Saturday, October 27, 2007


Rev. Masanobu Nishiaki wrote in his article “Lifestyle of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist” about the relation between ethics and Jodo Shinshu:

“Please imagine a chest that has four drawers. In the first drawer you put in your Onenju and Seiten Book, the second drawer – letters and stationery, the third drawer - clothes and the fourth drawer you put in your laundry. As long as you keep this in order and put things separately you will have no problems. However, if you do not care about the order and put things in here and there, then the inside your chest there will be chaos and you will have problems. This can apply to Jodo Shinshu too!

The first drawer in Jodo Shinshu is the act of listening. It is the effort one puts in to listening to the teaching. This is the essence of Shinshu teaching. Without listening, we will never get an understanding of Jodo Shinshu. Also, listening once is not good enough, we must listening to the teaching over and over. The second drawer of Jodo Shinshu would contain shinjin.Shinjin is not something you create within yourself; you receive it from Amida Buddha. This means to fully understand the working of Amida Buddha’s Wisdom and Compassion, which is already helping us regardless of the kind of person we are. Simply accepting Amida’s Wisdom and Compasion is essential in Shinshu. The third drawer is the nembutsu. The nembutsu is showing our gratitude to the Buddha. The fourth point is daily life. As long as we are living in this society, we have to follow its rules. Morality, ethics and common sense – these are important factors to living in our society. We cannot mix these drawers. If we mix these up, we will misunderstand the Jodo Shinshu teaching. The most common mistake is mixing the second and fourth drawers, shinjin and daily life. How does this happen?

In the process of receiving shinjin or awakening to shinjin, we may think, ‘No matter what we do, Amida Buddha will help us and we will be reborn in the Pure Land as we are. That being the case, then what is the point of behaving properly.’ By thinking this way, we are mixing up the two drawers. We should not take Amida Buddha's’Wisdom and Compassion for granted...

If we keep mixing the drawers, Jodo Shinshu will be an excuse for our laziness…Do not mix up the drawers. Do not use the teaching (shinjin and nembutsu) as a tool to rationalize our egocentric actions.”

1 comentarii:

donald alexander said...

Thanks for the wisdom, I love what you say about shinshi ethics.I hope everyone read it because it's very simple but effective.if we don't the drawers will be mix up really. Thanks again.

Amida butsu.