Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Seiho
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Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Seiho » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:29 pm

Hi all :reading:

Does anybody know where I can download (as e-book?) a version of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers. Adapted from the book by Abbot Yusei Arai

Many thanks! :applause:

Seiho

matthewmartin
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:08 pm

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby matthewmartin » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:26 pm

As far as I known this has to be ordered from the Shingon International Institute directly (Amazon prices are wonky because there are so few copies in circulation), ref: http://www.shingon.org/sbii/books/ShingonHBF.html I was tempted to buy a stack and become a reseller.

There are a few lay service guides (essentially daily gongyo guides):
e.g.
http://shingonjitemple.org/wp-content/u ... der-11.pdf

If I remember correctly, there are only a few rites that you can do without empowerment (meditation on the syllable "a", etc), but if you look, you can track down PDFs describing the gist of the rest of the Shingon rituals-- most of which are written by academics. Sharf's "Thinking Through Shingon Ritual" -- http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/ ... /8931/2824 -- it is fascinating but doesn't provide enough detail to "break the rules" and do rituals own your own.

If anyone else finds a PDF, please post. My searching of google didn't turn up anything, I suspect this particular book has never been converted to PDF or other ebook format.

Seiho
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Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Seiho » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:22 pm

Hi Matthewmartin

Thank you for your reply.
I contacted (via email) the Shingon International Institute 5 months or so ago, but they never replied. I take it they still exist?

We practice Shingon for a while now and run a Dharma Centre. Our master in Japan recommended the book to show to people who are becoming interested in Shingon. Like you, it might be worthwhile to have a couple of them to share with people.

Thank you for that third link: I hadn't seen that document! Very useful indeed!

Namaste

Seiho

DrLang
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Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby DrLang » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:07 am

Seiho wrote:I contacted (via email) the Shingon International Institute 5 months or so ago, but they never replied. I take it they still exist?


They do still exist, but from my own experience and that of others, they are notoriously difficult to get ahold of. You might try calling them. Their phone number can be found here as the Tenichi-ji Temple.
http://www.koyasan.org/KoyasanNA/northamerica.html

Gary
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:09 pm

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Gary » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:53 pm

Hello All,

You can find the book here:

http://www.fieldsbooks.com/cgi-bin/fiel ... 58111.html

With Metta,

Gary

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WuMing
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Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby WuMing » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Seiho wrote:Hi all :reading:

Does anybody know where I can download (as e-book?) a version of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers. Adapted from the book by Abbot Yusei Arai

Many thanks! :applause:

Seiho


I would not rely on this book. It will give you only a very, very general overview about Shingon and I heard that the translation is not that good. There are far better books on Shingon out there than that one.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi

Acala
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:39 pm

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Acala » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:54 pm

WuMing wrote:
Seiho wrote:Hi all :reading:

Does anybody know where I can download (as e-book?) a version of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers. Adapted from the book by Abbot Yusei Arai

Many thanks! :applause:

Seiho


I would not rely on this book. It will give you only a very, very general overview about Shingon and I heard that the translation is not that good. There are far better books on Shingon out there than that one.


The book has little in terms of translations (so not sure why one would criticize that particular aspect...) it mainly details deities, a bit of history, some terminology and practices.

Its actually quite a useful book for the beginner, or a handy little reference if you need something in English.

Adrian
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:46 am

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Adrian » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:54 am

Looking for this book is what brought me to Dharma Wheel! I can't find an e-version anywhere, and the cheapest copies I can locate are on Amazon for about $80. Does anyone know if the Shingon International Institute still exists? They offer the book through their website, but the e-mail I sent them bounced back.

jake
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:13 pm

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby jake » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:05 pm

Adrian wrote:Looking for this book is what brought me to Dharma Wheel! I can't find an e-version anywhere, and the cheapest copies I can locate are on Amazon for about $80. Does anyone know if the Shingon International Institute still exists? They offer the book through their website, but the e-mail I sent them bounced back.


Hi Adrian,

Perhaps if you let us know what you're looking for in a book we can find something to recommend? You mention in another post that you've done a lot of reading. What have you already read about Shingon?

My best
Jake

PS, not sure if Shingon International is still active or not. If you're a FB user, there is a Shingon group there as well and perhaps some local practitioners for you.
“The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone."

