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Re: The great thought of enlightenment in the Pure Land

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  • Todd Alexander
    ... original dharma ... This is essential for all aspiring Buddhas. To walk the White Path is to move your own feet along whatever path it is that you will
    Message 1 of 35 , Aug 2, 2004
      --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, Paul Roberts <netpaul@o...> wrote:
      > My recommendation: forget EVERYTHING ELSE anyone has said to update,
      > explain, parse, revise and/or deconstruct his words. Read his words
      > YOURSELF...keeping in mind a very basic understanding of the
      original dharma
      > of Shakyamuni Buddha:

      This is essential for all aspiring Buddhas. To walk the White Path
      is to move your own feet along whatever path it is that you will
      allow yourself to see with the Amida's light.

      Be sure, though, that you are reading the words of these teachers,
      not what you want to find in them.


      > One of the key points of divergence in the modern version of Shin
      Buddhism
      > is the modern emphasis on Shin Buddhism being about the "here and
      now",
      > along with a corresponding de-emphasis on the very heart of
      Shinjin...which
      > is FIRST AND FOREMOST concerned about "there and then".

      We can only approach Enlightenment when we understand that there is
      no difference between "there" and "here", "Then" and "now". To try
      to reject one for the other is to change which illusion you hold on
      to.

      > Second, Shinran was not focused on the "here-and-now" at the
      expense of the
      > "there-and-then". This is a terrible distortion of his own words

      Here again, you're differentiating.

      > Tanaka's teaching here does not REFLECT Shinran's views...it
      DEFLECTS and
      > DENIES them!

      And then compounding the confusion with vehemence. Did Shakyamuni
      Buddha stand up from under the Bodhi tree and start yelling at people
      to "wake up"? Of course not. So how can we do that to ourselves and
      expect to get past the suffering of emotional attachments.

      > As I have been asserting (polemically, no doubt, but in a friendly
      way) in
      > recent posts, the aspiration to become a Buddha...and to help other
      beings
      > become Buddhas as well...is at the very heart of original Shin
      Dharma. It's
      > so much more than looking for a moment of sanctuary...or even a
      graduated
      > transformation...in this lifetime...in the "here and now".

      And yet, that's what I fear you are doing yourself. It's easy for us
      to say "oh, that poor guy has suffered so - we should let him find
      whatever happiness he can". No. I've had to accept that my
      suffering is a part of me without letting it define me. For so long
      I did that, and for so long I only caused my suffering to snowball.
      You too have to do this.

      The Dharma is not about solice, but about letting go of the suffering
      we create in grasping at our illusions. That I feel joy in the act
      of mindfull thnking, that I am proud of accomplishment in seeing the
      Amida's Light in a grain or rice or my dog's sleeping on my feet -
      these are the happy byproducts of allowing myself to shed at least
      some of my attachments. No need to be concerned with "where"
      or "when" Enlightenment will come when the Amida's Light is already
      surrounding and within each element of your life.

      > If the Shin Sangha is ever to re-capture the vision that inspired
      the
      > founders, Honen and Shinran, and the restorer Rennyo, those who are
      > entrusted with the teaching and preaching of this dharma need to re-
      connect
      > with the deep and ardent desire to become TRUE buddhas in
      the "there and
      > then"...the Pure Land after one's death.

      After what death? If it is bodily death that brings Enlightenment,
      lets all drink Jim Jone's Kool-Aid! I thought that way too - for too
      long - and I ended up looking to death as the answer to my
      suffering. That is the poison of arrogance one needs to be mindful
      of in order to allow yourself to hear the Light. If I want to help
      my - our all of our - suffering how can I say "wait till later,
      because _I_ know that it'll be better then". That doesn't fill
      stomachs, doesn't dry tears. Compassion does that - and compassion
      compassion is the desire to help the suffering we see, not the
      suffering we remember.

      > As I alluded to in other posts, this issue slammed home in my own
      life
      > because of the great suffering I endured...and still live with...in
      not
      > being able to save my own daughter...precisely because I am not a
      Buddha.

      I'm sorry, but as I've stated before I was in your daughter's place
      myself. You, Buddha or Superman couldn't save her. The only reason
      I'm here is because I saw a glimmer of what I later learned to call
      Amida's Light.

      <snip>

      I hope you take my tone for the honest compassion that it is intended
      to be. So many well intentioned people on this list have couched
      their replies to any of your remarked in "let me start by saying I'm
      sorry..." We are all sorry for your suffering, but none of us,
      including yourself, can or should limit you to that. I fear that you
      are excluding yourself - separating yourself - from others, from
      both "here" and "there", in focusing on finding a "cure". There is
      no magic shot. I'm glad to have the marks I do on my wrist because
      they keep me honest. I can in no way pretend that what I went
      through is "behind" me. It's immeadiately there every time I see my
      wrist. Your pain will never go away. It too will always be a part
      of you. As you are a part of me, and we are a part of a planet
      spinning in space. I no more define the Earth than your pain defines
      you. Please don't grasp at it so. You can no more than you can hold
      the same water in a stream twice.
    • Robert Garvey
      ... There are a couple of articles by Akira Omine published by the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhists Studies and available for download as PDF files att
      Message 35 of 35 , Aug 16, 2004
        --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Ray King" <rayking63@y...> wrote:
        > I found this essay in "Living in Amida's Universal Vow" to be very
        > helpful.
        >
        > "Shinjin is the Eternal Now" by Omine Akira


        There are a couple of articles by Akira Omine
        published by the Center for Contemporary Shin
        Buddhists Studies and available for download
        as PDF files att the IBS on-line reading room
        (http://www.shin-ibs.edu/library2.htm)

        Religion and Language: The Soteriological
        Significance of Religious Language

        Jodo Shinshu in the 21st Century: A Return to the
        Starting Point of Religion

        Reverend Omine will be speaking at the Berkeley
        Buddhist Temple at 2121 Channing Way this Sunday,
        August 22nd at 9:30am. The talk will be given in
        Japanese with English translation by Dr. David
        Matsumoto of IBS.

        in gassho,

        Robert
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