This is the bold and intriguing assertion of the Heart Sutra, a text of seminal importance to the Buddhist tradition made even more fascinating by its deep resonance with the cutting edges of quantum physics and cognitive science. In spare and approachable language, The Heart of the Universe deftly explores this gem of world religious literature from a variety of perspectives--historical, spiritual, linguistic, and scientific--each serving to interdependently illuminate the other.
Mu Soeng, a former Zen monk and teacher, is the scholar-in-residence at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He is the author of many books on Buddhism, including Trust in Mind and The Diamond Sutra. He lives in Barre, Massachusetts.
"Mu Soeng's treatment of this foundational text is original, clear, helpful, and wise."
– Andrew Olendzki
"Through his meditative wisdom and scholarly sophistication, Mu Soeng brings to life the profound richness of the Heart Sutra, capturing its transformative meaning for our lives. An in-depth exploration of a vital text."
– Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace and One Dharma
"Mu Soeng's scientifically inspired commentary opens up the meaning of the Heart Sutra from the side of informed spiritual enquiry and direct meditative experience. Heart of the Universe carries an edge of incisive, practical wisdom."
– Ajahn Amaro, abbot of Abhayagiri Monastery
"Elegant, simple--and invaluable."
– Professor Mark Unno, author of Shingon Refractions
"Mu Soeng helps us understand this seminal sutra and its intuitive view of the nature of ultimate reality. He also gives his commentary an ultramodern twist by focusing on the place where quantum physics and Mahayana Buddhism converge."
– Shambhala Sun
"Mu Soeng's The Heart of the Universe is a brief, thought-provoking commentary on the Heart Sutra. In his introduction, the author, who is the scholar in residence at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, reminds the reader that the sutra has a history, and that all who have read--and chanted--it have done so within a specific cultural context. For Soeng, quantum physics--the scientific insight that the basic particles of matter are actually in constant flux-informs how the sutra is understood in the modern West. Of course, any discussion of the Heart Sutra is going to center on the concept of emptiness--the Mahayana theory that all phenomena are without fixed and independent identity. Soeng presents his fascinating discussion of emptiness early in the book, leaving little to say when discussing the famous line 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form' in his line-by-line commentary."