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  • Aaron (Shoren) Boone
    Thank you Toraginus, This was indeed very helpful. I have been struggling with my own take on the teachings. I have a feeling I am a Voice Hearer and as such
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 31, 2006
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      Thank you Toraginus,
       
      This was indeed very helpful. I have been struggling with my own take on the teachings. I have a feeling I am a "Voice Hearer" and as such am not in a great place where my faith (for lack of a better word) is concerned.
       
      I have trouble with "abstract thought" as part of a learning dissability and relating to Amida as an abstracted myth doesn't help me one bit. This is old news to most here so I won't bore you all again.
       
      I guess I'm annoyed. I got sick with a horrid cold days before a big (once in a lifetime)event at our Temple and will miss it.
       
      Anyway thanks again.
      Gassho,
      Aaron
       
       

      toraginus <toraginus@...> wrote:
      I do not claim to strive for orthodoxy, but I will answer some of your concerns from my perspective:

      Is there variances of
      beliefs and approach even amongst differing Jodo Shinshu
      practitioners?
      Yes, I believe there are.

      Of course, there is what might be termed the "orthodox"   teaching as expressed by the Nishi Hongwanji (http://www2.hongwanji.or.jp/english/) which is the major sect of Jodo Shinshu existant today -- the one chiefly present in the U.S.

      I can appreciate that this organization feels that it is important to preserve the "authentic" teaching of Shinran---and what he meant by them.

      OTOH--Shinran did not claim to be a "pope". He said he was a disciple among disciples.
      When he sent his son, Zenran,  to minister to a group of his followers---and his son presented teachings that were not the views of his father---but were presented as being his father's view----Shinran disowned this son.

      He did not disown his son for teachings that differed from his --- BUT for claiming that Zenran had received secret teachings from his father which he was giving to this group.

      From this I gather that Shinran had his beliefs. They were carefully thought out, considered, and became strongly held by him.  These were His beliefs, His teaching that he shared with others.  He emphasized that these were his personal beliefs.

      As far as I know, he did not condemn those whose "Shin"  teachings differered from his.
      However, he did find fault with  those whose teaching differered from his, ---But who claimed that their teachings were Shinran's also.

      It seems to me that you are seeking to discover what Shinran's beliefs about Buddhism really were.

      If so, I have two suggestions:

      1. Read. Study. Make part of your personal practice reading or chanting  the
      Shoshinge, written by Shinran, as summary of his proof that his teachings were in direct succession from earlier Buddhist Pure Land teachings through a series of seven masters.

      2. If you have the time and the interest--purchase "The Collected Works of Shinran" in two volumes, published by Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, c. 1997. The first volume contains all the words of Shinran, i.e. his teachings, comments, so forth. The second volume contains introductions, glossaries and reading aids.

      At amazon.com it is $49.00. At BCA -- Buddhist Churches of America Bookstore -- it is listed at $40.00 (SH210) Best way to order from BCA is at its bookstore in San Francisco --415-776-7877. If you call from Monday through Thursday, ask for Jerry Bolick. He is the manager and extremely knowledgeable.  If you happen to be a member of the BCA Outreach Program ($100. dues) for those not near a temple ---and you mention this --- you will receive a 20% discount on all BCA Bookstore books.

      I strongly recommend a fairly new book: "A Life of Awakening: The Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path," by Takamaro Shigaraki, c. 2005. The author, a Buddhist priest and scholar,  is considered one of the leading Shin Buddhist thinkers.

      Hope this helps.

      toraginus
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Namo Amida Butsu!
       --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Oelund Fairking" <amidatrust@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > While I cannot comment on the history or this fellow, although I
      > addressed these questions through his response the questions I have
      > are addressed to all of you as I am trying to piece together the
      > thoughts of Jodo Shinshu practitioners. Is there variances of
      > beliefs and approach even amongst differing Jodo Shinshu
      > practitioners? Even in the realm of how much we experience "pure
      > land here and now", it seems to me I ran across a group in the
      > Midwest that it was a valid assertion and goal while others have
      > asserted that Pure land is only fulfilled after this lifetime.
      > Although I have my own opinions on this I am trying to find out what
      > it is Jodo Shinshu practitioners think on these subjects, and I
      > suppose know the difference between traditional teachings and
      > current knock-offs. Most definitely, what I am concerned with most
      > is establishing Jodo Shinshu as it relates to foundamental noble
      > truths of buddhism, and of course how it relates to the revelation
      > of the Mahayana approach. One of the criticisms I have heard is that
      > jodo Shinshu somehow deviates from the "orthodoxy" of that
      > traditional buddhist truth but I don't quite buy this. My
      > understanding is Shinron was if anything a quite studied man and I
      > don't think he "fell off the wheel" so to speak simply to be in the
      > face of university monks. So, I really do want to undstand what he
      > is saying and the firm underpinnings that gird it. Again, in
      > studying Hua Yen the idea of naturally arising correlative to our
      > own transcendental mind and the capacity to reveal it makes a great
      > deal of sense, whereas the established dichotomy that Paul asserts I
      > strain at, although I can understand it from a utilitarian aspect.
      >
      > Anyway, I would appreciate commentary from any and all forum members
      > on this or anything else you feel would be helpful.
      >
      > Gassho,
      > Amitabha,
      > Ryk
      >



