rory wrote:"Jokei's life of devotion an propagation was notable in the eclectic range of both sacred figures and practices he endorsed. It provides a stark contrast to the singual emphasis of his more well-known contemporary Hoenen, and even more Shinran and Nichiren who followed. Sakyamuni, Maitreya, Kannon, Jizo , and Kasuga among othere were all focal points of his devotion.....Included among his religious practices were mind-only contemplation (yuishiki sanmai[i][/i], recitation of various nenbutsu[i], and sacred dharani, worship of Buddha-relics (busshari[i], precept adherence (kairitsu[i][/i], fund-raising (kanjin[i]) campaigns, temple construction, and various ritual performances and lectures..........
Yes, and Kasuga
isn't even Buddhist...
As a guy with a martial arts background, I have to tell you, I've lived most of my life by the idea of:
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."-Bruce Lee
So this idea that a singular practice is somehow deficient, somehow a detriment goes so far against everything I know from my own personal experience, I have a very hard time taking this criticism seriously. I've seen & felt first hand what a guy can do with a single kick trained hour after hour, day after day, year after year, versus someone who tries to maintain a vast library of techniques. I think that's why so many of the battlefield samurai gravitated to Honen.
I have no reason to believe that mind training is all that different from physical training - it's all about intensity & consistency. When householder Mahanama asked the Buddha for a mind training in AN 11.12 (A v 328) of the Pali canon, the Buddha gave him the simple recollection of the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Devas. This isn't too different from Pure Land practice. Of course, this only applies to contemplation and concentration.
When it comes to ethics, as was said earlier, Honen made exceptions for certain followers, and in no way endorsed behavior against society's norms.
Furthermore, Honen actively encouraged following precepts, and so there are still Bodhisattva vows & precepts in the Jodo Shu tradition today.
Shinran was more about looking at our deep dark motivations, right in the face, unflinchingly, and realizing that we can not will them to change.
Masking these poison-ridden motivations by artificially following precepts would only make them hide until they came roaring out another day.
Only by accepting their defiled nature, and resting in the mercy of universal compassion & acceptance, can our hearts begin to change.
As far as merit making, both Honen and Shinran spread the Dharma to folks who didn't know it, there are very few more meritorious acts one can do.
Bodhidharma would've agreed as much - he apparently didn't think too much of such acts of merit making as building monuments & temples.
As far as lectures, Honen & Shinran both engaged in these, they left letters & writings to make sure that their followers/fellow practitioners could accurately convey the message.