Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

bcol01
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Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by bcol01 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:47 am

Thoughts?

:ugeek:

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:50 am

they were already mixed by the time you found them

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mechashivaz
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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by mechashivaz » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:17 pm

How would one practice Shinto outside of religious structure in Japan? (Assuming you're not living in Japan) Wouldn't one have to train with Shinto Priests?

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Bois de Santal
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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Bois de Santal » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:47 pm

mechashivaz wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:17 pm
How would one practice Shinto outside of religious structure in Japan? (Assuming you're not living in Japan) Wouldn't one have to train with Shinto Priests?
This would seem to be one of the starting points: https://www.reddit.com/r/Shinto/

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Bois de Santal » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:50 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:47 am
Thoughts?
:ugeek:
What do you think? Why are you asking the question?

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Queequeg
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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:42 pm

1. What's understood as Shinto is a modern "religion". In quotations because, I'm not sure how it squares up with most people's idea of religion, and it does not really make sense outside of Japan. Its related to the Imperial family and Japanese identity. If you're not ethnically Japanese, you're always on the outside looking in. You can visit shrines, offer prayers, and all that, but because you are not Japanese, its not for you.

2. Shinto is constructed on a foundation of a wide array of beliefs and practices. You might be thinking of these things. Let's call this, "Kami Reverence". Its basically animism. All things, like people, are alive. Obviously, animals and plants, but also rocks, rivers, mountains, lakes, oceans, sun, moon, stars. Kami Reverence involves a sense that we are all part of an extended family. When we properly acknowledge the kami, they look on us with benevolence and care. There are ritualized means of interacting with kami, but they're everywhere, and like us, can be stuffy and expect formality, or carefree and playful. They often have their own interests and occupations and usually just ignore us. That's why the rituals are developed, and festivals are held - to get the kami's attention and convince them to care for us. Sumo, for instance, are contests put on for the entertainment of the kami. This is why it was so controversial for foreigners to be allowed to compete, and why the elevation of Kisenosato to Yokozuna was such a big deal (first Japanese in two decades to be elevated to the highest rank) (see point 1).

Basically its a sensibility that life permeates the world. It has been integrated with Buddhism from the time Buddhism was introduced. Maybe better to say, Buddhism in Japan is laid over a kami reverence substrate. Buddhism has a long history of integrating animism - Buddhism evolved out of a Vedic and Brahmanic environment, and everywhere it was introduced, it both brought the spirits it picked up along the route and integrated the new ones encountered.

If you want to get a kind of whimsical idea of kami, see the movie, My Neighbor Totoro. Totoro is the spirit of the giant camphor tree, and all the little dust moles and what not are kind of kami. There are also collections of stories about kami, as well as local stories about kami all over Japan.

Kami reverence has traditionally been completely integrated with Buddhism in Japan. Many major shrines have historically connected Buddhist temples - though those connections have been down played following the Meiji Restoration and the establishment of State Shinto. Most temples have shrines on their premises to the local kami who are protectors of the temple.

Nichiren found meaning in the fact that the place where he was born was a fief belonging to Ise Shrine, the holiest shrine in Japan. When he refers to protectors, he refers to both kami and other spirits introduced to Japan with Buddhism.

Kami Reverence is a consciousness as much as a system of practices. In fact, the shrines and related practices can rightfully be said to be expressions of Kami Reverence.

There is no problem with integrating the Kami Reverence consciousness into your Nichiren practice.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:10 pm

To answer the second question -

Mixing practices - we need to define.

NMRK is a single pointed practice. If you confuse it with other practices, yes, that is bad, for you. It will bring confusion to your mind. For instance, directing NMRK to a fox spirit (inari) (this is a practice you find at some shrines in Japan) will cause confusion. If you cause others to adopt these ideas, that is worse, because now you are also causing confusion for others.

