Namu Amida Butsu

This work is especially dedicated to Zuiken Saizo Inagaki, who sheds light on the pristine and original teachings of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism) for many people, including myself. I regard him as my soul teacher and I am very much influenced by his words and thoughts, which are deeply imbued with the Wisdom of Compassion of Amida Buddha. I read most of his writings available in Chinese language and I wish to share some of his golden words in this blog in English. Rev. George Gatenby and Mr. Gabriel Schlaefer have been kindly and untiringly assisting me to edit the translated essays so that they are readable and true to the intent of Sensei. May all partake of the wisdom of Shinshu teaching and be overpowered by the light of Amida Buddha.

Namu Amida Butsu!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This very special great Vow (betchi no gugan)

Concerning shinjin, what can we do about it? 

What on earth can you do about it? Your (true) features when born, the same old you just like before hearing the Dharma! Doesn’t it mean that I won’t be able to attain birth? Yes, it does. You won’t make it (birth)! As you (this good-for-nothing) won’t make it, it only requires the Tathagata to fasten the lock of the Vow-power around your waist and pull you along. The Pure Land is not devised for unordinary people.
  
Isn’t it like gold ingots falling from heaven (a windfall)?

Indeed. If you cannot listen to or are deaf to this very special great Vow (betchi no gugan 別異の弘願), you won’t be able to enter the White Path of the Primal Vow. It is the 18th Vow that surpasses the ordinary causes and effects of our world! It is sukuzen (good karma from previous lifetimes)! Even so, you are still invited to try listening with astonishment.

Zuiken (an extract)

Essay 153


The taste of discarding shinjin
--- Pondering over death!



In the Dharma passage, “Delusion is the nature of ordinary beings. Apart from delusion, there is no mind in us,” “there is no mind in us" signifies that the mind is entirely delusion. 

We are notified of this thanks to the deep benevolence of the Buddha. To know “Oh, so that's how it is!” on hearing it is rather easy. To know is easy; however, to be notified of it is very difficult. “Knowing it” is a far cry from “being notified of it.” To know does not have any power. To be notified of it means to be notified by the Tathagata. 

When being notified of this, you will realize that “adorning” your mind is not at all needed. What use is it to adorn your mind, to design, to struggle, to believe that you have acquired shinjin? It does not help even a little. 

If you truly know “apart from delusion, there is no mind in us” you will realize that “what you think, remember, know, believe, and that you have acquired shinjin, are none of their business.” “These are none of their business but you just can’t help hearing (the Dharma)” because it is the pleasure and joy of Dharma savored by a Nembutsu person from hearing the unsurpassed virtue power of the Tathagata, apart from their great joy (of shinjin), as long as they are alive. To hear is (the working of) the immeasurable power and virtues of the Tathagata; not to hear is also (the working of) the immeasurable power and virtues of the Tathagata. To be always mindful of the immeasurable power and virtues of the Tathagata or not, is the point of difference between entrusting and non-entrusting.

Zuiken

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Essay 159: Fail to distinguish what is important and not important

Concerning the Buddha-Dharma, most people fail to distinguish what is important (weighty) and not important (light). Why do I say this? Because you keep going around with your mind whether or not you have attained shinjin. This troubled mind is still the same old self spinning around, since you place the emphasis of "How? How?" on yourself without paying attention to the Buddha’s Primal Vow of "Should [you] not be born there," which is the virtue-power of Namo Amida Butsu, the Great Enlightenment of the twofold benefit.

Not paying attention is the proof of your contempt.

Not paying attention to what should be, attending to trifles, and neglecting the essentials this means that you fail to distinguish what is important and not important.

Zuiken (An extract) 

The Tathagata of unhindered Light filling the ten quarters

O World-Honored One, with the mind that is single, I take refuge in the Tathagata of unhindered Light filling the ten quarters” (Namo Amida Butsu).

The Tathagata of unhindered light” is Namo Amida Butsu, “with the mind that is single, I take refuge” is also Namo Amida Butsu. Therefore, the Shonin says,

It cannot be grasped by the mind or by words,
So take refuge in the Honoured-one beyond conceptual understanding.”

Zuiken (An extract)


Thursday, March 16, 2017

It is truly the power of the Primal Vow

Birth is not achieved after we have studied the Buddha-dharma, heard the Buddha-dharma, and humbly received shinjin; it does not happen after we have first accomplished ourselves. It is in our current, altogether or completely unaccomplished state, that birth is achieved. Therefore, it is truly the power of the Primal Vow. 

Zuiken

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Birth through saying the nembutsu

“Birth through saying the nembutsu” refers to “birth through shinjin (faith-mind).” 

Zuiken

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We have been saying the nembutsu deliberately ...

We have been saying the nembutsu deliberately in order to acquire shinjin, until today.
We wish to attain birth with the power of saying the nembutsu.
To this day, to this moment,
We have been saying the nembutsu assiduously. 

Isn't it shallow?
Our father of compassion is right here and
that's my honourable shinjin.
Both words and thoughts perish. 
Together with Namo Amida Butsu 
We walk side by side.


Zuiken