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!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Jodo Shinshu's Essence


  1. The Sacred Name --->  Shinjin ---> shomyo ho-on (TRUE)
  2. The Sacred Name --- > nenbutsu ---> shomyo (FALSE)
Shomyo = say the Name
Shomyo ho-on = say the Name out of gratitude

Adapted from Zuiken's writing _()_

About The Nenbutsu

Talking about the nenbutsu, there are three kinds:
(1) Nenbutsu based on the 19th Vow.
(2) Nenbutsu based on the 20th Vow.
(3) Nenbutsu based on the 18th Vow.
1: To treat saying the Name as one of the practices to acrue merits for birth. The seekers depend on themselves practically as well as mentally.
2: To exclusively hold on to saying the Name as the way to seek birth and discard all other practices. The seeker depends on Amida in practical but mentally they are self-reliance.
3: To rely completely on the realization of the Practice and Faith of Amida Buddha manifested as "Namo Amida Butsu," which is calling to us nonstop "Come just as you are!" The seekers are content with the call, which is essentially Shinjin. Shinjin is the nenbutsu in itself. The seekers forget about themselves in the enfolding light of Amida. This is the nenbutsu preserved by Jodo Shinshu. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hearing, that is, Entrusting

Mon soku shin; hearing, that is, entrusting.
The call of Amida Buddha of "Namo Amida Butsu" "to you" is reverberating in the ten quarters, arises from the 17th Vow. (Great Practice)
We realize shinjin through the 18th Vow, manifested in us as "having heard His Name, rejoice in faith". (Great Faith)
We burst out the nembutsu even once on realizing shinjin and this is a ho-on nembutsu, an expression of gratitude and also a praise given to the inconceivable Buddha wisdom being "unfathomable!" that I am emancipated "just as I am." How ungrateful I am!
Zuizen Melvin _()_

The Calling Voice

Nothing is more genuine than this calling voice of Namo Amida Butsu.
It rings in my heart like a bell. 
That's simply Amida's enlightenment --- "Having heard His Name, rejoice in Faith!" 
No shinjin outside the calling voice.


Zuizen Melvin _()_

The 17th Vow and 18th Vow of Amida Buddha

The 17th Vow and 18th Vow of Amida Buddha are closely connected.
In the 17th Vow, Amida's Name is praised and spread. And from the 18th Vow of "Hearing His Name (from the 17th Vow), having joy in faith," Amida's Name is heard.
17th Vow = Namo Amida Butsu (Great Practice)
18th Vow = Namo Amida Butsu (Great Shinjin)
Ho-on Nembutsu that we say after realising shinjin is no different from the practice in 17th Vow = Namo Amida Butsu
Therefore, nothing is not accomplished by Amida Buddha.

Zuizen Melvin _()_

The Dharma-door of the Larger Sutra is Our Reference

The Dharma-door of the Contemplation Sutra is taking the 18th Vow as "nashi junen" or "saying my Name perhaps even ten times" as the essence, which is "saying the nembutsu" or "repeating my Name" in our understanding.
The Dharma-door of the Larger Sutra, however, is taking the 18th Vow as "san-jin" or "threefold minds," with "shingyo" or "joyful faith" as the essence. This is the reference of our Shonin, the basis of Jodo Shinshu.
How then shall we view "naishi junen" or "naishi ichinen?" That's our expression of gratitude for the endowment of Shinjin, as in "... hear the Name, realize even one thought-moment of shinjin and joy, which is directed to them from Amida’s sincere mind.."

Zuizen Melvin _()_

The True Essence of Anjin: Hymn 2/13

“Your afterlife has been fully taken care of by the compassionate Parent Himself.
He definitely saves you!
Don't worry! Don't worry!”
The mind of an ordinary person (bombu) is always changing and impermanent.
Where is your mind of yesterday?
Even your present mind is like a windmill,
Nor is your mind of tomorrow reliable.
What has never changed is the Mind of great compassion of our compassionate Parent.
So look up to and trust in the unhindered Buddha-wisdom!
The compassionate Parent has the true and real Primal Vow-power (the Name of the Vow)
Hear His compassionate Vow of
“Should [they] not be born there”—
The true and real virtue, and no mistake.
The truth and reality (shinjitsu) of the Tathagata is not contrived.
Listen to the truth and reality that is never misleading.
“Should [they] not be born there, may I not attain the Perfect Enlightenment!"
The Vow claims, “Should [they] not be born there, may I not attain the Perfect Enlightenment”—this is the truth and reality.
Amida and I are like the pine leaf;
Wherever we fall, we are in pairs.
Passengers on the same sailing ship
Are together, live or die; their relationship is just that deep.
Buddha and bombu are one—the Primal Vow-power.
An equal cause and effect,
The twofold benefit of self and other—
These are the Buddha's wisdom and great compassion, which are inconceivable!
The inconceivable Buddha-wisdom is the Primal Vow-power.
The truth and reality of the Tathagata, His Call,
“Should [they] not be born there” is the Primal Vow (Vow),
The majestic power of the Sacred Name of six-characters (Power);
The Vow (seigan) and the Name (Power)
Are contained in His Call.
The compassionate Parent is calling to me;
His Call has been sounding since ages of distant eons [ago].
The compassion of the Tathagata is the ball of fire.
When you came to accept reverently the inconceivable Buddha-wisdom as “truly inconceivable,” great peace of mind (anjin) is awakened.
Clouds and mists all fade away.
The Light of all-embracing compassion—what overwhelming joy!
Even the mind of joy is (the working of) the Primal Vow-power
Within His Call is contained the realization of the all-embracing Vow-power.
The Call of “Come just as you are!” never ceases, without even a moment’s interruption.
Relying on this “command” which is true and real,
The evil karma and passions dissolve in the unhindered light
and “the calculative mind” has disappeared!
Virtuous and unvirtuous minds, and faith have all been discarded,
The round moon is shining brightly (Primal Vow-power);
Amid our going and returning we forget ourselves.