Kami Reverence is a different practice than NMRK. It is, in the scheme, a supplemental practice, and comparatively minor one. Kami who have vowed to protect Dharma practitioners are protectors. To confuse them with the Buddha is a big mistake.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:35 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:10 pm
To answer the second question -

Mixing practices - we need to define.

NMRK is a single pointed practice. If you confuse it with other practices, yes, that is bad, for you. It will bring confusion to your mind. For instance, directing NMRK to a fox spirit (inari) (this is a practice you find at some shrines in Japan) will cause confusion. If you cause others to adopt these ideas, that is worse, because now you are also causing confusion for others.

Kami Reverence is a different practice than NMRK. It is, in the scheme, a supplemental practice, and comparatively minor one. Kami who have vowed to protect Dharma practitioners are protectors. To confuse them with the Buddha is a big mistake.
Sorry, but Inari Okami is not a Fox Spirit, this is a misrepresentation. Fox spirits (Gokenzoku) are rather his/her messager, but distinct entities. Inari Okami is a composite deity, quite complex, that encompasses the kami of rice and agriculture (Uganomitama), and other Kami as well.

Regarding mixing Nichiren buddhism and shinto, it's common in some traditions, specially in Nichiren Shu, to offer didication prayers to some specific Kami after Gongyo and I don't think it creates any kind of confusion.

There are more than one foreign ordained Shinto Priests, some also related to quite complex Shinto traditions that developed from middles ages and the beginning of modern era.

What you brand as being Shinto here, is just one expression of Shinto, or State Shinto, that developed into the Meiji Era, which was part of a State Nationalist Ideology. But there are still many types of Shinto as there are Shrines in Japan, from modern sectarian shinto which works like any organized religion, with scriptures, hierarchy etc. To local folk practices and also Buddhist-Shinto practice. Nichiren Shu keeps a whole spectrum of Hokke Shinto or Lotus Shinto in its lineages. I have an Ofuda from a Nichiren Temple which also happens to have in it the 30 Kamis of the days of the month, or Sanjubanjin. And yes, I pray to it in a quite shintoist fashion!
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:02 pm

Image
The 30 Kami who protects the Lotus Sutra.
http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/3 ... month.html
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Yuren » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:15 pm

From my studies of Japanese Buddhism and time spent in Japan, traveling around temples and talking to some teachers, I can tell you only Jōdo Shinshū of all schools is explicitly forbidding people from mixing Shinto and Buddhism.

Others do not have a problem with such 'mixing, incl. Nichiren, Soto Zen.

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:34 pm

Yuren wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:15 pm
From my studies of Japanese Buddhism and time spent in Japan, traveling around temples and talking to some teachers, I can tell you only Jōdo Shinshū of all schools is explicitly forbidding people from mixing Shinto and Buddhism.

Others do not have a problem with such 'mixing, incl. Nichiren, Soto Zen.
Yes, Jodo Shinshu, and also Nichiren Shoshu and other schools connected with Fuji lineage.

But even Rennyo himself acknowledges the importance of Shinto Kami
Furthermore, we simply do not rely on any of the other buddhas and bodhisattvas or on the various kami; we must never belittle them. We must recognize that each and every one of the various kami is indeed included within the virtue of Amida, the one buddha. Without exception, do not disparage any of the various teachings. By [adhering to] these points, one will be known as a person who carefully observes our tradition’s rules of conduct. Hence the Master said, “Even if you are called a ‘cow thief,’ do not act in such a way that you are seen as an aspirant for [buddhahood in] the afterlife, or as a ‘good’ person, or as a follower of the Buddha-Dharma; these were his very words. We must practice the nenbutsu, keeping these points very carefully in mind.
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/OFUMI.html
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:40 pm

An here the 30 Kamis, with the Mandala Gohonzon, also sorrounded by the Gohei.
"Of all the many places in Japan, Nichiren was born in the province of Awa. It is said that the Sun Goddess first dwelt in this province, where she began exploring the land of Japan. An estate exists there dedicated to the goddess, who is the compassionate father and mother to all living beings in this country. Therefore, this province must be of great significance. What karma from the past caused Nichiren to be born in this same province?" (p. 452) The Swords of Good and Evil
Image
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:42 pm

"On considering this, we can see that, because persons who put their faith in the Lotus Sutra are following an honest doctrine, Shakyamuni Buddha himself will protect them. How then could it happen that Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, who is his manifestation, would fail to protect them?" (p.1082)
The Great Bodhisattva Hachiman
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:10 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:35 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:10 pm
To answer the second question -

Mixing practices - we need to define.

