Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Translated by Red Pine. The two sutras translated in this chapbook were among the first to arrive in China in the first and second centuries and among the first to be translated. Compiled from other texts as Buddhist primers for an audience that was new to the Dharma, their emphasis is on the Buddha's teachings of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and no self. Couched in the simplest of language, they have remained part of the daily liturgy in Buddhist temples throughout East Asia ever since. In addition to a preface, and footnotes where necessary, they are presented here in a bi-lingual edition.
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