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

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

Post by Mönlam Tharchin » 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

If in your heart you hold the thought, "I shall continue to utter the nembutsu," the Buddha will turn his attention to you, and thus you are one among those who are thought about and cherished. -- Master Hōnen

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