The chanting of Shōshinge embodies the heart of daily Nembutsu practice in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Join us to experience the settling of the mind through focused breathing and meditative listening.
7:00 p.m. Reading and Discussion
This month we will consider the following verse which illuminates the the profound transformation that occurs with the arising of the one thought-moment of joy.
When the one thought-moment of joy arises, Nirvana is attained without severing blind passions; When ignorant and wise, even grave offenders and slanders of the dharma, all alike turn and enter shinjin, They are like waters that, on entering the ocean, become one in taste with it.
This month as we celebrate Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday, the following verse from the Shoshinge expresses our appreciation for the meaning of his appearance in this world:
Sakyamuni Tathagata appeared in this world Solely to teach the ocean-like Primal Vow of Amida; We, an ocean of beings in an evil age of five defilements, Should entrust ourselves to the Tathagata’s words of truth.
Chapter Eight, “Evil Spirits” Attainment of Reverent Trust,” part one, of the Great Collection “Moon-Matrix” Sutra, fascicle five, states:
[The Buddha said,] “All beings! If you keep your distance from wrong views, you will gain ten kinds of virtue. What are these ten? First, with your mind pliant and good, you will have companions who are wise and virtuous. Second, believing in the recompense of actions, leading even to death, you will not commit any evil acts. Third, venerating the three treasures, you will not trust in gods. Fourth, adopting right views, you will not decide propitious or unpropitious times according to the season, day or month. Fifth, always being born in realms of human beings or devas, you will never fall into the evil courses. Sixth, attaining a mind of clarity in wisdom and goodness, you will be praised by others. Seventh, abandoning secular involvements, you will always pursue the holy path. Eighth, parting from views of annihilation and eternality, you will believe in the law of causation. Ninth, you will always meet and be with people of right faith, right practice, and right aspiration. Tenth, you will be born into the good courses of existence.
“You will direct the roots of good acquired from casting off wrong views toward attainment of supreme, perfect enlightenment. People who do so quickly fulfill the six paramitas and will attain perfect enlightenment in a Buddha-land of goodness and purity. Having achieved enlightenment, they will adorn sentient beings with their virtues, wisdom, and all their roots of good in their own Buddha-land. Being born in those lands, people do not put trust in gods; leaving behind their fear of the evil course, they will be born into good courses on ending their lives there.”
This month we reflect upon the following verse as it relates to our journey to the Other Shore of enlightenment:
The Name embodying the Primal Vow is the act of true settlement, The Vow of entrusting with sincere mind is the cause of birth; We realize the equal of enlightenment and supreme nirvana Through the fulfillment of the Vow of attaining nirvana without fail.
In medieval Japan, the nenbutsu was certainly one of the most popular forms of Buddhist practice. The nenbutsu was understood in various ways, and the term “nenbutsu” referred not only to the recitation of the name of Amitabha Buddha in the formula, “Namo Amida Butsu,” but also, the “nenbutsu” was employed as a mantra, a spell, a doctrinal exegetical device, and so on. In this presentation, I will talk about the diversity of nenbutsu practice in medieval Japan, especially the more “esoteric” side of the nenbutsu.
We welcome you to join us via Zoom Meeting from the comfort and safety of your own home on Saturday, February 13 for this Dharma session.
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