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Communication of Jodo-Shin

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  • Ray Shepard
    Greetings: How does one communicate Jodo-Shin to a seeker who is adamant regarding self-power? I ve a few insights, but self-reliance is a BIG issue with
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 18, 2001
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      Greetings:
       
      How does one communicate Jodo-Shin to a seeker who is adamant regarding self-power?  I've a few insights, but self-reliance is a BIG issue with certain people with whom I am working.  They are actively seeking, and Jodo-Shin can potentially fill the void, but how to traverse that "self" gap? 
       
      I'm not looking to proseletyze; just to adequately explain.  If that is accomplished and they are not moved to exploration of Amida's compassion, that's ok.  Other paths there be, as has been discussed in prior exchanges.
       
      Ray


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    • Richard St. Clair
      ... I keep trying to explain it to a Nichiren Buddhist friend, but he gets his shorts in a bunch every time. I guess it is time to stop bothering. I think
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 18, 2001
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        Re: [shinlist] Communication of Jodo-Shin
        Greetings:
         
        How does one communicate Jodo-Shin to a seeker who is adamant regarding self-power?  I've a few insights, but self-reliance is a BIG issue with certain people with whom I am working.  They are actively seeking, and Jodo-Shin can potentially fill the void, but how to traverse that "self" gap? 
         
        I'm not looking to proseletyze; just to adequately explain.  If that is accomplished and they are not moved to exploration of Amida's compassion, that's ok.  Other paths there be, as has been discussed in prior exchanges.
         
        Ray

        I keep trying to explain it to a Nichiren Buddhist friend, but he gets his shorts in a bunch every time. I guess it is time to stop bothering. I think attempting to communicate tariki once, or twice, or three times to a jiriki Buddhist is enough. After that it is probably a lost cause. One has to be ready to hear the teaching of other power. Most people are a long ways from that.

        As for what to communicate, my major point is that the self cannot enlighten itself - the self is deluded, so how can it lead itself to enlightenment? This is why an other power, a greater power is needed, which is where Amida comes in.
        gassho,
        Rick S.
        (Shaku Egen)
      • Sean Conner
        Pure Land Master I guang said, If I speak of Amitabha s Compassion but once to a fellow sentient being then I have truly propagated the Dharma. The
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 18, 2001
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          Pure Land Master I guang said, "If I speak of Amitabha's Compassion but once to
          a fellow sentient being then I have truly propagated the Dharma. The Buddha-Name
          (Nembutsu) will take care of the rest."

          In your discussions with self-power Buddhists simply mention Amitabha's
          great Compassion for us and the seeds of the Pure Land will be planted. Often
          Shinjin happens when we least expect it and to those who have never before that
          moment recited Nembutsu,,


          That's at least my humble thoughts on the matter........


          Rev. Sean Conner
        • Clifton Ong
          Hi all, personally i find it rather difficult to talk about Tariki (Other-Power) to buddhists who are grounded in Jiriki (self-power). They seem to have the
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 19, 2001
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            Hi all,
            personally i find it rather difficult to talk about
            Tariki (Other-Power) to buddhists who are grounded in
            Jiriki (self-power). They seem to have the notion that
            "self-reliance" is the ONLY way to gain liberation.
            But let's be realistic, in this Dharma-degenerating
            Age, i think it is rather difficult (maybe foolish
            even) to cling on to this notion of
            self-enlightenment.

            Here's a good article by the late Harold Steward, an
            Australian and pious Shin Buddhist. This article can
            be found in the Mugeko website at
            http://mugeko.senet.com.au/hsrindex.htm. Here is the
            article:

