Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 28)

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Please join us for a conversation about the teachings of the Japanese Pure Land Master Genshin, whose teachings offer the assurance that the light of the Buddha’s compassion is constantly illuminating our path forward in life, even when we are not aware of it.

The person burdened with extreme evil should simply say the Name:
Although I too am within Amida’s grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and illumines me always.

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The End of Life for a Heavenly Being

From Genshin’s Essentials for Attaining Birth

In the Heaven of the Thirty-Three the pleasures are limitless, but at end of a heavenly being’s life, the following five signs of declining health appear.  First, the crown of flowers that adorns her head suddenly withers.  Second, dirt and dust cling to her heavenly robes.   Third, her armpits start sweating.  Fourth, her vision fades in both eyes.  Fifth, she no longer feels comfortable in the place she has always been.  

When these signs appear, her entourage of heavenly ladies all discard her like a weed and go far away leaving her behind.  She lies in the forest crying bitterly and laments, “These heavenly ladies have always been at my side.  How could they suddenly discard me like a weed?  Now there is nothing I can rely on and no-one I can depend on.  Who will save me?”

. . . Though she calls out in this way, no-one tries to help her.  The Sutra on the Six Paramitas teaches that this suffering is even worse than birth in a hell realm.

(Taisho Tripitaka, Vol. 84, p. 39, translated by Henry Adams)

Treasure this Human Life (August 20)

Rev. Adams will share a Dharma Talk about why birth into human life, despite all its difficulties and disappointments, provides the most precious opportunity for attaining awakening and is considered to be even more ideal than birth in a heavenly realm of pleasure and satisfied desire.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Mindfulness Meditation with David Crampton
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion (Dharma Room)

We welcome you to join us in person!

To join us online via Zoom , CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 27)

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Please join us for a conversation about the teachings of the Japanese Pure Land Master Genshin, whose teachings set the stage for the flowering of the Pure Land teaching in Japan.

Genshin, having broadly elucidated the teachings of Sakyamuni’s lifetime,
Wholeheartedly took refuge in the land of peace and urges all to do so;
Ascertaining that minds devoted to single practice are profound, to sundry practice, shallow,
He sets forth truly the difference between the fulfilled land and the transformed land.

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The Four Universal Bodhisattva Vows

Living beings are limitless, I vow to liberate them all.

Blind passions are limitless, I vow to sever them all.

Dharma gates are inexhaustible, I vow to know them all.

Unsurpassed is awakening, I vow to realize it.

Commentary from Genshin’s Ojoyoshu, Section on the Correct Practice of the Nembutsu

To begin with, the manifestation of practice is generally called the mind that vows to become a Buddha.  It is also referred to as the mind that seeks the highest awakening while transforming living beings below.  The manifestation of practice is also expressed as the Four Universal Vows.

These vows can be understood in two ways.  The first way is to understand the Four Universal Vows as they arise from life situations.  This is compassion conditioned by a feeling of sympathy for living beings[1], or compassion conditioned by an appreciation of the Dharma[2].  The second way is to understand the Four Universal Vows as they arise from true reality.  This is unconditioned compassion[3].

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