Thich Nhat Hanh works in a blending of Theravada and Zen, with a unique form of Zen Buddhism that is quite popular among some of those in the Theravada Tradition who have incorporated it into their lives. We should consider Him a Buddha, as nothing in His life points to otherwise. Here, in the Heart Sutra and it’s explanation by which He Teaches His Sangha, if you read this short Heart Sutra dialogue and the explanation, you may find a deep understanding of Non-Self, Anatta, and the Emptiness of all things, which is the best medicine.
From the Explanation:
The Heart Sutra was intended to help the Sarvāstivādins relinquish the view of no self and no dharma. The deepest teaching of Prājñāpāramitā is the emptiness of self (ātmaśūnyatā) and the emptiness of dharma (dharmanairātmya) and not the non-being of self and dharma. The Buddha has taught in the Kātyāyana sutra that most people in the world are caught either in the view of being and non-being. Therefore, the sentence ‘in emptiness there is no form, feelings…’ is obviously still caught in the view of non-being. That is why this sentence does not correspond to the Ultimate Truth. Emptiness of self only means the emptiness of self, not the non-being of self, just as a balloon that is empty inside does not mean that the balloon does not exist. The same is true with the emptiness of dharma: it only means the emptiness of all phenomena and not the non-existence of phenomena. It is like a flower that is made only of non-flower elements. The flower is empty of a separate existence, but that doesn’t mean that the flower is not there.
There is purpose in this, and helps one not go to an extreme that the Buddha prescribes for us not go to so often. The Beauty in Buddhism is it’s Expedient Means, the staircase of giving one knowledge all the way to the point of Buddhahood. I wonder if there are any Pali Suttas that are congruent to the Prajnaparamita, I am posting it, wondering, if someone can quote in a Pali Sutta about the Emptiness of Self, and how it relates to extinguishment.