      The Primal Vow was established out of deep compassion for us who cannot become freed from the bondage of birth-and-death through any religious practice, due to the abundance of blind passion. Since its basic intention is to effect the enlightenment of such an evil one, the evil person who is led to true entrusting by Other Power is the person who attains birth in the Pure Land. Thus, even the good person attains birth, how much more so the evil person!

      Shinran Shonin


      Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Make PC-to-Phone Calls to the US (and 30+ countries) for 2¢/min or less.

    • Chris
      Thank you. I m currently reading and re-reading. A friend gave me copies of Pure Land, Pure Mind and Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith (the one I m currently
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 1 7:43 PM
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        Thank you. I'm currently reading and re-reading. A friend gave me
        copies of Pure Land, Pure Mind and Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith (the
        one I'm currently plowing through). Taming the Monkey Mind and Mind-
        Seal of the Buddhas await. Still trying to figure out how the pieces
        are going to fit for me.

        My introduction to Buddhism was through Zen and I'm trying not to
        interupt my daily routine of zazen but looking for ways to incoporate
        the nembutsu into my daily practice. Any suggestions appreciated
        here. Zen and Pure Land seems more complimentary than anything else
        so far.

        Most recently I've been using the nembutsu in place of the gathas
        used by Zen practioners. Based on the ten recitation method (on the
        web in such places as: http://www.amtb-usa.org/eten-1.htm) I've been
        doing this when waking, before showering, after getting dressed,
        before brushing my teeth in morning, as I leave the house the first
        time each day, when I return to the house the last time each day,
        before my evening meal, before brushing my teeth at night and before
        going to bed and with the last recitation, making the vow to reborn
        in the Pure Land.

        Exactly how bad of heretic does all of this make me? And while we're
        on the subject, what kind of training goes into becoming a lay
        practioner of the Pure Land schools? Keep in mind I'm more familar
        with how the Zen schools do things and I'm still learning there.

        Chris






        --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "toraginus" <toraginus@...> wrote:
        >
        > I forgot to mention that the Shoshinge is available from the
        official
        > Hongwanji website:
        > http://www.nishihongwanji-
        la.org/church/buddhism/shoshinge.html#shoshing\
        > e_translation
        >
        > toraginus
        >
        > --------
        > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Oelund Fairking" <amidatrust@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Hello,
        > >
        > > While I cannot comment on the history or this fellow, although I
        > > addressed these questions through his response the questions I
        have
        > > are addressed to all of you as I am trying to piece together the
        > > thoughts of Jodo Shinshu practitioners. Is there variances of
        > > beliefs and approach even amongst differing Jodo Shinshu
        > > practitioners? Even in the realm of how much we experience "pure
        > > land here and now", it seems to me I ran across a group in the
        > > Midwest that it was a valid assertion and goal while others have
        > > asserted that Pure land is only fulfilled after this lifetime.
        > > Although I have my own opinions on this I am trying to find out
        what
        > > it is Jodo Shinshu practitioners think on these subjects, and I
        > > suppose know the difference between traditional teachings and
        > > current knock-offs. Most definitely, what I am concerned with most
        > > is establishing Jodo Shinshu as it relates to foundamental noble
        > > truths of buddhism, and of course how it relates to the revelation
        > > of the Mahayana approach. One of the criticisms I have heard is
        that
        > > jodo Shinshu somehow deviates from the "orthodoxy" of that
        > > traditional buddhist truth but I don't quite buy this. My
        > > understanding is Shinron was if anything a quite studied man and I
        > > don't think he "fell off the wheel" so to speak simply to be in
        the
        > > face of university monks. So, I really do want to undstand what he
        > > is saying and the firm underpinnings that gird it. Again, in
        > > studying Hua Yen the idea of naturally arising correlative to our
        > > own transcendental mind and the capacity to reveal it makes a
        great
        > > deal of sense, whereas the established dichotomy that Paul
        asserts I
        > > strain at, although I can understand it from a utilitarian aspect.
        > >
        > > Anyway, I would appreciate commentary from any and all forum
        members
        > > on this or anything else you feel would be helpful.
        > >
        > > Gassho,
        > > Amitabha,
        > > Ryk
        > >
        >
      • Shak El
        your mind is buddha your body is the pure land so why vow to be reborn into what you already are? Saying the nembutsu but once is to lift the veil and see the
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 1 8:16 PM
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          your mind is buddha
          your body is the pure land
          so why vow to be reborn into what you already are?
           
