Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 24)

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

We welcome you to join us via Zoom Meeting from the comfort and safety of your own home on Wednesday, December 14 for this free Dharma Study Class.

6:00 p.m. Shōshinge Sōfu Chanting

Chanting Shōshinge embodies the heart of daily Nembutsu practice in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.  Join us to experience the settled the mind through focused breathing and meditative listening.

7:00 p.m. Reading and Discussion

In this month’s session we will continue our study of the teachings of the Chinese Pure Land Master Tao-ch’o (Daochuo), whose teachings illuminate how our encounter with the Buddha’s compassionate vow brings about liberation for all of us who struggle to practice goodness in the world of conflict and delusion.

With kind concern he teaches the three characteristics of entrusting and non-entrusting,
Compassionately guiding all identically, whether they live when the dharma survives as but form, when in its last stage, or when it has become extinct.
Though a person has committed evil all his life, when he encounters the Primal Vow,
He will reach the world of peace and realize the perfect fruit of enlightenment.

Full text of Shōshinge

Handout

Coming Soon!

To join us for this online Dharma Session, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Study Classes and Seminars”.

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 21)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

We welcome you to join us via Zoom Meeting from the comfort and safety of your own home on Wednesday, June 8 for this free Dharma Study Class.

6:00 p.m. Shōshinge Sōfu Chanting

Chanting Shōshinge embodies the heart of daily Nembutsu practice in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.  Join us to experience the settled the mind through focused breathing and meditative listening.

7:00 p.m. Reading and Discussion

In this month’s session we will continue our study of the Chinese Pure Land Master Tanluan, whose commentary on the treatise of Bodhisattva Vasubandhu clarifies that our attainment of awakening and our guiding of others to awakening are both possible not through our own efforts, but by relying on Amida Buddha’s compassionate vow.

In his commentary on the treatise of Bodhisattva Vasubandhu,
He shows that the cause and attainment of birth in the fulfilled land lie in the Vow.
Our going and returning, directed to us by Amida, come about through Other Power;
The truly decisive cause is shinjin.

Full text of Shōshinge

Handout

To join us for this online Dharma Session, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Study Classes and Seminars”.

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 18)

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

This month’s session will continue to explore the teachings of the Pure Land Master Vasubandhu, whose treatise on the Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable has guided many through the generations to take refuge in the Amida Buddha’s compassionate vow.

He discloses the mind that is single so that all beings be saved
By Amida’s directing of virtue through the power of the Primal Vow.
When a person turns and enters the great treasure ocean of virtue,
Necessarily he joins Amida’s assembly;

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 18)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 17)

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

This month’s session will explore the teachings of the Pure Land Master Vasubandhu, whose treatise on the Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable has guided many through the generations to take refuge in the Amida Buddha’s compassionate vow.

Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, composing a treatise, declares
That he takes refuge in the Tathagata of unhindered light,
And that relying on the sutras, he will reveal the true and real virtues,
And make widely known the great Vow by which we leap crosswise beyond birth-and-death.

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 17)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 16)

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

This month’s session will continue to explore the teachings of the Pure Land Master Nagarjuna, who clarifies that mindfulness of Amida Buddha is the path swiftly realize the settled mind.

He teaches that the moment one thinks on Amida’s Primal Vow,
One is naturally brought to enter the stage of the definitely settled;
Solely saying the Tathagata’s Name constantly,
One should respond with gratitude to the universal Vow of great compassion.

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 16)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 12)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The nembutsu is the easy path to awakening because its liberating power does not come from our own efforts.  In this month’s gathering we will explore the challenges of entrusting our lives to Amida Buddha’s compassionate Vow.

For evil sentient beings of wrong views and arrogance,
The nembutsu that embodies Amida’s Primal Vow
Is hard to accept in shinjin;
This most difficult of difficulties, nothing surpasses.

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 12)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 11)

In this session we reflect upon the Dharma truth expressed in the lotus, a symbol of pure awakening that blossoms, not in pristine clear water, but from the messy muck of everyday life.

All foolish beings, whether good or evil,
When they hear and entrust to Amida’s universal Vow,
Are praised by the Buddha as people of vast and excellent understanding;
Such a person is called a pure white lotus.

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 11)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 3)

This month we learn about the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha, which is the heart of the Jodo Shinshu teaching, as we consider the following lines from Shōshinge:

He then established the supreme, incomparable Vow;
He made the great Vow rare and all-encompassing.

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 3)”

48 Vows of Bodhisattva Dharmakara (Amida Buddha)

From the Three Pure Land Sutras, Volume II: The Larger Sutra, pg. 20-29

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1

“‘If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be hell, the realm of hungry spirits, or the realm of animals in my land, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

2

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land, should, after their death, return once more to the three evil realms, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

3

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not all be the color of genuine gold, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

4

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not all be of the same appearance and should be either beautiful or ugly, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

5

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not remember all their former lives,[1] and thus be unable to know at least the events of the previous hundred thousand kotis of *nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

6

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess divine eyes,[2] and thus be unable to see at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

7

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess divine ears,[3] and thus be unable to hear the teachings being expounded by at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddhas or remember them all, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

8

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess the wisdom to see into the minds of others,[4] and thus be unable to know the thoughts of the sentient beings of at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

9

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess divine feet, and thus be unable to go beyond at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands in a thought‐moment, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

10

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should give rise to any thought of attachment to their body, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

11

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not dwell in the stage of the truly settled and necessarily attain nirvana, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

12

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be finite, not illuminating even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

13

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life should be finite, limited even to a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

14

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the number of sravakas in my land could be counted and known, even if all the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas in the *triple‐thousand great thousand worlds should spend at least a hundred thousand kalpas counting them, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

15

When I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land will not have a limited life span, except when they wish to shorten it freely according to their original vows. Should this not be so, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

16

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should even hear that there are names of evil acts, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

17

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the countless Buddhas throughout the worlds in the ten quarters should not all glorify and praise my name, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.[5]

18

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters who, with sincere and *entrusting heart, aspire to be born in my land and say my name even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment. Excluded are those who commit the *five grave offenses and *those who slander the right Dharma.[6]

Continue reading “48 Vows of Bodhisattva Dharmakara (Amida Buddha)”

Dharma Discussion: Śīla (July 19, 2020)

Please review the Bodhisattva Precepts

Discussion Questions

  1.  How do you practice these precepts in your daily life?
  2. Is there meaning in doing one’s best, even though one is not able to practice these perfectly in daily life?
  3. Which of these do you think our world needs most at the present moment?

Honen’s Perspective on upholding precepts (from The Passages on the the Selection of the Nembutsu in the Original Vow)

If the original vow required us to make images of the Buddha and to build stupas, the poor and destitute would surely have no hope of birth, but the fact is that the rich and highborn are few, while the poor and lowborn are exceedingly many.  

Continue reading “Dharma Discussion: Śīla (July 19, 2020)”