Shinnyo-en?

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:25 pm

jake wrote:I think it might be worth reminding readers, however, that Shinnyo-en is not a form of Shingon, nor is it recognized by anyone as such. It is a New Religion as they clearly state in their own history.
We all agree that Shinnyo En is not Shingon! That's a fact! But it has some background on it! But as you said, he was married, but received Tokudo, ie. ordination, in order to receive higher teachings and an Acharya degree from Daigoji. At least as the Org. claims so! I believe before Meiji era all Shingon monastics were celibate! Marriage being a Meiji innovation. Shingon monastics receive on Tokudo a 250 precepts. They must be celibate during training! This is a pre requisite in order to receive full abhisheka and become an acharya. I have no clue how Daigoji manages this, bu this is the norm in Koyasan!

In TB you can receive a full HYT abhisheka and samaya with only the lay refuge vows and precepts, bodhisattva and tantric vows. No need of Tokudo beforehand and intensive training! Many lamas may ask you before to fulfill a complete or even a partial ngondro (this is a standard in Gelug, but not so much in other Schoolas)!

Shinnyo En seems to replicate this idea, by giving access to the laity to more secretive practices. But this is just my personal perception! :namaste:
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

Matylda
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Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by Matylda » Mon May 08, 2017 8:23 am

I think that to certain degree our friend Karunamata is right. Myabe he/she missed some descriptions concerning sesshin or TB, but...

Japanese buddhism is very strongly marked by monastics.. It means one cannot do much training outside monasteries, and if one would like to join then, one has to accept ordination with all results.
There were movements in Japan which advocated strongly secularisation, it menat to reach lay people.. like jodo shinshu of Shinran or nichiren shu of Nichren.. but even those movements quickly got flavor of older schools closing themselves within their own temples and bounderies..

Tokugawa period 17th to 19th century stopped all possible secular movements due to harsh religious policy of the Japanese gov. and again 19th and 20th centuries witnessed big push for new movements within buddhism and in other religious forms.

Lay people simply are very detached from temples and priests. And still some people have spiritual aspirations. On such ground shinnyo-en and other new schools appeared. For good or for bad. But one has to admit, that there is certain popularity of those movements among common Japanese.. probably most tragic was OM SHINRI KYO with a leader who was a madman which led to sarin accident in Tokyo's subway.

As an insider I can say that all responsibility should be put on Japanese temples of traditional denominations. They are responsible for all detachment from the society. This border between priests and lay people became a huge wall in fact and many Japanese do not understand priests and their religious world. Of course there were some illustrious lay people who became even historical figures like Yamaoka Tesshu of rinzai or other people from soto school as well, but generally Japanese tepmles and traditional buddhism is far away from the society..

This gap is filled not only by shinnyo-en but by many other new schools, both buddhist and non-buddhist. Wether Shinnyo-en is legitimate or not, does not concern me, but I sympatize with it or even with SGI... otherwise where lay people could go? In shingon they will be asked to get ordination, tendai is similar. Soto or rinzai monasteries hardly accept lay people if, then for limited period of time. there is little done for lay practice by any traditional monastery regardless of school and tradition.

And there is no tradition of lay practice like in Tibet, neither there is tradition of lay yogis etc. only some, very very few lay people may have access.. one example are descendents of powerful aristoctratic families, like Heike. I met few of them but still I am not sure if they did not have to take ordination before they started practice. Ohters are families of previous daimyos, they would have an easy access, since they ancestors build all of those temples and monasteries.. but regular person? it is not so easy...

Therefore I agree with Karunamata concerning lay character of the group. Though I am not sure if they did not get all this monkish flavor after almost 90 years. It is difficult to create in Japan really open group. why? since labeling by others will force any to make borders and bounderies. Then immediately one will have feeling of being 'in' or 'out'... I think it is particular character of Japanese buddhism or Japanese religion in general, compare for example to TB.

