Reflections on The Heart Sutra, part 5

The mode of training in emptiness on the 5 Paths described in “The Heart Sutra” are:
(a) Path of Accumulation: Training involves the study and contemplation of the Perfection of Wisdom. The practitioner develops their understanding of emptiness in-terms of the 4 features of emptiness.
(b) Path of Preparation: Training involves meditation on the meaning of the Perfection of Wisdom, as well as continuing the practices from the Path of Accumulation.
(c) Path of Seeing: Training reaches the point where the practitioner is able to “see” emptiness directly. The practitioner realizes selflessness and abandons artificial mental afflictions. The practitioner becomes an Arya / Supreme being.
(d) Path of Meditation: The practitioner gains a subtle understanding of the mental afflictions to be abandoned through constant meditation.
Of the 10 Grounds, in the first through seventh grounds the practitioner abandons the innate, spontaneously arising mental afflictions; in the eighth through tenth grounds the practitioner abandons obscurations to knowledge which are the subtle imprints of mental afflictions.
(e) Path of No More Learning: The practitioner achieves the omniscient mind.

[i] “Essence of the Heart Sutra” by His Holiness the IVX Dalai Lama published by Wisdom Pulications (2015).
[ii] “The Heart Sutra Explained” by Donald S. Lopez, published by Sri Satguru Publications (1990).
[iii] “Commentary on the Heart Sutra, Jewel Light Illuminating the Meaning” by Tendar Lharampa published by FPMT Education Department (2005).
[iv] “The Heart Sutra Commentary” by Geshe Ngawang Dakpa at Tse Chen Ling, published by FPMT Education Department (2001).

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