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The Heart Attack Sutra: A New Commentary on the Heart Sutra epub download

by Karl Brunnholzl


The radical message of the Heart Sūtra, one of Buddhism's most famous texts, is a sweeping attack on everything we hold most dear: our troubles, the world as we know it, even the teachings of the Buddha himself. Several of the Buddha's followers are said to have suffered heart attacks and died when they first heard its assertion of the basic groundlessness of our existence—hence the title of this book. Overcoming fear, the Buddha teaches, is not to be accomplished by shutting down or building walls around oneself, but instead by opening up to understand the illusory nature of everything we fear—including ourselves. In this book of teachings, Karl Brunnhölzl guides practitioners through this 'crazy' sutra to the wisdom and compassion that lie at its core.

The Heart Attack Sutra: A New Commentary on the Heart Sutra epub download

ISBN13: 978-1559393911

ISBN: 1559393912

Author: Karl Brunnholzl

Category: Health and Fitness

Subcategory: Addiction & Recovery

Language: English

Publisher: Snow Lion; First Edition edition (May 16, 2012)

Pages: 176 pages

ePUB size: 1345 kb

FB2 size: 1237 kb

Rating: 4.3

Votes: 788

Other Formats: txt rtf mbr lrf

Related to The Heart Attack Sutra: A New Commentary on the Heart Sutra ePub books

