…when I heard it again at my old Jiko’s temple, I asked her about it. She told me it’s called the Maka Hanya Haramita Shingyo,69 which means something like the Great Most Excellent Wisdom Heart Sutra. The only part I remember goes like this: Shiki fu i ku, ku fu i shiki.70 It’s pretty abstract. Old Jiko tried to explain it to me, and I don’t know if I understood it correctly or not, but I think it means that nothing in the world is solid or real, because nothing is permanent, and all things—including trees and animals and pebbles and mountains and rivers and even me and you—are just kind of flowing through for the time being.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki