Hannya Shin Kyo “Heart Sutra” Notes

MA-KA HAN-NYA HA-RA MI-TA SHIN-KYO
“Heart” of Transcendental Wisdom Teaching
KAN-JI-ZAI BO-SA-(TSU)
Kannon bodhisattva
GYO JIN HAN-NYA HA-RA-MI-TA
steeped in transcendental wisdom
JI SHO KEN GO UN KAI KU
saw five “heaps” as empty, knew
DO IS-SAI KU YAKU
this ended suffering.
SA-RI-SHI SHIKI FU I KU
Shariputra, form is empty.
KU FU I SHIKI
Emptiness is form.
SHIKI SOKU ZE KU
Form’s nothing but void.
KU SOKU ZE SHIKI
Void’s nothing but form.
JU SO GYO SHIKI YAKU BU NYO ZE
Feel, see, think, mind are the same.
SHA-RI-SHI ZE SHO HO KU SO
Shariputra, (all experiences are) empty aspects,
FU SHO FU METSU
no birth, no end,
FU KU FU JO
no “spoiled”, no “pure”, (no samsara or nirvana)
FU ZO FU GEN
no gain, no loss.
ZE KO KU CHU
Emptiness has
MU SHIKI MU JU SO GYO SHIKI
no form, feel, see, think, nor mind, (5 skhandas)
MU GEN NI BI ZETSU SHIN NI
no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind (6 senses)
MU SHIKI SHO KO MI SOKU HO
no color, sound, smell, taste, touch, thing.
MU GEN KAI NAI SHI
No vision on to
MU I SHIKI KAI
no mind to think. (18 sense constituents)
MU MU-MYO YAKU MU MU-MYO JIN
No delusion, no making bright,
NAI SHI
so forth to
MU RO SHI
no age and death, (12 interdependent links).
YAKU MU RO SHI JIN
No conquering age and death.
MU KU SHU METSU DO
No pain, cause, cure, path (4 noble truths about life)
MU CHI YAKU MU TOKU
No wisdom to gain.
I MU SHO TOK-KO
Nothing to attain,
BO-DAI-SAT-TA E
Enlightened ones know
HAN-NYA HA-RA-MI-TA KO
transcendent wisdom is key.
SHIN MU KE GE
Mind is no block.
MU KE GE KO MU U KU FU
With no blocks there are no more fears.
ON RI IS-SAI TEN DO MU SO
On beyond delusion’s pull, to
KU GYO NE-HAN
enlightenment.
SAN ZE SHO BUTSU E
All enlightened ones (of 3 worlds and times)
HAN-NYA HA-RA-MI-TA
grasp transcendent wisdom,
KO TOKU
so attain
A-NOKU-TA-RA SAN-MYAKU SAN BO DAI KO
perfect supreme unsurpassed enlightenment.
CHI HAN-NYA HA-RA-MI-TA
Perfect wisdom is found in the
ZE DAI JIN SHU
great divine phrase,
ZE DAI MYO SHU
great bright mantra,
ZE MU-JO SHU
unsurpassed phrase,
ZE MU-TO-DO SHU
matchless mantra phrase,
NO JO IS-SAI KU
that ends all suffering
SHIN-JITSU FU KO KO
All truth, nothing false.
SETSU HAN-NYA HA-RA-MI-TA SHU
Transcendental wisdom mantra
SOKU SETSU SHU WATSU
is the mantra that goes:
GYA-TEI GYA-TEI HA-RA GYA-TEI
“Go-ing, go-ing, go-ing be-yond,
HA-RA SO GYA-TEI BO-JI SO-WA-KA
go-ing on beyond, awakened to all.”
HAN-NYA SHIN KYO
Heart of Wisdom

Interpretation of enlightened truth; the “heart” of the teaching on the great perfection of transcendent wisdom
The bodhisattva Kannon, personifying the power of objective observation as an influence leading to enlightenment, meditated deeply on prajna-paramita perfection of transcendent wisdom, and realized the five psychophysical components of conscious living are “empty of inherent existence”. The five components of human life do not exist as independent and isolated “things” in and of themselves. Their qualities are determined by their conditional interdependency with countless other things and qualities arising from relative reality through causes and consequences. Kannon as objective observation realized that knowing this deepest truth could relieve all suffering.

This objective observation dawned on the seeker Shariputra as a message from Kannon. The message was that form, or the relative reality appearance of things, is not different from absolute emptiness of inherent existence as the potential to take any form. Emptiness of inherent existence, or the absolute as basis of all potential manifestation, is not different from form. Form is the way to experience emptiness. Emptiness is the underlying essence of form.
The other four aspects of human existence – feeling, perception, intention, and consciousness – are likewise empty of inherent existence and are in no way set things in and of themselves. We may like to think, “I am who I am,” but the truth is that every one of the aspects that makes us who we are could have been even slightly different, resulting in a blend producing a far different “me” than we now know. All of life is malleable; nothing is set.

