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  • Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Buddhism: Diamond Sutra and Zen Meditation

Discover the secrets of the Diamond Sutra and learn how its Buddhist teachings promote living in serenity and ease.

2,682 enrolled on this course

Buddha statue
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Explore the meaning of ‘prajñā-pāramitā’ in relation to attaining buddhahood

How can we resolve afflictions?

The Diamond Sutra is one of the most historically important texts in Buddhism. On this course, you will explore the meaning of ‘prajñā-pāramitā’ from the Diamond Sutra. You will learn why and how the zen school uses the teachings of the Diamond Sutra to attain buddhahood.

You will also consider the four stages of buddhahood and what is meant by the ‘adornment of the pure land’.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Most people are not really what they appear to be, we may look happy and confident, but actually we suffer from inner pain, fears, and anger. How can we listen to our inner selves, understand, and attend to those sufferings? The secret to this is in The Diamond Sutra. What is Vajra? What is prajñā? What is pāramitā? The sutra talks about Vajra, prajñā, and pāramitā, what are they? How important is The Diamond Sutra amongst Buddhist sutras? The teachings on meditation in The Diamond Sutra are to unite with the Way. How does the wisdom of The Diamond Sutra enable us to free ourselves from all kinds of attachments and from our egos?

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds Why do receiving and holding the four line verses in The Diamond Sutra, and spreading Buddhist teachings enable us to accrue blessings and virtues?

What topics will you cover?

Week 1: What do you know about The Diamond Sutra? Why does the Zen school use this sutra as the reference point for authenticating the mind’s attainment?

Week 2: To attain Buddhahood in ‘day-to-day’ experiences

Week 3: The two categories that classify the myriad things in the world and their examples

Week 4: Four stages of Buddhahood and Adornment of the Pure Land (construct a bright society by our own)

Week 5: From a person who ‘receives and holds four-lined verses’, to a buddha who ‘expounds the four-lined verses for to others’

Week 6: The Unconditioned Phenomena is “The Vájra-cchedikā Prajñā-pāramitā”

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the concept of ‘emptiness’ in The Diamond Sutra
  • Apply the right thought to practice, so as to understand the Buddha-nature behind the transient aspects of matters
  • Apply the right thought to experience ‘emptiness’ and subdue every affliction in daily life

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in Buddhism, religion, Zen meditation or physical science.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Bruce Siu Nang CHEUNG is Head of College of Life Sciences and Technology, HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education, and the Chairman of Universal Brightness Esoteric Buddhist Seminary.

Who developed the course?

HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education

In fulfilling the mission of The University of Hong Kong in extending lifelong learning opportunities for the community, HKU SPACE aspires to be a world-class centre of excellence.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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