Softcover, 232 pages, Somerville 2020, new
In the profound teachings of the Diamond Cutter Sutra, the Buddha offers a view of the world that deconstructs our normal categories of experience to show us that what we think are real entities in the world are actually our conceptualizations. The Buddha teaches us to cut our attachment to all phenomena and to the “I,” which are empty of inherent existence, and in so doing, cut the root cause of our suffering. Yet without wise guidance we may think that because all phenomena are empty there is no need to be attached to virtue, and thus we fall into the worst trap of all—an attachment to emptiness. How do we destroy our attachment without being led astray?
With this question in mind, Dzogchen Master Khenpo Sodargye provides sparkling commentary on the Diamond Cutter Sutra so that we understand its actual meaning, thus preparing us to understand the view of the Great Perfection and Mahamudra. Before recognizing the nature of the mind, we learn we must hold on to things that are virtuous and right. Like a boat, these can help us cross a river; until we reach the other shore, it makes no sense to give them up.
Khenpo Sodargye was born in Tibet in 1962 in what is today the Sichuan province of China. After spending his early years herding yaks, he entered the Buddhist monastery and went on to become the preeminent scholar of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Serthar. He has been especially effective at popularizing Tibetan Buddhism among Chinese communities and regularly speaks at universities in Asia and the West.