Daily Zen Library
A Day in the Life: the Empty Bowl & Diamond Sutras
Author: Red Pine
These two sutras that record a day in the life of the Buddha when the Buddha was teaching the Prajnaparamita, the teaching that formed the basis of Buddhism's Mahayana path. Not only are they among the shortest Prajnaparamita texts, they're connected and read as if they span the events of a single day. In the “Empty Bowl Sutra,” which appears here in English for the first time, the Buddha's disciples' question Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, on his way to town to beg for food, and he responds with the teaching of emptiness–that anything we might think of as real is illusory and its “thingness” based on nothing more than our own projections. In the “Diamond Sutra,” the translation of which has benefitted from recently discovered Sanskrit copies, the Buddha returns from his own begging round and tells his disciples what results when they combine this teaching with the vow to liberate others. In using the most significant events in his own career as an example, the Buddha presents one of the earliest accounts of how buddhas become buddhas.
Heart of the Mountain