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November 29, 2011


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Barry, you say you're unconscious again and I'm going to hit you thirty times. Bad speech! :)


Red Pine is problematic. While I think his grasp of the language (Chinese) is pretty good, his ideas relating to Buddhist thought are not as developed. We looked at his Heart Sutra book for a course but his commentary was so full of weirdness that we used another work.

Chong Go Sunim

My experience is similar to Openbuddha's. Some parts of his works are very nice, but when it comes to the deeper ideas, he often *really* misses the point. I really can't trust him with Buddhist translations.

Chong Go Sunim

I guess I should explain further. With Red Pine's translations, when I compare the English with the Chinese, the ordinary Chinese parts are very well translated. But when it comes to the deeper ideas, it appears he doesn't have a good feel for what the texts are talking about. To me it reads like a lack of substantial spiritual experience. So he fills in those parts (in good faith, I'm sure) according to his ordinary, intellectual understanding. I've found Charles Luk to be a much more reliable translator of the deeper parts.

Barry Briggs

Thank you, Sunim and Al for your perspectives on Red Pine's translations. Hi translation of the Heart Sutra offers multiple commentaries for each section, which I found valuable. It looks like he doesn't employ that method in the Lanka. It will be months before I get to the book, because of my winter retreat schedule, so I'll keep your thoughts tucked away until then.

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