The Heart Sutra: A Practice Intensive

with Shastri Tom Berthoff

August 24th—August 26th

Date details +
    Price:
  • $50 Regular
  • $100 Patron price
The Heart Sutra is a primary text in Mahayana Buddhism, considered to be an essential teaching by most Mahayana (Zen, Vajrayana) lineages. The sutra itself contains a complete overview of both the Hinayana and Mahayana teachings, articulated concisely in the form of a conversation between Shariputra, the student of Shakyamuni Buddha regarded as foremost in understanding, and Avalokiteshvara, the student of Shakyamuni Buddha regarded as the bodhisattva of compassion. The sutra presents the view of "absolute bodhicitta" - the realization and practice of shunyata (emptiness) - and how the aspiring bodhisattva practices that view. Realizing and practicing absolute bodhicitta is a core teaching in the Mind Training (Lojong) slogans, the focus of the Monday Night Sangha community group.
 
The practice called the "Exorcism Chant" is a contemplative practice that includes chanting the Heart Sutra and its mantra, and a short energetic chant that encourages the practitioner to use the view of emptiness to dispel relative obscurations and obstacles ("mara"). At this time of obstacles and confusion, this is an appropriate way of working with those obstacles and clarifying the confusion.
 
The weekend program will include talks on the Heart Sutra and the principles it refers to, sitting meditation practice, and the practice of the Exorcism Chant.
 
The Sunday morning talk will be the scheduled "Bagels and Dharma" talk ( https://philadelphia.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=366534) about what the Heart Sutra can teach us about teachers, students, and teaching in the Buddhist context.
 
The program will be offered with a suggested donation of $50. Any donation towards the program is fine.