Sunday, April 20, 2008
Heart Sutra by His Holiness Dalai Lama
In Essence of the Heart Sutra, the Dalai Lama translates and interprets a central teaching of Buddhism with his trademark precision and straight talk. In the Heart Sutra, the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara describes how to train in the perfection of wisdom by seeing through the illusions of all things. The Dalai Lama goes through the text passage by passage, after an extensive introduction to the basics of Buddhism and the Mahayana tradition's emphasis on emptiness. This doesn't take long, as the entire sutra covers all of three pages, but the Dalai Lama shows how understanding emptiness is a key to happiness and liberation from suffering. Although Essence of the Heart Sutra does not differ significantly in overall message from previous offerings such as The Meaning of Life and An Open Heart, in this book the Dalai Lama stays focused on the relevance of the Heart Sutra, and who better to explain it than the man reported to be the present-day incarnation of Avalokiteshvara himself.