107. The Prajñāpāramitā Sutras

The vast Prajñāpāramitā sutras are condensed into the Heart Sutra, and the essence of the Heart Sutra is in the first line, which is a description of our zazen:

“The bodhisattva of compassion, practicing Prajñāpāramitā, sees that the five skandhas are empty and thereby relieves all suffering”

The most important thing is to see that it isn’t a person practicing Prajñāpāramitā (zazen). Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, is identified with the whole world. The person is the five skandhas, and for our purposes, the skandhas of mental formation and consciousness are the ones which matter; mental formation our ceaseless tendency to do something with our raw experience, and consciousness the awareness of that. Prajñā, pre-knowing, is the state prior to mental formation.

It isn’t a sequence; when one arises, all arise.

We are storytelling creatures who want to be truth telling creatures. That is another sort of story. But we can be truth experiencers.