Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Zenshin 善心 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:43 am

steveb1 wrote:I am no scholar. But to this point in my studies, I remain unaware of any Shin adherent who was converted solely by reading scripture, whether or not it was read in a literalistic manner.


Honen Shonin.
All beings since their first aspiration till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.

Thus for the sake of all beings Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.


- Ashvaghosa, The Awakening of Faith

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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby steveb1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:31 am

How fascinating if Honen was converted solely by his scripture reading(s). But in context, my use of the term "Shin" refers to Jodo Shinshu, Shinran's school, not Jodo Shu, Honen's school. After all, that's what the "Shin" in "Jodo Shinshu" is derived from.

So what I was saying was that I'm unaware of any Jodo Shinshu adherent being converted not by Amida's direct call and the awakening of Shinjin, but rather by private/personal scripture reading.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Andreas Ludwig » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:09 pm

Ryoto,

I don't think it will change a thing regarding your views and I have written about this a million times, back in the E-Sangha days, here and in other discussions but ok, you asked a serious question, so let me give an answer.

When I read direct quotes from Shinran and Rennyo then I read the things you modernists proclaim as the true teaching of Shinran, I see HUGE dissimilarities. I can come with a million quotes right now from Shinran himself to disprove everything you modernists claim. I'm not trying to be harsh here, but I really just don't understand why you guys say the things you say.


You know the proverb of not seeing the forest for the trees? That's exactly what happens when you just throw around quotes like apples. You have to see the whole picture, the context of single quotes. The difference between you folks and the evil 'modernists' ( a misunderstanding really, Shinran was a modernist too then since he took the texts not just as something written in stone, something dead, but as a tool to understand his own experience. He often had a specific reading of and even changed the texts to make them fit his understanding, not the other way round. (http://books.google.de/books?id=eSg2QOePJVoC&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=shinran+reading+change+eko&source=bl&ots=JjhVrU21Nw&sig=qxMdeEMcUnhgzS8pQ0CN1OqydiI&hl=de&sa=X&ei=VMJoT52SI4vFtAbUrOmHCA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=shinran%20reading%20change%20eko&f=false)

If you don't use hermeneutics...

Hermeneutics is the art of interpreting. Although it began as a legal and theological methodology governing the application of civil law, canon law, and the interpretation of Scripture, it developed into a general theory of human understanding through the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and Jacques Derrida. Hermeneutics proved to be much bigger than theology or legal theory. The comprehension of any written text requires hermeneutics; reading a literary text is as much a hermeneutic act as interpreting law or Scripture.

Without collapsing critical thinking into relativism, hermeneutics recognizes the historicity of human understanding. Ideas are nested in historical, linguistic, and cultural horizons of meaning. A philosophical, theological, or literary problem can only be genuinely understood through a grasp of its origin. Hermeneutics is in part the practice of historical retrieval, the re-construction of the historical context of scientific and literary works. Hermeneutics does not re-construct the past for its own sake; it always seeks to understand the particular way a problem engages the present. A philosophical impulse motivates hermeneutic re-construction, a desire to engage a historically transmitted question as a genuine question, worthy of consideration in its own right. By addressing questions within ever-new horizons, hermeneutic understanding strives to break through the limitations of a particular world-view to the matter that calls to thinking.Ý

Hermeneutics opposes the radical relativist notion that meaning cannot be trans-lingual. As the speculative grammarians of the Middle Ages recognized, all languages are rooted in a depth grammar of human meaning. This ontological grammar is not a meta-language in which everything can be said. Rather, it is the single horizon of human understanding, which makes speakers of various languages members of a human community. On the other hand, hermeneutics opposes the rationalist tendency to downplay the uniqueness of languages. Hermeneutics is not satisfied with translating the language of the other; it wants to speak with the other in the language of the other.

