Is there a difference between Shin and pure land buddhism?

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Is there a difference between Shin and pure land buddhism?

Post by new2dharma » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:15 am

Just a little confused. I was reading about Shin Buddhism where the only requirement is basically faith in Amida buddha and using the nembutso. Then I read another thread on July 6 which talks about pure land buddhism and how it must be combined with mahayana, zen school and etc. What is the difference exactly? Thanks, Dan

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Re: Is there a difference between Shin and pure land buddhism?

Post by Astus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:58 am

Jodo Shinshu is an offshoot of Honen's teachings, and instead of emphasising the practice of nenbutsu it points to faith, shinjin, as the essential requirement of birth in the Pure Land. I don't see that there is a big difference otherwise. As for other practices, they are not important at all, although not forbidden either as long as they strengthen one's faith.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.

1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Is there a difference between Shin and pure land buddhism?

Post by cheondo » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:34 am

Reading DT Suzuki's "Buddha of Infinite Light" may help clarify this. Shin is either the apex or a degeneration of Pure land Buddhism, depending on how you look at it. Whatever the case may be, Shin is part of Pure Land (PL) Buddhism.

Shin relies completely on Amida's vows to deliver all beings to the PL. Earlier PL traditions combine self-power with other-power to ensure arrival in the PL. It's no different with the Catholic and Protestant arguments on faith vs. works. Catholics maintain that one must cooperate with the grace of God to ensure salvation. So too must PLers cooperate with Amida's vow to ensure rebirth in the PL. This cooperation entails recitation/mindfulness of the the Buddha, following precepts, etc. In short, one must have enough merit to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, as the short sutra reads. ("Sariputra, one cannot be born in this land with a lack of merit or wholesome roots." Thich Nhat Hanh's translation)


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