Essence of the Heart Sutra - Table of Contents

The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings


192 pages, 6 x 9 inches


ISBN 9780861712847

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9780861719808

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Editor’s Preface        

I: Buddhism in Context

Chapter 1: The Quest for Inner Development           

Chapter 2: Religion in Today’s World           

Many Teachings, Many Paths         

Maintaining One’s Own Tradition  

Sharing Each Other’s Traditions    

Learning from Other Traditions     

Chapter 3: The Foundations of Buddhism     

Defining Features    

The Buddha  

The First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma          

The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination        

The Afflictions          

Abandoning the Causes of Suffering         

Chapter 4: The Great Vehicle 

The Mahayana School         

Nagarjuna and the Great Vehicle   

Origins of the Great Vehicle

Chapter 5: Freedom from Suffering  

Suffering and Compassion  

Integrating All the Teachings         

II: The Heart Sutra

The Text of the Heart Sutra

Chapter 6: The Opening         

The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras  

Giving the Title and Paying Homage          

The Origin of the Teaching 

Essence and Form    

Chapter 7: Entering the Bodhisattva Path    

The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara   

Noble Sons and Noble Daughters  

Buddha Nature        

The Way Things Are

Chapter 8: Selflessness in Context     

Ultimate Bodhichitta

The Doctrine of No-self       

The Four Seals          

Chapter 9: Interpreting Emptiness    

The Two Types of Selflessness       

The Mind-only Interpretation        

Definitive Versus Provisional Interpretations      

The Middle Way Interpretation     

The Two Middle Way Schools         

Emptiness and Dependent Origination     

Chapter 10: Developing an Unmistaken View of Reality      

Correctly Refuting Intrinsic Existence       

Understanding the Two Truths     

Traditions of Interpretation           

The Eight Aspects of Emptiness     

Chapter 11: Attaining the Result       

The Emptiness of All Phenomena  


The Mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom  

The Implicit Meaning of the Heart Sutra  

All Rejoice      

III: The Way of  the Bodhisattva

Chapter 12: Generating Bodhichitta  

A Gradual Approach

The Seven-Point Cause-and-Effect Method          

Equalizing and Exchanging Oneself and Others  

Self-Cherishing Versus Cherishing Others

The Practice of Giving and Taking 

Generating Bodhichitta           

Appendix: Thorough Elucidation of the Meaning of the Words: An Exposition of the “Heart of Wisdom” by Jamyang Gawai Lodrö (1429–1503)