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The Diamond Sutra | Rare Buddhist Text on Emptiness

Today we will read and analyze the Buddhist text, The Diamond Sutra, while explaining the underlying meanings and context surrounding the teaching.

This is one of the most popular Buddhist texts and is one of the central texts for the Buddhist School of Emptiness. The teaching of Emptiness is especially important to our study of Buddhism because it highlights the Middle Path, one that refrains from all extremities. As a result, we can find peace of mind that is free from greed, anger, and ignorance, the three poisons that inhibit our spiritual awakening.

The Diamond Sutra explores four key concepts: giving without attachment to self, liberating beings without notions of self and other, living without attachment, and cultivating without attainment. By practicing these teachings in our everyday lives, we can free ourselves from suffering associated with a strong attachment to ego, false thoughts, and impulsive actions.

Introduction to my course

In this video, I introduce myself as a devout Practitioner of the Path and an ex-Buddhist Monk in Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Taiwan. The purpose of teaching these Buddhist courses is to share my knowledge and experience in Buddhism with those who are interested in self-practice and actualization. All practices should involve the Three Acts of Goodness in some way by relating the teachings to the level of actions, speech, and thoughts.

Introducing The Diamond Sutra

This class provides a brief introduction to The Diamond Sutra and explains why the teaching of Emptiness is so highly regarded in Buddhist practice. By understanding the context surrounding the Sutra, one is better able to relate its teachings to everyday life.

The Diamond Sutra – Reading and Explanation | Part 1

In Part 1 of the Diamond Sutra, we introduce the main question from Subhuti to the Buddha, “How should Boddhisattvas abide their mind and subdue their thoughts?”

Chapter 1: Convocation of the Assembly

Chapter 2: Subhuti Requests the Teaching

Chapter 3: The Bodhisattva Vow

Chapter 4: Unattached Practice of Charity

Chapter 5: Physical Attributes of Buddhahood

Chapter 6: The Merit of True Faith

Chapter 7: No Attainment, No Teaching

Chapter 8: Real Merit Has No Merit

The Diamond Sutra – Reading and Explanation | Part 2

In Part 2 of the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha explains the inconceivability of this Sutra by describing the rarity of a person who understands its teachings as well as the immesaurable merits one attains by simply receiving, retaining, and sharing it.

Chapter 9: The Four Stages of an Arhat

Chapter 10: Transformation to a Buddha World

Chapter 11: Merits of this Sutra

Chapter 12: The Most Extraordinary Merit

Chapter 13: Naming of the Sutra

Chapter 14: A Mind Without Attachments

Chapter 15: The Sutra Is a Supreme Vehicle

Chapter 16: Purgation of Bad Karma

The Diamond Sutra – Reading and Explanation | Part 3

In Part 3 of the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha explains the true practice of Boddhisattvas as being unattached from all dharmas. One should cultivate the Middle path by understanding the teachings of Emptiness.

Chapter 17: All Dharmas Are Non-Dharmas

Chapter 18: All Thoughts Are Intangible

Chapter 19: No Merit Is Great Merit

Chapter 20: Transcending Physical Attributes

Chapter 21: There Is No Dharma to Teach

Chapter 22: No Attainment Is Supreme Enlightenment

Chapter 23: All Dharmas Are Equal

Chapter 24: The Merits of Transmitting the Sutra

The Diamond Sutra – Reading and Explanation | Part 4

In Part 4 of the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha consolidates the teachings within the Sutra by further describing the unexcelled perfect Enlightenment of the Buddha and how one should practice to realize this state for themselves.

Chapter 25: There Are No Beings to Liberate

Chapter 26: Seek the Buddha Not in Form or Sound

Chapter 27: Avoid Annihilistic Views

Chapter 28: Bodhisattvas Do Not Accumulate Merits

Chapter 29: The Thus-Come One Neither Comes Nor Goes

Chapter 30: The Nature of the World

Chapter 31: Extinction of the Four Views 

Chapter 32: All Phenomena Are Illusions

The Three Acts of Goodness Framework

In the final lecture, please apply what you’ve learned from The Diamond Sutra into the Three Acts of Goodness Framework.

Think deeply and write at least 5 daily actionable practices you can incorporate into your daily life related to the three areas: Good Deeds, Good Speech, Good Thoughts.

This is the most important part of the course as everything you’ve learned is now tested by seeing how much of it is useful to you and how well you can bring the Teachings of Emptiness into life.

Thank you for reading!

It means a lot to me that you have completed this course on the Diamond Sutra. I try my best to produce the best quality Sutra analysis with detailed insights and practical directions. If you have any questions, please send me a message and I will endeavor to respond in as short a time as possible. Otherwise, please check out my other free courses on Udemy and see if any of them interests you. I will continue to add more over time so please come back and check next time!

I provide all my courses free of charge because I believe the Buddha Dharma should be open and available to all. If you like this course and feel it’s worth sharing, please leave a review and comment below!

Stay in touch! =)

Warm regards and best wishes.

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