Shinran Speaks: “Above All, No Calculation”

Shinran never demanded, nor expected, that anyone be an Shin Buddhist intellectual. Why? Because most of us just CAN’T be that smart, or that learned.

That’s why Shinran NEVER pushed the sangha in that direction. NEVER.

He never demanded, or expected, that anyone be a Shin Buddhist mystic. Why? Because most of us just CAN’T be that spiritual, or that mystical.

That’s why Shinran NEVER pushed the sangha in that direction, either. NEVER.

If you’re smart, ok. If you’re a natural mystic, ok. But if you’re not either, that’s JUST as ok! Shinran’s Dharma is plain talk, for plain people about suffering and the end of suffering. No more, and no less.

So what DID Shinran push, prod, poke and provoke the Sangha towards, anyway - over the course of 60 years of preaching and teaching?

Just this: LISTEN.

Listen, Shinran said, to the True Teaching given by Shakyamuni Buddha in the Larger Pure Land Sutra - the teaching about a Buddha named Amida - Buddha of Infinite Life and Light.

Just listen to the True Teaching, Shinran said, with an open heart and mind.

Listen HONESTLY, Shinran said, with no intellectual calculation, no self-powered thinking, whatsoever.

When it comes to the great mystery concerning the person and work of Amida Buddha, we can’t figure it out- any more than my dog can figure out the calculus.

So how does it all work, then?

In this way, Shinran said: When we listen deeply and honestly, with open heart and open mind, to the True Teaching - THEN, Amida Buddha himself leads us.

Amida Buddha leads us to simply entrust our karmic destiny entirely to him - to his person, to his work - to the fulfillment of his Primal Vow.

It’s not about our capacity for intellectual understanding, or our propensity towards mysticism.

In fact, Shinran said, OUR capacities and OUR propensities can be a terrible part of the problem.

Let everything go, Shinran said. Simply listen. When we do, Amida Buddha will lead us to SHINJIN, True Entrusting.

THEN, true gratitude will arise. Naturally and spontaneously.

THEN - for the very FIRST time - TRUE NEMBUTSU will come out of your mouth.

True Nembutsu. True refuge. True Namu Amida Butsu.

NamuAmidaButsu. Thank you, Amida Buddha, for making a path for me to end my suffering at last, to become free from delusion and ignorance at last, to become a Buddha at last.


If you listen deeply, with no calculative thinking whatsoever, to Shinran’s True Teaching of the Pure Land Way, you will come to know that your endless journey from suffering life to suffering life will be DONE - after this life is over.

You will know that at the end of this life, you will be taken by Amida Buddha himself to his own Pure Land.

You will know that there, finally, you will complete your journey to Buddhahood.

This knowing is SHINJIN. This knowing is salvation in the present, as Eiken Kobai so clearly explains.

That’s why, in the Path of the foolish, the Path of the Pure Land, nothing else is required. Just listen. Listen deeply.

Let’s listen together to Shinran as he answers someone’s sincere question.

You ask about “being grasped never to be abandoned.”

Shan-tao’s Hymns [on the Samadhi] of All Buddhas’ Presence states that Sakyamuni and Amida are our parents of great compassion. Using many and various compassionate means, they awaken the supreme SHINJIN (true entrusting) in us.

Thus the settling of true shinjin is the working of Sakyamuni and Amida.

Persons become free of doubt about their birth because they have been grasped.

Once grasped, there should be no calculation at all. Since they dwell in the stage of non-retrogression until being born in the Pure Land, they are said to be in the stage of the truly settled.

Since true shinjin is awakened through the working of the two honored ones, Sakyamuni and Amida, it is when one is grasped that the settling of shinjin occurs.

Thereafter the person abides in the stage of the truly settled until born into the Pure Land.

Other Power means above all that there must not be the slightest calculation on our part.

Not the slightest calculation. Not even a little bit.

That’s what Shinran says. His words, not mine.

The link is HERE.

WordPress database error: [Table 'netpaul.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '53' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

Leave a Reply