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The Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama's Heart of Wisdom Teachings Paperback – Jul 7 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; Reprint edition (July 7 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861712846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861712847
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #193,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Lovingly and wisely edited by Jinpa, the bulk of the book is consumed with a fairly meaty exploration of the Heart of Wisdom sutra, a classical Mahayana text, and as such will be useful to established practitioners as well as neophytes." (Publishers Weekly)

"In this volume, the Dalai Lama demonstrates how the core teachings of Buddhism and other major schools of thought are contained within the text of the Heart Sutra. [In fact,] the worldview in these ancient teachings has an eerie resemblance to the world as described by 20th-century quantum physics. ... With his usual penetrating intelligence, simple humanity, humor and compassion, he advocates that we should maintain our own spiritual traditions (Hindu, Christian, etc) while learning from others. 'In family life, social life, working life, and political life, inner disarmament is, above all, what humanity needs.'" (NAPRA ReVIEW)

"In the spring of 2001, the Dalai Lama spoke to an audience of 8,000 people in California. This book is a translation of that teaching. He begins with a morally stirring defense of the spiritual practice of unity saying that we are not strangers--all of us are human beings: 'Differences in belief, just like differences in experience, are minor compared to our common humanity. The essential thing is that we are all the same in being human--thinking, feeling and being aware. We all share this one planet and we are all members of one big human family.' Courageous words from a spiritual leader in exile. Stirring words from a wisdom teacher who refuses to give in to tribal hatreds and violence afoot all around the world. The Dalai Lama believes that all the world's religions must speak out in support of compassion, forgiveness, brotherhood, and sisterhood. That is why he also calls for global participation in inner disarmament by individuals and communities. In the second half of this volume, the Dalai Lama talks about the Heart Sutra and its emphasis upon emptiness as a prelude to compassion." (Spirituality and Health)

"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, and shows how understanding emptiness is a key to happiness and liberation from suffering. Who better to explain it than the man reported to be the present-day incarnation of Avalokiteshvara himself?"-- (Brian Bruya)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hmmm, a remarkable book by a remarkable man on a remarkable sutra! The Heart Sutra is the essence of the Perfection of Wisdom class of sutras, which represent the "Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma". That is to say, the second main set of teachings by the Buddha. The First Turning was on the Four Noble Truths. The Third Turning was on Buddha Nature. But the Second Turning was on the nature of reality, emptiness -- in other words, the important stuff!
This is a hard literature, crystalized in the Heart Sutra, which is only a few pages but very dense (versions of it are available on-line). Here the Dalai Lama provides an excellent commentary on this difficult text by placing it within its entire Buddhist context. The result is that one is led step by step to the deepest understanding of this sutra, which is really the most profound element of the Buddha's teaching. Remarkably, then, this book can be grasped by the beginning student as well as much more experienced students. A crucial element in Buddhism is familiarization: going back over something again and again until it is understood very deeply, and then realized personally through meditation. So such approaches, that begin from the basics and move up to very profound topics, should not be seen as needless repetition, but as opportunities to really internalize the teachings.
The style of His Holiness's language is always conversational, easy to read, and humorous. This is no exception. The book is also beautiful and a pleasure to read. Most important, it is a crucial teaching that can help transform our lives.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is surprisingly simple but before you know it the Dalai Lama has led you up a complex stairwell of esoteric wisdom. It is so amazing how this Living Buddha can sound so down to earth. It's almost like listening to the guy next door talk about life's problems and suddenly you're on a mountaintop in Nepal, draped in a saffron robe, contemplating the Unmanifested Nature of Reality. If you're studying meditation or you want to get a taste of the Blissful state you need go no further than the Essence of the Heart Sutra. Shariputra has asked an important question, "How should any noble son or noble daughter who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom train?" The answer seems like a non-answer. "No form, no feelings, no perceptions, no impulses, no consciousness. No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind." I can see the modern western man asking, "Yeah but what can emptiness do for me?" That's just the point. There is no me. And on top of that, there are no things out there in the so-called real world to attach yourself to. "No color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind..." This is the perfect antidote for our material based culture made clear by the highest of all Lamas who claims to be a simple monk. How much would you pay for all of this? But wait there's more. For an added bonus the appendix has an essential translation of the Heart Sutra mantra by Jamyang Gawai Lodro. For those who are not comfortable just chanting foreign sounding words you can read what it means in plain English. Buy it now! This book will lead you on the path to priceless wisdom.
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By A Customer on Aug. 14 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a geographically-isolated Buddhist, I belong to a local Daoist study group. I chose the Heart Sutra to review for the study group, as a work appealing to both traditions. Having reviewed available commentaries to prepare for the presentation, I found the Dalai Lama's "Essence of the Heart Sutra" to be an exceptionally insightful treatise of this most deceptively simple, as well as shortest, of the major sutras. While he begins with the longer Tibetan version of the Heart Sutra, his analysis encompasses Tibetan, Mahayana and Theravada traditions. The book is a superlative scholarly work, written in clear language and well referenced, and should be required-reading to anyone wishing to step beyond apparent contradictions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received a book they was old, so dry! Almost falling apart when you open it and not exactly the cover you show here even though it is the same title. I was buying it for this different cover. Probablyy another edition of a book that has been on a tablet ... For years .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Must read. Thank you you Holiness and Geshe la.
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