6. Mahayana Sutras

There are many many Mahayana sutras, only some of which have been translated into English. In our Study Guide, we consider just a few of those we feel are most important for our study and practice.

If early Buddhism is psychologically oriented, focusing on individual liberation and serious spiritual cultivation, Mahayana Buddhism is largely a Buddhism of enthusiasm, devotion, and faith. Its vision is cosmic and extravagant, its literature expansive, poetic, almost over the top.

The Lotus Sutra was a major influence on Dōgen’s Zen and the most widely read Buddhist text throughout the Far East. The Avatamsaka Sutra’s cosmic vision of worlds within worlds, atoms within atoms, time and space dissolved, seems to anticipate quantum physics. Its teachings stand behind much of Chinese Zen, as do those of the Vimalakirti sutra, a much shorter and pithier text. The Surangama and Lankavatara sutras are a little more obscure but have been important to our study for their analysis of perception and consciousness.

The many sutras on the topic of Emptiness are also crucial Mahayana texts that can be considered as a separate category. We consider these texts in Topic 8 in the Study Guide, Emptiness Teachings.

Study Guide

Please note: we are currently the process of editing and properly categorizing our teachings library. The teachings will become available here in the study guide as soon as they’re ready, please check back soon.

1. The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti

By Vimalakirti | 1987 | Pennsylvania State University Press | ISBN 0271006013

In this profound and beautiful sutra, translated here by Robert Thurman, Vimalakirti, a layman, teaches the Mahayana doctrine of emptiness.
 

2. The Flower Ornament Scripture | A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra

Thomas Cleary, Translator | 1993 | Shambhala | ISBN 0877739404

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3. Lotus Sutra

Burton Watson, Translator | 2004 | Columbia University | ISBN 0231081618

The Lotus Sutra is an important text for all of Far East Asian Buddhism. It recasts the Buddha as a cosmic principle rather than a revered teacher, and shows the importance of a path of faith and devotion in Buddhism. This translation by Burton Watson is the text Norman uses in his five talks on the Lotus Sutra.

 

 

 
 
