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Finding the Heart Sutra 『般若心経を求めて』 | A Talk by Alex Kerr

About this lecture

The Heart Sutra is very short, 272 Chinese characters coming to just 56 lines. You can recite the whole thing in about one minute. And yet the Heart Sutra is thought to contain the essence of all Buddhist wisdom.

Short as it is, this has become the most popular philosophical writing in all of East Asia, with a huge effect from Tibet to Japan.

The Heart Sutra’s weird paradoxes have fascinated sages and commentators since the it first appeared around 645 AD. Hundreds of books and blogs exist in Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Western languages. But despite its importance, in Thailand the Heart Sutra is barely known. This talk will be one of the very few times that the sutra has been presented in Thailand.

Alex’s book Finding the Heart Sutra (Nov 2021) is the result of forty years of thought on the subject. By a twist of timing, the emptiness of the Heart Sutra resonates with the soul-searching many of us are doing in these times of COVID-19.

To comply with social distancing rules, we must limit the audience to 50 persons. Please book your seat in advance by emailing or phoning your booking to the Society.

About the speaker

Mr Alex Kerr has lived in and out of Japan since 1964. His books, translated into many languages, include Lost Japan (written in Japanese) which won the Shincho Literary Prize as the best book of non-fiction in 1993; Dogs and Demons (2000); Another Kyoto (2016); and the upcoming Another Bangkok (2021).


Thursday, 17 December 2020 | 19:00


Lecture Room, 4/Floor, The Siam Society


Members and Students — Free of charge
Non-Members — THB 200

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