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Kazim, "My soul is ready Mr. Jones! How about yours?" Indiana Jones

I have been pondering the great Heart Sutra for some time now. My understanding is that millions of people chant this scripture daily around the world.

The Heart Sutra is “the single most commonly recited, copied and studied scripture in East Asian Buddhism.”[4][2][note 2] [note 3] It is recited by adherents of Mahayana schools of Buddhism regardless of sectarian affiliation.

from Wikipedia.

The earliest extant dated text of the Heart Sutra is a stone stele dated to 661 CE located at Yunju Temple and is part of the Fangshan Stone Sutra. It is also the earliest copy of Xuanzang’s 649 CE translation of the Heart Sutra (Taisho 221); made three years before Xuanzang passed away. My reading has indicated that Xuanzang traveled from China to India when it was forbidden to do foreign travel, because of his deep yearning to discover and translate sacred texts. It’s quite a story and adventure! China has recently released a movie called Xuan Zang that has received a best foreign film nomination.

It is somewhat foreign to we westerners, the sutra that basically states that form is emptiness, emptiness is form. There’s LOTS more. The orginal texts were thousands of stanzas long. The version that I study says,

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita

perceives that all five skandhas are empty

and is saved from all suffering and distress.


form does not differ from emptiness,

emptiness does not differ from form.

That which is form is emptiness,

that which is emptiness form.

The same is true of feelings,

perceptions, impulses, consciousness.


all dharmas are marked with emptiness;

they do not appear or disappear,

are not tainted or pure,

do not increase or decrease.

Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,

perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;

no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,

no object of mind;

no realm of eyes

and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.

No ignorance and also no extinction of it,

and so forth until no old age and death

and also no extinction of them.

No suffering, no origination,

no stopping, no path, no cognition,

also no attainment with nothing to attain.

The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita

and the mind is no hindrance;

without any hindrance no fears exist.

Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.

In the three worlds

all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita

and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

Therefore know that Prajna Paramita

is the great transcendent mantra,

is the great bright mantra,

is the utmost mantra,

is the supreme mantra

which is able to relieve all suffering

and is true, not false.

So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra,

proclaim the mantra which says:

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

If you got this far, you already know that trying to get a mind around this writing is a struggle, and that’s because mind can’t conceive of such a thing as no-thing. The mind is a hindrance. I would not pretend for a moment to attempt to teach any part of it, but I can tell you what it has come to mean to me.

I recently read a book by a Japanese master who changed the wording to say, “Boundlessness” instead of “emptiness.” Whatever works to get you there I reckon. Most humans are challenged by the teaching of emptiness, interpreting that as loss of self. But I think I get it. Not loss, but total unity with all that is. We are not lost as drops of water in the infinite sea of all that is, we are it. We are dreaming that we are separate.

“Be one with everything”

is tossed around quite a bit without understanding as to what that means.

I think of the analogy of electricity, a light bulb filled with electricity is electricity in the shape of a light bulb. Or a washing machine, or a drill, or a television. It’s simply electricity empowering those things. Pull the plug and it goes back to the source of electricity.

Take sand, it can be a castle or a sculpture of animals and people, nature and buildings, it’s all still sand. When the tide comes in and washes it away, it goes back to the water. It has changed form, but it remains sand.

I love the vision that came to me in meditation as I pondered the body as illusion. I placed my awareness in the 1st chakra tailbone area, and looked back up at my body. It looked like a parade float, essentially empty with a thin skin of form that looked like a body, tethered by belief.

We are energy and consciousness held in place by belief and karma.

My eternal and annoying question continues to be, Why?

The answer, if there is one, that comes to mind is that God/Source can’t just sit there doing nothing, it must manifest and unmanifest. Yin and Yang. Coming into being, going out of being. It’s constant, unceasing stillness and action. In all universes, in all the infinity of possibility. If that makes you feel a teeny bit insignificant, understandable. If makes you feel a surge of,


Better yet.

Back to the title of this piece, are you ready? Can you grasp any part of your soul reality?

Anyone with eyes in their head and a working intelligence can see that big changes are already taking place, at all levels of experience. There may be happy times at the other end, but the immediate future is going to be rocky. Like REALLY rocky. We can’t go on the way we have, mindlessly consuming the circus, spiritually asleep. If we stubbornly stay unconscious, the price will be excruciatingly high.

WAKE UP NOW. Step out of the sludge pond of everyday experience and reach out and read something by Master Zhi Gang Sha, Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra. The Buddha. The Seth materials. ANYTHING that brings you to questions, awareness, the urgency of the present time we live in. Listen to your own soul. Talk to someone that teaches waking. Feel the profound discomfort of the Heart Sutra.

Now is not soon enough.

Kristin Strachan is a teacher, spiritual practitioner and student in Colorado.


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