The Heart of Zen: An Introduction the Heart Sutra
with Kevin Heffernan
February 9, 16, 23
March 9, 16, 23
7:30 – 9 pm
Temple Beth El Annex
Studio Blake, 2nd Floor
213 Roseneath Rd (just around the corner from Ekoji)
Suggested Donation $60
The Heart Sutra is strong medicine that can soften rigidness in our hearts and minds, free us from conscious and unconscious bias, and cure us of unskillful views of self and other. In the sutra, Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, offers a teaching on Buddhist wisdom. Thus, the sutra is an expression of the the intimacy of wisdom and compassion.
A core scripture in Zen Buddhism, the Heart Sutra has a colorful history, conveys important teachings, and presents paradox without apology. We’ll explore the principal figures in the text, Avalokiteshvara and Shariputra; unpack the litany of concepts, like “skandha,” “prajna,” “form,” and of course, “emptiness”; and consider its fundamental weirdness component. We’ll learn a bit about its history and discussions around its origin, and look at several translations. We will explore why this text is so important that it is chanted daily in Zen temples around the world. Throughout the class, we will ask what this sutra has to offer our understanding of Buddhist practice and everyday life.
Please note, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Donations can be made by check or on our support page here >>.
To register for the class, please email Kevin here >>.
Find recommended readings on the Heart Sutra on my site, zengleanings.org.