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The Heart Sutra

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,557 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The Heart Sutra is Buddhism in a nutshell. It has had the most profound and wide-reaching influence of any text in Buddhism. This short text covers more of the Buddha’s teachings than any other scripture, and it does so without being superficial or hurried. Although the original author is unknown, he was clearly someone with a deep realization of the Dharma.

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Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Counterpoint (first published 2004)
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The Heart Sutra is only 35 lines long, yet one of the most important scriptures in Buddhism. We've read it and chanted it many, many times. It's importance equal to what The Lord's Prayer has for Christians. It's essence is "form is emptiness...emptiness is form." People study it a life time. I believe it's important to also know what the Dalai Lama said about the Heart cannot be grasped by intellect alone; it's just as important to practice it. This is a great translation, a study bo ...more
Will Kastner
Valuable for me to always be "Currently Reading" this edition of this sutra.
Sept. 2012/Just re-read this again. Still fabulous.
Aaron Wood
Feb 03, 2010 Aaron Wood is currently reading it
Always reading this book
Jan Leent
The Heart Sutra - a very brief Sutra - is Buddhism in a nutshell.

Bernie Glassman says in “The Dude and the Zen Master” that the Heart Sutra begins with the most important word “Avalokiteshvara” or even better with the letter “A”. If this “A” is wholly encompassed, the Heart Sutra is all encompassed.

So true, bearing in mind the metaphor of the jewel net of Indra - in the Avatamsaka Sutra (translated by Thomas Cleary as “The Flower Ornament Scripture”) – stating that every single glass pearl in In
Rivera Sun
Red Pine's translations crack the diamond of Buddhist wisdom for me. I will forever be grateful to this blessed being for his humorous, thorough translations and commentaries that suit my American palate to the tee. He has a special way of reaching into my mind and pushing the boundaries of my thinking . . . and every now and then, all those lines of logic dissolve entirely, and the wisdom illuminates boundlessly.
Just way too dense. I stopped reading about 1/3 of the way through. Some very good insight, but just not readible. I'll look at Thich Nhat Hahn's book on the Heart Sutra.

Also, I've moved away from Buddhist meditation to do more contemplative prayer, so just not as interested any more.
Considerable insight into Buddhist thought, past and present, by focusing on one short sutra. But who will teach us about future Buddhist thought? When ans how will Buddhism account for human evolution and stop taking the current human form as some kind of optimum.
Buddhism at its simplest (yet most paradoxical) is about no-mind, nothingness...form is void!
Jay Allen
Lucid translation with copious notes, as well as commentary from both Red Pine and others.
A very fine explication and translation of this sutra.
Starr Daphne
This is a great book everyone read it i recommend it
reading this one again, too.
No comment
Robin Friedman
The most famous of all Buddhist Scriptures, the Heart Sutra encompasses endless wisdom and spiritual guidance within its enigmatic 35 lines. The Heart Sutra is chanted several times daily at Mahayana Buddhist monasteries and temples throughout the world. It is work that will reward repeated and sustained attention. The Heart Sutra has been the subject of extensive commentary, both ancient and modern. One of the finest modern commentaries is the work of the American scholar and translator Red Pin ...more
Surprisingly readable. Red Pine puts the sutra in its historical context as a rejection of the doctrines of a now obscure Buddhist sect, which helps explain exactly what the author was talking about.

He doesn't venture off much into the sort of Zen obscurity which you often find in this kind of thing, which is a definite plus. But he does seem to take too credulous an approach on some of the more fantastic elements presented here.
A very layman translation that makes an otherwise short but complicated text digestible. I wish Red Pine had provided more commentary other than clarification of facts regarding certain terms and concepts within the text. Otherwise a decent translation.
The Heart Sutra is one of those texts: it's so short, yet contains so much wisdom. This translation is wonderful (as is most of Red Pine's work), and the commentary is a great help in getting the most out of this sutra. Definetely recommend this version.
Heidi Wiechert
The author breaks the Sutra down to a line by line analysis which doesn't make for exciting reading, but it is thorough. He gives detailed Buddhist history and translation notes which can be confusing if the reader doesn't have an extensive background knowledge of the topic.

This book was definitely beyond me at this time but for the serious Buddhist practitioner, I could see this being very insightful and informative for contemplative practice.

For now, I find this sutra most helpful as a mind cl
A year of studying The Heart Sutra leads Red Pine to the conclusion that this beloved sutra clarifies in a unique and profound way the Buddha's teaching on emptiness and suchness. He had overlooked the Heart Sutra, dismissing it as esoterica and perhaps not really aligned with his focus which is Soto Zen, until asked by a friend to translate it and prepare a commentary. He spent a year with it, and the texts that surround it and concluded that it is indeed the womb of buddhas..... Enjoyed it, as ...more
Arthur Rosenfeld
A core text in the Buddhist canon. You cannot understand the religion/philosophy without reading it.
Great verse-by-verse breakdown of "Buddhism in a Nutshell."
This book does a wonderful job of elucidating the sometimes confusing verbiage used in most translated Buddhist works. By tracing origin stories and the background stories of the gods associated with certain virtues, readers gain a better understanding of the core values and beliefs engrained into the Buddhist tradition. However, much of the descriptions and definitions I found unnecessary to understanding which made this book incredibly difficult to get through.
Kris Stark
The Heart Sutra deserves the global fanfare it gets, and Red Pine's translation and commentary fail to disappoint, as always. For such a short sutra, it is incredibly dense, and Red Pine very respectfully elucidates while providing necessary context. While I very much appreciate translations and commentaries I've read by Easterners, Red Pine is specifically adept at appealing to us Westerners.
5 stars for the Heart Sutra, 4 stars for the commentary. Essentially all of Buddhism concentrated into a single poem (even though there are better places to start, for anyone just starting to read about it). As for the commentary, too much history for me in parts, but others greatly helped explain and clarify some of the lines.
Mar 25, 2012 Sam added it
Shelves: buddhism
Tough nut to crack...

Mr. Porter is so far doing an excellent job at providing the historical context for who this tiny bit of wording came to be, and came to be so revered. I had no idea that Buddhist in Afghanistan and Pakistan has such an influence on Chinese Buddhism. People got around back then. Fascinating stuff.
This is a fresh translation with commentary. It was iffy in the middle but became wonderful in the end. He has wonderful insights, and writes well. I didn't like some of his interpretations, nor what he did with the Sanskrit, but toward the end he was exactly on.
Derek Oz
I took a chinese philosophy class in college where I was required to pray with the monks once a week. It really got me back in touch with my spirituality. Not like that I'm going to start meditating again, but it's a worthwhile experience to try out.
Rick Smith
An excellent translation. Once again, Red Pine found the right words. At least, based upon the Chinese version, his translation sails way beyond mere competence. Excellent remarks on both the Sanskrit and Chinese add depth to this classic.
A fine and studious translation and commentary on the Heart Sutra, I recommend this for small group spiritual study for those seeking deepening practice and understanding of this sutra.
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