I've studied the meaning of the Heart Sutra in the context of learning the Japanese text so that I'm able to chant it from memory.
This venerable text is said to contain the kernel of Zen teaching. The closer I've looked at this paradoxical sutra, the more I've come to understand it as a direct description of the experience of Zazen-Samadhi, the mind of zazen - traditional sitting meditation.
- a sonnet -
When zazen guides non-doing, day and night,
Its openness infuses every sense
Objects lose substance and lack permanence -
Zen softly opens hands that clasp too tight.
We've 'knowledge', 'noble truth', 'old age' and 'stain'
While human thought contains each opposite.
Expedient teachings vanish when we sit -
Zazen admits no skandha, birth, death, gain;
No eightfold path ; or need to seek a goal.
"Abandon all false views!" - the Master's right.
Delusions fade in zazen's gentle light;
Each moment shares one truth: that all is whole
In peace-filled presence; demonstrating this...
Here-now's immaculate, just-as-it-is.
Picture credit: MIT