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what's in a name?

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  • Anon
    Hi, What are your feelings and thoughts about reciting Amida s name in a foreign language? To my mind, Amida Buddha means more than Amida Butsu. When I recite
    Message 1 of 27 , May 4 3:52 PM
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      Hi,

      What are your feelings and thoughts about reciting Amida's name in a foreign
      language?

      To my mind, Amida Buddha means more than Amida Butsu. When I recite the
      Japanese nembutsu it requires more effort to be mindful of Amida than when I
      say Namu Amida Buddha. For some reason I don't have a problem with Namu, I
      can accept it as an abbreviation for "Adoration to" or other english wordings
      but Butsu just doesn't conjure up anything like the power of Buddha (for me).


      Does it matter if I change the Butsu to Buddha?



      -A
    • Shak El
      Personally, I chant Namah Amida Buddha which is a Sanskrit-Japanese-English hybrid mantra. jim davis ... ===== Jim Davis author of Waking Up After a Night
      Message 2 of 27 , May 4 7:54 PM
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        Personally, I chant "Namah Amida Buddha" which is a
        Sanskrit-Japanese-English hybrid mantra.

        jim davis

        --- Anon <now@...> wrote:
        > Hi,
        >
        > What are your feelings and thoughts about reciting
        > Amida's name in a foreign
        > language?
        >
        > To my mind, Amida Buddha means more than Amida
        > Butsu. When I recite the
        > Japanese nembutsu it requires more effort to be
        > mindful of Amida than when I
        > say Namu Amida Buddha. For some reason I don't have
        > a problem with Namu, I
        > can accept it as an abbreviation for "Adoration to"
        > or other english wordings
        > but Butsu just doesn't conjure up anything like the
        > power of Buddha (for me).
        >
        >
        > Does it matter if I change the Butsu to Buddha?
        >
        >
        >
        > -A
        >
        >
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        >


        =====
        Jim Davis author of
        "Waking Up After a Night on the Town with the Mead of Inspiration & Eros Insurgent" (ISBN: 0595182135)

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      • Clifton Ong
        Hi all, in the Honganji, we all recite `Na-man-da-bu(tsu)`, which is an abbreviation of the Name, try it, it can be recited very fast. Gassho, Clifton ...
        Message 3 of 27 , May 5 3:15 AM
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          Hi all,
          in the Honganji, we all recite `Na-man-da-bu(tsu)`,
          which is an abbreviation of the Name, try it, it can
          be recited very fast.
          Gassho,
          Clifton

          --- Shak El <from_alamut@...> wrote:
          > Personally, I chant "Namah Amida Buddha" which is a
          > Sanskrit-Japanese-English hybrid mantra.
          >
          > jim davis
          >
          > --- Anon <now@...> wrote:
          > > Hi,
          > >
          > > What are your feelings and thoughts about reciting
          > > Amida's name in a foreign
          > > language?
          > >
          > > To my mind, Amida Buddha means more than Amida
          > > Butsu. When I recite the
          > > Japanese nembutsu it requires more effort to be
          > > mindful of Amida than when I
          > > say Namu Amida Buddha. For some reason I don't
          > have
          > > a problem with Namu, I
          > > can accept it as an abbreviation for "Adoration
          > to"
          > > or other english wordings
          > > but Butsu just doesn't conjure up anything like
          > the
          > > power of Buddha (for me).
          > >
          > >
          > > Does it matter if I change the Butsu to Buddha?
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > -A
          > >
          > >
          > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
          > >
          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > > shinlist-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > =====
          > Jim Davis author of
          > "Waking Up After a Night on the Town with the Mead
          > of Inspiration & Eros Insurgent" (ISBN: 0595182135)
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Yahoo! Health - your guide to health and wellness
          > http://health.yahoo.com
          >


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

          Email: sanath_sg@...

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

          __________________________________________________
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          Yahoo! Health - your guide to health and wellness
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        • Richard St. Clair
          ... Dear A, It doesn t make a particle of difference. There are innumerable nembutsus. The one you are comfortable with is the right one. gassho, Rick (Shaku
          Message 4 of 27 , May 6 10:42 AM
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            >Hi,
            >
            >What are your feelings and thoughts about reciting Amida's name in a foreign
            >language?
            >
            >To my mind, Amida Buddha means more than Amida Butsu. When I recite the
            >Japanese nembutsu it requires more effort to be mindful of Amida than when I
            >say Namu Amida Buddha. For some reason I don't have a problem with Namu, I
            >can accept it as an abbreviation for "Adoration to" or other english wordings
            >but Butsu just doesn't conjure up anything like the power of Buddha (for me).
            >
            >
            >Does it matter if I change the Butsu to Buddha?

            Dear A,
            It doesn't make a particle of difference. There are innumerable
            nembutsus. The one you are comfortable with is the "right" one.
            gassho,
            Rick
            (Shaku Egen)
          • Anon
            Hi, I have trouble believing Sakyamuni said the things attributed to him in the Pure Land Sutras and think it far more likely the Sutras were authored by
            Message 5 of 27 , May 12 8:15 PM
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              Hi,

              I have trouble believing Sakyamuni said the things attributed to him in the
              Pure Land Sutras and think it far more likely the Sutras were authored by
              unknown Mahayanists three hundred years after he died. None the less, I have
              even more trouble with my own efforts to achieve enlightenment!

