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3316Re: Buddhahood and/ or Bodhisattva-hood

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  • toraginus
    Mar 8, 2006
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      Gassho, Hanuman.

      I suppose we are not supposed to think in terms of "getting" or grasping
      for some goal. However, I know what you mean.

      I am seeking joy, peace, liberation, awakening, enlightenment.


      In Mahayana the end spot is becoming a Bodhissatva. I suppose I don't
      see myself as being willing to undergo great suffering or intense
      hardships to save all beings. This is an honest answer. And, actually, I
      wonder how many other Mahayanists really are. Maybe that disposition is
      achieved once one become a bodhisattva. . It is very easy to assent to
      teachings or beliefs, and then to declare that a list of these
      represents one's real, honest, deeply felt feelings.

      One reason I left the Catholic Church is that saying The Creed made me
      feel very hypocritical.

      I see Amida Buddha as a spiritual being, a representation or investment
      of the wisdom/compassion core which is at the heart of reality.

      There is only one Amida. The rest of us are not going to become
      additional Amidas.

      Can we become Buddhas? Is attaining Buddhahood the same as become equal
      to Shakyamuni? Is Buddhahood a state with a spectrum of degrees of
      Buddhahood?

      My personal opinions are---

      � We all possess Buddha Nature

      � I don't know whether there are ranks of Buddhas as there is
      thought to be ranks of angels in Catholicism.

      � If the orthodox teaching of Jodo Shinshu is that all those
      who realize shinjin will eventually after going to the Pure Land after
      death---end up as Buddhas------well, this is hard for me to accept, if
      one means equal to Shakyamuni or Amida

      Because of all the spiritual paths I've studied, and sometimes
      practiced, it is hard for me to be "pure" i.e. Pure Shin Buddhist; Pure
      Soto Zen Buddhist; Pure Kagyu Vajrayana Buddhist. I am whatever I am.

      I have tried at times to be a "pure" this or that, but often this means
      dry and rigid.

      I have read quite a few times that we must dig our well and dig it deep.
      This statement, it seems to me, assumes that there are various well
      fields:
      Zen (various sects, teachers), Tibetan (four schools, teachers) and we
      must choose a certain well field which is atop a certain spiritual
      "aquifer".

      Taitetsu Unno in his book, Shin Buddhism, Bits of Rubble Turn into
      Gold," specifically advises the reader to settle into one tradition, one
      path.

      On the other hand, when one digs his/her well, it has to be a subjective
      matter, involving the total person, as he/she is at the moment of
      digging. If one is constantly worried whether this is exactly the
      "right" spot to dig the well---then one is distracted, not single
      minded, and the result may be unproductive.

      For the first conversation I had with a Shin priest I brought with me a
      piece of paper on which I had typed certain questions for which I sought
      answers.

      For some reason, the priest (an Anglo, as we say in the Southwest)
      talked about his days in Japan, and----then began a mini discourse on
      unorthodoxy in Jodo Shinshu, I have no idea why he wanted to discuss
      this topic. I had not brought it up, nor had I been given the
      opportunity to talk enough that he might sense I was not one easily
      plugged into the proper sized opening.

      He even gave me a pamphlet by Erdmann, an Anglo Shin priest on the very
      subject.

      The point both he and Erdmann seem to make is that it is OK to hold
      unorthodox views in Jodo Shinshu. Shinran himself stated that his views
      were HIS views. He objected to his son teaching a group of Shin
      Buddhists, in a way contrary to Shinran's beliefs--because his son
      represented these teachings as those of his Shinran.

      if you are a priest or Shin leader who expresses her/his own divergent
      views to a group of Shin Buddhists --without telling them that these are
      his personal views---not the official position or teaching of the
      Hongwanji ---this priest or leader would be reprimanded, and if he
      continued could be expelled.

      According to what I heard in my meeting and what is in the
      pamphlet---the problem of personal views is only in the context of
      claiming that these view represent the official or orthodox teachings of
      the Hongwanji.


      You can see I tend to digress. At 74 one has to accept some
      peculiarties.

      The simple answer to your question is as stated above:

      I am seeking joy, peace, liberation, awakening, enlightenment.

      I do seek entry into the Pure Land. Not infrequently I feel that I
      am dwelling even now in the Pure Land, i.e. within the compassionate
      embrace of Amida. I hope to enter more fully into the Pure Land at my
      death.
      I do not seek to become a Buddha if by this is meant a being on par
      with Shakyumuni.
      I would welcome becoming a Bodhisattva, but this is not something
      essential for me.
      My chief goal, if we dare use this word, is to merge with Amida.

      toraginus

      Namo Amida Butsu

      P.S.
      Among many Shin books, I have benefitted in a special way from these
      two:
      > Naturalness by Kenryo Kanamatsu

      > A Life of Awakening: The Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path,
      Takamaro Shigaraki, c.2005


      --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mark" <HANUMAN1960@...> wrote:
      >
      > Namaste Toraginus!
      >
      > So, if you do not aspire to Bodhisattva-hood or Buddha-hood, then what
      > do you "get" out of a Buddhist practice?
      >
      > Especially, now that you have "ended up" in Jodo Shinshu, if I might
      > ask?
      >
      > Mark
      >
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