Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:55 am

Is Shin Buddhism -- a version of this ancient faith practised in Japan -- a good religion for Canadians? Jeff Wilson thinks it is.

Wilson, a Shin Buddhist convert and author of the book Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness, believes it's a good fit for people wanting a flexible, non-judgmental and accepting form of spirituality.

"Most religions ask you to be something other than who and what you are," he says. "They want you to become holy or pure or good enough to qualify to enter heaven or whatever ultimate goal it is that they hold out in front of the believer."

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Re: Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Postby Astus » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:33 pm

I don't really see yet how Shin Buddhism could become even the most popular among Buddhist schools, not to mention in a whole country. That's because of three reasons: 1. requires faith not just in rebirth but in external buddhas too, 2. has no meditation practices that are so popular today and promises no immediate results, 3. reminds many people of Christianity.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:55 pm

Astus wrote:I don't really see yet how Shin Buddhism could become even the most popular among Buddhist schools, not to mention in a whole country. That's because of three reasons: 1. requires faith not just in rebirth but in external buddhas too, 2. has no meditation practices that are so popular today and promises no immediate results, 3. reminds many people of Christianity.


I also doubt whether the majority of Shin Buddhist priests in Japan nowadays actually believe in a post-mortem Pure Land (as in they think it is realistic that it both actually exists and that they will be reborn there).

I've heard of other interpretations that are easier for modern Japanese people, the majority of whom are biased towards materialist world-views with no view of an afterlife, where the Pure Land is something you cultivate in yourself in the here and now rather than being a place you strive to be reborn into after death.
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Re: Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:00 pm

Incidentally, there is a Shin Buddhist temple already several generations old in Winnipeg, MB (my hometown). It was originally a Japanese temple for Japanese Canadians, but they made a decision to transition from being an ethnic temple to a community temple:

http://www.manitobabuddhistchurch.org/
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Re: Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:14 pm

It seems as though the Shin temples that have some vitality and longevity are the ones that meet the needs of the community they're in. Hence, there's less emphasis on maintaining Japanese cultural continuity, and more emphasis on... practice for the sake of practice (self-power?).
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Re: Shin Buddhism a 'spiritual path for busy people'

Postby Astus » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:35 pm

I believe Shin Buddhism has a profound message, however, it is to be understood strictly within the Mahayana context and no other way. Unlike most of the other Buddhist school, Shin Buddhism doesn't have a practice to offer to non-believers. It is also interesting to note how Shinran and his followers were against non-Buddhist practices like worshipping gods.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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