NMRK is a single pointed practice. If you confuse it with other practices, yes, that is bad, for you. It will bring confusion to your mind. For instance, directing NMRK to a fox spirit (inari) (this is a practice you find at some shrines in Japan) will cause confusion. If you cause others to adopt these ideas, that is worse, because now you are also causing confusion for others.

Kami Reverence is a different practice than NMRK. It is, in the scheme, a supplemental practice, and comparatively minor one. Kami who have vowed to protect Dharma practitioners are protectors. To confuse them with the Buddha is a big mistake.
Sorry, but Inari Okami is not a Fox Spirit, this is a misrepresentation. Fox spirits (Gokenzoku) are rather his/her messager, but distinct entities. Inari Okami is a composite deity, quite complex, that encompasses the kami of rice and agriculture (Uganomitama), and other Kami as well.

Regarding mixing Nichiren buddhism and shinto, it's common in some traditions, specially in Nichiren Shu, to offer didication prayers to some specific Kami after Gongyo and I don't think it creates any kind of confusion.

There are more than one foreign ordained Shinto Priests, some also related to quite complex Shinto traditions that developed from middles ages and the beginning of modern era.

What you brand as being Shinto here, is just one expression of Shinto, or State Shinto, that developed into the Meiji Era, which was part of a State Nationalist Ideology. But there are still many types of Shinto as there are Shrines in Japan, from modern sectarian shinto which works like any organized religion, with scriptures, hierarchy etc. To local folk practices and also Buddhist-Shinto practice. Nichiren Shu keeps a whole spectrum of Hokke Shinto or Lotus Shinto in its lineages. I have an Ofuda from a Nichiren Temple which also happens to have in it the 30 Kamis of the days of the month, or Sanjubanjin. And yes, I pray to it in a quite shintoist fashion!
We can argue about the meaning of Shinto, but it wasn't widely used until the Meiji era to describe kami reverence, and that use was promoted by the proponents of state Shinto who also persecuted Buddhism. People just ought to know the history behind the present use of that word.

As for where the kami stand in relation to the Buddha, Nichiren made it clear, especially in this passage:
Utsubusa came a long distance to visit me despite her advanced age, but since I was told that it was merely a casual visit on her way back from the shrine to the god of her ancestors, I would not see her, although I pitied her greatly. Had I permitted her to see me, I would have been allowing her to commit slander against the Lotus Sutra. The reason is that all gods are subjects, and the Lotus Sutra is their lord. It is against even the code of society to visit one’s lord on the way back from calling on one of his subjects. Moreover, Utsubusa is a lay nun and should have the Buddha foremost in mind. Because she made this and other mistakes as well, I refused to see her.
Letter to Misawa

Chanting Daimoku to Inari - people can do what they want. To suggest that such a practice fits within Nichiren's teachings is totally indefensible.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:32 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:10 pm
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:35 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:10 pm
To answer the second question -

Mixing practices - we need to define.

NMRK is a single pointed practice. If you confuse it with other practices, yes, that is bad, for you. It will bring confusion to your mind. For instance, directing NMRK to a fox spirit (inari) (this is a practice you find at some shrines in Japan) will cause confusion. If you cause others to adopt these ideas, that is worse, because now you are also causing confusion for others.

