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The Heart Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom

May 8, 2017

Dear Friends,

Today, I would like to share a passage from The Complete Book of Shaolin, written by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit:

Chapter 27 - 'Methods of Zen Cultivation'

“…The most popular sutra for recitation among Zen practitioners as well as followers of many other Buddhist schools is the “Great Heart Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom to Reach the Other Shore”, usually shortened to the Heart Sutra. It is an incredibly amazing masterpiece; consisting of only 260 words in Chinese, the Heart Sutra presents all the important doctrines of Buddhism! Understandably, in such an  exceedingly concise form the Heart Sutra is incomprehensible to most people, including many devotees who recite it daily. If you think it is about gods and morality, prayers and devotion, you will be most mistaken. The Heart Sutra explains what sunyata or the void is, and reveals wisdom that our scientists are investigating into, as in cosmology, explicate and implicate order, consciousness, relativity, and quantum mechanics! The Heart Sutra translated into English is presented below. Don’t worry if you find it difficult: most people do.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, coursing deeply through prajna-paramita, perceives the five skandhas are all empty, and overcomes all suffering and calamity.

Sariputra, form is no different from emptiness; emptiness is no different from form. Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Feeling, thought, activity, consciousness are also thus.

Sariputra, all phenomena are emptied of characteristics: non-arising, non-ceasing; non-defiled, non-pure; non-adding, non-subtracting. Thus in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, thought, activity, consciousness. There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect consciousness. There is no form, sound, smell, taste, touch and phenomena. There is no realm of eye consciousness till no realm of intellect consciousness. There is no ignorance and no termination of ignorance, till no age and death and no termination of age and death. There is no suffering, no cause, no extinction, and no path. There is no wisdom and no merits. Thus there is no attainment whatsoever. Due to prajna-paramita, Bodhisattvas have no obstruction of mind. Because there is no obstruction, there is no fear. Being far from delusion and dreams, perfect nirvana is attained.

Due to prajna-paramita, Buddhas of the past, present, and future attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Thus know that prajna-paramita is a great divine mantra, a great mantra of enlightenment, an unsurpassed mantra, a mantra that has no equal. It is able to eliminate all suffering. This is really true, without falsehood. If you recite the prajna-paramita mantra; say gate, gate, para gate, para samgate, bodhi svaha.

At the completion of a sutra recitation, it is usual to chant the name of the Buddha or Bodhisattva related to the sutra. The Heart Sutra is a description of the enlightenment experience of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, or Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa in Chinese. Hence, the following praise in Chinese is chanted thrice. The English version, which you may use in place of the Chinese, is also given below.

Namo Da Bei Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa

Homage to the Great Compassionate Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa

After singing or chanting the praise three times, pay homage to the Buddha or Bodhisattva by prostration once or thrice."

This is one of the best translations into English that I have read. I hope that readers will be able to find similar benefits.

Wishing everyone 'happy training, happy life'!

Best wishes,

Hsuen, Emiko

Greetings and thanks to Sifu, Shaolin masters past and present, and all of those who have gone before. 

Kek Lok Si Temple at night, in Penang - Malaysia

Gratitude

Feb. 12, 2017

Dear Friends, 

Thank you for checking in and reading here today. 

It's hard to imagine how long ago it was when I first met Sifu in Malaysia in December 2000 and attended his Intensive Shaolin Kung Fu Course. What a life-changing course that was - I am so grateful - and I have never looked back since.

Today, I wake up each morning, still pinching myself on my "good luck" to be initiated into the Flow, that this enables me to enjoy good health, and that I receive such an abundance of energy from the training that gives me zest and vitality for life. 

When I was much younger, I used to wake up with a heavy feeling in my heart and stomach, almost with a 'sense of dread' for what the day would bring. It seemed that each day merged into the next, and it required much effort to get out of bed and prepare myself to go to work. Once I was into the activities of the day, I could smile and interact well with others, but that first waking moment of the day was always a battle of will for me.

I wondered if others felt the same way as I did. I recalled how, as a child, I would wake up with eagerness and anticipation for the day, and I genuinely thought that those days were a happy childhood phase that had unfortunately been 'outgrown', and that adult life was all about struggle and determination.

Yet, here I am today, in February 2017, and I can honestly say that the wonders of these Shaolin arts never cease. I look back, and somehow, somewhere along the line, my adult life took a subtle yet profound turn towards 'possibility',  'opportunity' and 'hope'. Somehow, the childlike curiosity and enthusiasm for life returned.

 I do not recall exactly when it was that I began to wake up with that keen, alert, fresh interest for what the day could bring. But, through daily training, I can honestly say that it has been the 'new normal' for more than fifteen years. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to train and disseminate the authentic Shaolin arts, the arts that have opened me up to the joys of a life lived with freedom of spirit, in increasing harmony with the laws of the universe.

How incredible this gift called Life is. Wishing everyone 'happy training, happy life'!

Best wishes,

Hsuen, Emiko

Greetings and thanks to Sifu, Shaolin masters past and present, and all of those who have gone before. 

日本語訳

感謝

2017年2月12日

 皆様

今日はこちらをご覧いただき、また読んでいただき有難うございます。

 マレーシアで師父に初めてお会いし、師父のカンフー集中コースに参加したのは2000年の12月でしたがそんなに前だったとは想像できません。この時参加したコースは本当に人生が変わるほどのもので、とても感謝しています。それ以来、昔を振り返る事はありません。

 今なお、毎朝起きる度に、自分をつねって、『流れ』というもの教えていただいた幸運を確かめています。この『流れ』によって、私は健康を謳歌し、また、熱意と活力が湧く毎日のトレーニングから莫大な量のエネルギーを得られるようになりました。

 もっとずっと若かったとき、私は心やお腹に重たい感覚を抱え、いったい今日はどんな1日になるんだろうと恐怖をもって目覚めていました。

そういう日が続き、私は仕事に行く準備をするためにベッドから起き上がるのにも、大変な努力をしなければなりませんでした。

ひとたび、活動をし始めれば笑顔で人と交わることができましたが、毎朝、起き上がる瞬間はいつも意志との戦いでした。

 他の人も、私と同じように感じているのかしらと考えていました。子供の頃は、今日はどんな日になるのだろうと活き活きとワクワクしながら目覚めていました。それなのに、その当時の幸せな子供時代は残念なことに「成長」し、大人の生活はほぼ苦労と決意ばかりだと思っていました。

 

にもかかわらず、2017年2月、今ここにいる私は正直にこう申し上げることができます。少林のアーツの奇跡は消して止むことはない。振り返れば、どうしたものか、どこかの段階で私の大人の人生は微かではあるけれど、重大な方向転換をし、「可能性」や「機会」そして、「希望」の方向へと向かいました。どういうわけか、人生に対する子供のような好奇心と熱心さが戻ってきました。

 今日は何が起こるのだろうとワクワク、ドキドキしながら、新鮮な興味を持って目覚めるように、いつからなり始めたか正確には思い出すことができません。でも、毎日のトレーニングを通して、それが新しいノーマルになって15年以上は経っていると申し上げる事ができます。

 私はこの本物の少林のアーツをトレーニングし、広める機会をとても感謝しています。このアーツは私に宇宙の法則とより調和しながら自由な魂で生きていくことの喜びをもたらしてくれました。

 人生とはなんて素敵な贈り物なのでしょう!

皆さんの幸せなトレーニングと幸せな人生をお祈り申し上げます。

 ご多幸をお祈りいたします。

 シュエン エミコ

 師父、過去と現在の少林のマスター、そして全ての先達へ感謝と心からのご挨拶を申し上げます。