Heart Blossoms

Heart Blossoms Preface


A Commentary and Analysis
of the Exalted Mahayana
Sutra on the Profound
Perfection of Wisdom
called the Heart Sutra

S. R. Allen

Copyright 2013
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical reviews or articles.

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Allen, S. R.
Heart Blossoms A Commentary and Analysis of the Exalted Mahayana Sutra on the Profound Perfection of Wisdom called the Heart Sutra
Includes Index. Sutrapitaka. Prajnaparamita. Prajnaparamitahridayasutra.
English. 2013

Dedicated in memory of  Ani Sangmo


Preface (below)
The Commentaries
1. Study:
The Arising of Srutamayiprajna
2. The Title
3. The Prologue
4. The Question and the Answer
5. The Negations
6. The Mantra
7. The Epilogue
8. Thoughtful Reflection:The Arising of Cintamayiprajna
9. Meditation: The Arising of Bhavanamayiprajna
10. Certainty: The Arising of Niscayamayiprajna
11. Fullness:The Arising of Adhiprajna
12. Bodhi Svaha!


  It seems necessary to record here a few thoughts about what I have tried to accomplish by writing this commentary on a famous Buddhist sutra about which volumes have already been written, each with its own particular perspective or bias.  Any kinds of comments may be made on any subject colored with personal bias according to whatever opinion or perspective a particular writer might have.   In this work I have tried to eclipse all bias and point out the few easily overlooked ideas contained in the Heart Sutra itself.    Of course, any idea or statement from any source can be interpreted with bias consonant with the degree of clarity or with the degree of delusion of whomever is writing or of whomever is reading.

   In stark contrast to all the opinionated interpretations that pervade all aspects of our human condition, whether in politics, in social collaborations, in philosophy, in religion, or in anything else, this Heart Sutra is perfectly unyielding in its instructions pertaining to the necessity of getting beyond the obscuring effects of any sort of discriminative bias and showing us the way to learn how to clearly see the real truth.   It is only the truth that can deliver us from our discontent.

   It may be that the one redeeming quality of humankind is its discontentedness.    Beyond the basic will-to-survive is an insatiable longing to know, and throughout human history this longing is the base motivation for all serious investigations concerned with pursuing knowledge and finding real answers to the perennial questions of philosophy, science, and religion.  In the end, with all the scriptures underlined and all the sermons reiterated and grown old, uncertainty still remains and discontent persists just like a magnified shadow that follows along with us every day of our lives.  The unknown something that no finger can definitely point to, that no intellectual analysis can seem to penetrate, and that no faith or surrender can fully rely upon — whatever it is that seems to be missing — that something persists in remaining missing.  Even as I write this, the world we live in seems to be still searching for solutions to the most simple problems, always in a process of making some sort of “adjustment”.   Eighty countries and a thousand cities are undergoing demonstrations, riots, and breakdowns.  It is as if someone has pushed a collective reset button.   “Enough of this unnecessary suffering,” people seem to be saying.   Yet how much positive change can or will come if those who suffer do not know of the real origin of suffering?   Only by eliminating the originating factors that produce suffering can relief be found.

     The basic cause and condition for what remains missing and for what subsequently goes wrong is our sense-based mind, that which maintains ignorance. However, no one need live a life saddled and constrained by ignorance and its consequential actions.   So it is crucial to know.   An awakened understanding of the true state of being allows freedom to anyone who is willing to see.   Knowledge releases one from the bonds of ignorance and obsessions based on a false notion of self and other. An integrated, dynamic consciousness is a necessity for knowing the real situation of the human condition, whether individually or collectively.  It is just this kind of awareness about which the Heart Sutra instructs.  Without this kind of mature truth-vision we seem to wander perpetually in an automated chaos of our own making.

   The explicit aim of Buddhism in its higher reaches, which the Heart Sutra represents, is the rediscovery (or recovery) of what we really are, and of knowing with certainty what everything else really is.   The task of the Sutra is to reveal this to us.   To remain in the common state of non-understanding is to miss the boat, or to end up carrying the boat around with us hoping to find a little more water some place else on which we might float it again for further searching.  The way of understanding is the way the Heart Sutra identifies as the clear way, a path well-marked when mind is allowed freedom from delusional bias, opinion, and expectation.

     With the intent to expose more of the practical aspects of the way of bodhi as articulated in this luminous sutra, this commentary is offered to those who might find it of interest.    I apologize for my many shortcomings that may have limited the clear expression of what is so difficult to clearly express with words, but trust that the approach herein outlined may serve in promoting a fuller vision of the way things really are.

The Author, July 2011


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