            "After repeated failure, I have at last been forced to
            realize that self-power alone cannot discipline the
            passions without doing oneself a deep-seated mischief
            and inviting revenge by the demons within. As Honen
            ruefully remarked: 'It is a terrible fact that devils
            always get in the way of those who are striving for
            Buddhahood.' Not only can my individual will do
            nothing about giving up or controlling my desires and
            habits, but I cannot even abstain from negative
            self-effort. Whether I act or not, whether I do good,
            evil, or neutral deeds, I can only accumulate more
            karma and place further obstructions in the way of the
            working of the Other Power in me. Not until I am
            reduced to helpless desperation by this impasse can
            the grip of my ego on this life, what Buddhism calls
            'craving and clinging', be broken once and for all.
            Abandoning all attempts to extricate myself from this
            existential dilemma as futile, I must as a last resort
            turn to Amida and throw myself completely and
            unconditionally on his Divine Compassion, which can
            never be refused. For the pure action-of-presence of
            Amida, who appears in his Name in response to the
            supplicant's cry for help, is alone sufficient to
            dispel the demons of doubt and distraction. 'Evils are
            not to be feared, for no evil can hinder the
            fulfilment of Amida's Vow'. Only when the seeker has
            come to realize the ineffectuality of all his
            exertions to save himself, only after his egoistic
            will is committed to self-abandonment with the utmost
            sincerity, can Amida Buddha come to his aid. Then he
            bestows his gratuitous blessing of Boundless Light (or
            Pure Consciousness) that transcends space, and his
            Endless Life (or Pure Being) that transcends time.
            Unhindered by interference from the self, the Divine
            Name filled with Faith will repeat itself
            spontaneously in the devotee's inmost Heart and flood
            his whole being with its miraculous graces of
            Compassion and Wisdom in joy and peace.

            I am reduced to the limits of my endurance of endless
            suffering in this Samsaric Round, where action and
            reaction incessantly produce and destroy the transient
            forms of this and other worlds. But now, by
            petitionary prayer to Amida, I make still another
            Metaphysical mistake. By imploring him to rescue me
            from the three evil rebirths as Pig, Cock, and Snake,
            I tacitly assert an 'I' who requests and a 'Thou' who
            is entreated to respond, thereby perpetuating the very
            religious duality that must be transcended! As I beg
            Amida to transform the Cock of Purgatory into the
            Phoenix of Paradise, suddenly I am struck by a
            realization of this error and I correct my petitionary
            approach as soon as this insight tells me that there
            is in reality no 'I', only a 'Thou'. By the fulfilment
            of his Forty-eight Vows ten kalpas ago, Amida has
            already assured all beings of Liberation from
            suffering (duhkha), impermanence (anitya), and
            illusory selfhood (anatma). So petitionary prayer is
            not only needless, it betrays a lack of Insight into
            the Buddha's Omniconsciousness and a want of Faith in
            his providence for the spiritual needs of all."

            Hope this can be of help.

            Gassho,
            Clifton (Shaku Do Tatsu)

            --- Sean Conner <sean.conner@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Pure Land Master I guang said, "If I speak of
            > Amitabha's Compassion but once to
            > a fellow sentient being then I have truly propagated
            > the Dharma. The Buddha-Name
            > (Nembutsu) will take care of the rest."
            >
            > In your discussions with self-power Buddhists
            > simply mention Amitabha's
            > great Compassion for us and the seeds of the Pure
            > Land will be planted. Often
            > Shinjin happens when we least expect it and to those
            > who have never before that
            > moment recited Nembutsu,,
            >
            >
            > That's at least my humble thoughts on the
            > matter........
            >
            >
            > Rev. Sean Conner
            >
            >
            >


            =====
            Gassho,
            Clifton Ong (Shaku Do Tatsu)

            Email: sanath_sg@...

            Homepage: http://honganmission.cjb.net/

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          • Clifton Ong
            I think this is a good way too... ... ===== Gassho, Clifton Ong (Shaku Do Tatsu) Email: sanath_sg@yahoo.com Homepage: http://honganmission.cjb.net/
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 19, 2001
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              I think this is a good way too...
              --- Sean Conner <sean.conner@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Pure Land Master I guang said, "If I speak of
              > Amitabha's Compassion but once to
              > a fellow sentient being then I have truly propagated
              > the Dharma. The Buddha-Name
              > (Nembutsu) will take care of the rest."
              >
              > In your discussions with self-power Buddhists
              > simply mention Amitabha's
              > great Compassion for us and the seeds of the Pure
              > Land will be planted. Often
              > Shinjin happens when we least expect it and to those
              > who have never before that
              > moment recited Nembutsu,,
              >
              >
              > That's at least my humble thoughts on the
              > matter........
              >
              >
              > Rev. Sean Conner
              >
              >
              >


              =====
              Gassho,
              Clifton Ong (Shaku Do Tatsu)

              Email: sanath_sg@...