              While it is doubtless true that all that is needed is to "discard the deluded
              mind of calculation" this seems completely impossible for "ME" to do as the
              very effort would be premised on and inspired by the exact thing to be
              discarded. Somehow something besides me and my effort must accomplish what I
              cannot and I have no doubt the Primal Vow has accomplished this for
              generations of Shin Buddhists.

              I want the same thing but wonder how their faith is possible for me when, as
              Dr. Haneda puts it, "...Amida is a fictional character like Hamlet or Faust.
              [...] Since Amida is a fictional character, he is (1) *not* a god (or divine
              being) and (2) *not* a historical person."

              How, I wonder, can a "fictional character" DO anything whatsoever?
              It seems necessary for poor fools like myself to be able to believe Amida
              symbolizes something real AND capable of functioning AS IF it were a divine
              being like Amida. I read today Shinran considers the details of Amida and
              the Pure Land as being "expedient" while the "true" form is identical with
              the absolute, described variously in Buddhism as emptiness, complete Nirvana,
              Buddha-nature, the unconditioned, the immeasurable, the inconceivable, etc.

              Terrific! I can't get started with absurdly large lotus petals but "the
              unconditioned" and "the inconceivable" sound very promising (to me).

              Assuming the inconceivable absolute is interested and capable of bringing
              about my salvation I would have liked to take the assumed offer on faith but
              still doubted I had the REAL faith. Lucky for me and as I understand it,
              Shinran defines the real faith as being without definition (Gi naki o gi to
              su) and I breathed a sigh of relief. If the required faith is not defined
              then my compulsively doubting analytical mind has nothing to vivisect and the
              working of my salvation can proceed unhindered (by that doubting mind).

              I therefore resign myself to the hopefully merciful ministrations of the
              unknown absolute -- happy to no longer be my own problem. If the absolute
              (Amida) "saves" me that is very good, if not, there's nothing much I can do
              anyway. It might be worth a trip to hell just to not have to try to save
              myself anymore! :-)


              -A.
            • Richard St. Clair
              ... That is wonderful to hear! ... A, You are right, we cannot calculate becoming uncalculating. It is the deep conundrum of Shin Buddhism. As Ty Unno recently
              Message 6 of 27 , May 16 12:55 PM
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                >Hi,
                >
                >I have trouble believing Sakyamuni said the things attributed to him in the
                >Pure Land Sutras and think it far more likely the Sutras were authored by
                >unknown Mahayanists three hundred years after he died. None the less, I have
                >even more trouble with my own efforts to achieve enlightenment!

                That is wonderful to hear!

                >While it is doubtless true that all that is needed is to "discard the deluded
                >mind of calculation" this seems completely impossible for "ME" to do as the
                >very effort would be premised on and inspired by the exact thing to be
                >discarded. Somehow something besides me and my effort must
                >accomplish what I cannot and I have no doubt the Primal Vow has
                >accomplished this for
                >generations of Shin Buddhists.

                A,
                You are right, we cannot calculate becoming uncalculating.
                It is the deep conundrum of Shin Buddhism. As Ty Unno
                recently said, the teaching of Shin Other Power comes
                down to "I can do nothing." This is the existential moment
                where we realize our powerlessness to attain enlightenment or
                to even lead an enlightened life. Turning over our life to
                the Other Power is none other than shinjin. It is that moment
                that the Nembutsu becomes truly real for us.

                >I want the same thing but wonder how their faith is possible for me when, as
                >Dr. Haneda puts it, "...Amida is a fictional character like Hamlet or Faust.
                >[...] Since Amida is a fictional character, he is (1) *not* a god (or divine
                >being) and (2) *not* a historical person."
                >
                >How, I wonder, can a "fictional character" DO anything whatsoever?

                Unfortunately not everything Shin scholars and priests
                say and write is accurate or helpful. We are all foolish beings.
                We must never lose sight of that fact.
                An attempt to dismiss Amida as fictional is as deluded
                as an attempt to reify Amida as an existing 'spirit'
                living in a physically 'real' pure land off in the West.
                Amida is beyond us.
                From what I understand (and I admit my poor
                understanding is limited by my bonno nature), the
                middle path through this is to think of Amida as
                great compassion which transcends reality as we
                know it.

                >It seems necessary for poor fools like myself to be able to believe Amida
                >symbolizes something real AND capable of functioning AS IF it were a divine
                >being like Amida. I read today Shinran considers the details of Amida and
                >the Pure Land as being "expedient" while the "true" form is identical with
                >the absolute, described variously in Buddhism as emptiness, complete Nirvana,
                >Buddha-nature, the unconditioned, the immeasurable, the inconceivable, etc.
                >
                >Terrific! I can't get started with absurdly large lotus petals but "the
                >unconditioned" and "the inconceivable" sound very promising (to me).

                That works for me too!

                >Assuming the inconceivable absolute is interested and capable of bringing
                >about my salvation I would have liked to take the assumed offer on faith but
                >still doubted I had the REAL faith. Lucky for me and as I understand it,
                >Shinran defines the real faith as being without definition (Gi naki o gi to
                >su) and I breathed a sigh of relief. If the required faith is not defined
                >then my compulsively doubting analytical mind has nothing to vivisect and the
                >working of my salvation can proceed unhindered (by that doubting mind).

                Excellent.

                >I therefore resign myself to the hopefully merciful ministrations of the
                >unknown absolute -- happy to no longer be my own problem. If the absolute
                >(Amida) "saves" me that is very good, if not, there's nothing much I can do
                >anyway. It might be worth a trip to hell just to not have to try to save
                >myself anymore! :-)

                If I may be so bold, it sounds like you are very close to
                shinjin. Keep studying Shinran. The Tannisho is probably
                the best source, the simplest statement of Shinran's
                revelation of the Pure Land path of Other Power. Hang in
                there,
                in gassho,
                Namu Amida Butsu
                Rick S.
                (Shaku Egen)
              • Anon
                Dear Rick, ... thanks for the encouragement but I have to confess flattery works all too well on me so I instantly jumped to the conclusion I was way ahead of
                Message 7 of 27 , May 16 5:46 PM
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                  Dear Rick,

                  >
                  > If I may be so bold, it sounds like you are very close to
                  > shinjin. Keep studying Shinran. The Tannisho is probably
                  > the best source, the simplest statement of Shinran's
                  > revelation of the Pure Land path of Other Power. Hang in
                  > there,
                  > in gassho,
                  > Namu Amida Butsu
                  > Rick S.
                  > (Shaku Egen)
                  >
                  >

                  thanks for the encouragement but I have to confess flattery works all too
                  well on me so I instantly jumped to the conclusion I was way ahead of myself.
                  Considering how ingrained habits like this are in me could be pretty
                  discouraging if it wasn't also a little comical !

                  I ordered a copy of the Collected Works of Shinran which I'm looking forward
                  to. I've not actually read the whole Tannisho yet except for Dr.Bloom's
                  "Resource for Modern Living". I'm also really interested in Dr.Uno's next
                  book (due out in a couple of months) because the last one was so good -- the
                  only book I ever read 3 times.

                  but ya, I'm hangin' in there all right -- bobbing up and down somewhere in
                  the ocean of samsara with a grin starting to form ...

                  all the best,

                  -A
                • Anon
                  Being imperfect we find ourselves unacceptable. Being Buddha Amida accepts us unconditionally. Who do you think is right? -A
                  Message 8 of 27 , May 19 6:27 PM
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                    Being imperfect
                    we find ourselves unacceptable.
                    Being Buddha
                    Amida accepts us unconditionally.

                    Who do you think is right?

                    -A
                  • Clifton Ong
                    Being imperfect, Amida accepts us unconditionally. Being Buddha, There is no need for Amida to accept us! Gassho, Clifton ... ===== Gassho, Clifton Ong (Shaku
                    Message 9 of 27 , May 20 12:32 AM
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                      Being imperfect,
                      Amida accepts us unconditionally.
                      Being Buddha,
                      There is no need for Amida to accept us!

                      Gassho,
                      Clifton


                      --- Anon <now@...> wrote:
                      > Being imperfect
                      > we find ourselves unacceptable.
                      > Being Buddha
                      > Amida accepts us unconditionally.
                      >
                      > Who do you think is right?
                      >
                      > -A
                      >


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

                      Email: sanath_sg@...

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

                      __________________________________________________
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                    • Anon
                      ... I don t understand your last two lines. Can you help me with them? -A
                      Message 10 of 27 , May 20 9:49 AM
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                        On Monday 20 May 2002 12:32, you wrote:
                        > Being imperfect,
                        > Amida accepts us unconditionally.
                        > Being Buddha,
                        > There is no need for Amida to accept us!
                        >


                        I don't understand your last two lines. Can you help me with them?

                        -A
                      • Richard St. Clair
                        ... A, The complete text of Tannisho is at this website (Dr. Unno s translation): http://www.livingdharma.org/Tannisho/TannishoContents.html It is a short
                        Message 11 of 27 , May 20 11:25 AM
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                          >
                          >I ordered a copy of the Collected Works of Shinran which I'm looking forward
                          >to. I've not actually read the whole Tannisho yet except for Dr.Bloom's
                          >"Resource for Modern Living". I'm also really interested in Dr.Uno's next
                          >book (due out in a couple of months) because the last one was so good -- the
                          >only book I ever read 3 times.
                          >
                          >but ya, I'm hangin' in there all right -- bobbing up and down somewhere in
                          >the ocean of samsara with a grin starting to form ...
                          >
                          >all the best,
                          >

                          A,
                          The complete text of Tannisho is at this website (Dr. Unno's translation):

                          http://www.livingdharma.org/Tannisho/TannishoContents.html

                          It is a short work, but the wisdom on those few pages is very
                          concentrated. If I was on a desert island and could have only one
                          book, this is the one I'd choose.
                          in gassho,
                          Rick
                          (Shaku Egen)
                        • Anon
                          ... Thanks for the link but I dislike reading online and I don t think they offer a printable download of the whole thing. The collected works of Shinran
                          Message 12 of 27 , May 20 3:14 PM
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                            > The complete text of Tannisho is at this website (Dr. Unno's translation):
                            >
                            > http://www.livingdharma.org/Tannisho/TannishoContents.html
                            >
                            > It is a short work, but the wisdom on those few pages is very
                            > concentrated. If I was on a desert island and could have only one
                            > book, this is the one I'd choose.
                            > in gassho,
                            > Rick
                            > (Shaku Egen)
                            >


                            Thanks for the link but I dislike reading online and I don't think they offer
                            a printable download of the whole thing. The collected works of Shinran
                            online has the same problem I think. I'll wait for my hardcopy version...

                            -A.

                            btw, thanks for the essay on your site (even though it too is multi-part with
                            no complete printable version for download that I could see) written by the
                            Ryukoku university guy. it was as good as anything I've read so far. the
                            part on "lateral transcendence" prompted the following...

                            being embraced by Amida
                            I am finally free (not enlightened)
                            to be as I am, "warts and all" !
                          • Richard St. Clair
                            ... Dear Anon, You can order a printed copy of the Taitetsu Unno translation of TANNISHO. It is available on Amazon.com, but you d be better off (takes much
                            Message 13 of 27 , May 21 11:01 AM
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                              > > The complete text of Tannisho is at this website (Dr. Unno's translation):
                              >>
                              >> http://www.livingdharma.org/Tannisho/TannishoContents.html
                              >>
                              >> It is a short work, but the wisdom on those few pages is very
                              >> concentrated. If I was on a desert island and could have only one
                              >> book, this is the one I'd choose.
                              >> in gassho,
                              >> Rick
                              >> (Shaku Egen)
                              >>
                              >
                              >
                              >Thanks for the link but I dislike reading online and I don't think they offer
                              >a printable download of the whole thing. The collected works of Shinran
                              >online has the same problem I think. I'll wait for my hardcopy version...
                              >
                              >-A.
                              Dear Anon,
                              You can order a printed copy of the Taitetsu Unno translation of
                              TANNISHO. It is available on Amazon.com, but you'd be better off
                              (takes much less time) ordering it through the Honpa Hongwanji
                              Mission of Hawai'i bookstore, telephone 808-522-9200. Remember,
                              Hawai'i is on standard time, one our earlier than zones observing
                              daylight time. Make sure you specify the Unno translation, there may
                              be one or two others. I think his is the best. It goes by the full
                              title, TANNISHO: A SHIN BUDDHIST CLASSIC. Good luck! :)
                              in gassho,
                              Rick S.
                              (Shaku Egen)
                            • Anon
                              ... I just realized Tannisho is probably *not* going to be included in the Complete Works of Shinran (which I d hoped) because the author is actually a
                              Message 14 of 27 , May 21 4:31 PM
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                                On Tuesday 21 May 2002 11:01, you wrote:
                                >I think his is the best. It goes by the full
                                > title, TANNISHO: A SHIN BUDDHIST CLASSIC. Good luck! :)
                                >

                                I just realized Tannisho is probably *not* going to be included in the
                                Complete Works of Shinran (which I'd hoped) because the author is actually a
                                disciple recollecting the words of Shinran, right?

                                I read something today by Kiyozawa Manshi and thought it was real "two
                                fisted" stuff ! WoW! I loved it but a subsequent internet search didn't
                                turn up much for me. Can anyone recommend English translations and where I
                                can get them?

                                much thanks,

                                -A
                              • Jerome Ducor
                                ... Tanni-sho is included: http://www.shinranworks.com/relatedworks/tannisho1.htm ... Otani University has published some of his articles:
                                Message 15 of 27 , May 21 11:37 PM
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                                  --- Anon <now@...> wrote:
                                  > I just realized Tannisho is probably *not* going to
                                  > be included in the
                                  > Complete Works of Shinran (which I'd hoped) because
                                  > the author is actually a
                                  > disciple recollecting the words of Shinran, right?

                                  Tanni-sho is included:
                                  http://www.shinranworks.com/relatedworks/tannisho1.htm

                                  > I read something today by Kiyozawa Manshi and
                                  > thought it was real "two
                                  > fisted" stuff ! WoW! I loved it but a subsequent
                                  > internet search didn't
                                  > turn up much for me. Can anyone recommend English
                                  > translations and where I
                                  > can get them?

                                  Otani University has published some of his articles:
                                  http://www.pitaka.ch/shinbib.htm#2001

                                  cheers
                                  Jerome Ducor

                                  =====
                                  Jerome Ducor
                                  http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/ethg/ducor/

                                  __________________________________________________
                                  Do You Yahoo!?
                                  Everything you'll ever need on one web page
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                                • Clifton Ong
                                  Hi Anon, the Tannisho IS inside the Collected Works of Shinran under the heading - A Lament on Divergences. Gassho, Clifton ... ===== Gassho, Clifton Ong
                                  Message 16 of 27 , May 22 1:37 AM
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                                    Hi Anon,
                                    the Tannisho IS inside the Collected Works of Shinran
                                    under the heading - A Lament on Divergences.
                                    Gassho,
                                    Clifton

                                    --- Anon <now@...> wrote:
                                    > On Tuesday 21 May 2002 11:01, you wrote:
                                    > >I think his is the best. It goes by the full
                                    > > title, TANNISHO: A SHIN BUDDHIST CLASSIC. Good
                                    > luck! :)
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > I just realized Tannisho is probably *not* going to
                                    > be included in the
                                    > Complete Works of Shinran (which I'd hoped) because
                                    > the author is actually a
                                    > disciple recollecting the words of Shinran, right?
                                    >
                                    > I read something today by Kiyozawa Manshi and
                                    > thought it was real "two
                                    > fisted" stuff ! WoW! I loved it but a subsequent
                                    > internet search didn't
                                    > turn up much for me. Can anyone recommend English
                                    > translations and where I
                                    > can get them?
                                    >
                                    > much thanks,
                                    >
                                    > -A
                                    >
                                    >


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

                                    Email: sanath_sg@...

