Showing posts with label AMIDA DHARMA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AMIDA DHARMA. Show all posts

Friday, June 5, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - the essential doctrine of Amidaji temple (free download edition)

I was inspired to write another introduction into Jodo Shinshu Buddhism which will be known from now on, as the essential book of Amidaji temple, a must-read for all members and students. (75 pages)

Many thanks to my Dharma Kosho Arana (Juan Sebastian Hincapie Arana) for proofreading the English manuscript.

Click here to download the book:

My google page

My page on Academia

You can also find all sections of the book bellow

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 14. The twelve moral precepts

1.Amida Dharma is neither an instrument to justify blind passions nor institutionalize them as normal behavior. Indeed, in its saving activity, Amida Buddha makes no distinction between virtuous and non-virtuous people. But making no distinction, out of Great Compassion, between them, saving them and leading them to His Pure Land  does not mean that He supports or encourages evil. It is extremely important to not confuse being saved as you are with the idea that all your actions are now worthy and good or that the Buddhas agree with them.
Amida saves us because we are incapable and miserable, destined to be reborn in hell or other lower realms of existence if we were left alone, at the mercy of the consequences of our deeds and because He has great compassion for all beings, but not because He agrees with our evil deeds! Instead of praising and justifying our blind passions, we should be ashamed of them and be grateful for the unconditional help offered by Amida Buddha.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 13. Two wrong views that must be avoided

1.Among the wrong views not accepted in Buddhism are the two extremes of nihilism and eternalism. The first states that only the material world exists and denies rebirth or life after death, and the second contains elements such as faith in an eternal god who is the creator, ruler, and judge of the world. Both visions contradict the law of cause and effect (karma), as well as the Buddhist explanations of the world, and should not be followed by Buddhist disciples.

2.Sons and daughters of True Dharma, do not be fooled by the nihilistic and materialistic teachings! No one is just body and matter! The body is the vehicle of consciousness, arising from the karma of past lives. Our consciousness (mind stream) is only carried by the body, covered by it, influenced and limited by it, but it is certainly not the body.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 12. The Three Refuges

1.As disciples of Amida and all Buddhas, our only refuge is Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. When we enter the Buddhist Path and we are welcomed in the community of believers (Sangha) we say the Three Refuges with faith and devotion: „I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha”.

2.For us who follow Amida Dharma or the Dharma Gate of birth in the Pure Land, to take refuge in the Buddha means to take refuge in Amida Buddha. Only through Him can we attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land as He is the only Buddha among all Buddhas who made the Vow of saving everybody, no matter their spiritual capacities.

3.By taking refuge in Amida, we automatically honor and take refuge in Shakyamuni Buddha as the Teacher who showed us the path of Amida Dharma (His main reason for coming into this world) and in all Buddhas in the ten directions, as they all encourage us, teach us and guide us to entrust to Amida Buddha.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 11. The benefits of birth in the Pure Land after death

1.Those born in the Pure Land through the Gate of True Faith immediately attain supreme Enlightenment. From the very moment they are born in Amida’s Pure Land they stop being ordinary beings subject to karma, repeated births and deaths, or to the various delusions and sufferings that are inherent to samsaric existence because they become all-powerful Buddhas free from all obstacles.

2.Unlike samsara, where the bodies of beings differ in beauty, health and lifespan, in the Pure Land they will have glorious and eternal manifestations, full of beauty and endless power. Also, they will be able to travel to any direction of the universe and take whatever form they wish, to help all beings, without actually leaving the Pure Land and without being affected by any suffering. Unlike here, where we are limited by time and space, in the Pure Land there will be no limits or obstacles and therefore, we will be able to be in billions of places at the same time.

Monday, March 23, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 10. The benefits in this life of those who have faith in Amida Buddha

1. The disciple who has faith in Amida is protected and sustained by various spirits, gods and unseen powers who are themselves followers of the Buddha-Dharma

2.The disciple who has faith in Amida is protected by all Buddhas. They accompany him day and night like his own shadow.

