Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Religion and Spirituality. Buddhism. Translated by Red Pine. Empty Bowl is proud to present Red Pine's newest offering: 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.
Both sutras are presented together in a 5"X7" chapbook, saddle stitched, with an introduction but minimum of notes so that readers can experience the force of these texts uninterrupted and in a convenient hand-held, open-page format.
Bill Porter, who translates under the name Red Pine, was born in Califoria and grew up in Northern Idaho. He attended Columbia University and studied with a faculty that included Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. He became interested in Buddhism, and in 1972 he left America and moved to a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. During this time, he married a Chinese woman, with whom he has two children, and he began working on translations of Chinese poetry and Buddhist texts. In 1993, he returned to America so that his children could learn English. For the past twenty years, he has worked as an independent scholar and has supported himself from book royalties and lecture fees. During this time, he has lectured at many of the major universities in the US, England and Germany where he has lectured on Chinese history, culture, poetry, and religion. His translations of texts dealing with these subjects have been honored with a number of awards, including two NEA translation fellowships, a PEN translation award, the inaugural Asian Literature Award of the American Literary Translators Association, a Guggenheim Fellowship, which he received to support work on a book based on a pilgrimage to the graves and homes of China's greatest poets of the past, which was published under the title Finding Them Gone in January of 2016, and more recently in 2018 the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation bestowed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His translations include ZEN ROOTS: THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS (Empty Bowl, 2020), WHY NOT PARADISE (Empty Bowl, 2019), STONEHOUSE'S POEMS FOR ZEN MONKS (Empty Bowl, 2019), CATHAY REVISITED (Empty Bowl, 2019), A DAY IN THE LIFE (Empty Bowl, 2018), P'U MING'S OXHERDING PICTURES AND VERSE (Empty Bowl, 2015), and more.
Author City: PORT TOWNSEND, WA USA