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 Post subject: Amidism in Tendai
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:12 am 
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Hello,

I have a question about the way Amida and his Pure Land are understood in Tendai shu.
As far as I know in Jodo Shinshu, Amida is mostly thought of as Dharmakaya, thus not seperated from ourselves, and the Pure Land is identified with Nirvarna, which you are able to reach after death, if you realized Shinjin during this lifetime.

In Jodo shu, Amida is thought of as a real entity that was once a normal human being and became a Buddha an inconceivable time ago, and the Pure Land is a real place, where you can be reborn, if you recite the Nenbutsu.
Please correct me if I missunderstood something here.

What is the understanding in the Tendai shu? Could it be, seen in the context of the hongaku thought, that this earth is understood as the Pure Land and we are not different from Amida, we just haven't realized it yet. And if so, does this also effect the way Nenbutsu is practiced by lay people? I think in the Shinnyokan it is said, that the invocational Nenbutsu must be based on the nonduality with Amida.

Thank you
Gassho


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 Post subject: Re: Amidism in Tendai
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:42 am 
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Hello Yoshitsune,

I'm afraid, being a layman my knowledge is limited, but I have come across the latter two of those beliefs but not the first one. That's not to say there aren't people within the Tendai Shu that don't believe that. The Tendai Shu is pretty vast and ecclectic, so it is quite possible that all 3 beliefs exist in the Tendai Shu.

Gassho,
Seishin.

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 Post subject: Re: Amidism in Tendai
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:16 am 
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Hello Seishin,

thank you very much for your answer. Please excuse my late reply. Could you tell me more about the Nenbutsu practice for lay people in Tendai-shû. All I know of is the Jôgyôzanmi practice for ordained persons.

Gasshô


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 Post subject: Re: Amidism in Tendai
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:11 am 
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There is a regular nenbutsu practice for the laity in Tendaishū during the evening gongyō. Both the junen and the nenbutsu ichie are part of the daily practice. Concerning your first question about the interpretation of the Pure Land in Tendai: You're right, that we are not existentially different from Amida Buddha (nor from any other Buddha), but nevertheless the Pure Land is treated as a place you enter after death not as this being present in this world. Neither Genshins Ōjōyōshū nor the Pure Land practice in Tendaishū seem to indicate, that the Pure Land is something that can be realized in this life (see Repp "Hōnens religiöses Denken" pp. 147-218).

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 Post subject: Re: Amidism in Tendai
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Pure land tradition in the Tendai-shū seems to be more complex, than in the Jodō-shū or Jodō Shinshū. I would love to learn more about it. What about the important role of Amida in the four kinds of samadhi? Could anyone say something about that? And if the nenbutsu is for the purpose of entering the Pure Land after death, then how does the following quote fit into all this?

Jikan wrote:
The accumulation of merit wasn't mentioned when I was taught the practice of nembutsu, for what that's worth. Instead, it was taught in the context of hongaku (inherent enlightenment): we have in ourselves all of Amida's qualities in a latent form; the purpose of nembutsu is ultimately to draw out or manifest those enlightened qualities. I don't think this is how nembutsu is presented in any Jodo school


Also what is the pure land actually in Tendai thought? From what I have read until now I don't think it is understood as a physical place like in the Jodō-shū.

Gasshō


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 Post subject: Re: Amidism in Tendai
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Yoshitsune wrote:
Pure land tradition in the Tendai-shū seems to be more complex, than in the Jodō-shū or Jodō Shinshū. I would love to learn more about it. What about the important role of Amida in the four kinds of samadhi? Could anyone say something about that? And if the nenbutsu is for the purpose of entering the Pure Land after death, then how does the following quote fit into all this?

Jikan wrote:
The accumulation of merit wasn't mentioned when I was taught the practice of nembutsu, for what that's worth. Instead, it was taught in the context of hongaku (inherent enlightenment): we have in ourselves all of Amida's qualities in a latent form; the purpose of nembutsu is ultimately to draw out or manifest those enlightened qualities. I don't think this is how nembutsu is presented in any Jodo school



You used the word "complex" yourself. Here's an example of complexity: both can be true at once.

Quote:
Also what is the pure land actually in Tendai thought? From what I have read until now I don't think it is understood as a physical place like in the Jodō-shū.


In very practical terms, this is going to depend on who you ask and under what circumstances. YMMV.

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