Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Butsu

Expand Messages
  • D K F
    Thank you; THIS is the type of discussion I d originally subscribed to this list for! gassho, Doreen/Shaku ni Myo Jun ... can ... As ... to ... 55) ... Buddha
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 17, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Thank you; THIS is the type of discussion I'd originally subscribed
      to this list for!

      gassho,

      Doreen/Shaku ni Myo Jun


      --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, Ame-Tsuchi <tariki@g...> wrote:
      > While I find the reductio ad absurdum of "why would one drink poison
      > just because one has the antidote?" satisfying, perhaps the matter
      can
      > be investigated further.
      >
      > We should consider what it is that one is expressing gratitude for.
      As
      > Dennis Hirota writes:
      > One is not saved simply because of a relationship with Amida… but
      > because the realization of shinjin is Amida's giving his pure mind
      to
      > beings, and therefore is itself the emergence of buddha nature in
      > them. (Toward a Contemporary Understanding of Pure Land Buddhism,
      55)
      >
      > Unlike the Zen schools that postulate an innate presence of the
      Buddha
      > Nature from beyond birth, in Shin the Buddha-nature can only be
      > acquired through being gifted from Amida through the union of mind
      in
      > shinjin. As in the Hymns on the Pure Land: "Great shinjin is itself
      > Buddha-nature; Buddha-nature is none other than Tathagata."
      >
      > I'm going to quote two somewhat lengthy sections of the KGSS here,
      but
      > please bear with me.
      >
      > *** Let us consider what exactly shinjin means:
      > http://www.shinranworks.com/majorexpositions/kgssIII-28_38.htm
      >
      > KGSS III (partially through 28):
      > Why? Because when the Tathagata was performing bodhisattva
      practices,
      > there was not a moment - not an instant - when his practice in the
      > three modes of action was tainted by the hindrance of doubt. Because
      > this mind is the Tathagata's mind of great compassion, it
      necessarily
      > becomes the truly decisive cause of attaining the fulfilled land.
      The
      > Tathagata, turning with compassion toward the ocean of living beings
      > in pain and affliction, has given unhindered and vast pure shinjin
      to
      > the ocean of sentient beings. This is called the "true and real
      > shinjin that is [Amida's] benefiting of others."
      > 29 The passage on the Vow's fulfillment that reveals the shinjin of
      > the Primal Vow states:
      > All sentient beings, as they hear the Name, realize even one
      > thought-moment of shinjin and joy.
      > 30 Further, [the corresponding passage from the Sutra of the
      Tathagata
      > of Immeasurable Life] states:
      > When, upon hearing the Name of the Tathagata of immeasurable life,
      > sentient beings of the Buddha-lands of other quarters awaken one
      > thought-moment of pure shinjin, rejoice.
      > 31 The Nirvana Sutra states:
      > Good sons! Great love and great compassion are called Buddha-nature.
      > Why? Because great love and great compassion always accompany the
      > bodhisattva, just as shadows accompany things. All sentient beings
      > will without fail ultimately realize great love and great
      compassion.
      > Therefore it is taught, "All sentient beings are possessed of
      > Buddha-nature." Great love and great compassion are Buddha-nature.
      > Buddha-nature is Tathagata.
      > Great joy and great even-mindedness are called Buddha-nature. Why?
      > Because if a bodhisattva-mahasattva were incapable of the twenty-
      five
      > forms of existence, he could not attain the supreme, perfect
      > enlightenment. All sentient beings will ultimately attain great joy
      > and great even-mindedness. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient
      > beings are possessed of Buddha-nature." Great joy and great
      > even-mindedness are none other than Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature is
      > Tathagata.
      > Buddha-nature is great shinjin. Why? Because through shinjin the
      > bodhisattva-mahasattva has acquired all the paramitas from charity
      to
      > wisdom. All sentient beings will without fail ultimately realize
      great
      > shinjin. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient beings are possessed
      of
      > Buddha-nature." Great shinjin is none other than Buddha-nature.
      > Buddha-nature is Tathagata.
      > Buddha-nature is called "the state of regarding each being as one's
      > only child." Why? Because through the conditions of the state of
      > regarding each being as one's only child, the bodhisattva has
      realized
      > the mind of equality concerning all sentient beings. All sentient
      > beings will without fail ultimately attain the state of regarding
      each
      > being as one's only child. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient
      > beings are possessed of Buddha-nature." The state of regarding each
      > being as one's only child is none other than Buddha-nature.