Kami Reverence is a different practice than NMRK. It is, in the scheme, a supplemental practice, and comparatively minor one. Kami who have vowed to protect Dharma practitioners are protectors. To confuse them with the Buddha is a big mistake.
Sorry, but Inari Okami is not a Fox Spirit, this is a misrepresentation. Fox spirits (Gokenzoku) are rather his/her messager, but distinct entities. Inari Okami is a composite deity, quite complex, that encompasses the kami of rice and agriculture (Uganomitama), and other Kami as well.

Regarding mixing Nichiren buddhism and shinto, it's common in some traditions, specially in Nichiren Shu, to offer didication prayers to some specific Kami after Gongyo and I don't think it creates any kind of confusion.

There are more than one foreign ordained Shinto Priests, some also related to quite complex Shinto traditions that developed from middles ages and the beginning of modern era.

What you brand as being Shinto here, is just one expression of Shinto, or State Shinto, that developed into the Meiji Era, which was part of a State Nationalist Ideology. But there are still many types of Shinto as there are Shrines in Japan, from modern sectarian shinto which works like any organized religion, with scriptures, hierarchy etc. To local folk practices and also Buddhist-Shinto practice. Nichiren Shu keeps a whole spectrum of Hokke Shinto or Lotus Shinto in its lineages. I have an Ofuda from a Nichiren Temple which also happens to have in it the 30 Kamis of the days of the month, or Sanjubanjin. And yes, I pray to it in a quite shintoist fashion!
We can argue about the meaning of Shinto, but it wasn't widely used until the Meiji era to describe kami reverence, and that use was promoted by the proponents of state Shinto who also persecuted Buddhism. People just ought to know the history behind the present use of that word.

As for where the kami stand in relation to the Buddha, Nichiren made it clear, especially in this passage:
Utsubusa came a long distance to visit me despite her advanced age, but since I was told that it was merely a casual visit on her way back from the shrine to the god of her ancestors, I would not see her, although I pitied her greatly. Had I permitted her to see me, I would have been allowing her to commit slander against the Lotus Sutra. The reason is that all gods are subjects, and the Lotus Sutra is their lord. It is against even the code of society to visit one’s lord on the way back from calling on one of his subjects. Moreover, Utsubusa is a lay nun and should have the Buddha foremost in mind. Because she made this and other mistakes as well, I refused to see her.
Letter to Misawa

Chanting Daimoku to Inari - people can do what they want. To suggest that such a practice fits within Nichiren's teachings is totally indefensible.
The first reference of the using of the word "Shinto" is from the Asuka Period, than Meiji Era. Shinto based sects exist since medieval times, with the Ise Sect of the Watarai clan, which mixed native beliefs with Buddhism, Taoism and also Confucian. Then you have more complex sects in the beginning of the modern era with Yoshida Kanetomo, who founded a brand of organized shinto, with scriptures and esoteric practices, which dominated most of Shinto priesthood until Meiji reformation (such sects also have a variety of formal practices much beyond simple "kamir veneration", including esoteric meditations, "shinto goma", visualizations, breathing exercises etc). It later acquired a very much neo-confucian taste with Kanetomo and other Kokugaku thinkers. Without obviously referencin the many Shugendo practices which are syncrectic in nature.

The perception many westerners have of Shinto today, is strongly tied to the Meiji reforms, and subsequent results, such as the genesis of modern "Shrine Shinto" controlled mainly by Jinja Honcho and the many shinto-based new religions, such as Oomoto. But even Shrines such as kasuga, sometimes promoted teachings, sometime via oracles etc, see for exemple the Sanja Takusen oracles.


