3376Sochi Ogui Tricycle Interview/ NY Times Article
- Jun 24, 2006I 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.
"Now - whatfs 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.
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