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3376Sochi Ogui Tricycle Interview/ NY Times Article

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  • Andrew
    Jun 24, 2006
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      I for one am always grateful to hear of Jodo Shinshu being dicussed
      in mainstream publications. However it is a poor showing by the BCA
      if there coverage is occasioned only through their adoption of
      practices, such as zazen, that appeal to a mainstream audience.

      Which raises the question why do BCA temples now teach meditation?
      Is it only to 'get more bums on seats' or is there a wider
      implication? If there is such a reason it is one that obviously
      eluded Shinran who specificaly rejected this practice or Rennyo, the
      great restorer of Jodo Shinshu, who went faced with the imminent
      disintergration of the Sangha, found no need to recourse to
      practices outside of the tradition in order to rebuild it.

      Rennyo wrote:

      "Now - whatfs the purpose of monthly meetings in our sect?

      Lay people, lacking wisdom, spend their days and nights in vain.
      Their lives pass by meaninglessly, and in the end they fall into the
      three evil paths.

      The meetings are occasions when - even if only once a month - just
      those who practice the Nembutsu should at least gather in the
      meeting place and discuss their own faith - and the faith of others.

      Recently, however, because matters of faith are never discussed in
      terms of right and wrong, the situation is deplorable beyond words.

      In conclusion, there must definitely be discussions of faith from
      now on among those at the meetings. For this is how we are to attain
      birth in the true and real land of utmost bliss."

      If one takes to heart the words of Rennyo in this letter, and then
      one relates it to the current state of the Shin Sangha in the west
      today in which faith is never discussed in terms of what is right
      and wron; one will see the right way forward to building a Sangha
      based firmly on deep listening to the Buddha Dharma and the
      awakening of Pure Faith.

      In Gassho


      Andrew
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