              Homepage: http://honganmission.cjb.net/

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
              http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
            • Richard St. Clair
              ... Sean, That s a good strategy. Thanks for the tip! gassho, Rick S. (Shaku Egen)
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 19, 2001
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                >Pure Land Master I guang said, "If I speak of Amitabha's Compassion
                >but once to
                >a fellow sentient being then I have truly propagated the Dharma. The
                >Buddha-Name
                >(Nembutsu) will take care of the rest."
                >
                > In your discussions with self-power Buddhists simply mention Amitabha's
                >great Compassion for us and the seeds of the Pure Land will be planted. Often
                >Shinjin happens when we least expect it and to those who have never
                >before that
                >moment recited Nembutsu,,
                >
                >
                > That's at least my humble thoughts on the matter........
                >
                >Rev. Sean Conner

                Sean,
                That's a good strategy. Thanks for the tip!
                gassho,
                Rick S.
                (Shaku Egen)
              • Richard St. Clair
                ... Clifton, It is nice to read this, but I doubt it would change anyone s mind from practicing jiriki to give up all that in favor of tariki. One has to be
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 19, 2001
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                  >
                  >Here's a good article by the late Harold Steward, an
                  >Australian and pious Shin Buddhist. This article can
                  >be found in the Mugeko website at
                  >http://mugeko.senet.com.au/hsrindex.htm

                  .....
                  >illusory selfhood (anatma). So petitionary prayer is
                  >not only needless, it betrays a lack of Insight into
                  >the Buddha's Omniconsciousness and a want of Faith in
                  >his providence for the spiritual needs of all."
                  >
                  >Hope this can be of help.
                  >
                  >Gassho,
                  >Clifton (Shaku Do Tatsu)

                  Clifton,
                  It is nice to read this, but I doubt it would change anyone's mind
                  from practicing jiriki to give up all that in favor of tariki. One
                  has to be already molded, by karma or experience or Amida's vow-power
                  or whatever, to accept the other power into one's life and to embrace
                  it. It is very hard to convince other people of this basic truth,
                  largely because such an effort requires calculation and tariki
                  rejects calculation. This raises, of course, the whole issue of
                  spreading the word about Shin, but I'd rather not tackle that
                  question here and now.
                  gassho,
                  Rick S.
                  (Shaku Egen)
                • Ray Shepard
                  Greetings: Glad (well, so to speak) that you came to the same conclusion that I did regarding explaining other power to a self-power) junkie. WHEW! I
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 20, 2001
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                    Greetings:

                    Glad (well, so to speak) that you came to the same conclusion that I did
                    regarding explaining "other" power to a "self-power) junkie. WHEW! I
                    thought I might be missing something!

                    I Appreciate your help

                    Gassho;

                    Ray



                    ----Original Message Follows----
                    From: "Richard St. Clair" <stclair@...>
                    Reply-To: shinlist@yahoogroups.com
                    To: shinlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [shinlist] Communication of Jodo-Shin
                    Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 14:53:56 -0400

                    >Greetings:
                    >
                    >How does one communicate Jodo-Shin to a seeker who is adamant
                    >regarding self-power? I've a few insights, but self-reliance is a
                    >BIG issue with certain people with whom I am working. They are
                    >actively seeking, and Jodo-Shin can potentially fill the void, but
                    >how to traverse that "self" gap?
                    >
                    >I'm not looking to proseletyze; just to adequately explain. If that
                    >is accomplished and they are not moved to exploration of Amida's
                    >compassion, that's ok. Other paths there be, as has been discussed
                    >in prior exchanges.
                    >
                    >Ray

                    I keep trying to explain it to a Nichiren Buddhist friend, but he
                    gets his shorts in a bunch every time. I guess it is time to stop
                    bothering. I think attempting to communicate tariki once, or twice,
                    or three times to a jiriki Buddhist is enough. After that it is
                    probably a lost cause. One has to be ready to hear the teaching of
                    other power. Most people are a long ways from that.

                    As for what to communicate, my major point is that the self cannot
                    enlighten itself - the self is deluded, so how can it lead itself to
                    enlightenment? This is why an other power, a greater power is needed,
                    which is where Amida comes in.
                    gassho,
                    Rick S.
                    (Shaku Egen)


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