Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The meaning of "if when I attain Buddhahood" [...] "may I not attain the supreme Enlightenment" from the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha


Amida Buddha promised in His Primal Vow:

"If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters, with sincere mind entrusting themselves, aspiring to be born in my land, and saying my Name perhaps even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain the supreme Enlightenment."

I explained the content of the Primal Vow here, at this link, but now I would like to focus more on the specific words from its beginning and end because I saw that many people misunderstand it:

"if when I attain Buddhahood" [...] "may I not attain the supreme Enlightenment"

Sunday, January 7, 2018

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


I saw a passage about Amida Buddha from Kodo Sawaki, a respected Zen master, quoted over five times lately on Facebook, like a big thing by Pure Land followers who are not careful to what they spread online. At first sight, it's a good teaching, but at the careful examination, we can see its nothing else but a Zen interpretation and NOT in accord with the Jodo Shinshu teaching. Here it is:

"Amitabha 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. " (Kodo Sawaki Roshi)

So, the first two sentences are ok if taken out of the rest of the passage - yes, Amida Buddha (Amitabha) exists no matter we believe in Him or not. That is true. But the rest of the passage is just Zen talk with NO relevance for us, followers of the Pure Land Dharma gate.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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

-last revised January 2nd, 2018 -

Don’t busy yourself with them, as Amida does the same. Your salvation has nothing to do with them. This is why Master Rennyo said that our negative karma is like non-existent, in the sense that it will not become an obstacle to our birth in the Pure Land where we attain Buddhahood. This is also the meaning of “we attain Buddhahood without destroying blind passions”. In fact, once born in the Pure Land our blind passions dissapear automatically, but until then, and while we are still in our delusory bodies, blind passions are not a hindrance to our salvation which depends exclusively on  Amida Buddha. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Paul Roberts was born in the Pure Land

"At the end of your life you will enter the family of the Buddhas, that is, the Pure Land."
Shinran Shonin

Paul Roberts recently left his physical body and was reborn in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. He was a true follower and teacher of Jodo Shinshu and a guide for many.
In our times of profound corruption of the Dharma he was a clear and uncompromising voice, standing up against wrong views, and defending the right teaching. 

Because we shared the same simple faith in Amida Buddha and the same cause of fighting against modern divergences, we often collaborated. I sent many of my readers to his online group True Shin Buddhism, and he recommended me and my website to others. 

His determination and uncompromising style was an example for all, and I am sure that his students, Egen (Richard St Clair) and Camille, will continue his Dharma work, as they too share the same faith and the same courage like him.
Thank you Paul, for your service.

Namo Amida Bu

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My new book The Four Profound Thoughts Which Turn the Mind Towards Amida Dharma (free online edition)

tentative cover - it will be improved when
I raise enough funds for the printed edition
Dear Dharma friends,

I am happy to share with you the free online edition of my new book, The Four Profound Thoughts Which Turn the Mind Towards Amida Dharma. This is the improved and proofreaded version of the teaching series you probably saw on this website.

About the book (from the Foreword):
The Four Profound Thoughts are basic teachings, something like a preliminary to any Buddhist path or practice. It has the effect of turning the mind towards the Buddha Dharma and should be a constant companion no matter if one is a beginner or an older follower. Sometimes they are reffered to as the Four Contemplations, the Four Understandings or the Four Reminders. Because in this book I explain them in the context of the Pure Land Dharma Gate of Jodo Shinshu (Amida Dharma), I decided to call them the Four Profound Thoughts which Turn the Mind Towards the  Amida Dharma. These Profound Thoughts are:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Contemplating the suffering of the intermediate state (bardo)

article connected to this collection of teachings

After describing each of the six realms of samsaric existence, I find it important to also explain the intermediate state between death and the next rebirth (antarabhava in Sanskrit, bardo in Tibetan)[1]. All beings pass through this state, which is itself filled with various dangers and suffering, depending on the individual karma. But first, let me say a few words about the process of dying.

Not all beings die the same way. Those who cultivated virtue and who die with a virtuous mind, that is, while remembering their good deeds or focusing on good thoughts, may see various pleasant images as though in a dream. Their death is comfortable and do not feel too much pain in body. On the other hand, those who did evil deeds and who die with an unvirtuous and attached mind experience  immense suffering when leaving their bodies: