Lazy_eye wrote:Since, as I understand it, in Jodo Shinshu the nembutsu is seen more as an expression of gratitude, I might also ask: how does gratitude come about? Understand I am asking this question as someone who is neither very grateful nor devout by nature.
teebee wrote:Lazy_eye wrote: how does gratitude come about? Understand I am asking this question as someone who is neither very grateful nor devout by nature.
Umm, not too easy to answer that one.
As a Shin Buddhist since 1958 it is only
over the past 2-3 years that I have felt
immense gratitude to Amida Buddha.
Before that I was uneasy since Shin to
my western mind can seem very theist.
kirtu wrote:Terry -
Why did you remain a Shin Buddhist if you were uneasy? Were you raised in a Shin family or environment? If not, why did you convert? What has changed in the past few years that now inspires your gratitude? Answering these questions might help other Shin or other Pure Land Buddhists.Kirt
I don't think that uneasiness
is a good reason to change
ones beliefs. It is a reason to
challenge oneself though.
This came up in an earlier thread but it was a bit of a tangent so I would like to raise it again here.
Buddha name recitation, on the surface, sounds like the simplest of methods, except that it should be supported by 信心/shinjin. Otherwise, isn't it just a method for calming the mind, no different than counting breaths or even repeating some nonsense syllables? It's 信心 which makes the difference.
But how does one develop this? I'd be interested in hearing how both the Chinese and Japanese Pure Land schools approach this question.
Since, as I understand it, in Jodo Shinshu the nembutsu is seen more as an expression of gratitude, I might also ask: how does gratitude come about? I am asking this as someone who is neither very grateful nor devout by nature.
On a related note, what is the link between Other Power and sunyata? Could Amitabha be seen as a personification of sunyata -- or to ask it differently, would contemplation of Amitabha be a way to develop realization of sunyata? Again I would be interested in responses from across the traditions.
Lazy_eye wrote:... in Zen it is stressed that you cannot actually "make" yourself enlightened (c.f. the famous anecdote about Matsu and the ceramic tile). ...
When I carefully consider the matter, my birth in the Pure land is settled without doubt for the very reason that I do not rejoice about that which I should be bursting with joy. ... If our hearts were filled with joyful happiness and we desired to go swiftly to the Pure Land, we might be misled to think that perhaps we are free of blind passion." (Tannisho, IX.)
As for me, I simply accept and entrust myself to what my revered teacher told me, "Just say the nembutsu and be saved by Amida"; nothing else is involved. (Tannisho, II.)
I, for my own part, attach no significance to the condition, good or bad, of persons in their final moments. People in whom shinjin is determined do not doubt, and so abide among the truly settled. For this reason their end also - even for those ignorant and foolish and lacking in wisdom - is a happy one.
You have been explaining to people that one attains birth through the Tathagata's working; it is in no way otherwise. What I have been saying to all of you from many years past has not changed. Simply achieve your birth, firmly avoiding all scholarly debate. I recall hearing the late Master Honen say, "Persons of the Pure Land tradition attain birth in the Pure Land by becoming their foolish selves." Moreover, I remember him smile and say, as he watched humble people of no intellectual pretensions coming to visit him, "Without doubt their birth is settled." And I heard him say after a visit by a man brilliant in letters and debating, "I really wonder about his birth." To this day these things come to mind.
Each of you should attain your birth without being misled by people and without faltering in shinjin. However, the practicer in whom shinjin has not become settled will continue to drift, even without being misled by anyone, for he does not abide among the truly settled.
Lamp for the Latter Ages, VI.
They say that one should recitate hardly in order to achieve the one pointedness mind and also because you will be more able to do the recitation in the hour of your death.
I may be wrong, but from some passages that i read on the Amithaba sutras, i never found anything on shinjin or gratitude.
I mean, Buddha didnt say to not show gratitude, but i dont think that he says either to show gratitude if you want to enter in Amithaba realm.
In fact, what i am saying is: we have 2 different opposite views. For the learner this is not good. I am confused with that.
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