The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic (Paperback)
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The Lotus Sutra is regarded as one of the world's great religious scriptures and most influential texts. It's a seminal work in the development of Buddhism throughout East Asia and, by extension, in the development of Mahayana Buddhism throughout the world. Taking place in a vast and fantastical cosmic setting, the Lotus Sutra places emphasis on skillfully doing whatever is needed to serve and compassionately care for others, on breaking down distinctions between the fully enlightened buddha and the bodhisattva who vows to postpone salvation until all beings may share it, and especially on each and every being's innate capacity to become a buddha.
Gene Reeves's new translation appeals to readers with little or no familiarity with technical Buddhist vocabulary, as well as long-time practitioners and students. In addition, this remarkable volume includes the full "threefold" text of this classic.
About the Author
Gene Reeves is a Buddhist scholar and teacher, process philosopher, and theologian who has lived in Tokyo for over 23 years studying, teaching, and practicing the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. He is a founder of the International Buddhist Congregation with headquarters in Tokyo, a part of the much larger Rissho Kosei-kai lay Buddhist organization. He is the translator from Chinese into English of The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. His most recently published book is The Stories of the Lotus Sutra. A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra, which he edited, was published in 2002. He retired in 2012 as distinguished professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing and continues to do field research on contemporary Chinese Buddhism in China and serve as an International Advisor at Rissho Kosei-kai in Japan. He has taught at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, the University of Peking in China, and at the University of Chicago and Meadville Lombard Theological School, Wilberforce University, and Tufts University in the United States. Born and raised in a small factory town in New Hampshire, Reeves graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in psychology, from Boston University with a degree in theology, and from Emory University with a PhD in philosophy. In addition to his passion for Buddhism, Reeves has been active for over 50 years in civil rights causes, working for a time with Martin Luther King, Jr. and for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Reeves is married to Yayoi Reeves and has homes in Tokyo and Chicago. He has two adult daughters who live and work in the United States.
"Difficult as it may be to interpret ancient Tibetan Buddhist imagery for contemporary meditators, it is perhaps even more challenging to make historical Buddhist texts accessible. In a new translation of The Lotus Sutra, Gene Reeves aims to do just this. Reeves uses everyday language wherever possible, translating into English many words that previous works have left in Sanskrit. This approach is particularly appropriate for the Lotus Sutra, which emphasizes that enlightenment is attainable for everyone."
"This translation is immediately the new standard, expressing the Lotus Sutra with accuracy, clarity, and fresh readability. The text's genius and subtle spiritual teachings are skillfully captured for a wide audience."
— Taigen Dan Leighton, Loyola University, author of Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dogen and the Lotus Sutra
"A highly readable new translation of the great Lotus Sutra, Gene Reeves skillfully renders the complexity of the text from a scholarly standpoint while delivering its flavor for practitioners. An invaluable resource for students in the classroom as well as in the meditation hall."
— Mark Unno, University of Oregon, author of Shingon Refractions
"For readers who are not familiar with the Lotus Sutra, this is an excellent opportunity to acquaint oneself with a bedrock Mahayana text. Dr. Reeves brings a welcome perspective of both scholarship and sympathy to the text, which is extremely multifaceted and requires flexibility to fully represent its fascinating-and at times somewhat frustrating-elements. This new version is also particularly important because it includes the rarely translated Sutra of Innumerable Meanings and the Sutra of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, which are traditionally considered to be the preface and appendix of the main text and hold an important place in the liturgy and study of the Lotus Sutra. And Dr. Reeves has made a strong effort to make the text truly accessible to anyone, including non-Buddhists and non-specialists."
— Tricycle Editors' Blog