      > Buddha-nature is Tathagata.
      > 32 Further, it states:
      > Also it is taught, concerning the supreme, perfect enlightenment,
      that
      > shinjin is its cause. Although the causes of enlightenment are
      without
      > number, when shinjin has been presented, they have already been
      > exhaustively included.
      > 33 Further, it states:
      > There are two kinds of shinjin: one arises from hearing and the
      other
      > from thought. This person's shinjin has arisen from hearing but not
      > from thought. Therefore it is called "imperfect realization of
      > shinjin."
      > Again, there are two kinds of shinjin: one is to believe that there
      is
      > enlightenment, and the other, to believe that there are people who
      > have attained it. This person's shinjin is belief only that
      > enlightenment exists and not that there are people who have attained
      > it. Therefore it is called "imperfect realization of shinjin."
      >
      > *** Following that, we can see how shinjin manifests in this life:
      > 36 Further, it states:
      > Shinjin is the source of enlightenment, the mother of virtues;
      > It nurtures all forms of goodness.
      > It cuts away the net of doubt and breaks free from the currents of
      desire;
      > It unfolds the supreme enlightenment of nirvana.
      > Shinjin harbors no defiled thoughts, it is pure,
      > Eradicating all arrogance; it is the root of reverence
      > And the foremost treasure of the dharma-store.
      > It is the hand of purity, holding all practices within itself.
      > Shinjin gives freely and ungrudgingly;
      > Shinjin rejoices and enters the Buddha-dharma;
      > Shinjin makes wisdom and virtues increase;
      > Shinjin unfailingly reaches the stage of Tathagata.
      > Shinjin purifies the faculties, makes them clear and sharp;
      > Its power is firm and steadfast, nothing can destroy it.
      > Shinjin sunders forever the root of blind passions;
      > Shinjin leads one to seek the virtues of Buddha alone.
      > Shinjin knows no attachment to objects;
      > It separates one from the adversities, so that one attains the realm
      > free of them.
      > Shinjin transcends the domain of maras
      > And manifests the path of unexcelled emancipation.
      > Shinjin keeps the seeds of virtues from destruction;
      > Shinjin nurtures the tree of enlightenment.
      > Shinjin makes supreme wisdom grow.
      > Shinjin makes all the Buddhas manifest.
      > For this reason, the process of enlightenment is taught in stages
      of practice;
      > Shinjin* is foremost, and is extremely difficult to realize...
      > If one constantly entrusts to and reveres the Buddhas,
      > That in itself is to perform great offerings.
      > When one performs great offerings,
      > One entrusts to the inconceivable working of the Buddhas.
      > If one constantly entrusts to and reveres the precious dharma,
      > One never tires of listening to the Buddha's teaching.
      > If one never tires of listening to the Buddha's teaching,
      > One entrusts to the inconceivable working of the dharma.
      > If one constantly entrusts to and reveres the undefiled Sangha,
      > One attains the point where shinjin never retrogresses.
      > If one attains the point where shinjin never retrogresses,
      > One's power of shinjin is immovable.
      > If one's power of shinjin is immovable,
      > One's faculties are purified and become clear and sharp.
      > If one's faculties are purified and become clear and sharp,
      > One is able to approach true teachers.
      > If one becomes able to approach true teachers,
      > One devotes oneself to practicing the vast, supreme good.
      > If one practices the vast, supreme good,
      > One acquires the immense causal power [that leads to Buddhahood].
      > If one acquires the immense causal power,
      > One attains the peerless, decisive understanding.
      > If one attains the peerless, decisive understanding,
      > One is protected by all the Buddhas.
      > If one is protected by all the Buddhas,
      > One is able to awaken the mind aspiring for enlightenment.
      > If one awakens the mind that aspires for enlightenment,
      > One diligently practices the virtues of the Buddhas.
      > If one diligently practices the virtues of the Buddhas,
      > One is born into the home of the Tathagatas.
      > If one is born into the home of the Tathagatas,
      > One performs good and practices skillful means.
      > If one performs good and practices skillful means,
      > One attains the pure mind of shinjin.*
      > If one attains the pure mind of shinjin,*
      > One realizes the unsurpassed supreme mind.
      > If one realizes the unsurpassed supreme mind,
      > One constantly practices the paramitas.
      > If one constantly practices the paramitas,
      > One fulfills all the practices of the Mahayana.
      > If one fulfills all the Mahayana practices,
      > One makes offerings to the Buddhas in accord with the dharma.
