By D. T. Suzuki

Shin
is the uniquely eastern flowering of the kind of Buddhism often called "Pure
Land." It originated within the 13th century with the charismatic and
prophetic determine Shinran (1172–1263), whose interpretation of the
traditional natural Land teachings used to be tremendous influential in his personal lifetime
and stay so at the present time. In a interval while jap Buddhism was once ruled via an
elitist monastic institution, Shinran's Shin educating turned a manner of
liberation for every body, despite age, category, or gender.

Although
Shin is one among Japan's maximum spiritual contributions—and remains to be the most
widely practiced kind of Buddhism in Japan—it continues to be little recognized in the
West. during this e-book, in response to a number of lectures he gave within the Nineteen Fifties, D. T.
Suzuki illuminates the deep which means of Shin and its wealthy archetypal imagery,
providing a scholarly and affectionate creation to this sometimes
misunderstood culture of Buddhist perform.

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Extra resources for Buddha of Infinite Light: The Teachings of Shin Buddhism, the Japanese Way of Wisdom and Compassion

Example text

When Suzuki speaks from the experiential standpoint about Amida, Pure Land, faith, and salvation, they take on a meaning that has universal implications. His subtle discussion of sincerity in religious practice and life is significant for both Buddhist and Christian spirituality. And his astute existential-psychological analysis of Shin faith underscores some shared commonalities with the Christian experience of grace. TAITETSU UNNO May 1997 1 INFINITE LIGHT Shinran’s Original Insight THE PURE LAND TRADITION of Buddhism matured in China, but it accomplished its full development in the Shin school of Pure Land Buddhism.

While living in the culturally deprived areas of Japan, he developed a profound understanding of the needs of the common people. In those days Buddhism was basically an aristocratic religion, and the study of Buddhism was confined to the learned class. Their approach was intellectual and rational, but Shinran knew that that was not the way to the authentic religious life. There had to be a more direct way, a religious experience that did not require the medium of learning or elaborate rituals. All such things had to be cast aside in order for one to have religious awakening.

At the same time, one must pronounce the Name, NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU. ” In fact, pronouncing Amida’s name just once is enough, but if once is enough, then ten times will also be sufficient. We might repeat his name many times, ever so many times, but we must pronounce the name in sincerity, really wanting to be born in his country. To be born in that country means to obtain enlightenment as Amida himself did. We cannot simply desire to be born into the Pure Land for the sake of happiness, because the object of being there is to attain supreme enlightenment.

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