|What It Means To Receive "Settled Shinjin"|
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I discussed shinjin in the section on “Shinjin and Anjin” of Chapter One. In recent years, however, the meaning of shinjin seems to have become confused. It now seems to be mixed with the thought of working for the benefit of society. That, however, is not how the Venerable Master Shinran discussed it.
There really shouldn’t be any need for me to say such a thing at this point, but the the Venerable Master Shinran’s shinjin is the shinjin of the 18th Vow. In that vow, the “three minds” (sanshin) of “sincere mind” (shishin), “entrusting mind” (shingyo) and “aspiring to be born (in the Pure Land)”(yokusho) are mentioned. Of these, the Venerable Master Shinran said that the “entrusting mind” is what shinjin is centered on. Further, because shinjin is the cause of our birth in the Pure Land, he created the phrase, “shinjin is the proper cause (of our birth in the Pure Land)” (shinjin shoin). There is absolutely nothing about working for the good of society, or moral or ethical concerns in that phrase.
I have already mentioned this, but the Venerable Master Shinran wrote that shinjin (shingyo) was a lack of doubt, as indicated in the the following passages in the Chapter on Faith of his “Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attain-ment”:
... completely untainted by the hindrance of doubt (gigai kenzo aru kotonashi)
... no mixture of doubt (gigai majiwaru koto nashi)
Further, in his “On the One Recitation and the Many Recitations,” he wrote:
Shinjin is hearing the vow of Tathagata and being free of doubt.
And again, in his “Notes on the Inscription on Sacred Scrolls” (Songo Shinzo Meimon), he wrote:
Entrusting (shingyo) is to be free of doubt, believing deeply and without two minds about it, that the Tathagata’s Primal Vow is true and real.