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

                                    __________________________________________________
                                    Do You Yahoo!?
                                    LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience
                                    http://launch.yahoo.com
                                  • -A
                                    Dear Jerome, ... thanks for this... I m glad I checked your site -- my goodness! there is a LOT of stuff there! cheers indeed, -A.
                                    Message 17 of 27 , May 22 4:57 PM
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                                      Dear Jerome,

                                      >
                                      > Otani University has published some of his articles:
                                      > http://www.pitaka.ch/shinbib.htm#2001
                                      >

                                      thanks for this... I'm glad I checked your site -- my goodness! there is a
                                      LOT of stuff there!

                                      cheers indeed,

                                      -A.
                                    • -A
                                      I read somewhere the Shin Buddhist is to experience shinjin and then help explain it or help lead others to experience it too, so please dear friends, share
                                      Message 18 of 27 , May 22 5:01 PM
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                                        I read somewhere the Shin Buddhist is to experience shinjin and then help
                                        explain it or help lead others to experience it too, so please dear friends,
                                        share whatever you can with me about shinjin from your own experience and
                                        understanding in your own words.

                                        -A.
                                      • Richard St. Clair
                                        ... Dear Anon, I m not sure what to tell you. I ll just relate my views on this. The whole thing to avoid is calculation. There is no way to calculate or
                                        Message 19 of 27 , May 24 9:28 AM
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                                          >I read somewhere the Shin Buddhist is to experience shinjin and then help
                                          >explain it or help lead others to experience it too, so please dear friends,
                                          >share whatever you can with me about shinjin from your own experience and
                                          >understanding in your own words.
                                          >
                                          >-A.

                                          Dear Anon,
                                          I'm not sure what to tell you. I'll just relate my views on this.

                                          The whole thing to avoid is calculation. There is no way to calculate
                                          or manipulate our way into shinjin. It comes about naturally when we
                                          allow our ego's to shut up and simply accept the Name of Amida as our
                                          refuge. Our egos constantly try to disrupt this process, so we need
                                          to be vigilant and make sure we are not slipping into self-power,
                                          whether actual self-power practices or self-power states of mind.
                                          Even the vigilance can be self-power, so let it be natural and
                                          unforced.

                                          The biggest challenge of Shin is to let all our delusions of ego and
                                          self-power to dissolve, to really let go and let the ocean of the
                                          Primal Vow carry us as we float on its surface. People who thrash
                                          about in the ocean will drown. It is easy to float on the ocean -
                                          just relax and let it happen. The water - and the Vow - will buoy us
                                          up.

                                          Shinran said it is easy to go to the Pure Land but few actually go
                                          there. Even if we are stubborn and refuse to let go of self power
                                          completely, we will still be reborn in the "border land" for those
                                          who doubt, after which we will go to the Pure Land, according to the
                                          sutras. The border land is a half-way house for people of doubt on
                                          the way to shinjin. Even in that half-way house there is complete
                                          hope for us to be born in the Pure Land. Our enlightenment is assured
                                          even if our trust in Amida is tainted by self power. It just may take
                                          us a little longer and be a little more unpleasant. :)
                                          Hope this means something and hope it may help,
                                          in gassho,
                                          Richard
                                          (Shaku Egen)
                                        • -A
                                          Dear Richard, ... I removed Anon from the mail header and prefer my initial -A. thanks. ... yes, this means something and helps . As I mentioned before,
                                          Message 20 of 27 , May 24 4:35 PM
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                                            Dear Richard,

                                            > Dear Anon,
                                            > I'm not sure what to tell you. I'll just relate my views on this.
                                            >

                                            I removed "Anon" from the mail header and prefer my initial -A. thanks.

                                            > The whole thing to avoid is calculation. There is no way to calculate
                                            > or manipulate our way into shinjin.
                                            >

                                            yes, this "means something" and "helps". As I mentioned before, I am greatly
                                            relieved to know I can't possibly do it wrong because I can't do it all. If
                                            there were a way for me to begin then I would fail but as there is no way
                                            (for me) I am truly grateful. Namo Amida Butsu!


                                            > The biggest challenge of Shin is to let all our delusions of ego and
                                            > self-power to dissolve, to really let go and let the ocean of the
                                            > Primal Vow carry us as we float on its surface. People who thrash
                                            > about in the ocean will drown. It is easy to float on the ocean -
                                            > just relax and let it happen. The water - and the Vow - will buoy us
                                            > up.
                                            >

                                            I was reading today that "our life" is actually Amida's life and I liked that
                                            a lot because it makes me unafraid of drowning. Sink, swim, whatever... I'm
                                            never beyond the working of Great Compassion because NO ONE is beyond it.
                                            I read about Amida's "enlightenment of the union of the rescuer and the
                                            rescued" and concluded true entrusting already exists in the very depths of
                                            us all just waiting to be discovered. Do you think so too?

                                            I do know when pushed beyond ourselves we spontaneously cry out and that cry
                                            IS answered. Unless there is more than one "Great Compassion" then I
                                            already know the heart-mind of Amida more certainly than I know anything. As
                                            the Anjin Ketsujo Sho says, "with pity Amida fixes his attention on us so
                                            that his mind-and-heart penetrates as deep as the marrow of our bones and
                                            stays there. It is like a piece of charcoal that has caught fire. We cannot
                                            pluck the fire from the burning charcoal however much we try. The embracing
                                            light of his mind-and-heart shines on us right through to the core of our
                                            flesh and bones".

