Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby Illuminaughty » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:30 pm

I've been giving the pure land way a go and like most people I often run into doubts and worry. This immediately leads me to question of if I'm really Pure Land bound or not when I die and make the big transition. Lately I've been taking comfort in some of the words of Ippen the 13th century Japanese Nenbutus Hiriji and founder** of the Ji Shu school/sect of Pure Land:

Everyone laments not awakening faith that their birth is decisively settled. This is completely absurd. No settledness is to be found in the hearts of foolish beings. Settledness is the Name. Thus, even though you lack faith that your birth is decisively settled, if you say the Name leaving all to your lips, you will be born. Birth, then, does not depend on the attitude of heart and mind; it is through the Name that you will be born. If you think you can attain birth by establishing, a firm faith in yourself, you will only return again to the working of your own mind. When you cast away your heart and mind and realize that it is wholly through the Name that you are born, the settled mind will immediately arise of itself.

Decisive settlement is the Name. Our bodies and our hearts and minds are unsettled. This body is the form of our drift in the flow of impermanence, hence from instant to instant i arises and perishes. This mind is false thought; hence it is unreal and delusional. Do not rely on body or mind.

The name is such that because we say it, we attain birth through the wondrous and inconcievialbe working of Other Power, regardless of whether we believe in it or not. You must not, with a mind of self-attachment and self-power, seek to deal with the Name in one way or another. The Land of Bliss is the field of no-self; hence, birth there cannot be attained through self-attachment. You must be born through the name....

Make no judgments about the nature of your heart and mind. Since the mind is delusional, both when it is good and when it is evil, it cannot be essential for emancipation. Namu-Amida-Butsu itself is born.


** Technically he said he didn't want to form a sect but one was made up in his name after died. :shrug:

If you want to read more of his saying check out the book "No Doubt, The Record of Ippen" by Dennis Hirota.
Illuminaughty
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby Astus » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:20 pm

Shinran's teaching from Tannisho, 9:

"Although I say the nembutsu, the feeling of dancing with joy is faint with me, and I have no thought of wanting to go to the Pure Land quickly. How should it be [for a person of the nembutsu]?
When I asked the master this, he answered, "I, too, have had this question, and the same thought occurs to you, Yuien-bo!
"When I reflect deeply on it, by the very fact that I do not rejoice at what should fill me with such joy that I dance in the air and dance on the earth, I realize all the more that my birth is completely settled. What suppresses the heart that that should rejoice and keeps one from rejoicing is the action of blind passions. Nevertheless, the Buddha, knowing this beforehand, called us 'foolish beings possessed of blind passions'; thus, becoming aware that the compassionate Vow of Other Power is indeed for the sake of ourselves, who are such beings, we find it all the more trustworthy.
"Further, having no thought of wanting to go to the Pure Land quickly, we think forlornly that we may die even when we become slightly ill; this is the action of blind passions. It is hard for us to abandon this old home of pain, where we have been transmigrating for innumerable kalpas down to the present, and we feel no longing for the Pure Land of peace, where we have yet to be born. Truly, how powerful our blind passions are! But though we feel reluctant to part from this world, at the moment our karmic bonds to this saha world run out and helplessly we die, we shall go to that land. Amida pities especially the person who has no thought of wanting to go to the Pure Land quickly. Reflecting on this, we feel the great Vow of great compassion to be all the more trustworthy and realize that our birth is settled.
"If we had the feeling of dancing with joy and wishing to go to the Pure Land quickly, we might wonder if we weren't free of blind passions."
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby Illuminaughty » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:53 am

That's some good news too. I purchased the complete works of Shinran not long ago and I'm about half way through right now. I picked it up cheap for only 30 dollars! Nice two volume hard backed box set.

I've also found inspiration in the writings of Rennyo. Sometimes when I read him it kind of worries me though. He just seems to really stress the importance of a specific experience where faith is decisively settled and he keeps telling people in his letters again and again that they need to obtain that. Only thing is there appears to be nothing you can do to obtain it! It's like he is telling people to do something that he later goes on to say is the result of Other Power when it does happen. He also seems to hold out little hope for people who don't have this specific experience of decisively settled faith.

I think I would really like the writings of Shoku too if I could ever come across an English translation. I'll keep my fingers crossed there and maybe one will show up some day.
Illuminaughty
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:02 am

The line from that quote from Ippen that says:
"This body is the form of our drift in the flow of impermanence,
hence from instant to instant I arises and perishes".


This is an extremely important point.
If you think you live maybe a long or short life,
and then you die, and then you go to Amida's realm,
you are still clinging to a self that is real.
in other words, you are still relying on self-power.

"Once our false thinking has completely ceased,
There is neither start nor finish, beginning nor end;
In the oneness of Buddha and sentient being
say Namu-Amida-Butsu
------------------------------------Ippen (Hymn of Amida's Vow)


This accumulation of flesh and thoughts,
takes birth and dies as the dream experience of "me"
every second, in this human realm, this Saha world.
as quickly as a fleeting thought.
That is why you do not have to wait until the day that you stop breathing.
The pure land comes to you right now.
If not so,
then how can Amida be infinite?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby Astus » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:24 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:If you think you live maybe a long or short life,
and then you die, and then you go to Amida's realm,
you are still clinging to a self that is real.
in other words, you are still relying on self-power.


If we had to be free from clinging to self in order to attain birth in the Pure Land then ordinary beings could never make it. And that is against the very purpose of the Pure Land path, to provide a safe route to buddhahood for everyone.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:03 am

Astus wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:If you think you live maybe a long or short life,
and then you die, and then you go to Amida's realm,
you are still clinging to a self that is real.
in other words, you are still relying on self-power.


If we had to be free from clinging to self in order to attain birth in the Pure Land then ordinary beings could never make it. And that is against the very purpose of the Pure Land path, to provide a safe route to buddhahood for everyone.


My point is that if you are waiting until you die,
you have already missed that opportunity countless times
even in this one lifetime.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby Astus » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:06 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:My point is that if you are waiting until you die,
you have already missed that opportunity countless times
even in this one lifetime.


From the perspective of the Pure Land teachings, the opportunity that should not be missed, but was missed countless times before, is to grasp and hold on to Amida's vow. Ordinary people are bound by their own habits and fail to comprehend emptiness. Even the most respected masters of various schools say that they are simple unenlightened human beings, although they are educated in the Dharma and spent many years in retreat. What hope can an average lay person have?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Ippen- Don't worry about your heart/mind.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:23 pm

Astus wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:My point is that if you are waiting until you die,
you have already missed that opportunity countless times
even in this one lifetime.


From the perspective of the Pure Land teachings, the opportunity that should not be missed, but was missed countless times before, is to grasp and hold on to Amida's vow. Ordinary people are bound by their own habits and fail to comprehend emptiness. Even the most respected masters of various schools say that they are simple unenlightened human beings, although they are educated in the Dharma and spent many years in retreat. What hope can an average lay person have?


Hope / no hope doesn't matter.
That is still taking refuge in deluded mind.
Just recite the name.
A lot of people, masters and average alike have realized emptiness.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am


Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>