          Saying the nembutsu but once
          is to lift the veil
          and see the mind and body as One.
          To see oneself as Buddha and her land.
           
          In your past lives
          you have already accumulated
          good karma.
          and so came to this time and place.
           
          Namah AMida Buddha!

          Chris <chrisailes01@...> wrote:
          Thank you. I'm currently reading and re-reading. A friend gave me
          copies of Pure Land, Pure Mind and Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith (the
          one I'm currently plowing through). Taming the Monkey Mind and Mind-
          Seal of the Buddhas await. Still trying to figure out how the pieces
          are going to fit for me.

          My introduction to Buddhism was through Zen and I'm trying not to
          interupt my daily routine of zazen but looking for ways to incoporate
          the nembutsu into my daily practice. Any suggestions appreciated
          here. Zen and Pure Land seems more complimentary than anything else
          so far.

          Most recently I've been using the nembutsu in place of the gathas
          used by Zen practioners. Based on the ten recitation method (on the
          web in such places as: http://www.amtb-usa.org/eten-1.htm) I've been
          doing this when waking, before showering, after getting dressed,
          before brushing my teeth in morning, as I leave the house the first
          time each day, when I return to the house the last time each day,
          before my evening meal, before brushing my teeth at night and before
          going to bed and with the last recitation, making the vow to reborn
          in the Pure Land.

          Exactly how bad of heretic does all of this make me? And while we're
          on the subject, what kind of training goes into becoming a lay
          practioner of the Pure Land schools? Keep in mind I'm more familar
          with how the Zen schools do things and I'm still learning there.

          Chris






          --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "toraginus" wrote:
          >
          > I forgot to mention that the Shoshinge is available from the
          official
          > Hongwanji website:
          > http://www.nishihongwanji-
          la.org/church/buddhism/shoshinge.html#shoshing\
          > e_translation
          >
          > toraginus
          >
          > --------
          > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Oelund Fairking"
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > Hello,
          > >
          > > While I cannot comment on the history or this fellow, although I
          > > addressed these questions through his response the questions I
          have
          > > are addressed to all of you as I am trying to piece together the
          > > thoughts of Jodo Shinshu practitioners. Is there variances of
          > > beliefs and approach even amongst differing Jodo Shinshu
          > > practitioners? Even in the realm of how much we experience "pure
          > > land here and now", it seems to me I ran across a group in the
          > > Midwest that it was a valid assertion and goal while others have
          > > asserted that Pure land is only fulfilled after this lifetime.
          > > Although I have my own opinions on this I am trying to find out
          what
          > > it is Jodo Shinshu practitioners think on these subjects, and I
          > > suppose know the difference between traditional teachings and
          > > current knock-offs. Most definitely, what I am concerned with most
          > > is establishing Jodo Shinshu as it relates to foundamental noble
          > > truths of buddhism, and of course how it relates to the revelation
          > > of the Mahayana approach. One of the criticisms I have heard is
          that
          > > jodo Shinshu somehow deviates from the "orthodoxy" of that
          > > traditional buddhist truth but I don't quite buy this. My
          > > understanding is Shinron was if anything a quite studied man and I
          > > don't think he "fell off the wheel" so to speak simply to be in
          the
          > > face of university monks. So, I really do want to undstand what he
          > > is saying and the firm underpinnings that gird it. Again, in
          > > studying Hua Yen the idea of naturally arising correlative to our
          > > own transcendental mind and the capacity to reveal it makes a
          great
          > > deal of sense, whereas the established dichotomy that Paul
          asserts I
          > > strain at, although I can understand it from a utilitarian aspect.
          > >
          > > Anyway, I would appreciate commentary from any and all forum
          members
          > > on this or anything else you feel would be helpful.
          > >
          > > Gassho,
          > > Amitabha,
          > > Ryk
          > >
          >






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        • Chris
          ... I also recite the four vows of the Bodhisattva. I vow to save sentient beings knowing that there is no beings to save. I vow to end delusions, though we
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 1 8:48 PM
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            > your mind is buddha
            > your body is the pure land
            > so why vow to be reborn into what you already are?