Thetalen
Life changing book, because it changes your view of "reality." It delves into the heart sutra, and explains "emptiness". It was recommended by Pema Chodron, otherwise I never would have chosen it bc of the odd title.
Thetalen
Life changing book, because it changes your view of "reality." It delves into the heart sutra, and explains "emptiness". It was recommended by Pema Chodron, otherwise I never would have chosen it bc of the odd title.
Knights from Bernin
Who knew the Heart Sutra would be so much fun to explore? The examples used in this book were easy to work with, like how the author talked in depth about how we misinterpret the word 'empty' and all the connotations we put on it, like 'empty wallet'. He did not dumb down this compact sutra, but rather he elevated the way I think about it. I've loaned out my copy to a friend, and am thinking of buying another for my own reference in case I don't get it back. It is well worth reading, and more than once. I am delighted to find an explanation of the Heart Sutra that is both meaty and manageable.
Knights from Bernin
Who knew the Heart Sutra would be so much fun to explore? The examples used in this book were easy to work with, like how the author talked in depth about how we misinterpret the word 'empty' and all the connotations we put on it, like 'empty wallet'. He did not dumb down this compact sutra, but rather he elevated the way I think about it. I've loaned out my copy to a friend, and am thinking of buying another for my own reference in case I don't get it back. It is well worth reading, and more than once. I am delighted to find an explanation of the Heart Sutra that is both meaty and manageable.
Gir
EXCELLENT read about the Heart Sutra, looking into every possible aspect of this traditional chant of the Buddhist practitioner.
Nirvana is already here.
Gir
EXCELLENT read about the Heart Sutra, looking into every possible aspect of this traditional chant of the Buddhist practitioner.
Nirvana is already here.
Fohuginn
It's very readable, and the author appears to have read all the prior commentaries, so he sums up what has been said before, explains the issues clearly, and makes a convincing case as to why the sutra is so significant. I learned a great deal and it held my attention.
Fohuginn
It's very readable, and the author appears to have read all the prior commentaries, so he sums up what has been said before, explains the issues clearly, and makes a convincing case as to why the sutra is so significant. I learned a great deal and it held my attention.
Yannara
When seeing this book, one might perhaps have two mistaken ideas. One is saying: "Why another commentary on the Heart Sutra? Aren't there many already?" Another mistaken thought could be: "The books by Khenpo Karl Brunnhölzl are too technical, too difficult; this is not for me." When you open the Heart Attack Sutra book, you will find for yourself that both of these expectations are false.
The author chose a masterful balance in writing this commentary. On one hand, it is lively, experiential, humorous, and full of practical instructions on how to engage the Heart Sutra as a contemplative manual: how to take the words of the sutra to one's heart on the meditation cushion and how to use the message the ancient sutra conveys in everyday life in today's world. The essence of this approach is captured in this quote from p. 142:
"The Heart Sutra is not primarily about all phenomena (be they skandhas or the four noble truths) as objects, but it is always pointing back to our mind as the subject and how it deals with all these objects. How do we deal with our eyes, our ears, our nose, our tongue, and our body? How do we deal with our sense perceptions? How do we deal with our suffering? How do we deal with the causes of suffering? How do we deal with our path?"
On the other hand, this is no dharma-lite booklet for bedtime reading. Khenpo Karl brings into his narrative the vast knowledge of the Prajñaparamita sutras commentarial tradition, skillfully quoting definitions, classifications, etymologies and meanings of the technical terms quoted in or associated with the sutra, accompanied by present-day examples elucidating the meaning.
The author based his Heart Sutra commentary on the Indian commentaries, selected Tibetan commentaries as well as Chinese and contemporary Western commentaries and he refers to them throughout. He is also relying on his extensive study of the commentaries on both explicit and hidden meaning of Prajñaparamita as evidenced by his voluminous publications of Center of the Sunlit Sky, Gone Beyond I & II and Groundless Paths.
As for the content, the book consists of the meaning commentary in the Introduction followed by the word commentary going through each passage. Khenpo Karl comments on a word or a sentence of the sutra from the technical point of view and then illustrates how this passage can be readily used for contemplation, for practice, for spiritual transformation.
Finally, the book also includes an instruction on the practice of the Prajñaparamitahridaya Sadhana by Mahasiddha Darika. Even though this sadhana has been translated and commented upon elsewhere (Elaborations on Emptiness, Donald Lopez), without Khenpo Karl's clear practice instructions, it is difficult if not impossible to put this lovely visualization - which is enacting the story of the Heart Sutra, very much like a theatre play - into practice.
In sum, when enjoying such balance between precision and readability, a miracle of a sort happens: while reading this book, you are drawn into the narrative as if wanting to finish it in one sitting - like a detective story with a humorous undertone - and at the same time you are being served the dharma without compromise, gems of traditional scholarship, which in other contexts would put most people to sleep. But here both approaches not only can coexist side by side, but are even enhancing each other, feeding the fire of prajña arising from such delightful reading. And so one can rightfully ask a question: Isn't the Heart Attack Sutra book an evidence of the genuine western Buddhism actually taking root, where the western approach to narration is employed without compromising on the precision of the traditional discourse? It is, for me. For that reason this is not yet another, redundant commentary, this is a unique masterpiece and is worth reading for all who aspire to be followers of the genuine tradition of the Heart Sutra.
This Heart Attack Sutra is truly the attack for the ego's heart and therefore it is a delight for the heart aspiring for freedom.
Yannara
When seeing this book, one might perhaps have two mistaken ideas. One is saying: "Why another commentary on the Heart Sutra? Aren't there many already?" Another mistaken thought could be: "The books by Khenpo Karl Brunnhölzl are too technical, too difficult; this is not for me." When you open the Heart Attack Sutra book, you will find for yourself that both of these expectations are false.
The author chose a masterful balance in writing this commentary. On one hand, it is lively, experiential, humorous, and full of practical instructions on how to engage the Heart Sutra as a contemplative manual: how to take the words of the sutra to one's heart on the meditation cushion and how to use the message the ancient sutra conveys in everyday life in today's world. The essence of this approach is captured in this quote from p. 142:
"The Heart Sutra is not primarily about all phenomena (be they skandhas or the four noble truths) as objects, but it is always pointing back to our mind as the subject and how it deals with all these objects. How do we deal with our eyes, our ears, our nose, our tongue, and our body? How do we deal with our sense perceptions? How do we deal with our suffering? How do we deal with the causes of suffering? How do we deal with our path?"
On the other hand, this is no dharma-lite booklet for bedtime reading. Khenpo Karl brings into his narrative the vast knowledge of the Prajñaparamita sutras commentarial tradition, skillfully quoting definitions, classifications, etymologies and meanings of the technical terms quoted in or associated with the sutra, accompanied by present-day examples elucidating the meaning.
The author based his Heart Sutra commentary on the Indian commentaries, selected Tibetan commentaries as well as Chinese and contemporary Western commentaries and he refers to them throughout. He is also relying on his extensive study of the commentaries on both explicit and hidden meaning of Prajñaparamita as evidenced by his voluminous publications of Center of the Sunlit Sky, Gone Beyond I & II and Groundless Paths.
As for the content, the book consists of the meaning commentary in the Introduction followed by the word commentary going through each passage. Khenpo Karl comments on a word or a sentence of the sutra from the technical point of view and then illustrates how this passage can be readily used for contemplation, for practice, for spiritual transformation.
Finally, the book also includes an instruction on the practice of the Prajñaparamitahridaya Sadhana by Mahasiddha Darika. Even though this sadhana has been translated and commented upon elsewhere (Elaborations on Emptiness, Donald Lopez), without Khenpo Karl's clear practice instructions, it is difficult if not impossible to put this lovely visualization - which is enacting the story of the Heart Sutra, very much like a theatre play - into practice.
In sum, when enjoying such balance between precision and readability, a miracle of a sort happens: while reading this book, you are drawn into the narrative as if wanting to finish it in one sitting - like a detective story with a humorous undertone - and at the same time you are being served the dharma without compromise, gems of traditional scholarship, which in other contexts would put most people to sleep. But here both approaches not only can coexist side by side, but are even enhancing each other, feeding the fire of prajña arising from such delightful reading. And so one can rightfully ask a question: Isn't the Heart Attack Sutra book an evidence of the genuine western Buddhism actually taking root, where the western approach to narration is employed without compromising on the precision of the traditional discourse? It is, for me. For that reason this is not yet another, redundant commentary, this is a unique masterpiece and is worth reading for all who aspire to be followers of the genuine tradition of the Heart Sutra.
This Heart Attack Sutra is truly the attack for the ego's heart and therefore it is a delight for the heart aspiring for freedom.
Kamuro
Love this sutra with all my heart.
Kamuro
Love this sutra with all my heart.
Mala
This book is incredibly engaging, it is very difficult to put it down once one starts to read and ponder upon its ideas. However the caveat that I would like to put, as a relatively uninformed (but getting there) reader is a simple one. Brunnholzl is one of the most engaging and entertaining writers I have come across, and I initially read this book for the shire pleasure of simply reading it.

But when it comes to trying to draw knowledge and distil wisdom from it, there is a certain degree of critical thinking that should be applied to the interpretation of the text. Firstly it largely is centred on the Tibetan interpretations of the Prajnaparamita sutras and focusses on the interpretation of key terms within the Sutra from a Madhyamaka perspective.

The above is not necessarily a bad thing but nor is it, in its totality a good thing either. As Lex Hixon notes in his [Mother of Buddhas (another work on the Prajna Paramita) the sutra has given rise to many traditions and recension but is not necessarily beholden to any of them. It stands on its own and one can freely make of it what they wish so I would think that the text would have some more diversity in dealing with key issues like Sunyata and also linking all of this back to Anatta (key philosophical ideas - where the words themselves have a range of different meanings depending on time, context and canon).

There is some light hearted polemic (if such a thing exists) of the Theravada in the text too, which is largely instigated from its Tibetan roots. I personally have a non-sectarian view of the whole scenario. But Mahayana is distinct to the individual schools of corpora that refer themselves as Mahayana and it is not necessary for one school of thought (denoted as Mahayana) to be consistent, in agreement or similar in any capacity (by philosophy, practice or even form) to another. This particular text is faction free - it has universal appeal to many schools of Mahayana (I use this as a plural here). And in purely reading the Tibetan Buddhist rendition has its benefits and merits, it does not necessarily give a wholesome picture.

Having said all of the above, Brunnholzl performs admirably in his erudite rendition of the Tibetan Madhyamaka interpretation of the Prajna Paramita. I have little knowledge and personally little interest in that particular school so I was at a handicap to enjoy this book from the get go. However, it was a page turner, and it really did enhance my understanding of the Prajna Paramita 3 fold. It gave me opportunities to love it more, agree with Brunnholzl and to also scream and vehemently disagree. Ironic that a Buddhist Scripture can provoke so much passion! But that's the crux of it all - the book has layers. Its engaging, its entertaining, informative and anything but dry.

Anyone interested in reading more about the Prajna Paramita should certainly look into Hixon's book in addition of Brunnholzl - I think the contrasts of ideas and interpretations of the two together make it a much more worthwhile journey.
Mala
This book is incredibly engaging, it is very difficult to put it down once one starts to read and ponder upon its ideas. However the caveat that I would like to put, as a relatively uninformed (but getting there) reader is a simple one. Brunnholzl is one of the most engaging and entertaining writers I have come across, and I initially read this book for the shire pleasure of simply reading it.

But when it comes to trying to draw knowledge and distil wisdom from it, there is a certain degree of critical thinking that should be applied to the interpretation of the text. Firstly it largely is centred on the Tibetan interpretations of the Prajnaparamita sutras and focusses on the interpretation of key terms within the Sutra from a Madhyamaka perspective.

The above is not necessarily a bad thing but nor is it, in its totality a good thing either. As Lex Hixon notes in his [Mother of Buddhas (another work on the Prajna Paramita) the sutra has given rise to many traditions and recension but is not necessarily beholden to any of them. It stands on its own and one can freely make of it what they wish so I would think that the text would have some more diversity in dealing with key issues like Sunyata and also linking all of this back to Anatta (key philosophical ideas - where the words themselves have a range of different meanings depending on time, context and canon).

There is some light hearted polemic (if such a thing exists) of the Theravada in the text too, which is largely instigated from its Tibetan roots. I personally have a non-sectarian view of the whole scenario. But Mahayana is distinct to the individual schools of corpora that refer themselves as Mahayana and it is not necessary for one school of thought (denoted as Mahayana) to be consistent, in agreement or similar in any capacity (by philosophy, practice or even form) to another. This particular text is faction free - it has universal appeal to many schools of Mahayana (I use this as a plural here). And in purely reading the Tibetan Buddhist rendition has its benefits and merits, it does not necessarily give a wholesome picture.

Having said all of the above, Brunnholzl performs admirably in his erudite rendition of the Tibetan Madhyamaka interpretation of the Prajna Paramita. I have little knowledge and personally little interest in that particular school so I was at a handicap to enjoy this book from the get go. However, it was a page turner, and it really did enhance my understanding of the Prajna Paramita 3 fold. It gave me opportunities to love it more, agree with Brunnholzl and to also scream and vehemently disagree. Ironic that a Buddhist Scripture can provoke so much passion! But that's the crux of it all - the book has layers. Its engaging, its entertaining, informative and anything but dry.

Anyone interested in reading more about the Prajna Paramita should certainly look into Hixon's book in addition of Brunnholzl - I think the contrasts of ideas and interpretations of the two together make it a much more worthwhile journey.
Excellent book. This is the most clear description I've ever found on the Heart Sutra.
Excellent book. This is the most clear description I've ever found on the Heart Sutra.