Why I favor the pureland path

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shaunc
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:10 am

Why I favor the pureland path

Post by shaunc » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:10 am

I've studied Buddhism in various forms for more than 20 years. It's only in the last year or two that I came to the pureland path.
My first and short lived introduction to Buddhism was through SGI. Like pureland, chanting was the main practice, I left because of what I saw as guru (Ikeda) devotion and almost no discussion of basic Buddhism, like the noble 8fold path, 4 noble truths or the 5 precepts.
My next introduction was a cross between Thai Forrest monks tradition ( theravada) and vietnamese Mahayana (pureland/zen).
The Thai monks taught me meditation and some basic pali chanting but their English wasn't good and they had no English reading material but the people were very friendly and helpful and would occasionally translate between me and the monks.
The vietnamese, however had plenty of pureland books in English for me to study but it was more of a meeting place for the vietnamese community.
Through the Internet I got to learn more about the pureland path and began to practice as a solitary practitioner. By this stage of my journey I'd come to realize that I wasn't going to be an enlightened being and to one day be born in the pureland didn't seem like a bad option for me.
I love the way that because of my acceptance of the Amida's primal vow the deal on my rebirth has been done.
I no longer keep precepts to accrue good karma and minimize bad karma, I keep them to show my gratitude to Amida.
I still meditate but not as frequently as I once did, I do it to help with deep listening and to help keep myself calmer. I don't believe that meditation will enlighten me in this lifetime.
I chose to follow a Japanese pureland tradition mainly because I personally don't feel that a vow of celibacy is a healthy lifestyle, but I also don't want to turn this one statement I've made into a slanging match between celibacy verse non celibacy. I also went with jodo shinshu over jodo shu. Mainly because I don't believe that whether a person recites the Amida's name silently or out loud makes a great difference although I will admit that out loud does feel better. But I do wish that jodo shinshu (shin Buddhism) honored kannon and seishi as much as jodo shu does.
I'd also like to say that I'm very grateful for the people here at dharma wheel and especially in the pureland sub-forum that have helped me to understand more of this path.

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Re: Why I favor the pureland path

Post by Admin_PC » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:50 am

Sounds like you found what works for you.
Great!
:anjali:
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Dharma Flower
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Re: Why I favor the pureland path

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun May 21, 2017 10:27 am

Thank you for sharing your story, Shaun. The Pure Land path is a great Buddhist path, especially since it's so accommodating to people of various needs, backgrounds, and levels of understanding.

I would say that a Buddhist path that can be practiced by both the most advanced meditation master up in a mountain monastery and the most uneducated grandmother working in a field must be a true Buddhist path.

shaunc
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Re: Why I favor the pureland path

Post by shaunc » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 am

Sorry to bring this thread ip again but I feel that I've just had another insight into why this path is the best for me.
The pureland path has taken the pressure off me to try and progress in my practice the way that the Theravada path did. I don't feel like I have to be as knowledgeable about the teachings or as strict in my observance of the precepts, my meditation is done for my own enjoyment and benefit not to reach a jhana level, my precept observance is done to benefit me in this life and not the next.
My practice is a joy and not a chore and if from time to time I'm not so good at it, well that's okay too. Because of Amida's love and compassion for all sentiment beings, I too will be welcomed into Amida's western pureland.
Namu Amida Butsu.

PemaK
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Re: Why I favor the pureland path

Post by PemaK » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:37 pm

ShaunC I cannot Thank you enough for your Post,

" love the way that because of my acceptance of the Amida's primal vow the deal on my rebirth has been done.
I no longer keep precepts to accrue good karma and minimize bad karma, I keep them to show my gratitude to Amida.
I still meditate but not as frequently as I once did, I do it to help with deep listening and to help keep myself calmer. I don't believe that meditation will enlighten me in this lifetime."

20 Years ago I lived in Kathmandu, Nepal for close to 3 Years. I was in a Shedra Program learning Tibetan and translation of Pecha Texts/Holy Texts and trying to Practice.

So many Transmissions, so many Practices, such high expectations and doing Ngondro/(Cleansing Practice,Prostrations) till my knee's bled. You get the idea . I ended up leaving Buddhism entirely and there has been a great deal of Sorrow in my heart over that.

I am now starting to follow Japanese Shin Pure Land Tradition. I feel very liberated from the great burden of what in retrospect was a very stressful Practice for me. Please note, that this is based on my experience and I am not putting down others that follow the Vajrayana/Tibetan Path.

I feel my faith in Buddha ignite again and I am so grateful.

I Sincerely Thank You, :namaste:

Pema

shaunc
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:10 am

Re: Why I favor the pureland path

Post by shaunc » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:42 am

I hope that things work out for you in your practice. It took me a few years to work out that the purpose of any spiritual path is to make your life better not harder.
Good luck and best wishes.
Namu Amida Butsu.
Shaun.

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