A Shin Buddhism group. General discussion of Shin, or "Jodo Shinshu" (Pureland True-School), Buddhism, and its relevance to everyday life. What Shinran taught, his life, and his writings. Topics include true entrusting in Amida Buddha, deep hearing, and the practice of Nembutsu (recitation or invoking of Amida Buddha's name) are especially encouraged. Also welcome are all questions.
These are some of my (highly personal) views of Shin Buddhism. Please feel free to discuss and even correct me. When we say the Nembutsu, "Namu-Amida-Butsu", we are in effect calling Reality to the forefront of our consciousness. Amida = Limitless or Boundless Light and Life, and Butsu = Buddha, an Awakened One. Another word for Buddhas is Tathagatas, Those who have Come from (and become One with) "Thus", or Reality. Amida's Infinite Light is one conceptual aspect of Reality, which is not only light in the relative sense of the word but a Universal, Cosmic, Compassionate Thought, a thought which is ever present and all-pervasive by its very transendental nature. The Eighteenth Vow of the Buddha Amitabha (Amida), states: "Upon my attainment of Buddhahood, if sentient beings in the ten quarters, who have sincerity of heart, hold faith, and wish to be born in my land, repeating My Name perhaps up to ten times, would not be born therein, then may I not obtain the Great Enlightenment". Such a vow could only be made by one who aspires for Perfect Enlightenment, and such a one was Dharmakara (Hozo), the Bodhisattva (enlightened-being). Thus even if the authenticity of the Pureland Sutras are called into question, then there can be no debate of their primal, mythological power and relevance. For whether or not Amida or the Pure Land exist is not really a question, as it is truly beyond conventional and rational modes of thinking. As one famous master said, Pure Land is Pure Mind, Pure Mind is Pure Land. There is only distinction in our calculating, limited minds. Namu Amida Butsu!