On a recent Thursday, the non-profit that I run received a call from an older woman who needed help. She said she was living in a house without power or water, which is not that uncommon where we live. Like many others, she did not have a car. Most distressing, she said she did not have any food. I believe her exact answer, when I asked her if she had any food was, “I have a can of beans.”
There was more to her story and I spent quite a bit of time listening to all the twists and…Continue
Sogyal Rinpoche writes:
Added by Sujatin on July 4, 2016 at 9:18 — No Comments
Seems an apt poem for us Pureland Buddhists:
Added by Sujatin on May 20, 2016 at 14:28 — No Comments
Today I went to the hospital in Cleremont Ferrand. Adam drove me there and back. It was nice to have a chauffeur. We stopped quite a number of times. I found the journey tiring but manageable. The journey back was greatly helped by some strong…Continue
Added by Sujatin on April 29, 2016 at 11:07 — No Comments
This article begins, 'It's not what you may think' - but I think it probably *is* what Buddhists may think!
Added by Sujatin on March 10, 2016 at 10:50 — No Comments
Summary of Faith & Practice ~ Part Eight
Text: Deep wisdom is indeed there, for the nembutsu is a window through which the whole universe of Buddha’s teaching can be percieved in all its depth…
Although the nembutsu seems to be and is a very simple practice, we should not, for that reason, think that it negates any part of Buddha’s teaching. The Pureland teaching is one perspective on Buddha’s whole Dharma.…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 10, 2016 at 10:43 — No Comments
Equality is a religious vision. Nowadays, of course, it has become associated with a secular political agenda, but this agenda lies in the realm of religious ideals. Nobody has ever seen an empirical society of equality. Everything in the secular world is arranged on a hierarchical scale. If, on secular reductionist principles, one should only believe in what one has seen and had evidenced, then nobody should have any faith in equality, yet this faith is widespread and powerful. Take…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 10, 2016 at 10:28 — No Comments
Ippen is known as the founder of the Ji Shu, an important school of Pureland Buddhism. Here I will tell the story of his early life up to the time when he took the name Ippen. In following this story we can understand some of his spiritual realisations and dilemmas.
Early Life & First Going Forth
He was born on the island of Shikoku in the south of Japan. He came from a samurai family that had seen both glory and defeat. His father, Michihiro, gave up…
Added by Sujatin on March 10, 2016 at 10:20 — No Comments
Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) was the founder of the Soto Shu, a Japanese school of Zen based on a Chinese tradition. He was an important philosopher and his major work was called the Shobogenzo.Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 9, 2016 at 11:37 — No Comments
Kapimala (lived approx 100AD) was a native of Pātaliputra in the Indian state of Magadha. As a young man he taught a form of Brahmanism and he had three thousand disciples. He had magical powers and was ambitious. His powers enabled him to change his form and appearance and thereby impress people.…
Added by Sujatin on March 9, 2016 at 11:30 — No Comments
Nagarjuna is counted as one of the most important and influential thinkers in Buddhist history and all the major schools of Mahayana Buddhism claim him as a founding figure. On the one hand, he can be seen as an original thinker who put into circulation the ideas that later became the core of Mahayana - emptiness, altruism and other-power - yet, on the other hand, it is equally possible to portray him as simply having, with great skill, reiterated the essence of what had been taught by…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 9, 2016 at 11:23 — No Comments
When Siddhartha Gotama became enlightened and so became Shakyamuni Buddha what he realised was dependent origination, pratitya samutpada. Consequently, the precise meaning of dependent origination has been a subject of debate throughout Buddhist history.
Dependent Origination Became Other Power
At some point in the transmission of Buddhism in China, the term other power was coined as a more graphic way of explaining dependent origination. It was probably Tan Luan…
Added by Sujatin on March 9, 2016 at 11:14 — No Comments
This is a short commentary upon the phrase in the Summary of Faith and Practice which says "not based on study, understanding and wisdom or the revelation of deep meaning."
This phrase is interesting in part because we can say that historically the emergence of the nembutsu teaching of Honen did come at the end of a period of study, understanding and wisdom that had, indeed, culminated in a revelation or realisation of deep meaning. Honen became a monk at an early age and because of…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 8, 2016 at 15:07 — No Comments
In today’s teaching I would like to point out the equivalence between certain principles or concepts in Mahayana Buddhism that are normally taken to be very different and are generally associated with different styles and theories of practice. These three are bodhichitta, tathagatagarbha and nembutsu.
Bodhichitta is commonly associated with self-power practices. It is the mind of the bodhisattva, the “way-seeking mind”, the pinnacle of altruism. The bodhisattva is…
Added by Sujatin on March 8, 2016 at 14:58 — No Comments
In my view, there is a widespread tendency at work in the process of introducing Buddhism to the West that is systematically distorting the Dharma message of Buddha.
This is occurring as well-meaning Westerners import into Buddhism ideas that they believe in that are no part of the original Buddhist message.
Sometimes this is done unwittingly. People believe that idea X is good. They also believe that Buddhism is good. They then assume that…
Added by Sujatin on March 8, 2016 at 14:50 — No Comments
In the time of the Buddha, Vesali was an important town. Northern India was divided into a number of states and political groupings and one of these was the Vajji Confederation and Vesali was its capital. We can imagine it as a rather colourful and lively city with several dominant clans competing, mostly in a good spirited way. They had to co-operate defensively because across on the other side of the Ganges was the ever ambitious kingdom of Maghada. So the politics of Vesali were an…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 8, 2016 at 13:50 — No Comments
The primary practice of Pureland Buddhism is called nembutsu which literally means "mindfulness of Buddha". Sometimes such mindfulness is interpreted as meaning "keeping in mind" and sometimes as "saying the Name of Buddha".
Many people who write about the development of Pureland Buddhism in Japan and its history focus upon how verbal numbest developed out of meditative nembutsu. By the latter we mean a purely mental activity of saying the words inwardly or visualising the image of…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 8, 2016 at 13:46 — No Comments
Massimo sent me the following excellent quotation which set me thinking:
“Happiness and unhappiness, love and hate, [pleasure and pain] are simply established in nature according to the constant law of nature. The wise person doesn’t follow or encourage them, he doesn’t cling to them. This is the mind which let’s go of indulgence in pleasure and indulgence in pain. It is the right practice. Just as the log…Continue
Added by Sujatin on March 8, 2016 at 13:36 — No Comments