            I also recite the four vows of the Bodhisattva. I vow to save
            sentient beings knowing that there is no beings to save. I vow to
            end delusions, though we already exist beyond them. I vow to enter
            the Dharma Gates though we are already there. I vow to embody the
            Buddha way, though we are in truth already the Buddha.

            I suppose it is all a finger pointing at the moon, a koan to be
            pondered but you might enjoy:
            http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf0.htm

            > In your past lives
            > you have already accumulated
            > good karma.
            > and so came to this time and place.

            The nembutsu generates strange emotions in me. On the surface of
            things, gratitude that I am included in the Primal Vow. Beneath the
            surface, where self power flows into other power, awe and wonder that
            I am part of something so vast.

            Chris
          • Aaron (Shoren) Boone
            I wish I were as certain. Being a hopeless agnostic in almost all matters of spirituality I may take the not so Buddhist approach and apply faith . I cannot
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 2 3:28 AM
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              I wish I were as certain. Being a hopeless agnostic in almost all matters of spirituality I may take the not so Buddhist approach and apply "faith". I cannot be certain at this moment if Amida's vow encompasses me, but I hope so.
               
              The O'Nembutsu does make me feel thankfull but at other times it makes me feel guilty. I wonder if I am worthy or even sincere. I think it's possible to utter O'Nembutsu in vain. But then I could be in error on that point.
               
              In Gassho,
              Aaron

              Chris <chrisailes01@...> wrote:
              "The nembutsu generates strange emotions in me.  On the surface of
              things, gratitude that I am included in the Primal Vow.  Beneath the
              surface, where self power flows into other power, awe and wonder that
              I am part of something so vast.

              Chris"


              The Primal Vow was established out of deep compassion for us who cannot become freed from the bondage of birth-and-death through any religious practice, due to the abundance of blind passion. Since its basic intention is to effect the enlightenment of such an evil one, the evil person who is led to true entrusting by Other Power is the person who attains birth in the Pure Land. Thus, even the good person attains birth, how much more so the evil person!

              Shinran Shonin


              Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls. Great rates starting at 1¢/min.

            • Shin02143@aol.com
              ... I can relate to your situation, Aaron. There is a strong component of I don t know in my practice. Rather than faith I prefer trust as a working
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 2 7:40 AM
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                In a message dated 4/2/06 6:29:05 AM, shoren108@... writes:



                I wish I were as certain. Being a hopeless agnostic in almost all matters of spirituality I may take the not so Buddhist approach and apply "faith". I cannot be certain at this moment if Amida's vow encompasses me, but I hope so.

                 

                The O'Nembutsu does make me feel thankfull but at other times it makes me feel guilty. I wonder if I am worthy or even sincere. I think it's possible to utter O'Nembutsu in vain. But then I could be in error on that point.

                 

                In Gassho,

                Aaron


                I can relate to your situation, Aaron. There is a strong  component
                of "I don't know" in my "practice." Rather than "faith" I prefer
                "trust" as a working hypothesis. That doesn't sound particularly
                religious, I suppose, but it is where I am at.
                gassho,
                Rick
              • toraginus
                In July I ll be 75, and I am finally begin to realize and even accept that my controlling mind wants to put everything together in a neat package, preferably
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 13 3:54 PM
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                  In July I'll be 75, and I am finally begin to realize and even accept that my controlling mind
                  wants to put everything together in a neat package, preferably outline form --- rather
                  than  allow things to work themselves out. To allow "grace" or the "universe," or "Amida" to
                  have the major word in the matter has been difficult for me. These thoughts were
                  triggered by your comment: " Still trying to figure out how the pieces are going to fit for
                  me."

                  Chris, why not allow things to evolve, to work themselves out?

                  The German poet Rilke has something to say on a very similar point. (I used to have this
                  posted in my classroom.)


