The following is a brief excerpt from the Introduction to The New Heart of Wisdom.
'Through the study and practice of this Sutra we can gain a perfect understanding of the ultimate nature of all phenomena, overcome hindrances and difficulties in our daily life, and finally overcome the obstacles preventing our full awakening and thereby attain the enlightened state of a Buddha. We are indeed fortunate to have met these essential teachings of Buddha.
The subject matter of these teachings is training in the perfection of wisdom. Wisdom is a virtuous intelligent mind whose function is to dispel the inner darkness of ignorance. With wisdom we can know how things really are. Normally we do not understand the real nature of things; nor do we understand that suffering comes from non-virtuous actions and happiness from virtuous actions. All this is ignorance. Because of this lack of understanding, even though we do not want to suffer we create our own suffering by performing non-virtuous actions. And although we want to be happy all the time, we destroy our own happiness by developing anger,negative views and wrong intentions. We should know that this is our normal situation.
All our suffering and problems come from our ignorance, and because of ignorance we have experienced suffering and problems in life after life, since beginningless time until this life. Now is the time to abandon ignorance permanently, while we have the precious opportunity to listen to and practise Buddhadharma. The only method to abandon our ignorance and attain the supreme happiness of enlightenment is to accomplish the realization of the perfection of wisdom in general, and especially the realization of the higher perfection of wisdom.
The perfection of wisdom is wisdom that is associated with the mind of compassion for all living beings. This wisdom enables us to gain victory over maras – the outer and inner obstructing demons – and become a fully enlightened being like Buddha Shakyamuni. How wonderful!'