Norman Presented last talk in the Lotus Sutra Sersies to the Upaya Zen Center in Tuscon, Arizona on December 12, 2020.  This series referencing the Gene Reeves as well as
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Norman gives his 17th and last talk of the Lotus Sutra 2020 series to the Everyday Zen November All Day Sitting.  This series referencing the Gene Reeves as well as
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Norman gives his 16th talk of the Lotus Sutra 2020 Series to the Dharma Seminar on Chapters 21 thru 24. This series referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the
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Norman give his talk on the Lotus Stura, the 13th in the series, to the Loon Lake Sesshin on November 10, 2020.  This series referencing the Gene Reeves as well
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Shuso Christopher Dumbleton gives his last talk to the Practice Period, and 14th talk on the Lotus Sutra, on “Universal Bodhisatvas.”  This series referencing the Gene Reeves as well as
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Norman gives the 12th talk on The Lotus Sutra on Chapters 15 and 16 to the Dharma Seminar. This series referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson
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Norman gives his 11th talk in The Lotus Sutra 2020 series on Chapters 12 - 14. This is the fifth and final talk of the 2020 Dharma Seminar Sesshin. This
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Norman gives the 10th talk on the Lotus Sutra 2020 series on Chapter 12 and is the fourth talk of the Dharma Seminar 2020 Sesshin. This series referencing the Gene
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Norman gives the ninth talk on the Lotus Sutra 2020 series on Chapter 11 and is the third talk of the Dharma Seminar 2020 Sesshin. This series referencing the Gene
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Norman gives the eighth talk of the Lotus Sutra 2020 series and the second Sesshin Talk on Chapters 8, 9 and 10 referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the
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Norman gives his seventh talk of the Lotus Sutra 2020 Series on Chapter 7 of The Lotus Sutra referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson edition of
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Norman gives the sixth talk of the Lotus Sutra 2020 series on Chapters 5 & 6 referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson edition of the same
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Norman gives his fourth talk on The Lotus Sutra speaking on Chapters 3 and 4 referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson edition of the same name.
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Norman gives his third talk on The Lotus Sutra 2020 series titled "Universal Inclusion" to The Upaya Zen Center. Norman referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson
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Norman gives his second talk of The Lotus Sutra 2020 series to the Dharma Seminar referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson edition of the same name.
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Norman gives his first talk of The Lotus Sutra 2020 series to the EDZ All Day Sitting September 2020 referencing the Gene Reeves as well as the Burton Watson edition
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Norman gives the last talk of the 2020 Vimalakiriti series at the February All Day Sitting at Green Gulch Farms.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of
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Norman gives the eighth and final talk of the Vimalakirti Sutra 2020 to the Dharma Seminar on Chapters 10, 11, and 12.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy
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Jeff Bickner gives the seventh talk on the Vimalakirti Sutra, Chapter 11 to the Dharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti.
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Jeff Bickner gives the sixth talk on the Vimalakirti 2020 series to the Dharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti.
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Norman presents the fourth talk from Chapters 8 and 9 of the Vimalakirti Sutra to the Bay Area Sharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of
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Norman presents the fourth talk from Chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the Vimalakirti Sutra to the Bay Area Dharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching
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Norman presents the third talk from Capters 4 and 5 of the Vimalakirti Sutra to the Bay Area Dharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of
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Norman presents the second talk from Chapters 2 and 3 of the Vimalakirti Sutra to the Bay Area Dharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of
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Norman Fischer presented the first talk in the series on the Vimalakirti Sutra to the Dharma Seminar.  This series references the book Vimalakirti: The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti.  
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Chris Fortin presents the sixth talk on the Heart Sutra to the Dharma Seminar in February 2019 > View the pdf
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Chris Fortin presents the fifth talk in the Dharma Seminar series on the Heart Sutra in February 2019 > View the pdf
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Chris Fortin presents the fourth talk in the Dharma Seminar series on the Heart Sutra in January 2019 > View the pdf
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Chris Fortin presents the third talk in the Dharma Seminar series on the Heart Sutra > View the pdf
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Chris Fortin presents the second talk in the Dharma Seminar on the Heart Sutra > View the pdf
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Chris Fortin presents the first talk in the Seminar series on The Heart Sutra > View the pdf
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Norman gives the seventh talk on the Six Paramitas 2015 series on Compassion to the Dharma Seminar. Norman will be referencing two books in this series:  Dale Wright: The Six
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Norman Fischer gives his final talk of the 2015 Prajna Paramita in 8,000 Lines. This series references the book by Edward Conze: The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines.
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Norman gives the sixth talk on the Prajna Paramita 8,000 Lines 2015 to the Dharma Seminar. This series references the book by Edward Conze: The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000
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Norman gives the fifth talk on the Prajna Paramita 8,000 Lines 2015 series to the Dharma Seminar. This series references the book by Edward Conze: The Perfection of Wisdom in
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Norman Fischer gives his fourth talk in the 2015 Prajna Paramita In Eight Thousand Lines series at the Bay Area Dharma Seminar on March 4, 2015. This series references the
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Peter Van der Sterre gives the third talk on Prajna Paramita 8,000 Lines 2015. This series references the book by Edward Conze: The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines.
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Norman gives his second talk on the Prajna Paramita 8,000 Lines to the Dharma Seminar. This series references the book by Edward Conze: The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines.
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Norman Fischer gives his first talk on The Prajna Paramita Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines 2015 at the Bay Area Dharma Seminar on February 4, 2015. This series references the
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Chris Fortin gives her fourth and last talk in a series based on the Sutra "The Lion's Roar Of Queen Srimala" as edited by Alex and Hideko Wayman.
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Chris Fortin gives the third talk in a series based on the Sutra "The Lion's Roar Of Queen Srimala" as edited by Alex and Hideko Wayman.
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Chris Fortin gives her second talk in a series based on the Sutra "The Lion's Roar Of Queen Srimala" as edited by Alex and Hideko Wayman.
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Chris Fortin leads the Dharma Seminar in a series based on the Sutra "The Lion's Roar Of Queen Srimala" as edited by Alex and Hideko Wayman
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Chris Fortin and Peter Van der Sterre give the 10th and final talk on the Lankavatara Sutra. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara
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Norman gives the ninth talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman gives his eighth talk on Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman gives his seventh talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman gives the sixth talk on the Lankavantara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the  "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman gives the fifth talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Peter Van de Sterre gives the fourth talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman gives the third talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Chris Fortin gives the second talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the" The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman gives the first talk on the Lankavatara Sutra to the Dharma Seminar. This series is based on Red Pine's 2012 edition of the "The Lankavatara Sutra."
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Norman leads the fifth and final reading of the Avatamsaka Sutra -Thomas Cleary translation by Shambhala Publications "The Flower Ornament Scripture."  In this Dharma Seminar series the sutra will be
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Norman leads the fourth reading of the Avatamsaka Sutra -Thomas Cleary translation by Shambhala Publications "The Flower Ornament Scripture."  In this Dharma Seminar series the sutra will be read aloud
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Norman introduces the third reading of the Avatamsaka Sutra -Thomas Cleary translation by Shambhala Publications "The Flower Ornament Scripture."  In this Dharma Seminar series the sutra will be read aloud
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Norman introduces the second reading of the Avatamsaka Sutra -Thomas Cleary translation by Shambhala Publications "The Flower Ornament Scripture."  In this Dharma Seminar series the sutra will be read aloud
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Norman introduces the first reading of the Avatamsaka Sutra -Thomas Cleary translation by Shambhala Publications "The Flower Ornament Scripture."  In this Dharma Seminar series the sutra will be read aloud
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Norman gives his eighth and final talk on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations".
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Norman gives his seventh talk on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations". From: Mahayana Buddhism - Talk Seven By Zoketsu Norman Fischer | February
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Norman gives the sixth talk on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations". In this talk Norman speaks on the Lotus Sutra.
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Chris Fortin gives the fifth talk on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations".
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Norman gives his fourth talk on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations".
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Norman gives his third talk on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations".
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Norman gives the second talk of the Dharma Seminar series on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations".
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Norman begins the Dharma Seminar series on Mahayana Buddhism based on Paul Williams' book "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations".
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Third in a series of four talks on "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines" translated by Edward Conze.
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Third in a series of four talks on "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines" translated by Edward Conze. Prajna Paramita in 8,000 Lines (Part 3 of 4) By
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Second in a series of four talks on "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines" translated by Edward Conze. Prajna Paramita in 8,000 Lines (Part 2 of 4) By
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First in a series of four talks on "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines" translated by Edward Conze. Prajna Paramita in 8,000 Lines (Part 1 of 4) By
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  Norman gives his first talk on the Surangama Sutra.  This part 1 of that first talk.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, includes material on
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Norman gives his first talk on the Surangama Sutra.  This part 2 of that first talk.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, and includes material on
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  Norman gives his second talk on the Surangama Sutra.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, and ncludes material on perception and consciousness. Book reference: The
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Norman gives his third talk on the Surangama Sutra.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, and ncludes material on perception and consciousness. Book reference: The Surangama
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Norman gives his fourth talk on the Surangama Sutra.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, and ncludes material on perception and consciousness. Book reference: The Surangama
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Norman gives his fifth talk on the Surangama Sutra.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, and ncludes material on perception and consciousness. Book reference: The Surangama
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Norman gives his sixth talk on the Surangama Sutra.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, and ncludes material on perception and consciousness. Book reference: The Surangama
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Norman gives his seventh talk on the Surangama Sutra.  It is a series of talks on this Chinese Sutra, includes material on perception and consciousness. Book reference: The Surangama Sutra
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