                  "...have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions
                  themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign langugage.
                  Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not
                  be able to live them And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps
                  then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way
                  into the answer."

                  As for me, it seems to arise spontaneously, from time to time. Things go well, "Namo
                  Amida Butsu".  Things go awry: "Namo Amida Butsu". 

                  In Japan, a young Zen student met an elderly woman on the path. "Well Granny, where is
                  the Pure Land anyway?"  With a puzzled look, she responded, "Why, where it always is." ---
                  as she touched her heart.

                  bob (toraginus)


                  --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <chrisailes01@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Thank you. I'm currently reading and re-reading. A friend gave me
                  > copies of Pure Land, Pure Mind and Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith (the
                  > one I'm currently plowing through). Taming the Monkey Mind and Mind-
                  > Seal of the Buddhas await. Still trying to figure out how the pieces
                  > are going to fit for me.
                  >
                  > My introduction to Buddhism was through Zen and I'm trying not to
                  > interupt my daily routine of zazen but looking for ways to incoporate
                  > the nembutsu into my daily practice. Any suggestions appreciated
                  > here. Zen and Pure Land seems more complimentary than anything else
                  > so far.
                  >
                  > Most recently I've been using the nembutsu in place of the gathas
                  > used by Zen practioners. Based on the ten recitation method (on the
                  > web in such places as: http://www.amtb-usa.org/eten-1.htm) I've been
                  > doing this when waking, before showering, after getting dressed,
                  > before brushing my teeth in morning, as I leave the house the first
                  > time each day, when I return to the house the last time each day,
                  > before my evening meal, before brushing my teeth at night and before
                  > going to bed and with the last recitation, making the vow to reborn
                  > in the Pure Land.
                  >
                  > Exactly how bad of heretic does all of this make me? And while we're
                  > on the subject, what kind of training goes into becoming a lay
                  > practioner of the Pure Land schools? Keep in mind I'm more familar
                  > with how the Zen schools do things and I'm still learning there.
                  >
                  > Chris
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "toraginus" <toraginus@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I forgot to mention that the Shoshinge is available from the
                  > official
                  > > Hongwanji website:
                  > > http://www.nishihongwanji-
                  > la.org/church/buddhism/shoshinge.html#shoshing\
                  > > e_translation
                  > >
                  > > toraginus
                  > >
                  > > --------
                  > > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Oelund Fairking" <amidatrust@>
                  > > wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Hello,
                  > > >
                  > > > While I cannot comment on the history or this fellow, although I
                  > > > addressed these questions through his response the questions I
                  > have
                  > > > are addressed to all of you as I am trying to piece together the
                  > > > thoughts of Jodo Shinshu practitioners. Is there variances of
                  > > > beliefs and approach even amongst differing Jodo Shinshu
                  > > > practitioners? Even in the realm of how much we experience "pure
                  > > > land here and now", it seems to me I ran across a group in the
                  > > > Midwest that it was a valid assertion and goal while others have
                  > > > asserted that Pure land is only fulfilled after this lifetime.
                  > > > Although I have my own opinions on this I am trying to find out
                  > what
                  > > > it is Jodo Shinshu practitioners think on these subjects, and I
                  > > > suppose know the difference between traditional teachings and
                  > > > current knock-offs. Most definitely, what I am concerned with most
                  > > > is establishing Jodo Shinshu as it relates to foundamental noble
                  > > > truths of buddhism, and of course how it relates to the revelation
                  > > > of the Mahayana approach. One of the criticisms I have heard is
                  > that
                  > > > jodo Shinshu somehow deviates from the "orthodoxy" of that
                  > > > traditional buddhist truth but I don't quite buy this. My
                  > > > understanding is Shinron was if anything a quite studied man and I
                  > > > don't think he "fell off the wheel" so to speak simply to be in
                  > the
                  > > > face of university monks. So, I really do want to undstand what he
                  > > > is saying and the firm underpinnings that gird it. Again, in
                  > > > studying Hua Yen the idea of naturally arising correlative to our
                  > > > own transcendental mind and the capacity to reveal it makes a
                  > great
                  > > > deal of sense, whereas the established dichotomy that Paul
                  > asserts I
                  > > > strain at, although I can understand it from a utilitarian aspect.
                  > > >
                  > > > Anyway, I would appreciate commentary from any and all forum
                  > members
                  > > > on this or anything else you feel would be helpful.
                  > > >
                  > > > Gassho,
                  > > > Amitabha,
                  > > > Ryk
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
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