Thomas Ambrose wrote:
Hello, I am not sure if this has much to do with Aikido, but I have noticed that Zen and Aikido are often shared interests by many people, so I figured I would ask this here...
Recently, while doing Zazen at my dojo, the Heart Sutra was chanted. I am interested in learning more about it, especially the timing and pronounciation of chanting it. So does anybody knows where I can find an audio file of the Heart Sutra. I have found text files online of it in Kanji and "English" spellings of the words in Japanese, but so far the only thing remotely close to a sound file has been the Heart Sutra mixed in with some techno-music.
Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!
The timing and pronunciation varies from country to country, language to language, tradition to tradition, and lineage to lineage.
The text used throughout East Asia is written in Chinese characters, used in some places to represent the sound of the "original" Sanskrit (for example "Maka Hannya Haramita" for "Mahaprajnaparamita" and the closing mantra of the sutra.), and used in other places to translate the words of the original into Chinese.
From there, the transliteration of Chinese in either Korean or Japanese produces variations of pronunciation. I've got several taped versions which range from the equivalent of a leisurely ramble down a country road to a breakneck sprint.
So, with the Heart Sutra, as with aikido -- video or audio tape may be a helpful reference, but it's no substitute for direct instruction in the methods used in your place of training.
That said, here are some links I hope you find useful, though neither leads to a functioning audio file in Japanese: