Friday, January 22, 2010

Show Me

The Heart Sutra says, “Form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form; form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form; sensation, perception, formulation, consciousness are also like this.” Show me what the sutra is getting at.


  1. no form, no emptiness but sensation perception formulation and consciousness

  2. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Thank you for this teaching.

    “Shariputra” is the person that this teaching is addressed to, i.e. You, me, and other old grandmothers who are personally resolved to abolishing cluster bombs.

    “Form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form” reveals that cancer is no other than Real Existence, Real Existence no other than multiple sclerosis.

    “Form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form” shows a bayonet through the lung is exactly Real Existence, Real Existence is exactly a baby in a garbage can.

    “Sensation, perception, mental reaction, consciousness are also like this” demonstrates the other four, of the five skandhas; the sensation of being skinned alive is exactly Real Existence. The perception of a head crushed in a vice is exactly Real Existence. The mental reaction of terror while undergoing water torture is exactly Real Existence. The consciousness that the mutilated body parts on the ground are your family is exactly Real Existence.

    Do you see..?

    Ted Biringer

  3. Thank you Roshi, you have asked a difficult question.

    The easy answer is to strike a blow but that is not my style.

    It is the very core of Buddha which is why it is called Heart. Its beauty lies in the ability to transcend the foundation on which it sits.

    Sustained by no support, everything is gone, including the path itself.

    And yet something remains. Form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form.

    Hence it is proclaimed:


  4. Form is the One, Emptiness is the One...One,One,One...Bye,Bye

  5. who ever you are, go do the dishes!

  6. And I ask, " What is the meaning of this post!"

    Perhaps an effort to find a compassionate student?

  7. The statement of Avelokitsvara means this:

    Form, one of the five skandas, along with all the skandas, is a conception of the mind. We force nature and truth in to forms we can understand, though they do not care what we try to make them. Hence Form is Emptiness.

    However, this does not mean that there is nothing. That which defies our arbitrary conceptions still exists in its original nature, full of promise and potential, eternally as it is. Hence, Emptiness is Form.