Matylda
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Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by Matylda » Mon May 08, 2017 8:59 am

So generally I think that all 'new religions' or cults in Japan is only reaction to rigid monastic system which is conserved since 1500 years ago... if Nara, Heian and Kamakura schools were more opened and lay oriented, then situation might be different...
One good example of openess was in the 19-20th century, when Engakuji, rinzai monastery in Kamakura, opened it gates to lay people.Imakita Kosen Roshi and Shaku Soen felt that zen and buddhism could not be closed in a tin, but should serve society by alllowing lay people to do zen practice without much limits. But it took a few decades to end up again in fastening its gates. But it gave good results in producng such figures like DT Suzuki or some famous politicians and other not famous lay peole. One may wonder if the West would ever hear about zen if not DT SUzuki, a lay person who popularized zen in the West long before war. It was not a monk or priest who did it.

shaunc
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Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by shaunc » Mon May 08, 2017 10:30 am

I did a little bit of my own investigative work on line for this sect shinnyo en. The plus side was that I could find no mention of any scandals they are involved in.
Personally I'm a big fan of married clergy in Japanese Buddhism but I do know that a lot of people don't agree with me. Honen, shinran and nichiren did so much to open Buddhism up to the masses in my opinion. They are all great teachers and bodhisattvas.

Matylda
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Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by Matylda » Mon May 08, 2017 1:41 pm

shaunc wrote:I did a little bit of my own investigative work on line for this sect shinnyo en. The plus side was that I could find no mention of any scandals they are involved in.
Personally I'm a big fan of married clergy in Japanese Buddhism but I do know that a lot of people don't agree with me. Honen, shinran and nichiren did so much to open Buddhism up to the masses in my opinion. They are all great teachers and bodhisattvas.
You are right.. Honen, Shinran and Nichiren were key figures to take buddhism out of aristctratic premises and spread it among commoners... and it changed the image of buddhism in Japan... But Tokugawa, or Edo time did a lot to make them again very priestly business. It is how from nichiren shu SGI appeared in the 20th century.. just one example... within zen schools there was sanbokyodan, best known in the West and some other like ningen zen

All sort of organised religion even if it starts from good point ends up in its own fortresses, business protection and religious corruption. There is no exception

Shinnyoen is indeed free from scandals.. others did not avoid it. But we never know what will happen in the future, or do we? :D
Another one which has good outlook is Tenrikyo... kind of syncretic religion, closely associated with shinto. but there were hundreds of groups all in response and reaction to religious establishment...

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:31 am

Matylda wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 1:41 pm
shaunc wrote:I did a little bit of my own investigative work on line for this sect shinnyo en. The plus side was that I could find no mention of any scandals they are involved in.
Personally I'm a big fan of married clergy in Japanese Buddhism but I do know that a lot of people don't agree with me. Honen, shinran and nichiren did so much to open Buddhism up to the masses in my opinion. They are all great teachers and bodhisattvas.
You are right.. Honen, Shinran and Nichiren were key figures to take buddhism out of aristctratic premises and spread it among commoners... and it changed the image of buddhism in Japan... But Tokugawa, or Edo time did a lot to make them again very priestly business. It is how from nichiren shu SGI appeared in the 20th century.. just one example... within zen schools there was sanbokyodan, best known in the West and some other like ningen zen

All sort of organised religion even if it starts from good point ends up in its own fortresses, business protection and religious corruption. There is no exception

Shinnyoen is indeed free from scandals.. others did not avoid it. But we never know what will happen in the future, or do we? :D
Another one which has good outlook is Tenrikyo... kind of syncretic religion, closely associated with shinto. but there were hundreds of groups all in response and reaction to religious establishment...
The danka system in Tokugawa era, then Meiji restoration made Japanese Buddhism much of a priestly-family oriented business. Having Tokudo in many lineages without family connections has been next to impossible for many generations. Thankfully many teachers both in Japan and West are doing a good job in opening Japanese Buddhism to people of all backgrounds! And I'm not necessarily talking about Shinnyo-en here.
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

Matylda
Posts: 599
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shinnyo-en?

Post by Matylda » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:43 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:31 am

The danka system in Tokugawa era, then Meiji restoration made Japanese Buddhism much of a priestly-family oriented business. Having Tokudo in many lineages without family connections has been next to impossible for many generations. Thankfully many teachers both in Japan and West are doing a good job in opening Japanese Buddhism to people of all backgrounds! And I'm not necessarily talking about Shinnyo-en here.
Generally Tokugawa buddhism is seen that way. But in fact priestly oriented buddhism was long time before. It was well established in Heian era, and with new schools of Kamakura it took this picture already in Muromachi/Ahikaga from its beginning. It i senough to look up some Ikkyu writtings or some other wrttings of that time soto, rinzai or others.

But Tokugawa gave final shape to what already existed in the form of danka.

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