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what is Amida to you?

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  • now@axion.net
    I just read Naturalness: A Classic of Shin Buddhism by Kenryo Kanamatsu (which I enjoyed very much and highly recommend btw) in which he implies the story of
    Message 1 of 34 , May 6, 2002
      I just read "Naturalness: A Classic of Shin Buddhism" by
      Kenryo Kanamatsu (which I enjoyed very much and highly
      recommend btw) in which he implies the story of Amida in
      the 3 Pure Land Sutras is a myth or written in the "language
      of dream" or words to that effect. Are the sutras then a
      mere symbol of a reality we are unable to describe directly?
      What does that make Amida to you personally? I like the
      idea (my own speculation) the pure land symbolizes our
      already enlightened Buddha nature which we are
      temporarily unable to recognize because of erroneous
      beliefs to the contrary. It is these wrong beliefs which
      make up our "sinful" ego-centric delusions. In this view,
      relying on Amida is equal to relying on our own original but
      as yet unrealized Buddha nature. Is this anything at all like
      orthodox Jodo Shinshu interpretation?

      all the best,

      -A
    • Richard St. Clair
      Message 34 of 34 , Feb 6, 2003
        <<...Shin Buddhism. Initially it reminded me too much
        of my fundamentalist Christian background (I went to Bible school
        myself as someone else on this board). However, the truth of
        suchness is very, very powerful. There is great faith involved in
        the truth of suchness and allowing for what is to be just that...what
        is.

        Thank you again.

        Gassho,
        Shawn>>

        Shawn,
        I also reacted to the Christian flavor of some of the English terms
        used in Shin Buddhism, such as "faith," "salvation," but remember
        that the original Japanese terms really don't have an exact English
        equivalent. "Faith" in Shin is represented by the Japanese term
        "shinjin", which means "endowed trust", i.e. trust in Amida Buddha, a
        trust which is 'endowed' by Amida and not through our personal "self
        power." "Salvation" does not, of course, refer to a Christian style
        heaven/hell duality. It really means enlightenment, realization of
        "suchness" by letting our self-power calculation fall away from us
        and letting the Other Power of Amida bring us to that awakened state
        in the Pure Land, or nirvana. Thankfully English-speaking Shin
        Buddhists use the term "Pure Land", an exact rendering of the term
        "jodo", rather than "heaven"!!! Glad to see you posting here. :)
        be well,
        in gassho,
        Richard St. Clair
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