Adrian
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Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Adrian » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:37 pm

Hi, Jake. I'm fortunate to have a Shingon temple here in Seattle that I've been attending. This particular book seems to be a good reference for beginners, covering some of the terminology and practices. The priest at the Seattle temple has been very friendly and helpful, as have a few other people there -- but I'd love to have something I can refer to during the week as I learn. As of now, I'm looking for an overview. There's a book on Kukai (Kobo Daishi) on Amazon that I'll probably look into next, when I'm ready to start digging a little deeper. As of now, I've only found a few websites that cover the basics. Information on Shingon certainly isn't as abundant as it is for other sects, but that's OK ... I like a challenge.

Shingon.org offers an outline for a lay practitioner's daily service, which is helpful. I'd like to establish a daily practice at home, and that's part of what I'm looking into as well.

jake
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:13 pm

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby jake » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:01 pm

Adrian wrote:Hi, Jake. I'm fortunate to have a Shingon temple here in Seattle that I've been attending. This particular book seems to be a good reference for beginners, covering some of the terminology and practices. The priest at the Seattle temple has been very friendly and helpful, as have a few other people there -- but I'd love to have something I can refer to during the week as I learn. As of now, I'm looking for an overview. There's a book on Kukai (Kobo Daishi) on Amazon that I'll probably look into next, when I'm ready to start digging a little deeper. As of now, I've only found a few websites that cover the basics. Information on Shingon certainly isn't as abundant as it is for other sects, but that's OK ... I like a challenge.

Shingon.org offers an outline for a lay practitioner's daily service, which is helpful. I'd like to establish a daily practice at home, and that's part of what I'm looking into as well.


Hi Adrian,

I'm envious of the good fortune you have to be near a Shingon temple. I can also appreciate your situation, I know of few quality introductory books like you mention. I struggled with this for some time but have recently come to the conclusion that I needed to shift my approach. I've no idea what your situation is like but can say that as a kid I used to take just about anything I could get my hands on apart. The idea that if I could only see what was inside I'd understand the full mechanism. I tried this approach with Shingon for a while. Thinking that if I could understand what all the Mudra were or with what colors or Bija Deities are linked that I'd understand Shingon. It didn't work for me. I found instead that I needed to go farther upstream and read the source teachings. Then reading Kukai's writings etc. Eventually you start to understand some components of Shingon praxis. My earlier approach didnt really provide me any greater understanding of Buddhadharma by simply knowing which mudra was used during what part of a service. I recognise that isn't really what you're asking about though, so rambling aside, there are a few books I really value, they are:

The first 100 pages of "Kukai: Major Works" when paired with Kukai on the Philosophy of Language (I import these from Japan and sell them in the US on Amazon, if you're interested PM me and I can save us both some money).
The Weaving of Mantra
Then there are a number of good translations and articles out there if you google scholar it, but these tend to be more academic.
You can find some translations of key sutra available on BDK America's website.
Lastly, I was once recommended Taiko Yamasaki's Shingon Japanese Esoteric Buddhism which I think might be alright but like many of the books out there may have some errors so be sure to ask your priest. Still, given the comments earlier in this thread, I think it is greatly superior to the book you were looking for.

Perhaps your Priest can recommend something as well? I'd be keen to know what they recommend!

Jake
“The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone."

Adrian
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:46 am

Re: Shingon Esoteric Buddhism: A Handbook for Followers

Postby Adrian » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:21 am

Thanks, Jake. I feel very blessed to live in an area with such a rich variety of Buddhist options to pick from. I've met lovely people at the Nichiren, Jodo Shinshu, and Shingon temples, but I'm feeling really drawn to the beauty and complexity of the Shingon service. Master Taijo, I think, will be a good resource, once he finds the time to talk to me. He was running around frantically today to get everything set for the Hoshi Matsuri service, but when he saw me, he stopped dead in his tracks, shook my hand, and told me he'd make time to talk to me as soon as he could. "This is one-monk temple. Very busy," he said. :) Other people have been very welcoming, too -- which has been a relief, as I've heard about cultural tensions at some of the other area temples between Japanese-Americans and Caucasians (like me) who are interested in attending their temples.

At this point, I'm not so interested in the mudras and things like that, but, for example, what the priest is actually doing during much of the service, with his censers and incantations and so on -- and also what the various statues and mandalas symbolize. I don't expect to learn everything in one day -- I'm just curious to know more about what I'm watching, really. And I do want to set up some kind of a home service for during the week.

Thanks for the resources you mentioned. I may take you up on the Kukai offer. So far I've found a book on the Thirteen Buddhas, and another one on the kaji healing tradition. Both very fascinating, but I'm looking forward to learning more.


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