Monday, November 11, 2019

Life, Death, and The Buddhist Heart Sutra

Wow, it has been almost a month since I've written. Partly my travels to NYC released some of the "need to write" and working yet again on another editing of my musical (new working name "GREGORY") and my memoirs have taken up a lot of my free time.

This morning a Facebook post prompted this:

1) The Heart Sūtra (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञापारमिताहृदय Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya or Chinese: 心經 Xīnjīng) is a popular sutra in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Its Sanskrit title, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya, can be translated as "The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom."

2) The sutra famously states, "Form is empty" (śūnyatā). Individual identity does not exist!

3) Since there is no INDIVIDUAL identity (the piece of paper having in it the tree, the sun, the rain, the logger, his family, the food his mother prepares for him, the manufacturing company, etc are all part of the paper's identity) then we are all one. 

4) We need to respect each other, not judge eachother be good to ourselves and to eachother, take care of each other as we can. The "I" of me does not exist separately than any other person, The flower is empty of a separate existence, but that doesn’t mean that the flower is not there. 

5) The Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh has used the phrase, ‘The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,’ because in the mantra there is the expression pāragate which means ‘gone over to the other shore, the shore of wisdom’. Pārāyana and pāramitā have both been translated as ‘crossing over to the other shore.’ In the Sutta Nipāta there is a chapter called Pārāyana which has also been translated as ‘crossing over to the other shore.’ 

6) This helps me deal with death as it says that there is no form in life or death, therefore, there is no life and death. Death, something we all seem to fear and suffer with as soon as we reach the sentient age, is made up of everything that goes before, during, and after it. 

7) We all breath. (The main tenet of meditation.) We all die (perhaps the main tenet of life.) No exceptions. Therefore neither has a separate identity. Death is empty of a separate existence, but that doesn’t mean that death is not there. For me, this idea makes it a little easier to live with (pun intended) dying.

8) Thich Nhat Hanh's interpretations -

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