Thursday, June 17, 2021

Four misconceptions concerning the Nembutsu

The four misconceptions concerning the Nembutsu, presented by Master Seikaku in the Essentials of Faith Alone, refers to the wrong understanding of impermanence, bad karma, good karma, and the matter of once calling and many callings of the Name of Amida Buddha.

If we wish to understand a certain object we look to its qualities, to the elements that make it up. What are the elements and fundamental qualities of life? A body and mind which are subject to an inexorable cycle of birth, growing, maturity, decay and death.

Decay and death …. Especially these two must attract our attention in the same way we analyze a certain object: some qualities distinguish themselves from others and lead to the definition of the object.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

On doubts and fears

Question: “How does the person of Nembutsu, who has received shinjin, deal with the ‘demon’ of doubt that resurfaces after the believer has received and experienced the blessings of true entrusting from Amida Buddha? 

As foolish beings, our Saha world minds are prone to delusion and ‘doubt’. That is part of our hopeless condition as bonbu. Perhaps those who have doubt after receiving shinjin are loved all the more by Amida Nyorai, because Amida recognizes the great need to embrace these hopeless, helpless beings in their delusional state of doubt. A Chinese Pure Land Master once said, “You may not ever doubt Buddha Amitabha (Amida), but, you will doubt yourself.” (I realize that those who have shinjin have Amida’s own faith through His merit transference to us, and that Amida Buddha cannot doubt himself).

At some level, most Westerners, who are converts from some form of Christianity, know they are ‘risking their very eternal lives’ (souls?) to receive, and possibly transmit, the Dharma of our school of Buddhism.

What should I do about my bad thoughts that don’t stop even after entrusting myself to Amida Buddha?

-last revised June 10, 2021 -

Don’t busy yourself with them as Amida doesn’t take them into consideration. Your salvation has nothing to do with them. This is why Master Rennyo said that for the person of shinjin our negative karma is as if non-existent, in the sense that it will not become an obstacle to our attainment of Buddhahood in the Pure Land. This is also the meaning of “we attain Buddhahood without destroying blind passions”.

If bad thoughts arise in your mind, let them pass. It is not in your power to stop them and is not even recommended that you stop your thoughts, as this can bring mental problems. Just notice them and let them pass. They are your karma, your karmic tendencies, conscious or unconscious. I say they are “yours” because you are attached to them, identify yourself with them and you try to fulfill them, but in reality they are like clouds in the sky, impermanent and transitory. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Members of Amidaji: Keshin Maria Zita D'Abreu (Australia)

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My Dharma name is Shaku Keshin 華信 ("Flower of Faith"). I was born 5th September 1944 in Monte, Madeira Island in Portugal.

I was for a long time disappointed with the Catholic Church and I lost my belief. Then I started thinking where will I go if I die, for a few nights. Then I remembered that my son Kengo Jim E. said that people who believe in Amida Buddha go to the Pure Land. I was already sympathetic to this type of Buddhism. I saw my son's way of life since he met Rev. Josho online and the words my son shared with me about Amida was a great influence over the years. Then in November 2020 I made a decision to embrace the teachings of Amida Buddha and the Pure Land and on 24th November I told my son I believe in Amida. Since then I recite Nembutsu and believe the teaching on Amida Buddha.

In early May 2021, maybe just after midday, I was seated alone on a lounge in my home without any lights on and no direct sunlight was coming through any windows. I was leaning forward reciting Nembutsu silently, relaxed and my hands were not in gassho when I turned my head slightly to the right and saw close next to me to my surprise a half a metre square wide area of light with curved top corners. I looked at this light and because I was reciting when it appeared I felt this is Amida Buddha. I then turned my eyes to the left a bit and when I looked back the vision was gone. I remembered then that my son Kengo told me that he read in Rev. Josho's Spiritual Autobiography that he had a vision of Amida Buddha at his altar while he was saying Nembutsu.

I like my life now with Amida and it has purpose. I talk with Amida.

Keshin Maria Zita D'Abreu

 Western Australia

Friday, May 28, 2021

Amidaji members: Shaku Myoshin (United Kingdom)

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My Dharma name is Shaku Myoshin (“Wondrous Faith”). I was born 14th March 1971 in Kettering, Northamptonshire in England.

It wasn’t until I was around 18 years old that I had any interest in spiritual matters. My parents were completely non-religious and were determined that both me and my brother would be able to discover for ourselves what if anything we would believe in. But at the age of 18 an emotional crisis led me into an involvement with the occult and a huge interest in astrology.

Somehow, I went from that to being converted fully to Christianity about a year later. Yep, I went from a stargazing demon worshipper to a full-on Holy Ghost filled, Bible believing, speaking in tongues “Born Again” Christian. At the time I thought this was wonderful. I had some very powerful spiritual experiences over the next few years as a Christian which was a large reason why in spite of some growing questions, I stuck with it for as long as I did.

Dharma talks on my youtube channel