Shariputra got the message that this emptiness of inherent existence, or malleability due to interdependence with countless other provisional influences, is the essential characteristic of all phenomena. All things subjective or objective – people, objects, situations, conditions, qualities – appear as a result of countless influences and components coming together as constructs and being given a label. In ultimate reality (emptiness of inherent, independent existence) no things take birth created out of nothing. Likewise, they do not really die or vanish; they go on as influences as part of a process actively creating new phenomena. It cannot be said that they are impure, nor free from impurity; such labels are relative. It cannot be said that they are increasing, nor decreasing; such measurements are relative.

Therefore, in emptiness there is lack of form, feelings, perceptions, intentions, or consciousness as self-existing things in and of themselves. This is not to argue that things do not exist; this is a statement that things cannot exist as stand-alone entities. All aspects of all things are what they are because they were part of a process. Because they were part of a process, they could have ended up as so many different things if any part of that process had been different.

We think we can believe in what we experience, but our basis for experience is the result of all sorts of influences that have molded us to this point. There is “no” eye, ear, nose, tongue, touch, or mind to sense as such, if we look closely. All of these organs are interpreters made up of and dependent upon their constituent parts along with other influences. Likewise there is really “no” color, sound, smell, taste, touch, or object to be sensed. All of these “things” are stimuli that trigger the interpretation of the mind once they have passed through the filters of the senses. We could also say that there is no faculty of sight, hearing, and so forth because all of these too are made up of aspects of and influences by physical structure, feelings, habit, memory, and so on.

We think we understand and can explain why we experience what we do, but our basis for understanding comes from all sorts of influences molding our way of thinking. Even the venerable “Twelve-fold steps of interdependence” is provisional. Ultimately there is no ignorance, as well as no need for extinction of ignorance, and so forth through the twelve-fold chain of dependent arising to the supposedly final effect of no old age and death, as well as no need for eliminating old age and death. All of these steps are qualified by how we interpret what we know as the process of cause and effect.

We think we can get a grasp of why life works the way it does, but even in wisdom there is the truth that all things are empty of inherent existence. Even the Buddhist Four Ultimate Truths about how life feels were, are, and will be subject to influence. Therefore, we must admit that in fact there is no suffering, origin, cessation, or path to enlightened liberation. There is ultimately no wisdom, also no lack of the attainment of wisdom.

Because nothing needs to be attained, an awakened being can rest assured in the intrinsic truth of prajna-paramita perfection of transcendent wisdom. Without delusions, the mind ceases to build walls as obstacles. When there are no obstructing walls boxing in how things must be defined, there is no defensive fear. Without fear, and the resultant need to “be right” that prompts fear, we are free to transcend erroneous views, beliefs, hopes, and convictions, and we can go on to attain nirvana, the “enlightened realization of the emptiness of all things”. Because as a part of their inherent nature, all awakened beings have in the past, do now, and will in the future rely on the perfection of transcendent wisdom, they can accomplish the breakthrough to the attainment of perfect supreme unsurpassed enlightenment.

The essence of pranja-paramita transcendent wisdom is summed up in a great divine mantra, a great bright mantra, an unsurpassed mantra, an incomparable mantra, a mantra that holds the power to break through all confusion and relieve all suffering. Because it is the essence of truth, no part of the mantra can be twisted around to contradict what is highest or deepest truth.

The transcendent wisdom mantra reminds us, “Onward, ever onward, completely ever onward, over to the other side to the enlightened peace that transcends all understanding!”

Here and now, truth looks this way. However, once you grow beyond and transcend the limitations of your current views and beliefs and labels, truth will be bigger. It will look different. You will then be “over there”, and will be able to look back on “now” with higher understanding. This is the Heart of the Transcendent Wisdom teaching.

21st Century Religion?

Religion can be said to be humanity’s attempt to know the unknowable and control the uncontrollable.

Religion also entails a belief that reality is underpinned by some absolute external supernatural unchanging reality, above or beyond laws of mundane physical nature. Religion thus provides a coping mechanism for a changing world where we fear that reality is impermanent, impersonal, and immanent (the divine is seen as existing in all humble things that take shape around us). Through religion we try to perceive (create?) a world that is permanent, personal, and transcendent.

Because people try to impose what they wish to be real instead of understanding the nature of what is real, there is division and conflict. We see wide ranging forms of prejudice and evil acts because each and every person, community, nation, religion, etc. believes they know what is good and evil, what is and what is not, what should be and should not be.

What if there were a religion founded on empirical research (“I have explored and I have found…”), personal interpretation (“I find it prudent to believe…”), and openness to new bigger possibilities that become evident the more we progress (“I now believe, but reserve the right to change and advance my beliefs as I grow…”)?

In a communicating 21st century world where all beliefs from around the world are open and available to all persons (…as opposed to a limited availability of beliefs based on where you are coming from as it would have been in the 1600s or 1700s), what do you think is the most effective, encouraging, meaningful, and satisfying form for religion to take?

Being Aware of the Mind’s Process

Did you ever have a nightmare so real that you actually felt rescued upon awakening? You felt a deep sense of joy and liberation when you realized it was “only a dream”?

A secret truth is that such bad dream experiences very much parallel the experience of obstacles and fears in waking life too.

This realization will empower you. Direct your life so that rather than being overwhelmed by obstacles and fears, you can operate from the liberating realization that the root source of your perceptions is your own mind.

Almost everything we think and feel, and all our interpretations of what we encounter, are rooted in hope and fear, which in turn, bind our minds to turbulent emotions. This constrains our thoughts to the point where we no longer have any control over them. That is why, according to the shravaka teachings, we need to tame the mind. Or from the bodhisattva point of view, train it to become useful. Or from the vajrayana perspective recognize how the mind works.

Where do you fit in the process?

Spirituality in Martial Arts Class?

A friend wrote critically of codes and creeds in martial arts schools. He feels people just want fitness and self-defense and do not sign up for what he calls “Boy Scouts or Sunday School”.

He has a valid point. But what of people who want more than fitness and fighting from their martial arts study? What of those who want a program for handling well all types of “enemies” that could try to stop us?

No, MMA ring champions do not seem to live by codes, but the samurai have a code, the Jedi have a code, the American fighting military has a code. The wilder and wider your range of possibilities, the more you will need a philosophical guide to prevent you from falling into the enemy’s control.

We created our “3-part Seekers Creed”, and then our “14-Point Code of Mindful Action” ethics code, and then “8 Aspects of Self Actualization”, and then “6 Parameters of Heroic Living”, and “9 Cuts of Personal Power Activation” all based on translating 2,500-year-old Asian spiritual codes. Code overload, we have!

But… adult businesspeople and young schoolchildren love to tell us stories of how some aspect of the code helped them score a victory of some sort in life. Codes work for us as an integral irreplaceable key component of our gutter-honest self-defense philosophical martial art of “intelligence in action”.

Glimpses of What Could Be

Buddha at Sakya Pema Ts'al in the Himalayas
What would it feel like if you could, after years of working hard at understanding life, sit under a tree and vow not to get up until you truly grasped the deepest most authentic nature of how reality works and how the mind operates in that reality? What would everything in the world look like to you at that moment? What would you look like to everything in the world?

Buddhist art has for over 2,000 years tried its best to depict an answer to those questions. Sometimes friends ask me why there are so many images of the Buddha when the Buddha himself asked people not to turn his image into a thing to be worshipped.

Do not be confused. The Buddha image is not what is to be revered. The Buddha experience, as suggested by all images as forms of art, is what we seek. Such artwork encourages us, and we take that encouragement to heart.

Here is the inspirational image from the main hall of my friends’ Sakya Pema Ts’al Monastic Institute at the base of the Himalayas. I will enjoy visiting and seeing this up close and personal.

And yes, I acknowledge it will be easier seeing that image than it will be seeing what that seer saw.

Phurba Pierces Problem States

Friends have asked me about some of the techniques that keep me intrigued with my Tibetan teachers who share with me their ageless lore of the Dorje Phurba “demon-defeating dagger”. Are you up for trying out an exercise?

The phurba dagger is a very real tool – a 3-edged blade like the famous commando daggers once used in western warfare but now banned in warfare for being just too fiercely deadly. Hand-held phurba spike daggers can be made of silver, gold, copper, or iron, or carved from wood of white, yellow, red, or black colors. However, the phurba is most important as a symbol of focused intention even more powerful than the hand-held blade.

What would you do with a weapon that could pierce through conditions in your life that stood in opposition to your fulfillment? What would you change right away if you had a tool that could nail into powerless paralysis any situations that caused lack or frustration in your life?

So here’s exercise one: Find one small condition that nags your life right now. Find something that you want but cannot seem to get, or something you dislike but cannot seem to dump. For this exercise, start with something relatively small, some little thing easy to identify, something that you will clearly recognize as being cured if or when a positive change comes about. We will save the big things for later.

Maybe you find some toxic condition you want to relieve – too much debt, excess body weight, unsafe car, co-workers or friends who bring you down, poor health, too much stress, overworked, etc. – something to purge in order to purify your life.

