with Myo Denis Lahey
in the City Center dining room
Thursday, April 24, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm
, or more properly, The Mahaprajñaparamita Sutra of the Direct Teaching of the Southern School of the Supreme Mahayana
, occupies a unique place in East Asian Buddhist literature, being virtually the sole canonical text not attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha himself that is accorded the status of “ch’ing” (Skt. sutra, J. kyo), ie, buddhavacanam
, the word of Buddha. Like every other example of hagiography, or chronicles of the sacred, the text we have today emerges from the murky background of history trailing the cobwebs of political, social, economic and aesthetic currents that are the results of all human interaction. While this of itself can make for interesting attempts to unearth the “real truth” of the text’s initial, spiritual inspiration, its careful transmission down the generations, and the efforts of all right-thinking people to treat it as the treasure it is, our purpose will be:
- to look at the text in light of how the Platform Sutra came to acquire its high status as the ultimate expression of Ch’an/Zen’s very ethos, or the face it chooses to present to the world; and
- to see what echoes of our own practice of the Buddha Way we may discover as modern practitioners in what we regard as an unbroken lineage extending all the way from Buddha’s time to our own.
We’ll primarily be using the translation by Red Pine (The Platform Sutra
, transl. Red Pine; Counterpoint Press, 2006), but participants may feel free to bring in other versions for comparison.
$15; $13.50 current SFZC members; $12 limited income. (About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations
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Myo Denis Lahey
Rev. Myo Denis Lahey is the Abbot at Issan-ji (Hartford Street Zen Center) as well as Practice Leader at Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, California, and has previously served as head of practice (Tanto) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. A Dharma heir of Tenshin Reb Anderson, he serves as Treasurer for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America (SZBA) and is a member of the Association for Soto Zen Buddhism of Japan (ASZB). Raised in an observant Roman Catholic home, Myo was drawn to religion and spirituality at an early age and found Zen Buddhism in his teens. He began sitting in 1969 and practiced with many San Francisco Zen Center practitioners and teachers, including Dainin Katigiri-roshi, Kobun Chino-sensei, Yoshimura-sensei, and Issan Dorsey. Myo studied Sanskrit at UC Berkeley for ten years.