Hermeneutics is philosophy in the original sense of the word, the love of wisdom, the search for as comprehensive an understanding of human existence as possible.(http://groups.chass.utoronto.ca/iih/Abo ... eutics.htm)



...then you simply shut the door in front of you not allowing any step forward, you just sit there where you've always been. Shinrans magnum opus the KGSS was not written because he just sat there, it is the testament of his active searching and constant self-reflection on the base of the Pure Land way, but not limited by it. That's what we need today, reflection, understanding, insight, experience, dynamic change and all the things the Dharma stands for. Shinran was a scholar and his writings show this crystal clear. Does every Shin Buddhist have to be a scholar now? No, but the tradition is in need of scholars and thinkers and people who dare to read behind the mere words of the sacred texts so that we may not forget the power behind them - the power to actually change us. What we don't need is the attempt to change Shin Buddhism into 'shut up and believe, read the words and don't try to understand the text' attitude so it becomes a copy of a form of Christianity that even theologians have given up long ago.

As we approach the new era, it is very important that we understand our faith and relate it to the issues of our time. We should not only "feel" Jodo Shinshu, but we should "know" it. In the "Kyogyoshinsho" Shinran lays out the reasons and basis for his faith. It is his confession of faith and gratitude, based on his own experience of spiritual despair and disillusionment which he encountered during his monastic life on Mount Hiei and his later explorations of the teaching together with his teacher Honen. As a result of many years of reading, research and reflection, Shinran compiled this text as his enduring witness to the meaning of Amida Buddha's Primal Vows for his life and for humanity. The text is perfumed with his deep gratitude, compassion and a critical spirit, embodied in a universal spiritual vision of the all-embracing compassion and wisdom of Amida Buddha which rejects no one.

One may ask, why is intellectual insight important and even necessary? We can see that our ancestors, who never had such materials available, lived by their faith joyfully and meaningfully. This is true. But the times have changed and more is demanded as a result of higher levels of education and the diversity of religious alternatives open to people, as well as the spiritual need of the time for a comprehensive, compassionate perspective on life. It is clear, however, that not everyone will be a scholar. They do not need to be. The issue is not scholarship. The issue is personal involvement and the quest for understanding. It is the questioning and questing attitude that Rennyo advocated in his letters. If one does not care to understand one's faith, it becomes blind faith.(http://www.shindharmanet.com/writings/kyogyoshinsho.htm)


If you so will you can see hermeneutics as a form of upaya to make people aware that there's a power to change their life to the better. What's the use of going around telling people to believe what is certainly not a historical event, what actually sounds like fairy-tale to them and to lose them completely instead of finding ways to explain mythical images (which are NOT lies!) to them so they can understand the true and inner meaning of these wonderful images we have in the Pure Land tradition and put them to use in their life in the here and now? That was what Shinran did in his time and that's why I find 'modernists' like Ken O'Neill so incredibly useful for our tradition today who said:

My interests do not lie with orthodoxy for its own sake; my allegiance lies with the spirit of free expression and interpretation exemplified by our founder, Shinran Shonin


That's why we say what we say.

Gassho

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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Andreas Ludwig » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:29 pm

Steve,

Ryoto wrote of modernists, "I really just don't understand why you guys say the things you say". Let me say the same. Why would Andreas say that Rick simply invented Al Bloom's comments? Is Andreas actually accusing Rick and Paul of being so enmeshed in their views that they can't tell the truth ? As Ryoto says, not wanting to be harsh, but Andreas' comment can be reversed: "Shin modernists are so enmeshed in their views that, without evidence to the contrary, they accuse their opponents of lying." When I corrected the Bloom misattribution - namely that Bloom was talking to Rick, not Paul - without hesitation, Andreas stepped in and simply transferred the surrilous accusation from Paul to Rick. This implies that Andreas believes something like:
"one non-modernist is as deceitful as another - they're all interchangeable. So what if Al Bloom was talking to Rick, not Paul? You can't expect either one to be telling the truth".

It seems to me that Andreas' deep suspicion is at once unkind and stridently suspicious, especially when stated, as it was, with complete lack of evidence.

I can only testify that, to date, Paul and his online sangha are painstakingly honest, and so are Rick's contributions there, and on his own site.
I have no rational cause to think they make up or fictionalize anything, whether it concerns what Master Shinran actually taught, or what Al Bloom actually said.]



