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Tea Leaves

Much ado about nothing in Heart Sutra's (enduring) wisdom

Amid pandemic, time has come for Buddhism's smallest but most enigmatic text

The Heart Sutra has sunk deeply into Japanese life, appearing as a motif for accessories such as towels, ties and tea mugs. (Photo by Alex Kerr)

'Tis the season to be nothing. The Heart Sutra, Buddhism's shortest, most paradoxical text is all about nothingness: We are nothing, nothing is worth doing. Hardly a promising subject, but as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world, the Heart Sutra's time has come.

Since July, at least 10 new books on the Heart Sutra have been published in Japanese, plus a notebook planner and four books in English. I've written one of them, "Finding the Heart Sutra."

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