The Diamond Sutra

‘Do not think that when one gives rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, one needs to see all objects of mind as nonexistent, cut off from life. Please do not think in that way. One who gives rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind does not contend that all objects of mind are nonexistent and cut off from life.’

I had left a slot this week for a post, which in my head was brewing to be a preamble to the kinds of things I intend to talk about in England, at the Hebden Bridge group in a few weeks. And then I started to feel that I was getting sick on Monday evening, and took a couple of days mostly resting, without the necessary élan to pull those thoughts together. So I shunted Dogen forward to give myself an extra day. And then thought that maybe this section of the Diamond Sutra would have to do. I picked up Thich Nhat Hanh’s recommended translation and commentary when I was at Green Gulch on Sunday, and – once again – enjoyed the fresh revelations of a different translation. Look out for a side-by-side in coming weeks, but in the meantime, this passage struck me very strongly with these choices of words. This paragraph works as a corollary to the sutra’s previous insistence on emptiness, including the emptiness of emptiness, to remind us that empty things do still exist. I didn’t feel like I got completely sick, but haven’t felt at 100% for a few days.

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