The Heart/Mind Sutra


The Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo, a staple focus in Zen Schools, contains in a very brief teaching, the wisdom of self and nature. It defines the nature of  “sunyata”, of absence and presence and the processes that comprise our form, inputs, mental formations and how the mind arises due to the interaction with other forms.

It only takes a short time to read, it can take a lifetime to truly understand it’s meaning:


The Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo (The Mind Sutra)

The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, when deeply practicing wisdom-perfection,
clearly saw that the five skandhas are empty, and thus removed attachments that cause
suffering and distress.

This world is no different than emptiness, and emptiness no different than
this world, this world is emptiness, emptiness is this world.

All things, all phenomena are marked by emptiness;
they are neither appearing nor disappearing, neither impure nor pure,
neither increasing nor decreasing.

Therefore, in emptiness, there are no lasting forms, sensations,
distinctions, preferences or individual self. 

And so, in emptiness, this world of things is Absence.

Absence of eyes and ears, nose and tongue, self and mind, 
Absence within this dharma-world, its meanings and distinctions,
its color and sound, smell and taste and touch;
Absence within birth, old-age and death;
Absence the true nature of phenomena. 

No suffering, attachment, elimination, or path.
No wisdom or attainment.

With nothing to attain, bodhisattvas, without grasping, only dwelling in
perfect wisdom, free their minds from hindrance. Without hindrance, they
are without fear. 

Far apart from all delusion, they awaken to the unborn and undying.

Therefore, know that the practice of perfecting wisdom, can eliminate all

So hear and speak the great transcendent mantra of perfect wisdom:
Gya tei, gya tei, ha ra gya tei, hara so gya tei, bo ji sowa ka (x3)