Study Group: Exploring the Heart Sutra

with Rachel Nixon & Kendra Denny
Five Tuesdays, September 17-October 15, 6-8 p.m.
By registration
 
The prajnaparamita mantra is said in this way: Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha...
 
Exploring the Heart Sutra is a five-week "deep dive" into one of Buddhism's most well-known teachings, the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra or The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge (Heart Sutra, for short). This sutra, which is more than 2,000 years old, is recited by millions of Buddhist practitioners everyday in monasteries and centers throughout the world. So, what is it all about and how can it inspire and inform our daily lives?
 
To explore these questions, we will practice, chant, study the text, and share our ideas. Each class will begin with meditation instruction and sitting practice. We will take time to chant the Heart Sutra together as a group. What does it feel like to chant the words of the sutra? What happens when we let go of intellectual study and simply experience the sutra in our heart? Each class will also include an exploration of the text itself, with the help of translations and commentaries from notable Buddhist teachers. We will get to know the characters in the Heart Sutra, including the Buddha, Avalokiteshvara (pictured here), and Shariputra, and we will share insights, questions, and curiosities about their essential teachings on emptiness and non-duality. And, perhaps most importantly, we will explore how this famous sutra can give us support to live a life of true compassion.
 
The topics for the five classes include:
Class 1: Mahayana Buddhism and the Heart Sutra
Class 2: Setting the Stage and the Boddhisattva Path
Class 3: Teachings on Selfessless
Class 4: Teachings on Emptiness
Class 5: Bodhichitta and Beyond
 
The environment is relaxed and friendly. Everyone is encouraged to bring ideas and questions to the group each week. We will co-create the learning and practice space.
 
The primary text for the class is the Essence of the Heart Sutra by H.H. Dalai Lama. Copies will be available for purchase at the class. We will also provide photocopied readings from The Other Shore by Thich Nhat Hanh and The Heart Attack Sutra by Karl Brunnhölzl.
 
Level: Everyone is welcome, including beginners and advanced practitioners.
 
Registration: Early registration is recommended to save your space and it also helps the staff plan for the program. Kindly complete payment below or contact Rachel at [email protected] or 594-1694 to register and discuss other payment options.
Suggested donation
 
Generosity policy: We have a generosity policy to make our offerings available to all who wish to participate. If the suggested donation is an obstacle for you, please consider what is possible in your current situation and offer as much of the program fee as you can. Kindly register ahead by email and plan to pay at class. Thank you.