People also chant sutras and mantras in shinto shrines. Even in the Shoshu prayer book there are dedications for the protective deities in the prayer section. So you think the syncrectic practice as advocated by Nichizo Shonin are misdirected? I agree that any practice besides the Odaimoku is auxiliary, that is the official Nichiren Shu view, which is also quite in agreement with many of Nichiren's own ideias. But I also think that there is nothing wrong in combining such things. Have you never asked the reasen why Nichiren did put two Kami within his own Mandala?
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:32 pm
The first reference of the using of the word "Shinto" is from the Asuka Period, than Meiji Era. Shinto based sects exist since medieval times, with the Ise Sect of the Watarai clan, which mixed native beliefs with Buddhism, Taoism and also Confucian. Then you have more complex sects in the beginning of the modern era with Yoshida Kanetomo, who founded a brand of organized shinto, with scriptures and esoteric practices, which dominated most of Shinto priesthood until Meiji reformation (such sects also have a variety of formal practices much beyond simple "kamir veneration", including esoteric meditations, "shinto goma", visualizations, breathing exercises etc). It later acquired a very much neo-confucian taste with Kanetomo and other Kokugaku thinkers. Without obviously referencin the many Shugendo practices which are syncrectic in nature.

The perception many westerners have of Shinto today, is strongly tied to the Meiji reforms, and subsequent results, such as the genesis of modern "Shrine Shinto" controlled mainly by Jinja Honcho and the many shinto-based new religions, such as Oomoto. But even Shrines such as kasuga, sometimes promoted teachings, sometime via oracles etc, see for exemple the Sanja Takusen oracles.


People also chant sutras and mantras in shinto shrines. Even in the Shoshu prayer book there are dedications for the protective deities in the prayer section. So you think the syncrectic practice as advocated by Nichizo Shonin are misdirected? I agree that any practice besides the Odaimoku is auxiliary, that is the official Nichiren Shu view, which is also quite in agreement with many of Nichiren's own ideias. But I also think that there is nothing wrong in combining such things. Have you never asked the reasen why Nichiren did put two Kami within his own Mandala?
I'm not sure if its a language thing or what, but I don't think we are communicating.

The word "Shinto" as you point out has been around, but it didn't take on the meaning generally ascribed to it now until the Meiji period. Before that, Buddhism and kami worship were closely and almost seamlessly mixed. When they started using "Shinto" it was part of their deliberate effort to distinguish what was thought to be intrinsically Japanese compared to the foreign polluting influence of Buddhism.

If you understand what that word Shinto generally means NOW, post Meiji, its hard to reconcile it with Buddhist syncretism. Shinto stands for a deliberate rejection of syncretism, and Buddhism in particular.

I am well aware of the place of kami in Nichiren Buddhism. I also know that kami are protectors. They are not Buddha. Very big mistake to confuse those two functions.

Like I said, people can do what they want. Chanting daimoku to kami does not fit in Nichiren's teachings.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:23 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm
I am well aware of the place of kami in Nichiren Buddhism. I also know that kami are protectors. They are not Buddha. Very big mistake to confuse those two functions.

Like I said, people can do what they want. Chanting daimoku to kami does not fit in Nichiren's teachings.
Why? And can you elaborate please?
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:31 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm
The word "Shinto" as you point out has been around, but it didn't take on the meaning generally ascribed to it now until the Meiji period. Before that, Buddhism and kami worship were closely and almost seamlessly mixed. When they started using "Shinto" it was part of their deliberate effort to distinguish what was thought to be intrinsically Japanese compared to the foreign polluting influence of Buddhism.

If you understand what that word Shinto generally means NOW, post Meiji, its hard to reconcile it with Buddhist syncretism. Shinto stands for a deliberate rejection of syncretism, and Buddhism in particular.
As I said, Shinto teachings based on nativist beliefs is much older than the actual Meiji and post-meiji Shinto . It began taking shape in Medieval Times, by the 15th centy it was already fairly codified and using the word "shinto"
for self-referral!
http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwo ... ntryID=372
“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།

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:50 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:31 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm
The word "Shinto" as you point out has been around, but it didn't take on the meaning generally ascribed to it now until the Meiji period. Before that, Buddhism and kami worship were closely and almost seamlessly mixed. When they started using "Shinto" it was part of their deliberate effort to distinguish what was thought to be intrinsically Japanese compared to the foreign polluting influence of Buddhism.

