Book review of “Essence of The Heart Sutra” – The Dalai Lama

Essence of the Heart Sutra- The Dalai Lama

I’m so glad that I could borrow this wonderful book from the Tao Sangha Bodhisattva Library in Toronto!

After reading “Essence of the Heart Sutra” written by The Dalai Lama, I’ve come to learn a lot about not only the Heart Sutra, but what it means in relation to the Mahayana Path. The teachings of the Heart Sutra reflect the very essence of Buddhist Philosophy. This philosophy being the end of suffering through great compassion, as well as understanding the true meaning of emptiness. Reading this book will guide you through The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings that clarify our understanding of emptiness in order to be free from suffering and the creation of unwholesome karma (actions committed through things we do, say or think). The Dalai Lama brings forward common misconceptions about the meaning of emptiness, the most common one being that emptiness leads to nihilism. Instead I learned that emptiness embodies the highest understanding of no-self which is central to Buddhism. The Heart Sutra is said to be an explanation of emptiness for trainees who are not familiar with this frame of mind. The Heart Sutra is part of the Perfection of Wisdom Literature which is composed of Mahayana texts, and when one enters the Mahayana path, one is said to join the family of bodhisattvas. This presents the Heart Sutra as a gateway into the Mahayana path, to gain realization of genuine compassion and the altruistic aspiration to free all beings from suffering.

by Lara