THE HEART SUTRA

The Heart Sutra
is a beautiful poem.

But if we only accept its beauty, we may miss the beauty of the pure nature of our own mind. Beauty attracts. Like attracts like. It is in our own seeing and recognition that beauty lies: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

If we rely on ‘spiritual correctness’ by merely adopting an attitude or sentiment (the same as ‘political correctness’ which hinders our own reasoning), we may perform, chant and repeat beautiful words, but miss the origin of beauty – the experience. The actual recognition!

All forms appear within the emptiness of mind.
Because of the emptiness of mind, all forms are seen.
By virtue of one, the other is known and cannot be separated.
This is the meaning of the unity of the two truths.

So? So we remain in non-attachment, allowing all this to pass – as all things must pass – resting in emptiness, while dissolving karma. This is the enlightened, altruistic perfection of a Bodhisattva.

The Heart Sutra

Translation by E. Conze

Om Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom the Lovely, the Holy !

Avalokita, the Holy Lord and Bodhisattva, was moving in the deep course of the Wisdom which has gone beyond.

He looked down from on high, He beheld but five heaps, and He saw that in their own-being they were empty.

Here, O Sariputra,

form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form ;

emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form,

the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness.

Here, O Sariputra,

all dharmas are marked with emptiness ;

they are not produced or stopped, not defiled or immaculate, not deficient or complete.

Therefore, O Sariputra,

in emptiness there is no form nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness ;

No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind ; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of mind ; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to :

No mind-consciousness element ; There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so forth, until we come to : There is no decay and death, no extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path.

There is no cognition, no attainment and no non-attainment.

Therefore, O Sariputra,

it is because of his non-attainmentness that a Bodhisattva, through having relied on the Perfection of Wisdom, dwells without thought-coverings. In the absence of thought-coverings he has not been made to tremble,

he has overcome what can upset, and in the end he attains to Nirvana.

All those who appear as Buddhas in the three periods of time fully awake to the utmost, right and perfect Enlightenment because they have relied on the Perfection of Wisdom.

Therefore one should know the prajnaparamita as the great spell, the spell of great knowledge, the utmost spell, the unequalled spell, allayer of all suffering, in truth — for what could go wrong ? By the prajnaparamita has this spell been delivered. It runs like this :

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

( Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, all-hail ! — )

This completes the Heart of perfect Wisdom.

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