An Arrow to the Heart is an exciting, trail-blazing, non-traditional translation and commentary of the Heart Sutra, an ancient and highly revered Mahayana Buddhist text.
Available in September, 2007, this commentary takes an unorthodox approach to unraveling the mysteries of the Heart Sutra.
The Heart Sutra is a concise presentation of the emptiness of all experience. Almost cryptic in its brevity, it confounds and inspires all who read it. (See post below for the text of the Heart Sutra.)
Free of the cultural clothing in which Buddhism came to the West, An Arrow to the Heart goes straight to the heart of the Heart Sutra. In the tradition of Hakuin and others, McLeod’s unpredictable turns consistently derail any conceptual understanding of this classic Buddhist scripture. Instead, he throws the reader into the very emptiness the Heart Sutra describes. The result is a sense of previously unsuspected possibilities that illuminate every nook and cranny of your life.
It’s also a delightfully irreverent combination of wit, irony, prose, and poetry. If you are looking for a traditional commentary on the Heart Sutra, this is probably not the right book. This book is for people who aren’t afraid of having the ground pulled out from under them.
Only in the last few years have senior Western teachers such as Ken McLeod started to write commentaries that truly mix the culture and style of Western thought with a deep respect and understanding of such traditional texts as the Heart Sutra.