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Heart Sutra: An Introduction - Jinyin Temple English Dharma Talk & Meditation

Sat, Oct 16



Heart Sutra: An Introduction - Jinyin Temple English Dharma Talk & Meditation

"gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha."

Registration is Closed
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Time & Location

Oct 16, 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT


About the Event

For this upcoming October Monthly Gathering, we will meet on October 16 from 2:00-3:30pm for an English Dharma Talk & Practice on the Heart Sutra.

In a 1.5- to 2-hour session via Zoom, we will lead you through a close reading of the first section of the Heart Sutra, a short but influential sutra on the perfection of (transcendent) wisdom (Prajñāpāramitā), and learn about the abstract yet highly applicable teachings from this sacred text.

This will be followed by an introduction of a mantra included in the Heart Sutra and a half-hour sitting practice incorporating the chanting and meditative practices with the mantra.

gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā

"gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha."

Avalokiteśvara or Guanyin Bodhisattva is an interlocutor in the Heart Sutra. S/He is the Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Although Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva manifested himself as a Bodhisattva, he had actually attained Buddhahood eons ago. His dharma name is "the Tathāgata who clearly understands the true law". In order to save and liberate all sentient beings, he returned to the Saha world (the secular world) out of kindness and compassion and manifested himself in the body of a Bodhisattva.

Originally a male deity, Avalokiteśvara gradually became indigenized as a female deity in China over the span of nearly a millennium: first as Guanyin in China, and later Kannon in Japan, Gwanseum in Korea, and Quan Am in Vietnam, all meaning “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”. Around the 12th century, Guanyin became interpreted as fully female – being represented, at times, with an infant in her arms, implying the relationship between the deity and maternity. By the Ming (1358–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) periods, Guanyin had become the most popular female deity in China. Today, Guanyin is most often seen as a woman dressed in flowing white robes.

In the Heart Sutra, a short but influential sutra on the perfection of (transcendent) wisdom (Prajñāpāramitā), Avalokiteśvara is an interlocutor.

“When I was a prince before, I made an aspiration to the Buddha, in the entire world of the buddhist cosmology, if there is one sentient being who has not heard about the Right Path nor generated the mind of the unexcelled perfect enlightenment, I vow not to become a Buddha. Why was this the case? All sentient beings can attain the path, their mind (heart) is the Buddha.”

This kind of selfless aspiration to help liberate all sentient beings without exception moves and inspires numerous Buddhists around the globe. For us, in the process of letting go of negative thoughts and intentions, physical tensions, and worldly concerns in our practice, it is also essential to cultivate a loving and kind bodhicitta, which embodies the wisdom of compassion and emptiness; so that we can truly transform, transcend, and attain the Perfect Wisdom. For example, when people complain about us, hold a grudge against us, or misunderstand us, we should tolerate them as much as possible instead of taking revenge. We should also actively learn from challenging situations to achieve personal growth and enlighten our inner compassion and wisdom to awaken our original Buddha nature. This is the right path of cultivation and the cultivation of the heart.

READ MORE about Avalokiteśvara on our Blog.

Community is our purpose, and it is our honor to hold space for the topics, conversations, and practices that matter most to our Dharma practitioners, friends, neighbors, and people in this world. Our sangha welcomes and values all who come here with sincere and heartfelt compassion. We look forward to being together with you online to share dharma, practice compassion, and express love.

May all living beings be happy and free from suffering.

May we all come together to promote great love.

May nations prosper and people live in peace.

May world peace prevail forever!

Ankele! Yekesuo! (Guru Heart Mantra)


Jinyin Temple

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