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That conversion experience, he maintained, lends Christianity a power lacking in Japanese Buddhism, which he saw as moribund and widely discredited in modern times. Admittedly, the Christian concepts of sin and forgiveness are absent from Pure Land Buddhism.

Vol 2: Enlightenment

Like Inoue, he speaks of the finite and infinite or absolute as mediated by reason in philosophy and by faith in religion. Kiyozawa is distinctive, though, in his decidedly practical orientation, exploring the encounter with the absolute in religious life. In his late twenties, he undertook an ascetic discipline of daily life and diet that ended after several years when he contracted tuberculosis.

In the last five years of his life, he was strongly attracted to the introspective spiritual cultivation of equanimity and indifference to contingencies that he found in the early scriptures of Buddhism and especially in the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. Although Kiyozawa makes little mention of Christianity in his writings beyond, for example, reflections on the doctrines of creation or monotheism from a comparative philosophical perspective, we find in his journal in , amid passages from Epictetus and other classical texts, references to biblical passages in standard English notation.

The references suggest a close familiarity with the Bible, probably from his youth. Instead of seeking, like his teacher, to build on the legitimacy of philosophy and science, carving out a place for Buddhism beyond the limitations of a rational philosophical analysis of life experience, Soga stood within Shin Buddhist teachings and sought to show their vital significance. He did so by drawing on broader Mahayana Buddhist concepts, comparing them at times with Christian modes of thought. While temple institutions had pursued the study of Christian theology for polemical purposes, it appears that by the turn of the twentieth century, some Buddhist philosophers had gained a new confidence of their own, allowing themselves to be stimulated by Christian theological ideas.

Soga not only counters criticisms that Amida is merely mythical and that Pure Land Buddhism lacks historical foundations, but also strongly affirms in doctrinal terms the immediacy of personal religious experience in Shin. There is also the matter of the temporal dimension in this relationship. Previously the Japanese Pure Land tradition had articulated the Mahayana logic of the nonduality of the temporal and the uncreated or transtemporal. As Soga explains:. Christianity challenged Japanese Buddhists by teaching a personal religiosity and a stringent individual moral responsibility.

Kiyozawa offers a prominent example of the attempt to engage those issues. Regarding the narrative of the origin of Amida Buddha and the Pure Land, which Gordon and other Christian missionaries regarded as obvious fictions created late in the Buddhist tradition, Soga may have found resources for resolution in the very Christian sources behind the criticisms. The Japanese Mahayana tradition had already developed it own concepts of the compassionate emergence out of emptiness or formless reality as well as the nonduality of the karmically conditioned and unconditioned.

Those ideas provided an openness to and point of entry into certain areas of Christian and Western philosophical thought. Suzuki — has noted, The Japanese may not have offered very many original ideas to world thought or world culture, but in Shin we find a major contribution the Japanese can make to the outside world and to all other Buddhist schools. Introduction 1. Contours of Pure Land Buddhist Thought 2. Japanese Pure Land Buddhist Thought 3. Introduction Before proceeding to a consideration of Japanese Pure Land Buddhist thought, it may be useful to note two intertwined difficulties that it presents for modern Western readers in particular: an extensive scriptural and commentarial tradition, and apparent resemblances to familiar forms of Christian thought.

Contours of Pure Land Buddhist Thought Two fundamental elements of early Mahayana practice contributed significantly to the development of the Pure Land path. This thinking characterized by the discriminative perception of the world of beings rooted in the nondiscriminative apprehension of reality may be seen in relation to the question of the real existence of beings born in the Pure Land in the following passage from the sixth century Chinese Pure Land thinker Tanluan — : Question: In the Mahayana sutras and treatises it is frequently taught that sentient beings are in the final analysis unborn, like empty space.

Question: In what sense do you speak of birth in the Pure Land? The same is true of preceding thought and succeeding thought. The reason is that if they were one and the same, then there would be no causality; if they were different, there would be no continuity. This principle is the gate of contemplating sameness and difference; it is discussed in detail in the treatises. Shinran CWS, 1: 27—28 We see that from very early in the East Asian tradition, as well known in Japan, Pure Land thinkers applied the Mahayana logic of the nonduality and interpenetration of discriminative and nondiscriminative realms to Pure Land concepts.

He states: Concerning the central purport [of the Larger Sutra ]: Sakyamuni discarded the supreme Pure Land and appeared in this defiled world; this was to expound the teaching of the Pure land and, by encouraging sentient beings, to bring them to birth in the Pure Land. Shinran CWS I: In the face of the persecution of the nembutsu by local authorities, he advises his disciples: The people who are trying to obstruct the nembutsu are the manor lords, bailiffs, and landowners in the local areas ….