I can make this short. I was not there when Rick talked with Al Bloom but I know them both. Granted, only via written words, forums, emails etc. but I know their views, also their history. Rick has a personal history of suffering as has Paul, they both have deep wounds which need healing and their personality is so that they find comfort in these stories and they need them to be historically true or otherwise they start to think and to doubt and that is something they don't want, simple as that. It's like these Christians who must convince themselves that Jesus was able to walk on water and all because if they start thinking that one part of the story didn't happen then perhaps the rest is also untrue and there goes their complete faith and foundation of their life out of the window. It's always a problem when your spiritual life is not based on experience but on dead texts, not on living teaching but on dead teachers.

Don't lay words in my mouth please I don't have any suspicion and I don't accuse anybody. I can accept that people need such an attitude because of their personal suffering and history but I don't accept that these people try to limit others in their understanding and force them to blind faith, nor do I have to accept any attempt to turn Shin Buddhism into the know-nothing-buddhism-for-dummies version of the Dharma. And Al Bloom wouldn't say that because it's not what he thinks. He has written extensively about his understanding of Amida Buddha and one may say a lot of things but not that he ever claimed that Amida is not real. We are not talking about words, we are talking about meaning here. That's why I suppose that Paul, Rick or any other Shin Buddhist from a literal, fundamentalist perspective is likely to misunderstand what Alfred Bloom says. The definition of terms is a different one, that's all. But it's a problem causing a schism-like cut between the 'true believers' and the 'evil modernists' that is not necessary.

Gassho

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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby steveb1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:55 pm

Andreas, you wrote:

"Don't lay words in my mouth please I don't have any suspicion and I don't accuse anybody."

But, understandably, I received exactly that impression when you wrote of Rick and Paul:

"I am sure that Al Bloom didn't say that to Rick either."

These words are all yours, not mine. Note, too, that you didn't merely suspect or speculate that Rick was lying. No, you say that you are "sure" that Rick's account of Al Bloom's words was not true. So: I am not "laying words in your mouth".

Moreover, Andreas, you have never addressed head-on my earlier post in this thread, namely:

= = =

" I think this citation ... from Al Bloom speaks to the current issue:

"In my personal view, this is the most real of anything real. But it is not literal, objective reality as something apart from my consciousness and life. It is my life. Amida in this view, as I would understand it, is real as an ideal is real. It is a force that influences life. Ideals have a reality though they are not objective, discrete things."

So, according to Al Bloom, Amida is a "force", that "influences life" in a similar manner to "an ideal"; Amida is not an objective reality "as something apart from my concsiousness and life".

Why doesn't Al just say, with Shinran, that Amida is a real Buddha, with real Buddha attributes? The "no objective reality outside of my consciousness" is ambiguously worded. At face value, no problem: Amida and my subjectivity are inseperable. But this does not mean that Amida is not an objective Buddha - if that view were correct, then we must imagine that Amida would vanish if humanity (say) expurgated itself from the planet (say) by germ warfare.
I can't imagine that the entire Amidist tradition, and Shin in particular, would confine Amida's reality and function to a narrow [merely human] psycho-spiritual activity vis a vis the recipient of Shinjin. I would think, on the contrary, that Amida is an eternal Buddha, existent in the transcendent realm, no matter what happens to galaxies and universes located in samsaric space-time ... a vast Buddha who is eternally available to all universes as they arise in their infinite numbers of births and die in their infinite numbers of deaths. "

= = =

Contrary to what you claim, Paul's view of Shin is not equivalent to a Christian fundamentalist's view of faith or Jesus.

Paul insists that Amida is "a real Buddha". This is not the same thing as saying that Amida or any other Buddha is a human male with a meat body that needs to eat, drink, excrete, wearing real silk gowns and slippers and crowned with real gold (or whatever).

No: Paul, in saying that Amida is a real Buddha, is saying that Amida is a real - not physical - transcendent "being".
That is, for Paul, it would seem that Amida is real, but non-physical, real but transcendent.

It seems to me that only a fundamentalist materialist would view Amida in a similar way that fundamentalist Christians view the risen Christ - as a king-like human figure with real nail wounds in his physical hands, a spear-wound in his side, sitting on a wooden or metallic throne, etc. And Paul does not seem to be a fundamentalist materialist :)

If matter is the only reality, then, yes: Amida must be a literal, biological, male quasi-deity.
But Paul doesn't believe that Matter is God, because there is a transcendent Buddha who really exists in a real transcendent Buddha-realm.

