Zen and the Art of Insight
The Prajnaparamita ("perfection of wisdom") sutras are one of the great legacies of Mahayana Buddhism, giving eloquent expression to some of that school's central concerns: the perception of shunyata, the essential emptiness of all phenomena; and the ideal of the bodhisattva, one who postpones his or her own enlightenment in order to work for the salvation of all beings.
The Prajnaparamita literature consists of a number of texts composed in Buddhist India between 100 BCE and 100 CE. Originally written in Sanskrit, but surviving today mostly in their Chinese versions, the texts are concerned with the experience of profound insight that cannot be conveyed by concepts or in intellectual terms. The material remains important today in Mahayana Buddhism and Zen.
Key selections from the Prajnaparamita literature are presented here, along with Thomas Cleary's illuminating commentary, as a means of demonstrating the intrinsic limitations of discursive thought, and of pointing to the profound wisdom that lies beyond it.
Included selections from:
The Scripture on Perfect Insight Awakening to Essence
The Essentials of the Great Scripture on Perfect Insight
Treatise on the Great Scripture on Perfect Insight
The Scripture on Perfect Insight for Benevolent Rulers
Key Teachings on the Great Scripture of Perfect Insight
The Questions of Suvikrantavikramin
THE CALL OF THE FOREST
The Call of the Forest
Introduction to the theme
Reginald Ray, advocate of the "Forest renunciate"
tradition, argues that the forest can be a metaphor
for a spirit of freedom attainable within any lifestyle
Love in a Wild Climate
Kamala Tiyavanich tells how Thai thudong monks face their fears in the jungle protected only by their
awareness and positivity
Whispers of Solitude
Drawn to a meditative life, Prakasha set up a vihara and describes the fruits of somplicity and contemplation
Padmakara takes an imaginative journeyinto the forest through Santideva's classic, the Bodhicarayavatara
Smiles and Shadows
kerstin Duell's account, in stories and pictures, of monastic life in Burma
Michael Roach, a Buddhist teacher and diamond trader,
has tips for keeping the mind clear and sharp
People: confronting times
By facing her irritability, subhadramati is going beyond
Broady engaging: David Brazier talks to "Dharma Life"
about "The New Buddhism"
Dayamati on "The New Buddhism"
Kulamitra on "Indestructible Truth"
Sagaramati on the "Anguttara Nikaya"
Books In Brief:
"Wheel of Compassion"
"Hermit of Go Cliffs"
Vidyamala ponders a creative contradiction
Vajradaka offers advice on keeping perspective
Buddhafile: True to the Heart
Dhiranandi describes how Vairochana illuminates the
mysteries of life
Seven pages on the meeting of Buddhism and the modern
world, from the glories of the reopened Musee Guimet in
Paris to the Buddhist response to Gujarat's earthquake