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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Depth and Beauty of the Heart SutraFeb. 6 2013
Sitting in Seattle
- Published on Amazon.com
If you want to understand more about the Heart Sutra from a Zen practice point of view, this is the book.
Zen practitioners in many traditions recite the Heart Sutra regularly, often as part of practice every single day, as I have done for years in both English and (uncomprehended) Japanese and Korean. But why is it so important? On the surface, the Heart Sutra seems to be a clear and simple distillation of Zen non-attachment: not this, not that, not the mind, not the body, and so forth. What Deshimaru Roshi shows us is that there is much more depth and beauty, that the sutra is not just a distillation but a perfect expression of the heart of Zen. It can illuminate our practice and day to day life.
The book starts with an overall picture of the sutra, its importance in practice, and core theme of non-attachment (presented with interesting and for me novel wording that I won't give away -- read it!). It then goes through the sutra section by section, illustrating it from both intellectual and experiential points of view. The voice throughout is clear and wise.
If you want to learn more about a key practice in Zen, I recommend it highly. Thank you to the editors and translators who made it available to English readers!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Non-gaining mindSept. 12 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
There was an old B.C. comic where three cavemen sat around a large pot boiling over a fire, doing an experiment. It shows their conclusion through deductive reasoning. One guy says, "Ice boils down to water." Another says, "Water boils down to nothing." The third guy concludes, "Therefore everything boils down to nothing." In Richard Collins lucidly rendered translation of his teacher's commentaries on the Heart Sutra, entitled "Mushotoku Mind' (The non-gaining mind in English) the sutra, which is a distillation of all Wisdom Sutras, reminds me of the B.C. comic strip. The title Mr. Collins chose is perfect, because the sutra can rightly `boil down' to the Non-Gaining Mind, or as the commentaries indicate, to zazen. There are a number of interpretations of the Heart Sutra--the Dalai Lama's and Thich Nhat Hanh's--to name two, each quite unique in its own right. We can't have too many interpretations of a teaching so subtle and so grand and so easily misunderstood. "Mushotoku Mind" also gives us a very clear and simple distillation of all the major principles of Mahayana Buddhism. My hat is off to Mr. Collins.