Registration Deadline: February 20, 2013
Cost: non-members: $120; members: $60
This class continues an exploration of one of the most important texts in Zen Buddhism. It is not necessary to have participated in the first section of this class since each section is self contained.
Sometime around 400 BC, after returning from begging for his daily meal in a nearby city, the Buddha returned to the forest preserve where he was staying with his followers. He put away his robe and stone begging bowl, went outside, washed his feet and sat down on a wooden seat just outside his door. Sounds a bit like what many of us might do after a day’s work earning our living. We return home and settle into householder life. The Buddha’s long time student, Subhuti, approaches him and asks him to please offer instruction as to how we can all be freed from suffering. So, the Buddha begins his teaching and The Diamond Sutra is born. Such a simple everyday action opens one of the most profound of the wisdom teachings.
The full title of this sutra is The Diamond that Cuts Through Illusion. With the strength and precision of a diamond cutter, the sutra cuts through to the very core of our every day discontent and suffering. The versus are rich with imagery and offer profound insight into the wisdom teachings of interconnection and emptiness. Yet they are only useful to the extent that we see how they connect with our daily life. The sutra comes to life in our very being as it manifests through our joys, sorrows, strengths, weakness, life and death. It invites us to consider how we eat a meal, drink a glass of water, drive the freeway, attend a meeting at work, communicate with each other, take care of our environment.
Although the class will draw on discussion from various viewpoints, the primary translation will be Red Pine’s Diamond Sutra (Counterpoint).
If you live at a distance, it’s easy to participate fully in the class through Skype/Teleconferencing. Just be sure to indicate on your registration.
All registration forms must be received by February 20th. To sign up, go to Diamond Sutra Class Registration. Please make your check payable to Bay Zen Center and write “Diamond Sutra Class” on your check and on the envelope. People registering from out of the U.S. may make their payment through PayPal.