So Paul - - who does not strike me as a fundamentalist literalist/fundamentalist materialist - is not being literalistic when he says that Buddha is real, for the simple and salient fact that Buddha's reality is spiritual and transcendent. With so many Shin adherents, Paul seems to regard Shin as the raft from the other shore, and the other shore differs radically from our shore of space-time ... because the other shore is transcendent, while ours is physical, impermanent, "samsaric".

Where you see Paul's "literalism", I see Paul's realism. To Paul, as I "read" him - and so unlike the Al Bloom citation I wrote about in the section above - Amida is a real "Other", even while living in us and answering the Call from within us.

It would be nice if you could examine the Bloom section above and please comment on how Bloom's view better represents Amida than does Paul's and Rick's view.

Gassho,

Steve
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:23 pm

Hello Andreas,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I still will have to disagree with you. Shinran's teachings were designed for the most uneducated and simple people and to say that his teachings have some hidden scholarly message would be absolutely contrary to his intentions.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:09 am

steveb1 wrote:Andreas, you wrote:

"Don't lay words in my mouth please I don't have any suspicion and I don't accuse anybody."

But, understandably, I received exactly that impression when you wrote of Rick and Paul:

"I am sure that Al Bloom didn't say that to Rick either."

These words are all yours, not mine. Note, too, that you didn't merely suspect or speculate that Rick was lying. No, you say that you are "sure" that Rick's account of Al Bloom's words was not true. So: I am not "laying words in your mouth".

Moreover, Andreas, you have never addressed head-on my earlier post in this thread, namely:

= = =

" I think this citation ... from Al Bloom speaks to the current issue:

"In my personal view, this is the most real of anything real. But it is not literal, objective reality as something apart from my consciousness and life. It is my life. Amida in this view, as I would understand it, is real as an ideal is real. It is a force that influences life. Ideals have a reality though they are not objective, discrete things."

So, according to Al Bloom, Amida is a "force", that "influences life" in a similar manner to "an ideal"; Amida is not an objective reality "as something apart from my concsiousness and life".

Why doesn't Al just say, with Shinran, that Amida is a real Buddha, with real Buddha attributes? The "no objective reality outside of my consciousness" is ambiguously worded. At face value, no problem: Amida and my subjectivity are inseperable. But this does not mean that Amida is not an objective Buddha - if that view were correct, then we must imagine that Amida would vanish if humanity (say) expurgated itself from the planet (say) by germ warfare.
I can't imagine that the entire Amidist tradition, and Shin in particular, would confine Amida's reality and function to a narrow [merely human] psycho-spiritual activity vis a vis the recipient of Shinjin. I would think, on the contrary, that Amida is an eternal Buddha, existent in the transcendent realm, no matter what happens to galaxies and universes located in samsaric space-time ... a vast Buddha who is eternally available to all universes as they arise in their infinite numbers of births and die in their infinite numbers of deaths. "

= = =

Contrary to what you claim, Paul's view of Shin is not equivalent to a Christian fundamentalist's view of faith or Jesus.

Paul insists that Amida is "a real Buddha". This is not the same thing as saying that Amida or any other Buddha is a human male with a meat body that needs to eat, drink, excrete, wearing real silk gowns and slippers and crowned with real gold (or whatever).

No: Paul, in saying that Amida is a real Buddha, is saying that Amida is a real - not physical - transcendent "being".
That is, for Paul, it would seem that Amida is real, but non-physical, real but transcendent.

It seems to me that only a fundamentalist materialist would view Amida in a similar way that fundamentalist Christians view the risen Christ - as a king-like human figure with real nail wounds in his physical hands, a spear-wound in his side, sitting on a wooden or metallic throne, etc. And Paul does not seem to be a fundamentalist materialist :)

If matter is the only reality, then, yes: Amida must be a literal, biological, male quasi-deity.
But Paul doesn't believe that Matter is God, because there is a transcendent Buddha who really exists in a real transcendent Buddha-realm.

