First time

First time

Postby Greg_the_poet » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:07 pm

I'm going to a Pure land Temple tonight for the first time. What can I expect? I've practiced in Soto Zen before. Is the meditation practice similar? I know there's a lot more chanting.
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Re: First time

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:14 pm

East Asian Pure Land is a huge grouping, with each of its own Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese and western variants of these in mind in liturgical practice styles and customs. What type are you attending? If I were new, I would just head for the back row, observe everyone and basic decorum.
If there's someone guiding me, I would take that into account too.
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Re: First time

Postby Greg_the_poet » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:20 pm

It's a Japanese temple called three wheels, and it is Shin Buddhist centre.
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Re: First time

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:38 pm

Maybe this may be the one you are about to attend?
Classes held every Monday evening. Instruction is given on finding the correct posture and developing the inner peace and stillness in which to develop the core Shin Buddhist teaching of awakening gratitude towards Amida Buddha. The sessions are based on the Zen practice of sitting meditation but individuals are welcome to sit in ways that are comfortable and familiar to them.
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Re: First time

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:40 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:It's a Japanese temple called three wheels, and it is Shin Buddhist centre.

In some Shin schools,
Meditation is regarded as a "self-powered" activity, and thus, futile.
But, keep an open mind.
In its own way, it is a very profound path.
I was going to say they probably won't do meditation.
But after seeing plwk's link, I may be wrong.
Please post back again and share your experience and thoughts!!!
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Re: First time

Postby PorkChop » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:47 pm

I second what PadmaVonSamba said about keeping an open mind.
Try not to get too uncomfortable from any of the symbolism and give it a little time to percolate before you make a decision whether to stick around or not.
Sometimes, your own history & baggage can really distort how you view things.
Sometimes, you just gotta give something time to percolate before you can really see it for what it is, on its own terms, without your own prejudices getting in the way.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:In some Shin schools,
Meditation is regarded as a "self-powered" activity, and thus, futile.


Yeah, but meditation out of gratitude is totally legit. :)
Knowing the Japanese mentality, shifting from "jibun wo migaku" 自分を磨く(self improvement) to "on" 恩 (gratitude) as motivation is sheer genius imho.
Improves not only motivation, but the relinquishing of the self...
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Re: First time

Postby PorkChop » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:57 pm

Quick FYI
Just found this awesome article from a recent Tricycle that really puts a lot of things about Shin Buddhism in proper perspective...
http://www.tricycle.com/living-dharma/get-real
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Re: First time

Postby gordtheseeker » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:28 pm

Look forward to hearing your impressions of the temple. I am new to Buddhism and have been mainly interested in Zen but also looking into Pure Land too as I like the practicing nembutsu. I have found it a wonderful experience and I plan to visit the local Pure Land temple in my city soon.
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Re: First time

Postby Zenshin 善心 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Hey Greg, i lived there for half a year before coming to Japan and living now at the head temple, Shogyoji. They are very welcoming there and i'm sure they'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please say hi to Kemmyo-sensei and Kenshin-san for me and feel free to pm me if you want to know anything. I'm travelling at the mo but will get back to you when i can.
All beings since their first aspiration till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.

Thus for the sake of all beings Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.


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