If you understand what that word Shinto generally means NOW, post Meiji, its hard to reconcile it with Buddhist syncretism. Shinto stands for a deliberate rejection of syncretism, and Buddhism in particular.
As I said, Shinto teachings based on nativist beliefs is much older than the actual Meiji and post-meiji Shinto . It began taking shape in Medieval Times, by the 15th centy it was already fairly codified and using the word "shinto"
for self-referral!
http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwo ... ntryID=372
Friend, I don't know what your real life experience with Shinto is. At this time in Japan, Shinto is very much tied up with Japanese right wing nationalism. Please go to Ise and explain to the priests there how it is perfectly natural for non-Japanese to be able to participate in Shinto. Explain to them how Amaterasu is a guardian of the Lotus Sutra. You will be met with vehement denials. How do I know this? Because I personally know scholars who, with nothing but scholarly curiosity and earnestness have been ambushed and hounded out of conferences by so called Shinto Scholars for discussing the long intertwined history of temples and shrines. I know scholars who have been black listed because they dared to research and write about the deep connections and affiliation between shrines and temples throughout Japan's recorded history.

When we talk about Shinto, we are very much talking about politics and national identity in Japan. It doesn't matter what that word may have meant in the past. Right now, Shinto means Japanese nationalism.

As I stated in my first post - there is that phenomena, which is identified by its proponents as "Shinto", and the the broader, organic animism that I described as Kami Reverence. This is not a "religion" in the sense of having rites of initiation, though there are, under the umbrella of Kami Reverence various cults. Rather, its a sensibility that life permeates everywhere and in everything, and that it is all to be respected and revered. If you don't have an organic experience in it, its hard to understand.

Its a sensibility that each tree has a spirit. That each rock has a spirit. That an umbrella has a spirit. The computer through which we interact, and all those miles of fiber optic cable and satellites - all are animated with kami. These things are as alive as we are, and deserving of acknowledgment and respect.

If you want to include all that in the term "shinto" that's fine. I'm going to point out how that is a problematic use of the term.

That's all.
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:23 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm
I am well aware of the place of kami in Nichiren Buddhism. I also know that kami are protectors. They are not Buddha. Very big mistake to confuse those two functions.

Like I said, people can do what they want. Chanting daimoku to kami does not fit in Nichiren's teachings.
Why? And can you elaborate please?
南無妙法蓮華経 - namu myoho renge kyo - "I declare refuge/reverence/devotion to the Sublime Dharma of the White Lotus Teaching"

Chanting Daimoku to a kami literally makes no sense.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:49 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:50 pm
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:31 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm
The word "Shinto" as you point out has been around, but it didn't take on the meaning generally ascribed to it now until the Meiji period. Before that, Buddhism and kami worship were closely and almost seamlessly mixed. When they started using "Shinto" it was part of their deliberate effort to distinguish what was thought to be intrinsically Japanese compared to the foreign polluting influence of Buddhism.

If you understand what that word Shinto generally means NOW, post Meiji, its hard to reconcile it with Buddhist syncretism. Shinto stands for a deliberate rejection of syncretism, and Buddhism in particular.
As I said, Shinto teachings based on nativist beliefs is much older than the actual Meiji and post-meiji Shinto . It began taking shape in Medieval Times, by the 15th centy it was already fairly codified and using the word "shinto"
for self-referral!
http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwo ... ntryID=372
Friend, I don't know what your real life experience with Shinto is. At this time in Japan, Shinto is very much tied up with Japanese right wing nationalism. Please go to Ise and explain to the priests there how it is perfectly natural for non-Japanese to be able to participate in Shinto. Explain to them how Amaterasu is a guardian of the Lotus Sutra. You will be met with vehement denials. How do I know this? Because I personally know scholars who, with nothing but scholarly curiosity and earnestness have been ambushed and hounded out of conferences by so called Shinto Scholars for discussing the long intertwined history of temples and shrines. I know scholars who have been black listed because they dared to research and write about the deep connections and affiliation between shrines and temples throughout Japan's recorded history.