So Paul - - who does not strike me as a fundamentalist literalist/fundamentalist materialist - is not being literalistic when he says that Buddha is real, for the simple and salient fact that Buddha's reality is spiritual and transcendent. With so many Shin adherents, Paul seems to regard Shin as the raft from the other shore, and the other shore differs radically from our shore of space-time ... because the other shore is transcendent, while ours is physical, impermanent, "samsaric".

Where you see Paul's "literalism", I see Paul's realism. To Paul, as I "read" him - and so unlike the Al Bloom citation I wrote about in the section above - Amida is a real "Other", even while living in us and answering the Call from within us.

It would be nice if you could examine the Bloom section above and please comment on how Bloom's view better represents Amida than does Paul's and Rick's view.

Gassho,

Steve


From reading the correspondence between Astus and Alfred Bloom it seems that Bloom interprets Amida as something metaphorical. Can't say for sure whether he denies the Sambhogakaya form of Amida Buddha or not but the accusation that Rick would be lying is quite absurd. I'm sure that if Alfred admitted to the reality of Amida Buddha then Rick and Paul would praise him instead of outright denying him as a false modernist teacher. There is nothing personal between Rick and Alfred, the problem lies with what Alfred teaches what he claims to be Shin Buddhism. Zen, modern psychology, scientific materialism have no place in Shin Buddhism and these modernists are doing nothing but watering down the pure and clear teachings of Shinran and Rennyo. As Paul says, the situation is pretty deplorable.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby steveb1 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:37 am

Thanks for your comments, Ryoto. I can only agree that a watered-down Amida, deconstructed for modern tastes, is not the real Amida taught by Shinran and Rennyo and explicated by Paul and Rick.

Calling something real does not mean that we must view it as literal or physical. Most religions hold that "Ultimate Reality" is not physical, and is probably beyond human conceptions of both physical and non-physical.

As to Amida's reality, identity, and function: Amida is real; spiritually real; transcendentally real; truly real; a real Buddha ... at the same time not a "solid", material, corporeal, biological being. Amida is a concept and a metaphor ... and ... Amida is the real, living source of Amidist symbology and metaphor. Both together. Not Amida as symbol alone.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Andreas Ludwig » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:21 am

Ryoto,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I still will have to disagree with you. Shinran's teachings were designed for the most uneducated and simple people and to say that his teachings have some hidden scholarly message would be absolutely contrary to his intentions.


That's not what I said. There is no 'hidden scholarly message' but Shinran was a scholar and he wrote in a scholarly manner because he wanted to interpret the texts. These texts according to Shinran had a surface meaning and an inner meaning:

"Truly I know that this sutra has thus the implicit and explicit aspects. Herewith, I show whether the Three Minds in the two Sutras are the same or different; this is to be well discerned. The Larger Sutra and the Meditation Sutra are different in their explicit aspect, but they are the same in their implicit aspect."


To understand Shinran means to use Hermeneutics, to try to link a text, a quote to the context of thought and time and to the background of the Dharma as it evolved as a living tradition. Buddhism always has been a dynamic process of growing insight not a revelation of ultimate truth. Shinrans teachings were for all people that's right and there's no need to be a scholar yourself to walk that path, but the founder of this particular tradition was a deep thinker and he wrote his magnum opus in a way to examine the texts and the tradition of the Pure Land way. We can not ignore his particular approach and still value his contributions to Buddhism as a whole, if we turn him into a kind of simpleton we create our own Shinran and no longer have any connection with him as he really was. So to say as you did that it would be contrary to his intentions to interpret and reinterpret what he said or what the sutras say is simply ignoring what he did himself and misunderstanding him completely.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you an answer and as I said I was not expecting to convince you in any way, nor was that my intention, so I'm fine to agree to disagree here.

Gassho

Andreas
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Andreas Ludwig » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:39 am

Steve,

But, understandably, I received exactly that impression when you wrote of Rick and Paul:

"I am sure that Al Bloom didn't say that to Rick either."