                                            When this kind of thing happens it is impossible to miss or doubt -
                                            like a microcircuit getting hit by lightning - there's an intimate and
                                            familiar relation but out of all proportion. But then again, maybe there is
                                            more than one "Great Compassion" ? :-) Whatever it was occured about five
                                            years ago and I didn't say "Namuamidabutsu" so could it really be shinjin?
                                            I'm going to tell myself it is because it anchors my faith. Of course this
                                            could be a big delusion but I don't care anymore. If THAT came to kill me
                                            I'd gladly die and if Amida is something better, then so much the better.
                                            Namu Amida Butsu!

                                            > Shinran said it is easy to go to the Pure Land but few actually go
                                            > there. Even if we are stubborn and refuse to let go of self power
                                            > completely, we will still be reborn in the "border land" for those
                                            > who doubt, after which we will go to the Pure Land, according to the
                                            > sutras. The border land is a half-way house for people of doubt on
                                            > the way to shinjin. Even in that half-way house there is complete
                                            > hope for us to be born in the Pure Land. Our enlightenment is assured
                                            > even if our trust in Amida is tainted by self power. It just may take
                                            > us a little longer and be a little more unpleasant. :)
                                            > Hope this means something and hope it may help,
                                            >

                                            I'm happy to settle for second rate if that's all I deserve but my current
                                            delusion is there is no "self power" if that means independently existing.
                                            Are not ALL our powers literally DERIVED from mysterious source(s) beyond our
                                            comprehension or control? What, for example, is the source of thought?
                                            Fluctuations of quantum fields perhaps? But each quantum field, by
                                            definition, is actually determined by every other quantum field so you have
                                            ONE infinitely interpenetrating mystery that is ALIVE and apart from this we
                                            have no life at all, not for one instant.

                                            Namo Amida Butsu !

                                            -A.
                                          • -A
                                            oh, I forgot to add previously about meditating one night during the sleep state (yes, if you apply yourself dilligently you CAN remain aware during the sleep
                                            Message 21 of 27 , May 25 10:22 AM
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                                              oh, I forgot to add previously about meditating one night during the sleep
                                              state (yes, if you apply yourself dilligently you CAN remain aware during the
                                              sleep state - it's a common occurence among Theravadan monks during
                                              meditation retreats) ...

                                              well, I was meditating during the sleep state one night paying attention to
                                              what seemed to be the junction between sleep, dream and waking states of
                                              consciousness when a light seemingly brighter than the sun flashed for a
                                              moment. It was not at all painful, quite the opposite really, and seemed
                                              thick almost like liquid. I hesitate to call it white because it was a
                                              superabundance of all colours - very beautiful, giving tremendous physical
                                              energy and well being.

                                              So, unless there is more than one unbounded light out there in "samadhi land"
                                              I may have actually SEEN Amida already too!

                                              I was relating some of this to a Shin reverend recently and they didn't
                                              bother replying which I suppose says something in itself -- but before
                                              anyone gets embarassed further I'll offer the following...

                                              Whether we are advanced practitioners having already experiened direct
                                              insight into the nature of reality or simple minded souls (or even raving
                                              lunatics like myself!) we are ALL equally embraced by Amida's compassion and
                                              wisdom. In that context it makes no difference what we experience provided
                                              we truly entrust ourselves to the truth which is Amida (or is symbolized by
                                              Amida). In my opinion, the presumption of any person's enlightenment is
                                              almost always a delusion but one which can be perfectly remedied by relying
                                              on the absolute enlightenment of Amida. Such reliance is perfectly
                                              appropriate for the greatest of Bodhisatvas and the very simplest of souls.
                                              I'm in there somewhere with the rest of you -- and so it is.

                                              Namu Amida Butsu!

                                              -A.
                                            • Richard St. Clair
                                              ... Now that you mention it, yes, I do think so, A. Shinjin would be awakening to this true entrusting. The point is, I think, that Amida s constant activity
                                              Message 22 of 27 , May 28 2:42 PM
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                                                >
                                                >I was reading today that "our life" is actually Amida's life and I liked that
                                                >a lot because it makes me unafraid of drowning. Sink, swim, whatever... I'm
                                                >never beyond the working of Great Compassion because NO ONE is beyond it.
                                                >I read about Amida's "enlightenment of the union of the rescuer and the
                                                >rescued" and concluded true entrusting already exists in the very depths of
                                                >us all just waiting to be discovered. Do you think so too?

                                                Now that you mention it, yes, I do think so, A. Shinjin would be
                                                awakening to this true entrusting. The point is, I think, that
                                                Amida's constant activity to save all suffering beings is constantly
                                                projected 24/7, we all - even Nichiren Buddhists who detest the
                                                nembutsu! - we all are enfolded in Amida's compassion. The difference
                                                is, do we awaken to and embrace this enfoldment? When we do, there is
                                                shinjin. For people immersed in self-power their attachment to it
                                                obstructs Amidsa's vow-power.

                                                >maybe there is
                                                >more than one "Great Compassion" ? :-) Whatever it was occured about five
                                                >years ago and I didn't say "Namuamidabutsu" so could it really be shinjin?

                                                I don't know. I'm not a "shinjin expert", I just have some ideas about it. :)

                                                >I'm going to tell myself it is because it anchors my faith. Of course this
                                                >could be a big delusion but I don't care anymore. If THAT came to kill me
                                                >I'd gladly die and if Amida is something better, then so much the better.
                                                >Namu Amida Butsu!

                                                A healthy attitude, I'd say. :)

                                                >
                                                >> Shinran said it is easy to go to the Pure Land but few actually go
                                                >> there. Even if we are stubborn and refuse to let go of self power
                                                >> completely, we will still be reborn in the "border land" for those
                                                >> who doubt, after which we will go to the Pure Land, according to the
                                                >> sutras. The border land is a half-way house for people of doubt on
                                                >> the way to shinjin. Even in that half-way house there is complete
                                                >> hope for us to be born in the Pure Land. Our enlightenment is assured
                                                >> even if our trust in Amida is tainted by self power. It just may take
                                                >> us a little longer and be a little more unpleasant. :)
                                                >> Hope this means something and hope it may help,
                                                >>
                                                >
                                                >I'm happy to settle for second rate if that's all I deserve but my current
                                                >delusion is there is no "self power" if that means independently existing.
                                                >Are not ALL our powers literally DERIVED from mysterious source(s)
                                                >beyond our comprehension or control? What, for example, is the
                                                >source of thought?
                                                >Fluctuations of quantum fields perhaps? But each quantum field, by
                                                >definition, is actually determined by every other quantum field so you have
                                                >ONE infinitely interpenetrating mystery that is ALIVE and apart from this we
                                                >have no life at all, not for one instant.
                                                >
                                                >Namo Amida Butsu !
                                                >
                                                >-A.

                                                I like your way of putting things. Keep talking!
                                                in gassho,
                                                Richard
                                                (Shaku Egen)
                                              • Richard St. Clair
                                                ... A, What did the light say to you? Did you get any impressions? I think this is worth exploring. ... Agreed most enthusiastically! ... Well said. Please
                                                Message 23 of 27 , May 28 2:46 PM
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                                                  >oh, I forgot to add previously about meditating one night during the sleep
                                                  >state (yes, if you apply yourself dilligently you CAN remain aware during the
                                                  >sleep state - it's a common occurence among Theravadan monks during
                                                  >meditation retreats) ...
                                                  >
                                                  >well, I was meditating during the sleep state one night paying attention to
                                                  >what seemed to be the junction between sleep, dream and waking states of
                                                  >consciousness when a light seemingly brighter than the sun flashed for a
                                                  >moment. It was not at all painful, quite the opposite really, and seemed
                                                  >thick almost like liquid. I hesitate to call it white because it was a
                                                  >superabundance of all colours - very beautiful, giving tremendous physical
                                                  >energy and well being.
                                                  >
                                                  >So, unless there is more than one unbounded light out there in "samadhi land"
                                                  >I may have actually SEEN Amida already too!
                                                  >
                                                  >I was relating some of this to a Shin reverend recently and they didn't
                                                  >bother replying which I suppose says something in itself -- but before
                                                  >anyone gets embarassed further I'll offer the following...

                                                  A,
                                                  What did the light say to you? Did you get any impressions? I think
                                                  this is worth exploring.

                                                  >
                                                  >Whether we are advanced practitioners having already experiened direct
                                                  >insight into the nature of reality or simple minded souls (or even raving
                                                  >lunatics like myself!) we are ALL equally embraced by Amida's compassion and
                                                  >wisdom. In that context it makes no difference what we experience provided
                                                  >we truly entrust ourselves to the truth which is Amida (or is symbolized by
                                                  >Amida).

                                                  Agreed most enthusiastically!

                                                  > In my opinion, the presumption of any person's enlightenment is
                                                  >almost always a delusion but one which can be perfectly remedied by relying
                                                  >on the absolute enlightenment of Amida. Such reliance is perfectly
                                                  >appropriate for the greatest of Bodhisatvas and the very simplest of souls.
                                                  >I'm in there somewhere with the rest of you -- and so it is.
                                                  >
                                                  >Namu Amida Butsu!

                                                  Well said. Please keep sharing!
                                                  in gassho,
                                                  Richard
                                                  (Shaku Egen)
                                                • Shawn Strout <sstroutdc@yahoo.com>
                                                  Hi There, Here s a statement that seems to hold some of the sentiment that I ve heard from some of the messages on the post: I m happy to settle for second
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Feb 6, 2003
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                                                    Hi There,

                                                    Here's a statement that seems to hold some of the sentiment that I've
                                                    heard from some of the messages on the post:

                                                    "I'm happy to settle for second rate if that's all I deserve but my
                                                    current
                                                    delusion is there is no "self power" if that means independently
                                                    existing."

                                                    This concerns me. It is kind of a "woe is me" humility. I remember
                                                    it quite well in evangelical Christianity. "I'm such a lowly sinner
                                                    saved by grace."

                                                    This seems to me to extend the delusion that there is some kind
                                                    of "I" who can be either lowly or exalted, humble or proud, evil or
                                                    good. If Amida Buddha fully encompasses us with his compassion, then
                                                    where is this "I" that is so undeserving?

                                                    Gassho,
                                                    Shawn
                                                  • Richard St. Clair
                                                    ... Excellent point, Shawn. Grace is another of those Christian terms that seems to creep into English language Shin literature. In Christianity it suggests
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Feb 6, 2003
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                                                      >Hi There,
                                                      >
                                                      >Here's a statement that seems to hold some of the sentiment that I've
                                                      >heard from some of the messages on the post:
                                                      >
                                                      >"I'm happy to settle for second rate if that's all I deserve but my
                                                      >current
                                                      >delusion is there is no "self power" if that means independently
                                                      >existing."
                                                      >
                                                      >This concerns me. It is kind of a "woe is me" humility. I remember
                                                      >it quite well in evangelical Christianity. "I'm such a lowly sinner
                                                      >saved by grace."
                                                      >
                                                      >This seems to me to extend the delusion that there is some kind
                                                      >of "I" who can be either lowly or exalted, humble or proud, evil or
                                                      >good. If Amida Buddha fully encompasses us with his compassion, then
                                                      >where is this "I" that is so undeserving?
                                                      >
                                                      >Gassho,
                                                      >Shawn

                                                      Excellent point, Shawn. "Grace" is another of those Christian terms
                                                      that seems to creep into English language Shin literature. In
                                                      Christianity it suggests that God saves according to his own design
                                                      and not through the efforts of the "sinner." Buddhism, including
                                                      Shin, does not subscribe to a judging deity concept. I looked at the
                                                      statement you discussed. I don't find Shin Buddhists saying "I'm
                                                      happy to settle for second rate if that's all I deserve." Shinjin, or
                                                      the mind of endowed trust by Amida, has nothing to do with whether we
                                                      deserve it or not. The object of Amida's compassion, in fact, is
                                                      directed at those who look the least deserving, if it had anything to
                                                      do with deserving. Amida does not enter the hearts of people who
                                                      follow the traditional self-power Dharma paths like Zen, Tibetan and
                                                      Nichiren, since such people are convinced that they can attain
                                                      enlightenment through their own design and effort. Thus they block
                                                      Amida's light. In a sense, Shin - rather, Amida - is for those who
                                                      'have nothing to lose.' Our founder, Shinran, saw himself in just
                                                      this light. He said, in the TANNISHO, "Even though I say the Nembutsu
                                                      and fall into hell, it is my only home", meaning that he trusted the
                                                      Nembutsu come hell or high water. Naturally, this is an expression of
                                                      profoundest trust in Amida Buddha.
                                                      in gassho,
                                                      Richard
                                                    • BomBu
                                                      On Thu, 06 Feb 2003 21:52:13 -0000 ... ah yes, delusions extend everywhere it seems. alas... :-) welcome Shawn, I am the infamous -A , -Anon , and now -Bombu
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Feb 6, 2003
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                                                        On Thu, 06 Feb 2003 21:52:13 -0000
                                                        "Shawn Strout <sstroutdc@...>" <sstroutdc@...> wrote:

                                                        >
                                                        > This seems to me to extend the delusion that there is some kind
                                                        > of "I" who can be either lowly or exalted, humble or proud, evil or
                                                        > good. If Amida Buddha fully encompasses us with his compassion, then
                                                        > where is this "I" that is so undeserving?
                                                        >

                                                        ah yes, delusions extend everywhere it seems. alas... :-)

                                                        welcome Shawn, I am the infamous -A , -Anon , and now -Bombu

                                                        at your service
                                                      • Shawn Strout <sstroutdc@yahoo.com>
                                                        Hi Richard, First, thank you for your replies. I appreciate the dialogue! You said, The object of Amida s compassion, in fact, is directed at those who look
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Feb 7, 2003
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                                                          Hi Richard,

                                                          First, thank you for your replies. I appreciate the dialogue!

                                                          You said,

                                                          "The object of Amida's compassion, in fact, is
                                                          directed at those who look the least deserving, if it had anything to
                                                          do with deserving. Amida does not enter the hearts of people who
                                                          follow the traditional self-power Dharma paths like Zen, Tibetan and
                                                          Nichiren, since such people are convinced that they can attain
                                                          enlightenment through their own design and effort. Thus they block
                                                          Amida's light. In a sense, Shin - rather, Amida - is for those who
                                                          'have nothing to lose.'"

                                                          This seems to indicate an intelligent agency that is somehow separate
                                                          from the rest of phenemona and makes distinctions between who "he"
                                                          will enter and who "he" will not enter. Is this truly Shin
                                                          teachings? I thought Amida's light was available to all regardless
                                                          of how they practice. If they choose not to see that light and
                                                          reflect upon the light of their own practices instead, then that is
                                                          different than saying the light is not available to them IMO.

                                                          Also, I would not so quickly presume that Zen, Tibetan and Nichiren
                                                          practices are about "self-power". I really find this concept to be
                                                          bewildering as one of the core teachings of Buddhism is non-self.
                                                          Any school that truly advocated such a thing as "self-power" would
                                                          not be a Buddhist school. Zen is very much about seeing through this
                                                          delusion of "self". Nichiren Buddhism is very much about devotion to
                                                          the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha of the Lotus Sutra. Again, there is
                                                          no "self" doing the power. I am less familiar with the Tibetan
                                                          traditions, but I strongly suspect that they also fall back on this
                                                          core teaching.

                                                          The Japanese schools are the only schools that emphasize this self
                                                          vs. other power duality. The Korean and Chinese schools have no
                                                          problem mixing Zen and Pure Land practices, for example. Of course,
                                                          Nichiren and Tibetan practices are particular to their countries of
                                                          origin. Its really quite fascinating to explore! :)

                                                          Gassho,
                                                          Shawn
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