When we talk about Shinto, we are very much talking about politics and national identity in Japan. It doesn't matter what that word may have meant in the past. Right now, Shinto means Japanese nationalism.

As I stated in my first post - there is that phenomena, which is identified by its proponents as "Shinto", and the the broader, organic animism that I described as Kami Reverence. This is not a "religion" in the sense of having rites of initiation, though there are, under the umbrella of Kami Reverence various cults. Rather, its a sensibility that life permeates everywhere and in everything, and that it is all to be respected and revered. If you don't have an organic experience in it, its hard to understand.

Its a sensibility that each tree has a spirit. That each rock has a spirit. That an umbrella has a spirit. The computer through which we interact, and all those miles of fiber optic cable and satellites - all are animated with kami. These things are as alive as we are, and deserving of acknowledgment and respect.

If you want to include all that in the term "shinto" that's fine. I'm going to point out how that is a problematic use of the term.

That's all.
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:23 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:55 pm
I am well aware of the place of kami in Nichiren Buddhism. I also know that kami are protectors. They are not Buddha. Very big mistake to confuse those two functions.

Like I said, people can do what they want. Chanting daimoku to kami does not fit in Nichiren's teachings.
Why? And can you elaborate please?
南無妙法蓮華経 - namu myoho renge kyo - "I declare refuge/reverence/devotion to the Sublime Dharma of the White Lotus Teaching"

Chanting Daimoku to a kami literally makes no sense.
First of all, I never denied the existence of syncretic Shinbutsu Shugo, this was an important part of Japanese spirituality, and this is still evident in some places and Buddhist institutions tied to Shugendo for exemple and even some Nichiren Sects. But what we call Shinto and some of its ideas and practices already existed much before Meiji era, specially if you give some time to read the material I sent you.



And yes, by Shinto I mean an umbrella term, that encompasses both the animist aspect and also the institutionalized Shinto. And yes, State Shinto is a State Religion, that was once the official religion of Japan, and was and still is related to Japanese nationalism. Today many shrines in Japan still promote what has survived of it, specifically those associated with Jinja Honcho, which promotes Ise and Amaterasu as the main shrine and Kami of Japan. The main problems here is, not all shinto shrines and sects subscibe to this! Shinto being a so broad term, that encompasses as I mentioned before many things, such as folk practices, sectarian etc. Some shrines such as Fushimi Inari, blatantly deny the notion that Amaterasu is a supreme deity, and still is considered a "Shinto Shrine". Some sects that still identify as being Shinto sects, such as Konkokyo or Yoshida Shinto, also deny this belief. The Yoshida sects itself controlled many shrines wich where not controlled direclty by buddhist clergy. Other sects such as Kurozumi Kyo and Shrines (such those more close to Jinja Honcho, the imperial family etc), are still very much tied to nationalism, historical revisionism etc. These might have dominance over the whole Shinto sphere, but still is a fraction of these.



Regarding Kami being related to Buddhas, this is not my view or intention necessarily, but this idea is also very ancient. The Honji Suijaku theory was started with the Heian era sects! And some Nichiren lineages continued this practice (Through the name of "Hokke Shinto though). Going so far as to discriminate which kind of Kami could be considered a manifestation of Buddha and which not.



Regarding Sutra recitation to Kami, this is also very old, and was not necessarily done directed towards them, but for their benefit! It was thought that this could create merits to be dedicated to them, and also as a gift of Dharma.
“Hokke Shinto: Kami in the Nichiren Tradition,” in Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm, M. Teeuwen and F. Rambelli, eds., London: Curzon/Routledge, 2003, pp. 222-254.
http://www.academia.edu/17621396/_Hokke ... p._222-254
“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།

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