These words are all yours, not mine. Note, too, that you didn't merely suspect or speculate that Rick was lying. No, you say that you are "sure" that Rick's account of Al Bloom's words was not true. So: I am not "laying words in your mouth".


Then your impression was wrong. I didn't accuse anybody of lying, I said that I'm sure Al didn't say that 'Amida is not real' because that's not his opinion. I also said that Paul or Rick or any other person with a similar perspective is likely to misunderstand what Alfred Bloom might say about the reality of Amida because of their specific views on what they consider relevant to their personal 'faith'. Maybe it's my bad English that I don't come across as clearly as I would like but actually I don't get the impression that you read what I write anyway, so the whole debate is pointless.

Moreover, Andreas, you have never addressed head-on my earlier post in this thread,


Do I have to? You know there's a good deal of other things that I really have to do so to repeat myself over and over is pretty low on my to do list. And I can not explain every quote of Al Bloom to you, nor do I want to do that. Go and read his books for yourself, he's quite able to explain himself regarding what he thinks and that also goes for many other 'modernists' out there, but you'll have to put some time in that, there's no shortcut of others explaining it to you. But I don't think that you really want an explanation, you have your standpoint and nothing is gonna change that, you have found your 'teachers' and will always defend their particular approach, which is fine btw, follow what you think is right, so again let's agree to disagree. No need to run in circles.

Gassho

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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:49 pm

Andreas Ludwig wrote:Ryoto,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I still will have to disagree with you. Shinran's teachings were designed for the most uneducated and simple people and to say that his teachings have some hidden scholarly message would be absolutely contrary to his intentions.


That's not what I said. There is no 'hidden scholarly message' but Shinran was a scholar and he wrote in a scholarly manner because he wanted to interpret the texts. These texts according to Shinran had a surface meaning and an inner meaning:

"Truly I know that this sutra has thus the implicit and explicit aspects. Herewith, I show whether the Three Minds in the two Sutras are the same or different; this is to be well discerned. The Larger Sutra and the Meditation Sutra are different in their explicit aspect, but they are the same in their implicit aspect."


To understand Shinran means to use Hermeneutics, to try to link a text, a quote to the context of thought and time and to the background of the Dharma as it evolved as a living tradition. Buddhism always has been a dynamic process of growing insight not a revelation of ultimate truth. Shinrans teachings were for all people that's right and there's no need to be a scholar yourself to walk that path, but the founder of this particular tradition was a deep thinker and he wrote his magnum opus in a way to examine the texts and the tradition of the Pure Land way. We can not ignore his particular approach and still value his contributions to Buddhism as a whole, if we turn him into a kind of simpleton we create our own Shinran and no longer have any connection with him as he really was. So to say as you did that it would be contrary to his intentions to interpret and reinterpret what he said or what the sutras say is simply ignoring what he did himself and misunderstanding him completely.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you an answer and as I said I was not expecting to convince you in any way, nor was that my intention, so I'm fine to agree to disagree here.

Gassho

Andreas


Eiken Kobai Sensei who is a 16th generation priest and who holds the highest rank in scholarly studies recognized by the Hompa Hongwanji would strongly disagree with you and others who hold the same ideas.

And really I'm not afraid of Jodo Shinshu looking a lot like Christianity. This is only true on a very superficial level anyways. One of the reasons a lot of western converts try to distance themselves from the actual teachings of Shinran is because they are afraid that it looks a lot like Christianity. This reveals the fact that they are only concerned with outward appearances and really have no or a very weak aspiration for Buddhahood which is what Shin Buddhism is all about. For me, Buddhahood is all that matters and should matter for every true seeker out there. Shin Buddhism is not some mental yoga program designed for people to become jolly selfless compassionate beings by growing insight like you say. If modernists are concerned with growing insight in this lifetime then Zen is just around the corner.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Andreas Ludwig » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:38 pm

I know that Eiken Kobai would disagree, not a surprise because he is the source of Pauls ideas. So what? Shall I give you names of other Japanese priests who disagree with Eiken Kobai? So you can again say 'Oh, these modernists...' ?

Sorry I'm tired of this absurd 'who's a really true Shin Buddhist' game and of these debates. I am leaving this forum, I don't think I fit well in here. In the end the Dharma is about experience and practice - or non-practice - and not about debates and this here is just wasting time.