As Soga explains: People are apt to consider this as an old tale that has nothing to do with their present selves. In fact, however, the one-moment wherein Dharmakara Bodhisattva evoked the faith of sincere entrusting is an absolute moment that embraces innumerable eons. And equally the first moment wherein we are made to experience faith is an absolute moment that covers innumerable eons …. The present of faith is the great present of immeasurable life. Blum and Rhodes , p. Bibliography Primary Literature Genshin, Andrews, Tokyo: Sophia University.

Partial translation and outline of the seminal work of the Tendai Pure Land master. Major scriptures of the Pure Land tradition, including discussions and charts reflecting hermeneutical practices of Japanese masters. Hirota, Dennis, trans. Anonymous philosophically oriented medieval tract. Ippen, No Abode: The Record of Ippen , trans. Shinran, Volume 2 includes major essays by Suzuki on Shin Buddhism.

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Dennis Hirota, Kyoto: Ryukoku University. Phrase-by-phrase translation with romanization and original text. Volume 2: introductions, glossaries, and reading aids. Secondary Literature Barth, K. Clark, Bloom, Alfred ed. Suzuki, Takeuchi Yoshinori, Ueda Yoshifumi and others. Blum, Mark L. Rhodes eds. Gordon, M.

Meiklejohn and Company. Hirota, Dennis, Articles by John B.


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Cobb, Jr. Kaufman, Musashi Tachikawa, and John Yokota. Kasulis, Thomas P. Ketelaar, James Edward, Machida, Soho, Morrell, Robert E. Nishida, Kitaro, Michiko Yusa, Eastern Buddhist , 19 2 : 1— Dennis Hirota, Eastern Buddhist , 28 2 : — Nishitani, Keiji, Dennis Hirota, Eastern Buddhist , 11 1 : 13— Payne, Richard K.

Tanaka eds. Includes an essay on the Pure Land practice of the Shingon priest Kakuban. Suzuki, D. Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist , London: Routledge. Selected Works of D. Dobbins ed. Tanabe, George J. Tanabe, Hajime, Tanaka, Kenneth K. Takeuchi, Yoshinori, Jan van Bragt, Eastern Buddhist , 13 2 : 26— Includes essays treating Shinran.

Thelle, Notto R. Ueda, Yoshifumi, Dennis Hirota, in Eastern Buddhist , 17 1 : 57—78 and 17 2 : 30— Dennis Hirota, Eastern Buddhist , 19 1 : 76— Ueda, Yoshifumi and Dennis Hirota, This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters.

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Sort order. Mar 02, Dim rated it really liked it. A commentry on parables of the gospel of thomas.. Good read with interesting perspectives A good wee read on the kindle I think it could've been better if the parables were written out fully before each commentary. Carolyn Huelster rated it it was amazing Jan 03, Rusty rated it it was amazing Jun 20, Jessica marked it as to-read Nov 19, Mackinzie Spaziano is currently reading it Apr 05, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

About Charles Limcango. Volume 12,1 — Mindfulness and psychotherapy. Going on retreat. Skillful means: establishing safety, reducing fear. Poem: A Love Story. Gratitude meditation. Scavenger hunting. Skillful means: easy rest. Volume 11,5 — Ghosts. Poem: Gifts of the Rain Puddle. Understanding regression. Skillful means: overcoming anxious thoughts. Volume 11,4 — The Mindfulness Movement. Poem: The Gospel of Arrival.

Intimacy and Mindfulness. Skillful means: concentration. Healing the body with the mind. Skillful means: the 8-circuit model of consciousness. Poem: Weather. Poem: People Passing. Spiritual emergence. Skillful means: mountain meditation. Prejudice in us all: a reflection on the recent US election. A poem about meditation. A story of non-dual awakening. Awe and resilience. Mindfulness of sounds. Choosing connection. Mindful eating.

Skillful means: emotional validation. The price of protection. Healthy meditation practice. Skillful Means: three good things exercise. Making friends with emptiness. Skillful Means: Letting Go. Healing with mindfulness. Skillful Means: Mindfulness of Sounds Meditation. Refuge and healing. A perfect balance. Loss and impermanence. Skillful Means: Mindful Pause. A different kind of inner trip. Mindfulness and sustainability.

A foundation of well-being: sustaining attention experiential activity. Positive neuroplasticity. Rediscovering the joy of life. Skillful Means: Affirmations. Stillness and flow. Mindfulness and numbers. Skillful Means: Self-Advocacy. The field of connection.

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Forgiveness and healing. A foundation of well-being: self-caring experiential activity. The centrality of human connections — even at work. Skillful Means: activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Meditation and enhancing cognition. A quiz about meeting your core needs. Delusion and non-delusion. Wellspring Institute fall fundraiser. Musings on time. Letting passion be your guide.

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An ode to a mother and taking in the good. Executive coaching and positive neuroplasticity. Wellspring Institute Spring fundraiser. Neuroplasticity rhymes. Attuned eating. Acting with intention. Surrendering the heart. The building blocks of love.


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