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Sat Mar 17, 2018, 01:09 PM

The Heart Sutra

Someone here recommended that I study the Heart Sutra. I thought I would post it here. It seems like a logical place. This is a translation I picked up from an educational site. There are other translations. Feel free to add them if you wish.

Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty*, and so released himself from suffering. Answering the monk Sariputra, he said this:

Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.

The other four aspects of human existence --
feeling, thought, will, and consciousness --
are likewise nothing more than emptiness,
and emptiness nothing more than they.

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

So, in emptiness, there is no body,
no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears,
no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing,
no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard,
nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

All the Buddhas,
past, present, and future,
rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and live in full enlightenment.

The Perfection of Wisdom is the greatest mantra.
It is the clearest mantra,
the highest mantra,
the mantra that removes all suffering.

This is truth that cannot be doubted.
Say it so:


Which means...

gone over,
gone fully over.
So be it!

* Emptiness is the usual translation for the Buddhist term Sunyata (or Shunyata). It refers to the fact that no thing -- including human existence -- has ultimate substantiality, which in turn means that no thing is permanent and no thing is totally independent of everything else. In other words, everything in this world is interconnected and in constant flux. A deep appreciation of this idea of emptiness thus saves us from the suffering caused by our egos, our attachments, and our resistance to change and loss.

Note: Perfection of Wisdom is a translation of Prajnaparamita. The full title of this sutra is The Heart of Prajnaparamita Sutra.

[This is an interpretation based on many others. All errors are mine alone.]


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Reply The Heart Sutra (Original post)
Tobin S. Mar 2018 OP
WhiteTara Mar 2018 #1
Nitram Mar 2018 #2
Tobin S. Mar 2018 #3
leftyladyfrommo Mar 2018 #4

Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2018, 02:28 PM

1. I have been studying this sutra for about 3 years now

and meditate on the meaning of the mantra.

Thich Nhat Han has a new book out titled "The Other Shore" and while he is not strictly mahayana, he is a qualified teacher. Let me know what you think of his book.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2018, 05:03 PM

2. I first learned that mantra during an evening of chanting and poetry with Alan Ginsberg and

Baba Ram Das. It was an awesome experience.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 17, 2018, 09:49 PM

3. Baba Ram Dass is one of my favorite people.

I’m very familiar with his story and have read several of his books including the classic Be Here Now. This journey really started for me when I read The Psychedelic Experience by him, Timothy Leary, and Ralph Metzner 25 years ago when I was 20 years old. It’s been a difficult journey, but I now consider myself blessed for starting down this path.

Ran Dass has a great web site if you are unfamiliar with it. www.ramdass.org

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2018, 06:08 PM

4. There is a You Tube with the Dalai Lama

chanting this. He is chanting with other monks.

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