Anyway in all sincerity I wish you all, all the best.

Gassho

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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Shutoku » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:39 pm

You know what I find interesting?
In 15-20 years of practicing Jodo Shinshu, all Shinshu followers and Sensei's and teachers I have met in person are humble, kind, open minded people, who don't worry if one person thinks the Sutras are literally true, and another thinks they are a metaphoric description of a reality that is ultimately beyond description.
Namo Amida Butsu
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:32 am

Andreas Ludwig wrote:I know that Eiken Kobai would disagree, not a surprise because he is the source of Pauls ideas. So what? Shall I give you names of other Japanese priests who disagree with Eiken Kobai? So you can again say 'Oh, these modernists...' ?

Sorry I'm tired of this absurd 'who's a really true Shin Buddhist' game and of these debates. I am leaving this forum, I don't think I fit well in here. In the end the Dharma is about experience and practice - or non-practice - and not about debates and this here is just wasting time.

Anyway in all sincerity I wish you all, all the best.

Gassho

Andreas


Sorry you feel this way. Somewhere down the road I hope you have a change of heart. Eiken, Paul, and Rick's invitation to their Sangha will always be open.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:35 am

Shutoku wrote:You know what I find interesting?
In 15-20 years of practicing Jodo Shinshu, all Shinshu followers and Sensei's and teachers I have met in person are humble, kind, open minded people, who don't worry if one person thinks the Sutras are literally true, and another thinks they are a metaphoric description of a reality that is ultimately beyond description.


Being humble, kind, open minded are all beautiful things but guarding the Dharma against wrong views is much more important and there can be no act more compassionate than that as people's Buddhahood is on the line.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby steveb1 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:30 am

Ryoto wrote:
Andreas Ludwig wrote:I know that Eiken Kobai would disagree, not a surprise because he is the source of Pauls ideas. So what? Shall I give you names of other Japanese priests who disagree with Eiken Kobai? So you can again say 'Oh, these modernists...' ?

Sorry I'm tired of this absurd 'who's a really true Shin Buddhist' game and of these debates. I am leaving this forum, I don't think I fit well in here. In the end the Dharma is about experience and practice - or non-practice - and not about debates and this here is just wasting time.

Anyway in all sincerity I wish you all, all the best.

Gassho

Andreas


Sorry you feel this way. Somewhere down the road I hope you have a change of heart. Eiken, Paul, and Rick's invitation to their Sangha will always be open.


======

Yes, I think Andreas' decision is rather abrupt, but then I don't know him and haven't followed his posting history. I was not trying to bait him when I asked why he thought Al Bloom's view of Amida was "better than" Paul's view. It was a genuine attempt at dialogue, but Andreas dismissed it as just "more of the same" fundamentalist-type brainwashing. It would have been a great opportunity to get Andreas' ideas out on the table, and thus an easy way to see where we differ - and where we might agree. I'm a bit saddened that he feels he needs to leave DW. I was getting the (mistaken but hopeful) impression of "Hey, now we're really beginning to get to the root of the issues here", but now that particular opportunity is lost, unfortunately.
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:36 am

Yeah, it wasn't my intention to scare him off either. Oh well...
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Shutoku » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:20 pm

I don't think he was "scared off" I think he made it pretty clear he was not interested in rehashing the same debates over and over. I think that is probably a very productive choice.
Namo Amida Butsu
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby gyougan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:24 am

gyougan wrote:I like this guy. He is not shy about having achieved shinjin unlike most other Shin figures. I wish more people were as straightforward as him because it shows that shinjin can be achieved. This gives hope for those of us whose hearts are still clouded by doubt!


Wow, I have changed so much after reading some Shigaraki and contemplating his wise words! Now this Roberts guy sounds like a religious zealot.

Anyone else here like Shigaraki?
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Re: Understanding SHINJIN by Paul Roberts

Postby Osho » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:20 pm

So much 'knowledge' here.
Where's the 'knowing'?
Namo Amida Bu
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More about Mindfulness here
http://bemindful.co.uk/

" A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake."
(Dogen).
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