The Heart Sutra (March 2017)

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9 – 15 March

Retreat leader: Venerable Robina

THE HEART SUTRA: UNDERSTANDING THE ABSENCE OF THE HALLUCINATED SELF AND EVERYTHING ELSE IS THE BEST METHOD FOR ENDING SUFFERING AND ITS CAUSES

According to Lord Buddha, we all have the potential for clarity, contentment, love and the rest of the positive human qualities. In fact, he says, these qualities are our natural state, and that the perfecting of them, for our own sake and the sake of others, is the job of a spiritual practitioner.

Our stumbling blocks are the deeply held mistaken assumptions that, first of all, attachment, anger, depression and the rest are innate within us and therefore impossible to eliminate; and, second, that suffering and happiness come from the outside.

And these views are rooted in the misconception of an inherent self. By understanding emptiness – that everything exists in dependence upon various factors and therefore there’s nothing intrinsic in anything that makes it what it is – we can slowly loosen the grip of ego-grasping and begin to develop our marvellous potential.

Buddha’s Heart Sutra expresses clearly that we need to “correctly and repeatedly” see this truth in everything that exists and lays out the various categories of phenomena that make up this world of ours.

The perfecting of this wisdom when combined with the perfection of the other virtues brings buddhahood.

ven robinaOrdained since the late 1970s, Ven. Robina has worked full time since then for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.

 Read more about her work and teachings here: