Not one in a million can attain enlightenment through self-power- Shinran and Honen

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Not one in a million can attain enlightenment through self-power- Shinran and Honen

Post by 明安 Myoan » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:04 pm

You're in the right place then :smile: Nembutsu can be both frustrating and fascinating. It has a special way of revealing and challenging people's skepticism, including mine. Interestingly, I've seen that my biggest qualms were actually about Mahayana Buddhism, not with Pure Land specifically. Pure Land is pretty standard in terms of Buddhist theory.

There's a large framework of teachings on Amitabha in Vajrayana, Chan, and Thien. My skepticism led to study about Amitabha more broadly. It's helped position this practice in the context of liberating all beings generally, and me specifically.

I can share reading material, but I suspect you've got a list already :smile:

So study helps the "why".

For the "how", nembutsu starts to have a character across different situations and frames of mind.
That's where the refuge becomes individually meaningful. Just keep trying it and seeing what happens.

If you go here and click on the first result (page 240), you can read a very short "Letter to an Eminent Monk in Kuroda" from Honen. It's a good outline that I find instills confidence in the method. I can type it out if Google Books doesn't work.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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