Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Zen of Shinran Shonin

Shinran's statue
I'm feeling very sick lately. Lots of obstacles manifesting. Sometimes not sure what to do. Doing Vajrasattva mantras and using Peacock Queen feather to heal. In my moment of discontent but inately serious, I spoke to Shinran, "O - Great Shinran, since you are so faithful to Amitabha, please don't forget to take me to Him should anything untowards happens to me!" Suddenly I got this loud and unexpected reply back to my head, "WHO SAID I AM FAITHFUL TO AMITABHA? THAT IS RIDICULOUS! IF YOU WANT TO GO TO AMITABHA, YOU HAVE TO FIND HIM YOURSELF!"  

 I was completely taken aback by that reply. Momentarily stunned. But I knew the words of Shinran (or whatever my imagination of his reply) was with much wisdom and meaning. That was just Friday morning. Is that a Pure Land koan? Strange. But the point is, try think about what it means to find "Amitabha" or what it means by "going to Amitabha Pure Land". Many of us say we want to go there. Or, during our prayers, we say so, BUT, are we serious about that aspiration? Even if it is genuine, what do we do with that aspiration? Are we just hoping for someone out there to "rescue" us? Are we just waiting for some "GOD" or "GOD-like" entity to give us "salvation" ala Christianity and other monotheistic religions? Even Jodo Shinshu with its "ultra-faith" in Amitabha is not like those religions. Some Buddhists may think that it is, but I have since learned that it is not. If it is merely going to some Buddha realm, perhaps we can merely rely. But the true "salvation" of Amitabha is really more than that. How much more? I leave you with these thoughts. Good day. May Amitabha's Light shine on all of us - all sentient beings! Go find your Amitabha!

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