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Thread: Special Retreat Shakyo Practice Circle #2, June 2021

  1. #1

    Special Retreat Shakyo Practice Circle #2, June 2021

    During the retreat this weekend, I will be hosting a silent practice period. This unit is host to all silent practices, like samu, sewing, and sitting, but for those of us in the Shakyo Practice Circle, this will be this month's installment.

    I will be continuing from where I left off. Remember, everyone, to watch your posture and your breathing as you practice!

    I look forward to seeing your pictures. Everyone has their own, unique hand at this!

    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  2. #2
    Hi All,

    The words and meaning are not that important in Shakyo, because there is a time to study what a Sutra is teaching, and a time to put the study down and just dance the sound and motion, embodying the life of the Sutra. It is very much how we might study the Heart Sutra's vision of form that is emptiness, but then simply embody flowing form in emptiness in our singing Chants and motions during a Heart Sutra ceremony.

    But it is okay to understand a little, so let us now look at the title of the Heart Sutra itself ... the "Hannya Shingyo" for short in Japanese, but the full title is:

    HAN Praj
    NYA na
    HA pa
    RA ra
    MIT mi
    TA ta
    SHIN heart
    GYŌ sutra

    Prajna is 'Wisdom,' or insight and embodying of Emptiness as Form. In this case, the two Kanji are mostly phonetic for the Sanskrit Prajna, which word came to be pronounced Hannya in Japanese.

    Paramitta is the Virtue and Perfection of this Wisdom (as well as other Virtues and Perfections prized in Buddhism, such as Generosity, Morality, Patience, Vigor and Zazen). These Kanji are also primarily phonetic for the Sanskri Paramita which became Haramitta in Japanese

    Shin is Heart, a Kanji with can represent the human heart & mind (it looks very much like a human heart with its different chambers and pipes), but in this case means "the heart of the matter," for the Heart Sutra fully summarizes all the core teachings of the great and much longer Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, some hundreds of pages long.

    Kyo or Gyo (a long 'o') is a Teaching, but also means a Sutra, a Teaching of the Buddha.

    The title is often preceded by 摩訶, Maka in Japanese, which is a phonetic for "Great" from the Sanskrit Maha.

    Recall that some Chinese Kanji can be used just primarily for the phonetic sound trying to get close to the original, although sometimes the translator tries to pick nice Kanji to represent the sound.

    If you would like to learn more about the history and origin of this title, and the central thrust of the Heart Sutra, this first talk in our series on the Heart Sutra does just that ...

    Also available as a Podcast version ...


    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 06-04-2021 at 05:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Thank you, Jundo. A lovely reference.

    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

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