Logos of the Heart

The Essence of the Perfection of Understanding

Thus have I heard: The Awakened One of Great Compassion was deep in the stream of perfect understanding. She explained the process which leads to the illusion of a limited personality. Realizing its emptiness, she overcame all suffering.

O Student, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form. Form is emptiness, emptiness form. The same is true of feeling, thought, impulse and consciousness.

O Student, all phenomena are mutually dependent. They are not born nor annihilated. They are not defiled nor immaculate. They do not increase or decrease. Form, feeling, thought, and consciousness are therefore artificial concepts.

The eye consists entirely of non-eye elements. The same applies to the ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. Therefore there is no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no realm of sight, and no realm of consciousness.

Since all things are indescribable in their identity, there is no arising and no cessation; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no end of suffering and no way; no understanding and no attainment. The Awakened One holds onto nothing but Wisdom. Therefore the mind is clear of any delusive hindrance. Without hindrance, there is no fear. Away from all perverted views, she reaches final Emptiness.

Through faith in Wisdom, all the holy and wise Ones of past, present, and future attain to the highest perfect enlightenment. Know then, the Wisdom is the great prayer, the radiant peerless logos, the utmost supreme living word, which is capable of allaying all pain. This is true beyond all doubt. Proclaim now the highest Wisdom, the living word:

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha.
(Gone, gone, gone to the other shore, safely passed to the other shore!)

Lambda Zen Temple Logo

Version for chanting

The above version is translated for readability in a ceremonial setting. The versions we use for daily chanting are:




The Heart Sutra is often cited as the best known and most famous scripture in Zen. It is an ancient text, the first surviving copies on stone tablets dating back to the seventh century. Since then, it has given us food for thought. The Heart Sutra describes the experience of the liberation of the bodhisattva of compassion as a result of insight gained while engaged in deep meditation to awaken the faculty of wisdom. The insight refers to the apprehension of the fundamental emptiness of all phenomena, known through and as the five aggregates of human existence: form, feeling, volitions, perceptions, and consciousness.

For further questions about the Heart Sutra (Logos of the Heart) contact us at any time via a contact form on the homepage or call. We would be pleased to welcome you to Lambda Zen Temple. The temple gates are always open and the daily routine continues continuously.