3.The disciple who has faith in Amida is protected by the Light of this Buddha’s heart. No demon, spirit or evil god can harm him.
Also, those who have faith in Amida will never lose it.
We are stable and constant in our faith due to Amida’s influence on us, His protection and the protection of all Buddhas. Amida’s Power is always working inside our minds and keeping us on the right Path to His Pure Land. A person who has genuine faith in Amida will never fall back to non-Buddhist paths, never embrace wrong views or doubt Amida’s salvation. On the contrary, he will, due to Amida’s protection and the protection of all Buddhas, be constant in his profound understanding that self-power is useless in attaining supreme Enlightenment, and so he will never waver from true and real faith (shinjin) in Amida.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 9. The five conditions for birth in the Pure Land

1.There are five conditions that someone must meet in order to be born in the Pure Land: karmic good from the past, a good spiritual teacher, Amida’s Light, faith (shinjin) and the saying of Amida Buddha's Name (Nembutsu)

2.The good from the past represents our good karma from past lives and this life (prior to the awakening of faith) which manifests itself as an opening or receptive state of mind towards the message of the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha.
In Jodo Shinshu a very important practice is to listen to the teaching. However, a lot of people hear the teaching about the Primal Vow but few are opened to it. This openness is very important in our tradition and it is the manifestation of the karmic good from the past. Also, if you listen again and again to the teaching in this life, thus becoming immersed with all your being in the Dharma, this listening will become a karmic good which one day will make you open to the Primal Vow.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 8. The way to Faith - listening to the teaching

1.If we do not listen deeply to the teaching, but instead we are full of our egos and with ideas of what we think we can achieve through our personal power, or if we are under the influence of various non-Buddhist religions then we cannot receive faith nor say the true Nembutsu which is the natural manifestation of faith.

2.Faith and Nembutsu are not imposed by force in our hearts by Amida Buddha, so if somebody does not show interest in the Buddhist teaching and especially in the teaching on the Primal Vow of Amida then that person cannot entrust to Amida.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 7. The answer to the Call of Buddha Amida

1.Like the sun who sends its rays everywhere, Amida is calling all beings to entrust to Him; nevertheless some people close the windows of their minds and hearts while others keep them open. But even if you open your window, the rays of light belong to the sun, and not to yourself. It is the same with faith.

2.It is because of Amida that one entrusts to Amida. The echo of Amida's Call in one's heart (faith) is due to the power of the One who calls (Amida).
Some people become open to this Call while others don't. Your openness depends on how karmically mature you are in relation to this Call, which is why in our school we are asked to listen again and again to Amida Dharma until we finally become open to it.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 6. The eight precepts of faith

1.Those who wish to be in harmony with the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha and to protect the transmission of true faith for other generations, helping themselves and others to not fall into wrong views, must have faith themselves and posses the eight elements of faith. They must also follow the eight precepts of faith.

2.The first precept of faith:
A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself deny, or encourage others to deny the actual, literal existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of denying the existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must have devotion and faith in Amida Buddha, always helping sentient beings to entrust to Him and aspire to be born in His Pure Land.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fasicle 5. The eight elements of faith

1.Faith (shinjin) in Amida Buddha, the saying of His Name (Namo Amida Bu) and the wish to be born in His Pure Land after death, are the three important things Amida Buddha asks from us. All this three elements are in fact manifestations of faith (shinjin) because the follower who has faith in Amida will certainly say His Name and desire to be with Him in His Pure Land. So, the saying of the Name and the wish to be born there are expressions of faith. Only a person who has true faith in Amida Buddha will say the Name in an authentic way and wish to be born in His Pure Land.

