The Heart Sutra is Buddhism in a nutshell. It covers more of the Buddha's teachings in a shorter span than any other scripture, and it does so without being superficial or commonplace. Although the author is unknown, he was clearly someone with a deep knowledge of the Dharma and an ability to summarize lifetimes of meditation in a few well-crafted lines.  I would describe the Heart Sutra as a work of art as much as religion. And perhaps it is one more proof, if any were needed, that distinguishing these two callings is both artificial and unfortunate.
- Red Pine

Books on the
Heart Sutra

Thich Nhat Hanh
    excerpt from The Heart
    of Understanding

bullet The Dalai Lama - excerpt
    from Essence of the
    Heart Sutra

bullet Red Pine - excerpt from
    The Heart Sutra: The
    Womb of Buddhas

bullet Master Sheng Yen -
    excerpt from There is no
    suffering: commentary
    on the Heart Sutra

bullet Edward Conze - excerpt
    from Buddhist Wisdom


On the Web

s Ken McLeod's Heart     Sutra workshop

s Parallel Tibetan and
    English translation
    recorded sound clips in

s Commentary by Master
    T'an Hsu

s Talk by Mel Weitsman

s Talk by Khenpo Chodrak




Welcome to DharmaNet's Heart Sutra study center. We'll be offering Ashoka online courses, links to resources on the Web and special features relating to The Heart Sutra.



Ashoka's getting started module introduces the Heart Sutra, its history, and background information on the setting and story it tells.

This getting started module is not a line-by-line commentary but rather a prelude to the many voices we are offering.

This getting started module is drawn primarily from Red Pine’s illuminating The Heart Sutra, as well as other contemporary and historical sources.



Mu Seong looks to create a radical new understanding of an ancient teaching and to understand this core teaching of Mahayana Buddhism in the light of new perspectives on reality and a new model of the universe set forth by quantum physics.


Coming soon on Ashoka, more courses on the Heart Sutra with Ken McLeod, Red Pine, Prof. Lew Lancaster and others.


Ken McLeod's Heart Sutra commentary.

"In its quietly relentless way, this pithy and unorthodox commentary
to the Heart Sutra leaves you with nowhere to stand but right here."
- Stephen Batchelor



The Heart Sutra is a great torch that lights the darkest road, a swift boat that ferries us across the sea of suffering.

— Fatsang

From the movie
Little Buddha



Listen to the Heart Sutra

Monks and Nuns of Plum Vilage (Vietnamese)

From Plum Village

Lee Chwee Chiant (Chinese)

From Taraloka
Kuan Um Zen Center (English)

From Kuan Um School of Zen

Kuan Um Zen Center (Korean)

From Kuan Um School of Zen
Kopan Monastery (Tibetan)



Thubsten Gelek (Tibetan)

from Eric Larson

Ennyoji Temple (Japanese)

from Ennyoji Temple, Japan

Yangjin Lamu (Contemporary/Tibetan)

From YouTube