Huineng was a Chinese master of Chan Buddhism. He is considered one of the most important figures in the entire Chan/Zen tradition. Huineng is the sixth Dharma ancestor of Chan/Zen Buddhism in the lineage of succession from Bodhidharma.

Hui Neng became one of the most famous masters in Chinese history. He composed the Platform Sutra, one of the few sutras considered Chinese. His school of sudden awakening is the only surviving major Chan school of Chinese Buddhism. Later, Hui Neng's followers spread the Dharma throughout Asia.


Hui Neng (638–713), also known as the Sixth Patriarch of Zen, was a significant figure in Chinese Chan Buddhism. Born into a poor family, Hui Neng worked as a laborer until his encounter with Buddhist teachings prompted a transformative experience.

Hui Neng sought guidance from the Fifth Patriarch, Hongren, who recognized his potential and transmitted the Dharma to him. This event marked Hui Neng's formal entry into the monastic life and his subsequent contributions to Chan Buddhism.

His teachings emphasized direct realization and the intrinsic nature of mind over strict adherence to rituals and texts. Hui Neng famously expressed his understanding in a verse that challenged conventional views about enlightenment and the potential for awakening in all individuals.

Hui Neng's ideas sparked the "Southern School" of Chan Buddhism, which emphasized sudden enlightenment. His teachings spread through his disciples and contributed to the development of Chan as a distinct form of Buddhism.

Despite facing challenges from rival schools, Hui Neng's legacy endured through his teachings and the Platform Sutra, a collection of his discourses. His emphasis on direct insight, meditation, and the universal accessibility of enlightenment left a lasting impact on the practice and understanding of Zen Buddhism in China and beyond.

Hui Neng Texts, Tubes & Books

Master Hui-Neng

Meister Eckhart and Master Hui-Neng: Paths to Peace of Mind

The highest goal is for Eckhart and Hui-Neng a state of highest bliss. In both cases, this is a breakthrough in which consciousness is fundamentally changed. If one considers these elementary parallels, one can only come to one conclusion: Eckhart and Hui-Neng have independently arrived at an extremely similar solution to the human problem: seclusion and non-attachment as the path to peace of mind.