      > If one makes offerings to the Buddhas in accord with the dharma,
      > The mind of thinking on the Buddhas is immovable.
      > If the mind of thinking on the Buddhas becomes immovable,
      > One constantly sees the countless Buddhas.
      > If one constantly sees the countless Buddhas,
      > One sees that the body of Tathagata is eternal.
      > If one sees that the body of Tathagata is eternal,
      > One realizes that the dharma is everlasting and imperishable.
      > If one realizes that the dharma is everlasting and imperishable,
      > One attains unhindered powers of speech.
      > If one attains unhindered powers of speech,
      > One can expound the boundless teachings.
      > If one expounds the boundless teachings,
      > One saves sentient beings by loving and caring for them.
      > If one saves sentient beings by loving and caring for them,
      > One attains the steadfast mind of great compassion.
      > If one attains the steadfast mind of great compassion,
      > One rejoices in the most profound dharma.
      > If one rejoices in the most profound dharma,
      > One is free from the faults of the created world.
      > If one is free from the faults of the created world,
      > One rids oneself of arrogance and self-indulgence.
      > If one rids oneself of arrogance and self-indulgence,
      > One benefits all sentient beings as well as oneself.
      > If one benefits all sentient beings as well as oneself,
      > One dwells in the realm of birth-and-death without fatigue or
      revulsion.
      >
      > ***Now, let's think about it.
      > All this seems to point to the idea that the goal is SHINJIN, not
      the
      > Pure Land. It is through renunciation of self effort in spiritual
      > practices that shinjin is acquired, with shinjin being the union of
      > mind with Amida and the acquiring of Buddha-nature, which is great
      > love, great joy, great compassion, and great even-mindedness.
      Shinjin
      > manifests by fulfilling all the Mahayana practices of the paramitas,
      > rejoicing in the profound Dharma, and fulfilling the Mahayana ideal
      of
      > the Bodhisattva by working towards benefiting all sentient beings.
      > That's how I interpret this section of the KGSS, and I think that it
      > is a very important understanding. Too often the goal of Shin
      practice
      > becomes striving for something in the next life, being born into
      some
      > place and staying there. Shinran, being highly dedicated to the
      > Bodhisattva ideal, could not have conceived of the Pure Land as some
      > sort of permanent dwelling. The goal of all Buddhist practice is to
      > eradicate suffering, and the goal of the Mahayana school is to
      > renounce ultimate extinction, instead seeking to return to the realm
      > of birth-and-death to work for the liberation of all beings. KGSS
      > II:84-100 is focused on praise of and exhortation to follow the
      Great
      > Vehicle of the Mahayana Bodhisattva ideal: "However, when I consider
      > the ocean of the One Vehicle of the Primal Vow, I see it is the
      > teaching that is perfect, complete, instantaneous, unhindered,
      > absolute, and incomparable."
      >
      > It is SHINJIN that is the goal. I am going to make a comparison here
      > but I do not intend it to be revisionist: in Zen, Hakuin greatly
      > emphasizes the importance of post-satori practice, the point where
      > after initial enlightenment one can deepen that enlightenment
      through
      > continued practice and come to fulfill the Bodhisattva ideal. It's
      not
      > that one simply stops sitting zazen and abandons penetrating into
      the
      > most difficult koans after a single satori. While the nembutsu is
      not
      > a religious practice (rather an expression of gratitude), shinjin
      > seems to be comparable in introducing a radical shift in being such
      as
      > satori envisions. It is this shift: the attainment of _being
      capable_
      > to fulfill the Bodhisattva ideal. In Zen this occurs through
      > actualizing the Buddha-nature in the first breakthrough, but it is
      > post-satori practice in this life and in future lives that makes one
      > into a Bodhisattva. In Shin it is shinjin that instills one with
      > Buddha-nature gifted by Amida, but it is the severing of karmic
      bonds
      > at death and subsequent rebirth into and action within the world of
      > samsara that makes one into a Bodhisattva.
      >
      > It is useless to speculate what exactly the Pure Land is, but
      because
      > of the systemization of Shinran's thought we can acquire some
      general
      > ideas as to the context that the Pure Land fits in. The most
      important
      > thing that must be understood is that if Shin is honestly Mahayana
      > Buddhist than the Pure Land is naught but a stop on the way. It may
      be
      > beautiful and full of splendor, but to make the Pure Land itself a
      > goal is to fall prey to the individualistic ego-centeredness,
      > neglecting the great suffering of all beings. Ultimately, the final
      > destination is simply this reality. It is the fulfillment of the
      > Mahayana understanding that Samsara is Nirvana, and Nirvana is
      > Samsara. All this is made possible through Amida's compassion that
      > gifts us SHINJIN.
