An introduction to the essential Buddhist text from the author of Lost Japan
Forty years ago, after learning of the Heart Sutra in Japan, Alex Kerr set out on a quest to seek the wisdom that lies at the heart of this ancient Buddhist scripture. Guided by Zen abbots in Kyoto, Tibetan monks, a French writer, an American art collector, a magician, and the writings of Chinese scholars over the centuries, he came to see how this brief poem on emptiness is a storehouse of a universe of thought.
Traveling from Japan, Korea, and China, to India, Mongolia, Tibet, and Vietnam, this intimate book weaves together memory, history, and calligraphy. Alex reveals us to the many ways the Heart Sutra continues to influence the culture of Japan - and the world - today.
About the Author
Alex Kerr is an American writer and Japanologist whose previous books include Lost Japan, Living in Japan, and Another Kyoto. He was the first foreigner to be awarded the Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize for the best work of non-fiction published in Japan.
‘An erudite and charming book . . . Alex Kerr delves into the Japanese soul in Finding the Heart Sutra . . . both a primer and a paean to one of the central texts to Buddhism’ --Literary Review
‘Kerr has proven an excellent student of friendship and fellowship and has himself become a vessel of wisdom which he now passes on to us readers ... we can keep Finding the Heart Sutra in a safe place, along with our other sacred treasures’ --Amy Chavez, Books on Asia
‘Compelling, beautiful . . . Alex Kerr finds humor at the heart of wisdom and enlightenment’ --J.J. O'Donoghue, Japan Times
"The contemplative wisdom on offer impresses." — Publishers Weekly