Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 30)

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

We continue our study of the teachings of Honen-bo Genku, Shinran Shonin’s teacher, reflecting upon the hindrances caused by doubt, and benefits of shinjin, or entrusting in the Buddha’s teachings:

Return to this house of transmigration, of birth-and death,
Is decidedly caused by doubt.
Swift entrance into the city of tranquility, the uncreated,
Is necessarily brought about by shinjin.

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Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 29)

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Please join us as we encounter the teachings of Honen-bo Genku, Shinran Shonin’s teacher, who established a radically inclusive Sangha community where samurai and aristocrats sat shoulder to shoulder with outcastes and thieves to hear the message of Amida Buddha’s great compassion:

Master Genku, well-versed in the Buddha’s teaching,
Turned compassionately to foolish people, both good and evil;
Establishing in this remote land the teaching and realization that are the true essence of the Pure Land way,
He transmits the selected Primal Vow to us of the defiled world:

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

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.

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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;

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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