The 70-min long recitation will be conducted in different languages, Chinese, Tibetan and English, with a variety of sounds. “Different sounds create a distinct sense of spatial dimension. It will be interesting to find out what kind of experience everyone has during the process.” Mathias Woo said: “I always want to go beyond telling stories of art, of life, and do something that has nothing to do with stories.” Mathias does not aim to focus on emotional consumption, as most programmes on the media do: “I want to offer an alternative. It is not my aim to make you cry or laugh, but I do want my works to create an impact on you.”
It is well-known from previous media coverage that Mathias Woo is often reported to be full of anger and dissatisfactions with society. However, he appears now gentle and wise. “The concepts of Engaged Buddhism taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh helps me build up new perspectives to viewing life,” he said. To him, the Western approach is to look for absolute answers, but Buddhism stresses that there are hundreds of thousands of different solutions. Since every single person is a different entity, so no absolute solutions can fit all. He said that after pondering for a long time, he came up with this answer: “Inner peace is more important than outer freedom.” He explained that inner peace enables you to be master of your own, whereas the pursuit of outer freedom generates craving for more and more freedom, and there is no end to it.
He recommended that primary school students read Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Mindfulness Essentials, a book series including: How to Eat, How to Sit, How to Love, etc. Regardless of religion, he said, reading these books would create a good impact on everyone , empowering us to have the competence to make our choices, instead of blindly following the mainstream values of society in the pursuit of more “likes”, more money, more success, etc, as a result making us feeling low and inferior unnecessarily. Mathias believes that The Heart Sutra is a concept that can be continuously developed, and it can be presented in different forms to a growing audience, including outreaching to schools. He said: “My wish is to create chances for more people to come into contact with The Heart Sutra and let this fresh contact become a start to their understanding of the Buddhist teachings.”
Original article: Buddhist Compassion
Translation: Moyung Yuk-lin