The Heart of the Heart Sutra Between Its Lines

Form is emptiness; (色即是空)
Emptiness is form. (空即是色)
Form is not different from emptiness;(色不异空)
Emptiness is not different from form.  (空不异色)

So says the Heart Sutra, but what do these lines really say?
They speak of that which cannot really be put in words,
that which is hinted by these words.
Read between the lines, to realise the truth they point at.

If form is emptiness and emptiness is form,
to cling to either as ultimate is unwise.
If form is not different from emptiness or emptiness from form,
the Middle Path is to relate to both without falling to either extreme.

The Middle Path here is to straddle between Samsara and Nirvana,
to abide in activities of Samsara to guide beings to liberation,
to abide in quiescence of Nirvana as the liberated,
yet to be attached or averse to neither place or state.

This is the heart of the Heart Sutra,
the essence of the perfection of wisdom,
which is also the essence of the perfection of compassion,
both embodied as one by Bodhisattvas and Buddhas.

Personal freedom
that does not freely guide others to their freedom
is not yet complete or ultimate freedom.

– Stonepeace