Archive for June, 2005

Many Useless Things - and One Useful Thing

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

A while back I wrote a response to a question from Rev Al Bloom of Shin DharmaNet, who asked me

Is it necessary to be a know-nothing to be a person of SHINJIN?

Here, in a letter to a dharma friend who is not a Shin Buddhist - I explore the same question, more deeply from the standpoint of both Path of the Sages Buddhist teaching, and my own personal experience.

As you read it, please understand that I am not disparaging the classic expositions of the Buddha-dharma - not in the least - and neither is Shinran. (more…)

Getting to Know George Gatenby - A True Teacher of Shinran’s True Teaching

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Readers of my blog know that I make a big distinction between true teaching and false - when it comes to the Dharma of Jodo Shinshu. In doing so I am being faithful, as best as I can, to the founder of Shin Buddhism, Master Shinran.

I also make a distinction between true TEACHERS and false. A true teacher of Shin Buddhism is one who insists, not on his own views, but on the views of Shinran, in explaining the dharma.

That’s the ONLY kind of Shin Buddhist teacher worth listening to, when it comes to hearing Buddha’s final DHARMA for an age when NO ONE can self-cultivate to end suffering.

That was Shinran’s own conviction. (more…)

“Misunderstandings of Master Rennyo” by Prof. Eiken Kobai

Monday, June 27th, 2005

Professor Eiken Kobai’s book “UMisunderstandings of Master Rennyo” is now available online at his website, The Shin Buddhism Study Center.

Rennyo was the critical figure in reviving the Shin sangha when it was moribund, only 200 years after Shinran’s death. His genius was in understanding that the wisdom and scholarship of Shinran needed to be boiled down to the basics so that common people could grasp this dharma message. By doing that, he opened the dharma gates WIDELY - and countless people received the true benefit of Amida Buddha’s merit transference - and the sure promise of taking birth and becoming Buddhas at the end of their lives.

Countless people found the way - the only way in this age of Dharma Decline - to end their endless suffering and rebirth as non-Buddhas, at last.

In our day, when the Shin sangha is moribund once again, the need is exactly the same. For this reason, Prof. Kobai’s book is critical reading for those who care about the survival of the Shin sanga as the dharma vehicle for transmission of Buddha’s teaching - rather than the divergent teachings of unenlightened men who are revising and distorting Shinran’s True Teaching to meet their own intellectual tastes and fashions.

Kobai clears away the misconceptions that many scholars have had about Rennyo, and shows how his teaching was an accurate and faithful distillation and transmission of Shinran’s thought. He refuted false teaching and walked from temple to temple to establish seekers in the exact same SHINJIN that he shared with his true teacher Shinran.

Most important - the ONLY way out of the wilderness for the Shin sangha in our day is to do the exact same thing NOW that Rennyo did THEN.

That is the sole purpose of this website. It is the purpose of Eiken Kobai’s faithful scholarship as well - which is why I am so pleased to make his work more available to the English speaking world.


Paul R.