Dharma Friends -
I find myself writing this post every
few months, and decided that it was a
good time to write it again, because
we've gotten some new members recently.
So let me start with this: There
is only ONE practice in our school, and
that practice is LISTENING DEEPLY to the
You've probably watched my YouTube video
on the subject, but let me repeat the
First, in order to listen deeply, you
must be willing to TEMPORARILY lay aside
your pre-existing thoughts, ideas and
beliefs. No one is going to steal
them from you, and if you don't find
True Shin Buddhism to your liking, you
can take them up again at any time.
But while you are investigating
this unique Dharma path to Buddhahood,
you need to simply come with an open
mind to listen to what is being taught.
Second, the first part of listening
deeply is listening with the HEAD - aka
the INTELLECT - to understand clearly
what the teacher is actually teaching.
By all means if anything is
unclear, or you have any doubts or
questions, you should feel free to raise
them. Indeed, I WANT you to raise
them - that's what the Sangha is for.
Third, after you have understood the
Dharma message with the head, now you
must listen with the HEART. You
need to personally evaluate the message,
to decide whether or not you bear
witness to the TRUTH of it. If you
don't - no harm, no foul. It just
means this is not the path for you at
this point in your spiritual journey.
We can still be friends, and you
can look elsewhere for your truth.
And you can always come back
anytime - and you can leave and come
back as many times as you want to.
You'll always be accepted here.
Now...in order to LISTEN DEEPLY, I have
a specific recommendation for the new
folks, in particular - and everyone
Start off with the Collected Letters of
Master Rennyo - known as the OFUMI or
GOBUNSHO. They are short and
simple to understand. They capture the
ESSENCE of our Dharma message, and were
written so that plain and uneducated
people could understand them.
I consider Master Rennyo's letters to be
the PRIMER of True Shin Buddhism.
There is literally nothing better
for you to read as a beginning seeker on
our Dharma path.
It takes only a few minutes to read each
letter. If you read just one a
day, you can read through the entire
collection in a couple of months.
If you read 2 or 3 a day, you can
read through the collection in about a
Now...this may sound silly to some, but
I honestly recommend you read through
the entire collection 5 - 10 times in a
row. I promise you that you will
see things and understand things on the
5th reading that went right over your
head on the 1st and 2nd.
And if you take my advice, you will
understand more about TRUE Shin Buddhism
than 99% of the folks out there who
identify as Shin Buddhists.
There are two links in the new version
of this Shin Buddhist Portal: One for an
HTML version of Rennyo's letters, and
the other for a PDF version, which
is actually a reproduction of the book
you can buy online from Amazon, that
also includes the TANNISHO, as well.
Just go to the main page of the portal
(press the "BACK" link at the bottom of
this page), and use the F3 (Find) key to
search quickly for RENNYO.
You can also buy a hard copy of the book
(which I recommend if you can afford it)
from Amazon and other booksellers, too.
Here's the Amazon (US) link:
can't recommend this course of action
too strongly, if you want to get
grounded in the TRUE Teaching of the
Pure Land Way.