Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Heart Sutra translation by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thích Nhất Hạnh completed a profound and beautiful new English translation of the Heart Sutra with the marvelous reasons for a new translation on 11th September, 2014 as follows: http://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/ 

I wonder why Thây didn't use the word of "Interbeing" and used the word of "Emptiness". Because "Interbeing" (interdependence or dependent co-arising) is much easier to understand than "Emptiness". I hope Thây will add a commentary on each stanza to clarify the meaning.

My understanding of "Emptiness" is the absence of separate self and the existence of non-separate self (a balloon that is empty inside). And non-separate self (non-independent self) means interdependent self, or dependent co-arising self.

I understand that "Emptiness" doesn't mean the absence of self and that self is empty of a separate existence. Self is empty because self is made from non-self elements, namely the whole cosmos. 

As for "no being, and no non-being", my understanding is that every thing and phenomenon is continuation. We can never die. We keep existing in different forms according to the law of conservation of energy and mass in ecosystem. There is no birth and death. Something is not born from nothing and will not be nothing. That's why there is "no being (from non-being), and no non-being (from being)".

* My free translation is as follows: 
(English) http://www.slideshare.net/compassion5151/the-heart-sutra-free-translation

(Japanese) http://www.slideshare.net/compassion5151/ss-17055865 

Sunset on Cape Cod: Photo by Bodhipaksa Dharmacari