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The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra Kindle Edition
|Length: 54 pages|
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Having previously read One City: A Declaration of Interdependence by Ethan Nichtern I was enchanted by the laws of interdependance he describes.
Now, completely unconnected, I've read Thich Nhat Hanh's commentaries on the Pranjaparamita Heart Sutra, and it enlivens what Ethan was describing in his book whilst at the same time clearly and succinctly explaining the meaning of emptiness and how this is so closely related to interdependance (or Inter-Being as Thich Nhat Hanh calls it) and attachment.
It may only by about 60 pages long, but the Heart Sutra is explained in steps and with clarity that exceeds that of all the other explanations I've found on the web. I think some of the Buddhist laypeople and teachers could do with reading this so they too could explain emptiness with ease.
Small and succint and worth every penny.
I was amazed at the number of highlights I had created by the time I reached the last page. Normally I quickly devour a book, but this was a book I read slowly, repeating passages until I felt I had at least a layman’s grasp of what author Thich Nhat Hanh was instructing. “Buddhism is a clever way to enjoy life,” he says early on, and I found myself smiling. I understood him to mean this was not a trick, but learning a different way of thinking.
The book breaks the Heart Sutra into small sections. The author first offers an overview of the lines to be taught before giving examples to enable understanding. While the examples are clear, one is forced to suspend reading and think in order to assimilate the knowledge before moving on. There are concepts presented that are counter to what most of us have been taught. The author talks of obstacles, which I likened to getting out of our own way in order to discover something new.
The last chapter talks about meditation, advising the Buddhist meditation is practiced to bring about immediate results. “If we sit for twenty minutes, these twenty minutes should bring us joy, life.” Meditation is meant to bring about understanding, and “…peace and happiness in your daily life means peace and happiness in the world.” Recommended for all. Five stars.
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Thich Nhat Hanh is a true master and poet leading you deep into the sutras meaning.Read more