Pure Land for the not very faith-inclined?

Re: Pure Land for the not very faith-inclined?

Postby PorkChop » Tue May 20, 2014 1:37 pm

I've been wondering if the less literal interpretations are merely skillful means to allow folks like me, who's hakarai (calculating) minds won't shut up with the nagging doubts long enough to allow us to find benefit in the Nembutsu teachings (EDIT: until we're ready to accept it at face value). I think I understand Honen when he says if he were to be reborn in this world again, that he hopes he would be reborn as a simple person who recites the Nembutsu wholeheartedly.
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Re: Pure Land for the not very faith-inclined?

Postby duckfiasco » Tue May 20, 2014 7:29 pm

PorkChop, it sounds to me like nembutsu is doing exactly the right thing by illuminating the calculating mind instead of letting it run unchecked. :cheers:

I remember reading that one of the revolutionary things about Shinran was he didn't stress specific practices anymore (like 30,000 recitations of the Name every day) but the attitude behind them, the faith. Literal or figurative to me seem like more kinds of practices.

As for being born in the Pure Land, my calculating mind (maybe like yours) remains a bit agnostic about what happens at death. But the extent of Other-Power and Amida's inexplicable grace provides a bright backdrop that lights up the temporariness and smallness of my own thoughts and opinions. In this way, the ideas we take for granted are pointed out for our benefit. Patience with the process has been very important for me. We experience this mind continually, so death is merely changing scenery. It seems to me birth in the Pure Land is something experienced in some form of "now", whether the one we know here, or the one we guess about at death. I try to remain very watchful for Other-Power everywhere for that reason.
Namu Amida Butsu
"When people of the Pure Land school chant Namu amida butsu, they are doing zazen with their mouths, and when we do zazen, we are performing Namu amida butsu with our whole body." - Kosho Uchiyama (Opening the Hand of Thought)
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