Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do not associate shinjin (faith) with any special feelings or states of mind

There is no need to create something special into your mind.
By saying Namo Amida Bu in faith you accept that everything 
necesary to your salvation depends entirely on Amida Buddha. 
Give up to any expectations on what you should feel when you receive shinjin (faith). Stop philosophyzing about faith, stop waiting for special things to happen. Stop thinking that your mind will become stable because one day you will have faith. Even if you are not aware of this, you are confusing shinjin with some kind of a smaller satori (enlightenment), and you are waiting for miracles to happen. But what miracles can happen with an unelightened mind? Amida Buddha has absolutely no expectation from you and He offers you His salvation without any condition, so why do you create your own conditions in your head on how shinjin should be like?

Rather than imagining things about shinjin, you should simply entrust yourself to Amida. Faith does not presuposes any special states of mind. It is just a simple entrusting to Amida Buddha regarding you birth in His Pure Land after death. When you receive faith you enter the stage of those assured of birth in the Pure Land as you are, with all your imperfections. Please remember that the cause of your salvation is NOT in your mind and feelings, but in Amida. This is why you should not associate your feelings with shinjin (faith).  It really does not matter what you feel as long as you simply entrust yourself to Amida. It is Amida's job to save you, not yours, so stop worrying!

While you are still in this unenlightened environment, itself the effect of your karma and the collective karma of unenlightened beings, you cannot expect to feel wonderful things in relation with anything! Because your present mind is not yet a Buddha Mind, you will always find something to worry about or be sad about, even if you would have everything you want. You will always have ups and downs as long as you are not a Buddha.

All that happens when you receive shinjin is that the seed (or the cause) of birth into the Pure Land is planted witthin you by Amida Buddha. Then you become indestructibly connected to Amida and His Pure Land where you will actually go when the ties with your samsaric body are broken, at the time of death. Unlike here, where everything is conducive to more attachements, fears, delusions and blind passions - because this world is itself the effect of the collective karma of unenlightened beings - there, in the Pure Land, you will naturaly attain perfect Enlightenment because that Land is itself the effect of Enlightenment, and everything there is conducive to Enlightenment.

So, if you really want special things to happen, then wait until you are actually born in the Pure Land after death. Now just entrust to Amida without any expectations regarding your mind and feelings. You are like a person who knows he will soon be released from prison, but until the liberation day arrives, it is normal that he still experience the sufferings and limitations of prison life. You have been a prisoner of Samsara since the beginigless past, and as Shinran said in Tannisho, you are greatly attached to this house of pain. Amida Buddha has never had any expectations from you to act, feel and think like a free man while you are still in prison.
Namo Amida Butsu

- fragment from a letter to a friend -

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