Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 19)

Wednesday, April 13, 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 guides us to embrace the at times difficult work of helping others while keeping a playful heart.

And when he reaches that lotus-held world,
He immediately realizes the body of suchness or dharma-nature.
Then sporting in the forests of blind passions, he manifests transcendent powers;
Entering the garden of birth-and-death, he assumes various forms to guide others.

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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 15)

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

This month’s session will continue to explore the teachings of the Pure Land Master Nagarjuna, which open our minds to the easy path of entrusting in Amida Buddha.

Proclaiming the unexcelled Mahayana teaching,
He would attain the stage of joy and be born in the land of happiness.
Nagarjuna clarifies the hardship on the overland path of difficult practice,
And leads us to entrust to the pleasure on the waterway of easy practice.

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Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 14)

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

This month’s session will explore the teachings of the Pure Land Master Nagarjuna whose writings on the Middle Way serve as the foundation for the Mahayana Buddhist path to awakening.

Sakyamuni Tathagata, on Mount Lanka,
Prophesied to the multitudes that in south India
The mahasattva Nagarjuna would appear in this world
To crush the views of being and non-being;

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Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 13)

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

This month we enter into the section of Shoshinge that is based on the teachings of the Seven Masters who transmitted the Pure Land teaching westward across Asia over the course of two millennia.

The masters of India in the west, who explained the teaching in treatises,
And the eminent monks of China and Japan,
Clarified the Great Sage’s true intent in appearing in the world,
And revealed that Amida’s Primal Vow accords with the nature of beings.

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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 10)

This session will delve into the meaning expressed the following metaphor of the sun that shines through clouds and mists, and how the Buddha’s wisdom illuminates our lives even in times of difficulty and confusion.

The light of compassion that grasps us illumines and protects us always;
The darkness of our ignorance is already broken through;
Still the clouds and mists of greed and desire, anger and hatred,
Cover as always the sky of true and real shinjin.

But though light of the sun is veiled by clouds and mists,
Beneath the clouds and mists there is brightness, not dark.
When one realizes shinjin, seeing and revering and attaining great joy,
One immediately leaps crosswise, closing off the five evil courses.

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