The Heart Sutra

Wednesday’s Yoga class was “Heart Opening” … and we began and ended with the chant of perfection and wisdom known as the Heart Sutra.

As I said in class, many Sanskrit blessings and sutras rise above mere mortal translation.  They are about vibration and energy and while they may not translate into words easily, their effect can be profound and transformative.

In Sanskrit, the Heart Sutra is this:

Teyaté Gaté Gaté Paragaté Parasamgaté Bodhi Soham

So, while the Sutra defies easy translation, here is the basic intent of the chant:

Empty body, Empty mind.  What is left is the divine and pure energy of the heart which entwines with all others.

In other words, a simple translation could be: I am not my body and I am not my mind.  I am the pure spirit of my heart — the Purusha.  And, the pure spirit of my heart joins with the spirit of all other beings.

Of course, there are many true scholars who spend many many years absorbing and studying these beautiful sutras.  They offer much deeper and far more complex translations, but this simple translation serves me well and I love to carry this Sutra in my heart. 

Yangjin Lamu is a Tibetan woman with a beautiful voice … she sings the Heart Sutra with such sweetness and strength.  Her video on YouTube is so worth the visit!

Yangjin Lamu sings the Heart Sutra

I hope that it touches you deeply and feeds your heart.

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