Sunday, August 18, 2019

Non-retrogressive Mahayana followers (bodhisattvas in aspiration) who will be born in the Pure Land of Amida – commentary on section 46 of the Larger Sutra

Whenever the term bodhisattvas in other lands appear in the Larger Sutra (with the exception of Enlightened Bodhisattvas who do Dharma activities in various places) and especially here in section 46 and the next one, 47, it refers to Mahayana followers who have Mahayana aspirations, that is, who aspire to become Buddhas for themselves and all beings (who have the bodhi mind), who accept Mahayana teachings and the Mahayana pantheon of transcendent Buddhas, among which, Amida is the foremost in saving sentient beings.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The difference between those born in the Pure Land in the embryonic form and those born by transformation – commentary on the sections 43rd, 44th and 45th of the Larger Sutra

A palace for those of the embryonic
birth - Larger Sutra Mandala

            In these sections Shakyamuni Buddha explains the causes and characteristics of two types of beings born in the Pure Land: 1) those born in “the embryonic state” and 2) those “born by transformation”.

I already explained in detail the Primal Vow (18th) and showed that faith in Amida’s Power is the cause of birth in the Pure Land. However, the situation is that not all practitioners are able to give up entirely the attachment to their personal power in reaching birth in the Pure Land:

“If there are sentient beings who do various meritorious deeds, aspiring for birth in that land while still entertaining doubt, such beings are unable to comprehend the Buddha wisdom, inconceivable wisdom, ineffable wisdom, boundless Mahayana wisdom, and incomparable, unequalled, and unsurpassed supreme wisdom. Although they doubt these wisdoms, they still believe in retribution for evil and reward for virtue and so cultivate a store of merit, aspiring for birth in that land.’Such beings are born in a palace, where they dwell for five hundred years without being able to behold the Buddha, hear his exposition of the Dharma, or see the hosts of bodhisattvas and śrāvakas. For this reason, that type of birth in the Pure Land is called the ‘embryonic state.’”

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

O Verdadeiro ensino sobre Amida Buddha e sua Terra Pura

Capa da versao inglesa

Este livro é um projeto de longo prazo que começou há alguns anos como um reação ao aparecimento na sangha internacional de alguns divergentes pontos de vista que ameaçam destruir as chances de muitas pessoas ouvirem o verdadeiro Amida Dharma. É também um trabalho em andamento, e o leitor pode esperar que eu volte de novo, mais cedo ou mais tarde, com novas edições e melhorias.

Como todos sabemos, o Dharma é o segundo tesouro do Três Tesouros (Buda, Dharma e Sangha) nos quais todos nós nos refugiamos quando nos tornamos discípulos budistas. Em termos simples, o papel da Sangha é garantir uma transmissão genuína do Dharma como era ensinada pelo Buda Shakyamuni e pelos Mestres da nossa tradição, de modo que todos nós podemos receber fé (shinjin) e alcançar o estado de Buda na Terra Pura. Sem essa transmissão adequada, não há realmente nenhuma Sangha e nenhuma possibilidade de Libertação de nascimento e morte, isto é, não há chance de nos tornarmos Budas.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Please, no more Conferences on peace for me - a little request

From time to time I receive invitations to attend conferences on world peace together with various representatives of other religions. I wish people or organizations should stop sending me such invitations.

Do not get me wrong - I do NOT wish war. I am NOT an enemy of peace. I love peace, but I am not that stupid as to believe that all religions really want peace or that all religions are the same. I also do not believe in the usefulness of such events.

Rather than attending conferences on peace where everybody smiles, a lot of money are spent and empty discussions are held, I rather prefer to focus my mind on my religious practice, helping those who think they can be helped by my Dharma activities. 

Respectfully yours in
Namo Amida Bu

PS: A lot of people engaged in a discussion on my page on this topic. You can see the comments here (click on the Facebook icon),

Friday, July 26, 2019

We do not rely on personal vows but on Amida's Primal Vow

I heard many times the idea that we need to make a vow to be born in the Pure Land. This is said under the influence of various Chinese Pure Land groups that still put a lot of emphasis on self-power, a view which is totaly rejected in our school.

I will state it clearly and I ask all of you to please listen deeply:
We do not need to make a personal vow to be born in the Pure Land because birth in the Pure Land does NOT depend on our personal power, but on Amida's Power.
This is extremely important - you can be born in the Pure Land by the Power of Amida Buddha, and NOT by your self power! The vows you make have ZERO importance. What matters is that you give up any idea of self power and entrust completely to Amida Buddha.

In His Primal Vow (18th Vow) Amida mentioned three conditions to be born in His Pure Land : "say my Name, entrust to me and desire to be born in my land". He did not mention that you must make any vows or transfer any merits! So, if we do the above three simple things in the Primal Vow, we become karmically connected to Amida's Power and we are assured of birth in the Pure Land.

Our Jodo Shinshu is the school of the Primal Vow, of total and exclusive reliance on Amida Buddha. Nothing inside our unenlightened minds can bring us closer to the Pure Land. Only Amida's Power and His Primal Vow (His Main Promise) are reliable. We will reach His Pure Land because He vowed that He will bring us there if we entrust to Him and say His Name in faith, and NOT because we make any personal vows or we transfer our pitiable "merits" to birth there.

The promises and vows made by unereliable and unenlightened minds mean nothing, while the Promise and Vow of Amida is everything.
Namo Amida Bu

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

La Liturgia del Nembutsu del Templo Amidaji (versión final)

Aunque también tenemos otros servicios, decidí que esta será la liturgia principal en el Templo Amidaji. A diferencia de otros servicios que pueden encontrar en diversos templos, este en particular es más sencillo de seguir y recitar, en especial porque todas sus partes (incluidas las Tres Invitaciones) son recitadas en vez de ser cantadas.

Lo que hace este servicio único es que contiene varios tipos de recitaciones del Nombre del Buda Amida tomados del Sutra más grande (como por ejemplo la recitación de las Doce Luces de Amida), así como también el Nombre de Diez Caracteres y el de Nueve Caracteres los cuales también fueron recitados por el mismo Shinran Shonin de vez en cuando. Se han añadido traducciones de cada línea recitada para que siempre sepan el significado de cada recitación.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Nembutsu liturgy of Amidaji temple (final version)

Nembutsu service at Amidaji temple

Although we also have other services, I  decided this will be the main liturgy at Amidaji temple. Unlike other services that you can see in various temples, this one is easier to follow, especially because all parts (including the Three Invitations) are recited, not chanted. 
What makes this service unique is also that it contains various types of recitations of the Name of Amida Buddha taken from the Larger Sutra (like the recitation of the Twelve Lights of Amida), as well as the Ten Character Name and Nine Character Name which were also recited by Shinran Shonin himself from time to time. 

Translations of each phrase to be recited are added so that you can always know what you recite. 

The reason we use this Sino-Japanese transliteration is that people of various countries and languages have a common liturgy when we meet and worship together in the same temple. Thus, be sure we'll do this service when you visit me at Amidaji! Any temple or dojo related with Amidaji that will be open in the future will also have this liturgy. 

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch