Student: Master, what is the main point of the Heart Sutra?
Master: The true meaning of the Heart Sutra is trying to tell us that all the energy forms are materials and they don’t have a real master inside. All type of energy forms are subjected to the idea of impermanence. There is no real identity so called “I”. Somehow you can say that the physical body is the combinations of all types of energy. Since the physical body is the combination of energy, you can never find a single isolated identity called “I”. We call the combination of energy “the body”. If we address this physical body as I, it means that the “I” is changeable and the “I” is always changing. So, there is no isolated physical combination we call “I”. The physical combination is changeable and flexible. They are changing all the time. On the other hand, our concepts, thoughts and habitual thinking patterns are also changing all the time. We keep on generating different thoughts. Our personality, thoughts and habits change all the time so that there is no isolated solid concept we can call “I”. Concepts and thoughts change all the time. So, the inner “I” is changeable. It changes all the time and it is full of flexibility. The outer “I” is our physical body and it is the energy combination; so our physical body changes all the time and it is also full of 100% of flexibility. Your inner self, thoughts, habitual thinking patterns and concepts are created. The outer self, the outer “I” which is the physical body is created. If we try to identify the real “I” from the material things or energy, you can never find it. So the main point of the Heart Sutra is trying to tell us that you can never find the real isolated identity “I” from energy. After we can drop the attachment which attaches to our physical body, concepts and personality, we will be able to find the real “I” which is the mind, the formless mind. The thought or definition which you think that this is my physical body or this is my thought is created; the ability which can make you to think that this is my physical body is the real you. At this right moment, you are able to think that this is my thought. This ability is the real you and it has no form but can make you to think many things. Behind the physical form, concepts or your personality, there is the real “I”. The “I” has no form; the “I” exists everywhere and the “I” can manifest all the energy shape. If we attach to the concepts or thoughts, it means that we attach to material things and we attach to something which is created but not the source. If we take material things, concepts or physical body as the concept “I” or myself, because the thought and physical body are changing all the time, our life will become unstable. It is because the thought, concept and physical body are created and they are not the source of the creation. If we can drop the concept “I” from the physical body and the attachment which attach to the concept from the thought, we are free from the thought and we are able to find and manifest the true self which is the purity of the mind.