      >
      > After shinjin there is still opportunity in this life: to teach and
      > expound the Shin way to the people we have been karmically bound to
      > through our whole life, to work and do good â€" not in the futile
      sense
      > of jiriki seeking enlightenment, but in the simple sense of acting
      as
      > a compassionate individual. Through the gifting of Amida's mind one
      is
      > able to act with jinen, or naturalness. Jinen seems to be what
      causes
      > the one thought-moment of shinjin and perhaps also what governs
      > conduct post-shinjin. Of course, to make things complicated, Shinran
      > refused to elaborate much on jinen for fear of turning naturalness
      > into contrivance. I think that from this understanding that we can
      see
      > that suicide simply misses the point of the whole Shin endeavor. It
      > seems to misunderstand the role of shinjin and birth in the Pure
      Land
      > and is rooted in ego-centeredness. Isn't entrusting in Amida simply
      > living this life? The only gift we can refuse is shinjin: the Pure
      > Land will certainly come after that. As stated above: "If one
      benefits
      > all sentient beings as well as oneself, one dwells in the realm of
      > birth-and-death without fatigue or revulsion." This ability to
      benefit
      > sentient beings all stems from shinjin and has nothing to do with
      > having to go to the Pure Land first!
      >
      >
      > I think that the great task of contemporary Shin Buddhism is in
      coming
      > to understand how this all manifests in our present life. I know
      that
      > some here have called for some sort of return to simplicity, but
      there
      > is a danger of engaging in oversimplifications. Shinran put a great
      > amount of thought into his understanding, compiling quotes from
      > numerous Buddhist texts and fusing his intellect with his own life
      > experience of the Primal Vow. While the Shin path is attainable by
      > all, it is a profound and nuanced understanding. That is why Shinran
      > spent his life teaching, writing, and ministering to his people;
      that
      > is why texts such as the Tannishō are venerated for exhorting
      > followers to correct understanding; that is why the reforms and
      > further systemizations of Rennyō are highly important. That is why
      > even though Shin is called the easy path, it is difficult to attain.
      > Indeed, the four main Bodhisttva vows are all about attaining the
      > unattainable! Amida may be at the end of that delicate path between
      > the rivers of water and fire, but we must still walk down that path
      > ourselves. As Amida assists the monk with confidence and the ability
      > to walk down that seemingly impossible path, shinjin gifts us with
      the
      > ability to proceed down the seemingly impossible path of
      > Bodhisattvahood.
      >
      > You ask "How does the Nirvana of life compare to the Nirvana of Pure
      > Land"? Do you understand now that this question is rooted in a
      > misunderstanding of what the Pure Land's role is? It is not a Heaven
      > of any sort; it cannot be, for then it would be selfishness. I'm
      sorry
      > if I come off strong here, but I want to emphasize the essential
      > importance of this understanding. Nirvana is the cessation of
      > suffering. Without delving too much into Buddhist philosophy, let me
      > say that such a goal is attained through adopting a radically
      > different interpretation and experience of all being and reality.
      Zen
      > says that this can be done in this life; Shin says that it can't.
      But
      > this idea of Nirvana is simply itself; there is no separate Nirvana
      of
      > this and Nirvana of that. Because of the motion of Nirvana not as a
      > static absolute but rather as the fluid expression of Buddha-nature,
      > it is realized in Samsara. Samsara becomes Nirvana through the power
      > of a Bodhisattva's attainment, through his or her great Wisdom and
      > Compassion â€" not by virtue of being in some other place or
      reality. It
      > is the goal of the Bodhisattva to work in establishing this
      capability
      > in all persons, just as it was Amida's goal to gift us shinjin, the
      > capability of attaining Bodhisttvahood, and to create for us the
      Pure
      > Land, a place where we can practice the True Dharma free of the
      taints
      > of the defiled age. The Pure Land lends those that dwell in it to
      > easy, pure practice, but it is not Nirvana. Rather, it is more akin
      to
      > the ultimate monastery, inhabited by the most gifted teachers. As to
      > whether this is a literal place or not is subject to debate, but
      this
      > is its stated purpose.
      >
      > I hope that you will forgive my ranting. I have a number of thoughts
      > here and perhaps they are not well organized. But I hope that it has
      > been useful somehow. My understanding is limited, but I try anyways.
      >
      > In gasshō,
      > Erik
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.