2. When one has faith (shinjin), one is convinced that Amida Buddha and His Pure Land exist, and that the Promise He made in His Primal Vow is true, so one simply entrusts to this Buddha and wishes to go to His Pure Land after death. Saying Namo Amida Bu (Nembutsu) often or seldom means exactly this – “I entrust to Amida Buddha/I take refuge in Amida Buddha and I wish to go to His Pure Land”. It also means, “Homage to Amida Buddha” and “Thank you Amida Buddha for saving me as I am”.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 4. Personal power and Amida’s Power

1.The teachings and practices taught by Shakyamuni Buddha can be classified in two categories, depending on the capacities of beings: the path of personal power (jiriki) and the path of reliance on the Power of Amida Buddha (Tariki).

2.The path of personal power is also called the difficult path because it refers to following the Buddhist practices and attaining Enlightenment through one’s own efforts. It is a path which often includes retiring from the world.

3.The Path of reliance on the Power of Amida Buddha (the Path of Faith) is also called the easy path because it depends exclusively on the unconditional help offered by Amida who guides the faithful to His Pure Land where Enlightenment is spontaneously attained.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 3. Shakyamuni Buddha and Amida Buddha

1. Human history, as we know it, is only a very small fraction of the endless and inconceivable time of the universe. This means that many world systems and beings living in them had existed before this earth and will continue to exist after its disappearance. Thus, in the beginnigless past a great number of Buddhas appeared in various worlds and will continue to appear in the never ending future.

2. The Enlightened Person who taught the Dharma during our present human history was Shakyamuni Buddha and the teachings and methods presented by Him were transmitted to us in the form of sutras (discourses).

3.Different Buddhist schools were created based on various sutras (discourses). Our Jodo Shinshu school
( the True Pure Land School) which we also call Amida Dharma was formed based on the The Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life (Larger Sutra). A lineage of Masters from India, China, and Japan transmitted and explained the teaching of this sutra, among which the most important is Shinran Shonin, the founder of this school in Japan, and Rennyo Shonin, the restorer.

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 2. Buddha nature and escape from samsara

1.Escaping the cycle of repeated births and deaths or waking up from the samsaric dream is called the attainment of Buddhahood. As in the case of a precious jewel buried underneath a mountain of trash, all beings have Buddha nature, hidden under thousands of layers of delusions and blind passions.

2. Just like all seeds have the natural potential to become trees, all sentient beings have the natural potential to become Buddhas, that is, to awaken to their own Buddha nature. Beyond the various layers of our delusory personality, the Buddha nature is the true reality, uncreated and indestructible, the treasure hidden in every one of us. When it's discovered, the causes of suffering and repeated births and deaths are annihilated and the one who attained it becomes himself a savior and guide of all beings that are still caught in the slavery of samsara.

Friday, March 20, 2020

AMIDA DHARMA - Fascicle 1. Karma and Samsara

1.There is a natural law, a supreme law, uncreated and the same for all. It is called karma and it means that everything is cause and effect.

2.Thoughts and intentions represent the karma of mind, words are the karma of speech and the actions are the karma of body. These are the three types of karma. They define and create all beings and they also determine the environment in which we are born.

3. All that we think, speak or do will affect our personal history. What we are now is the result of what we thought, said or did in the past, in another lifetime or in the present life; and what we think, speak and do in the present will create us in the future. 

AMIDA DHARMA - Introduction

Jodo Shinshu Buddhism or Amida Dharma is the Path to Nirvana (perfect Enlightenment) through faith in Amida Buddha. This Path was taught by Shakyamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha) and was later transmitted to our times by a long series of Masters and teachers among which I mention Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), the founder of this school in Japan and Rennyo Shonin (1415-1499), the restorer.

The words ”Jodo Shinshu” mean ”the True Pure Land School” and Dharma means teaching. Amida Dharma is the teaching about the unconditional salvation offered by Amida Buddha. With the help of this Buddha called Amida we are born in His Pure Land (His sphere of influence) after death where we attain perfect Enlightenment (Nirvana).

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch