbed by raindrops.

    • Stephen McDonough says:

      You will need to have a basic to intermediate understanding of Zen Buddhism to catch on. Until I studied Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and it's historical foundations, I could not understand nor fully appreciate the Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma.

    • Catie says:

      "Seeing through the mundane and witnessing the sublime is less than an eye-blink away. Realization is now."

    • R. Glenn Guillory says:

      This book has an excellent preface giving the details of Bodhidharma's life in the beginning the Zen Buddhism and how it became rooted in Chinese culture.

    • Algernon says:

      Red Pine (Bill Porter), author of Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits and a celebrated translator of Buddhist poetry and scripture, gives us a spirited translation of four talks attributed to Bodhidharma even though debates over authorship, and even the existence of Bodhidharma as more than a legend, have not rested.Bodhidharma's "Outline of Practice" outlines the dharma as this Brahman-born monk taught it in China after being sent there by his teacher, Prajnatara. A confusing distin [...]

    • Goran Powell says:

      Bodhidharma is the 6th Century Indian monk who is credited with founding Zen Buddhism and Kung Fu at the Shaolin temple. Also known as Da Mo in Chinese, and Daruma in Japanese, he is the spiritual father of countless martial artists whose systems trace their origins to Shaolin. In this slim volume Red Pine (an American monk living in Taiwan) gives an outline of the history, myth and legend surrounding the mystical figure of Bodhidharma and translates these short, enigmatic writings attributed to [...]

    • Jean says:

      Going through this short book very, very slowly. We just spent eight weeks at my local Zen center going over *just* the Outline of Practice chapter, line by line. What does it mean to enter the path by reason (alternate translations include "principle" or "insight")? What does it mean to "suffer injustice"? This is not a long book, and you can get through it quickly, but I found it much more gratifying to go through slowly and deliberately with a spirit of inquiry. This is likely to stay on my " [...]

    • Sharon Moriarty says:

      A short book that packs a powerful punch. I would say this book is flawless! It continuously inspires me, even over a decade later. Bodhidharma was never one to waste words and the clarity, depth and succinctness of his powerful transmission is prominently evident. He illuminates, like no other. If you never picked up another book on Zen, this is the one to get. He understands abundantly the nature of mind, penetrates the world of perception and is hardly fooled by the world of appearances.

    • Stephen Rafferty says:

      Teaches the basics of Zen. Points the direction to go and is quite humble in his statements. It is a book that can be read on a superficial level or one that can be read and re read to gain deeper understanding.It has a good glossary at the back to enlighten the reader on things such as the 5 precepts, etc.Easy, and difficult and enjoyable to read!

    • Mark says:

      This is one of my favorite zen books. Red Pine is a terrific translator, and Bodhidharma was the first patriarch of Zen. I read this in 2011 and reviewed it then on Epinions. A must read for students of Zen!The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma

    • Jason Gregory says:

      In this short but crystal clear translation of Bodhidharma, Red Pine takes you on the old Zen masters journey from India to China where he began to teach the dharma. This book is full of profound insights into the nature of Zen through the mind of Bodhidharma. It is one of those books you could finish in an afternoon but contemplate for a lifetime.

    • Matt Reese says:

      I've told people that after reading this I don't need any more Buddhist literature. Bodhidharma has completed my Buddhist library with a single diamond clear text. It was like getting punched in the face by a log on a chain. Perfect.

    • Rich says:

      Excellent and shiningly clear. The very heart of zen - cut off all additional doctrine, dogma and mindless ritual - just see your true mind. Very much recommended for zen practitioners. Except for the bit about the icchantikas, which is shockingly dispicable (killing unbelievers is okay - wtf?!)

    • Anthony says:

      Great zen teaching.

    • Jon(athan) Nakapalau says:

      Four teachings of the founder of Zen are presented here in English for the first time. One of the best books on Buddhism I have ever read.

    • Enso 108 says:

      If you enjoyed this book you may like to join our Mindful Readers group/group/show/Thank you

    • Tchatchke says:

      Absolutely mind blowing.

    • Giacomo Mantani says:

      Not an easy text as introduction to Zen teachings but definitely recommended. Like other old text, additional readings clarify concepts, inspire more and improve your understanding. You always find something to learn from them.The teachings are essential and there are not useless words. Insights bring the reader to deeply understand sacred text and Sutra, in my humble opinion.Often you must read carefully and you must pay attention and put lots of effort in order to get the idea.Bodhidharma expl [...]

    • Ahmad Alhour says:

      I have attempted to read this book a couple of years ago but I couldn't make sense of it, simply because I didn't study Buddhism and its practices thoroughly. Having studied Buddhism, in addition to reading other books on Zen, re-reading this book was more enjoyable and eye-opening. This is by far the best book I have read on Chan and Zen. Bodhidharma's works are full of metaphors and references to the Sutras, which this book greatly help outline, in addition to interpreting classical Buddhist p [...]

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