Showing posts with label NEMBUTSU AND ZEN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEMBUTSU AND ZEN. Show all posts

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Stop using Zen Masters explanations when referring to Amida Buddha - an example



Question: Zen Master Kodo Sawaki said: „Amitabha (Amida) doesn’t exist because I believe he exists. Amitabha Buddha exists without being concerned whether I believe in him or not. Regardless what I think or believe, Amitabha is the whole heaven and earth. Being pulled by Amitabha’s original vow that is the absolute reality, I function through my own body, speech, and mind as all-pervading self. This is being a Buddha—a great being, a truly mature person.” How do you comment on this?

Answer: I saw that passage about Amida Buddha from Kodo Sawaki, a respected Zen master, quoted many  times, like a big thing by Pure Land followers who are not careful to what they share with others. At first sight, it's a good teaching, but at a careful examination, we can see it’s nothing else but a Zen interpretation and NOT in accord with the Jodo Shinshu teaching.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My answer to a comment comparing Zen with Jodo Shinshu

Faith, saying of the Name and wish to be born
 in the Pure Land are the only three elements
 of Amida's Primal Vow. 
A person wrote to me recently as a comment to my article, "Faith is simple, nothing special", comparing Zen with Jodo Shinshu. Here are some ideas that he expressed:

"I just want to add that in other traditions to "gain mind" is also deprecated. In Soto Zen the ideal state is the Mushotoku (no gain mind), achieved by growing Bodaishin / Boddhichita. The practice of Shikantaza in Soto Zen is not successful if not "just sit". There is no  egoic intent to achieve something in Shikantaza".

He also compared the koan in Rinzai Zen with what Shinran called, giving up to any calculations. Then he mentioned this: "I would say that any practitioner of any Mahayanist school who is practicing with an obsessive mind for results, is in error". 

This was my answer:
As long as they are not enlightened, sentient beings will always have an obssesive mind. Only a Buddha can just sit in shikantaza; any other person is just an immitator. Also, only the Buddha can be without ego, sit without ego, and do whatever He wants without any personal goal. Thus, only a Buddha is trully Mushotoku.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Amidaji is strictly a Jodo Shinshu temple - short discussion between me and Zuio Inagaki Sensei

the altar of Amidaji Temple
I was recently asked by Rev Zuio Hisao Inagaki (June 22nd 2016):

"I wonder if your temple is purely Jodo Shinshu or Zen or combination of both. I am in favor of seeing a combination of both, or a new way of Buddhism".

This was my answer:

My temple is strictly Jodo Shinshu. I am strongly against any combination between Jodo Shinshu and Zen or Jodo Shinshu and anything else.

As Shinran or Rennyo did not make any combination, I myself will make none. We are ignorant, unenlightened beings and so we do not have the authority nor the wisdom to play with various Dharma gates  or create a "new way of Buddhism", as you say. I even think that this is very dangerous and leads people into confusion. We, as priests and teachers should try to be as simple as possible, so that even illiterate can understand the Call of Amida, and have a simple faith in Him. We live in times of great confusion in the international sangha with various clerics and scholars teaching many wrong views, like the "Pure Land is here and now" or "in our minds", or describing Amida as a metaphor, fictional character, etc, and this makes ordinary people to depart from true birth in the Pure Land. To add more to this big mountain of confusion, like mixing Jodo Shinshu with Zen, is something I will never do.

My goal is to escape Samsara as quickly as possible and to help others escape it as quickly as possible. Without the Primal Vow, there is no chance of doing this, and in the Primal Vow there is no mention of anything else than entrusting ourselves to Amida Buddha, say His Name in faith and wish to be born in His Pure Land. Thus, Amidaji is a temple which limits itself to the Primal Vow. 

***
Here is another short question and answer between me and Inagaki Sensei:

Friday, June 20, 2014

We cannot mix Nembutsu with Zazen

In zazen, one simply dwells in awareness and lets go to any thought that appears in one’s mind. Even if the thought of Amida and of saying His Name appears, the Zen practitioner will simply let it go; he does not reject it, but also does not embrace it, either. However, this attitude is not in accord with the teaching of our school, where we “cling to Amida’s sleeves’, take refuge in Amida, and say His Name in faith. So, a true Jodo Shinshu follower who entrusts to Amida cannot engage in the practice of zazen, because in the very moment he refuses to say the nembutsu, or lets go to the thought on Amida, he in fact, abandons the Pure Land path. Similarly, in the very moment a Zen practitioner takes refuge in Amida and says the nembutsu of faith, he abandons the Zen path or the Zen attitude of mind.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No zazen here for this ignorant man



Zen practitioners say that zazen is the posture of the Buddha. It is being the Buddha.
I agree with them and exactly because it is so, I prefer to sit in zazen after I’m born in the Pure Land. As a Buddha in the Pure Land, zazen will be natural, while here in samsara is just an imitation. Here, for this ignorant man, only nembutsu of faith is true and real.


NEW poems by Gansen John Welch