Maybe you will find some acceptable condition you want to expand – Mildly “OK” home or career or health or relationships or financial security or knowledge or appearance, etc. – but it could be and should be more satisfying and enriching.

Maybe you find your life missing key people, or positioning, or access to the kind of influence that would allow you to advance and accomplish – you lack the right allies, lovers, mentors, opportunities, titles, or outright patron sponsors – people or conditions to attract and bind to you in order to give your life the boost in momentum it needs.

Maybe you find your life invaded by people or groups or situations or conditions that seem to target you specifically and hold you back from what is rightfully yours – rivals, competitors, jailers, saboteurs, or outright enemies – some identifiable force to conquer and nail down out of the way in order for your life to be free to blossom.

Exercise One, part Two is to sit and take a deep breath and very clearly and explicitly identify with a vision in your mind’s inner eye and in as few strong words as possible just what you want to change. Stay with that for a few moments and repeat this step over and over to be sure you are focused. If you are comfortable with spiritual adventure, you could even press your palms together with the fingers of each hand gripping like claws the knuckles of the other hand as illustrated as Kuji no In Ge-baku-ken mudra in Chapter 5 in book 2 of Ninja; The Complete Collection. I will show you a minor adjustment of that sometime when we are together personally.

Exercise One, part Three is then to watch very carefully over the next week for any and all signs, coincidences, omens, hints, whispers, or offers that could indicate a possible solution to your challenge. Just remember to pay attention and look for even the most subtle of communications as to an answer. See what catches your awareness directly, obliquely, or in moments of distraction or even dreaming.

Try it and write me a comment on what you experience.

Ninja Master and Dalai Lama in “The Sunday Indian”

The Dalai Lama – WAR AND PEACE

by Spriha Srivastava | December 5, 2010 17:38

What has a Ninjutsu Master got to say about His Holiness The Dalai Lama? A lot more than you know, for Stephen K Hayes was security advisor to His Holiness for the better part of the 1990s, and continues to be a spiritual friend.

What was your first impression of the Dalai Lama and how real was he compared to your perception of a Godman?

I first met the Dalai Lama in India in 1986. I was very much moved by the energy of his very presence and by his bearing. I later learned the Tibetans sometimes call him Kundun, which means “the presence”. I was impressed by the intense way he paid attention to each question I asked, and the way he answered honestly and directly. I was no statesman or business figure or celebrity, but he nonetheless gave me his entire attention for the hours I spent with him at our first meeting.

Read the rest on The Sunday Indian web site

Ganden Shartse Monks on Tour

Friends who visit my home sometimes compliment a large hanging thangka scroll picture of the historical Buddha displayed on the landing at the end of of my 3rd floor hallway. The large painting shows Gautama Buddha and some of his disciples, painted in rich colors and embellished with highlights of actual gold.

I was given the scroll as a present by the senior lamas of Ganden Shartse Monastery during a visit to Mundgod, India, in 2002. I had promised my friend Thubten Jinpa (translator for the Dalai Lama) I would assist the Ganden Shartse monks to get USA visas to facilitate a fund-raising tour through the United States.

Help Build a Temple

Got a few extra dollars looking for something important and valuable to do?

An-shu Stephen K. Hayes is working to assist his friend Lama Kunga Dhondup, principal of Sakya Pema T’sal Monastic School in Pokhara, Nepal, in fundraising to build a traditional Tibetan temple at the site of his monastery for young Tibetan monks.

An-shu says, “My young monk friends hosted me and a few of our SKH Quest Center Black Belt students in their monastery a few times in years past. They generously helped me translate ancient Tibetan texts that teach important exercises for the liberation of the human spirit. These are teachings that will add great value to our spirit-building training in the Western world.”

Here is where we need to help. “Temple construction is well underway – and along comes a world economic disaster. Funds pedged to my friends disappeared. I promised the Sakya Pema Ts’al monks I would do all I could to help them finish the financing of their temple building. Rumiko and I have the Blue Lotus Assembly charity that we use to send donations to great causes like this. If you have a few dollars you can share, please join us.”


Instead of automated donation, contribution checks can also be sent to:

Blue Lotus Assembly

c/o SKH Quest

6236 Far Hills Avenue

Dayton, OH 45459

Avalokiteshvara – Kannon – Chenrezig – Yoga Meditation

HOMBU DOJO – DAYTON, OHIO
Wednesday June 30, 2010 8:30 – 9:30 pm

An-shu and guest Sakya Lama Rigzin Wangdu from Sakya Pema Ts’al Monastic Institute in Pokhara, Nepal, presented a meditation practice in generating awareness of our inherent proclivity towards compassionate intelligent encouraging engagement with the world, through identification with our own inner nature of being a “heroic bright light who hears the sorrows of the world”.