Archive for the ‘Aspiration’ Category

Aspiration to become a Buddha – The Most Important Matter

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

(Paul’s note: This outstanding article was written by Rev. Josho Adrian Cirlea, the only Romanian Jodo Shinshu Priest. It appeared originally on his blog, AMIDA-JI RETREAT TEMPLE ROMANIA.)

The goal of Buddhism is to become a Buddha.

Not to paint this life in different colors, not to become a smart or interesting kind of Buddhist, but to become a Buddha.

The Buddhist path is not a method of relaxation or a tablet for headache, something like “how can we become happier and calmer people” or a recipe for momentary happiness, but a road to Buddhahood or complete Freedom for us and all beings. (more…)

The Most Difficult Thing In The World To Accept In Faith

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

(Note: This is cross-posted from the True Shin Buddhism Yahoo! Group.

Master Shinran’s great work - the Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho (True Teaching, Practice and Realization of the Pure Land Way) is about 90% quotes from other sources, all held together with Shinran’s own exposition. As such, it is filled with Dharma Gems. Here is a profound passage from Master Yuan-chao, quoted by our Dharma Master Shinran (emphasis in caps is my own): (more…)

Which Sutra is Buddha’s Ultimate Truth? Which Is Not?

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Dear Mr Kobai -

I would like to asked you some input about the disscusion I’ve been having with my friends about the teachings of Nichiren.

They tell me that I am following a provisional Buddhism (Jodo-Shinshu), and not following the lotus sutra which Nichiren said that is the right path (Dharma) for the Mappo time.

Please can you help?

in gassho with Respect and Makoto.

Sebastian. (more…)

Two Year Anniversary

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Today is the two year anniversary of my daughter Jessie’s death on November 8, 2003.

Beginning exactly one year ago, on November 8, 2004, a series of manifestations began. (more…)

Walking the Code-Talkers Into the Pure Land

Friday, October 28th, 2005

When I consider the abysmal state of much of the Shin sangha - how so many of the clerics and scholars have left Shinran’s plain teaching behind, just as Shinran’s own son Zenran did - I’m reminded about Shakyamuni’s dialogue with Maitreya, recorded in the Larger Pure Land Sutra. (more…)

Refuge and Refugees

Friday, September 2nd, 2005


Living like animals


What Is The Purpose of the Dharma?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

This post is a continuation of a dharma dialogue that began with this post of August 21. In that dialogue a dharma friend named Woody, a sincere seeker who is already a self-described Pure Land Buddhist, asked me a critical question:

What about the vinaya pitaka? What about the 5 and 8 precepts? Is there no call to morality and goodness? Is there no room for these things in true entrusting”?

In order to provide good ground for an answer that is in accord with Shinran’s teaching, I asked Woody (and everyone who might be reading this blog) to consider deeply with me this most fundamental question in return:


Let’s listen deeply together, and see where Amida Buddha is leading us to, each and every one. (more…)

Close But No Cigar: Life In The Border Land

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Here’s a continuation of my conversation with Jason that began here. As it unfolds, we’re talking about the Borderland adjacent to the Pure Land (as Shakyamuni Buddha describes it in the Larger Sutra), and some questions about Dharmakara’s 48 Vows.

As you read it, please note: you don’t need to understand ANY of this detail to become a person who is grasped by Amida Buddha. You simply need to listen deeply, and entrust your karmic destiny entirely to him - his person, his work, his primal vow.

He will do EVERYTHING to save you from the terrible wheel of birth and death, and bring you to Buddhahood at last in his Pure Land.

Frankly, as non-Buddhas, none of us REALLY understand the depth of what it all means.

But we will.

Namu Amida Butsu,

Paul R. (more…)

“But I don’t want to become a Buddha!”

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

That’s what a Buddhist friend said to me, once - as we were dialoguing about Shinran’s teaching, and why I believe it is so important.

I thought about his comment often, for several weeks. I’m sure there are a lot of other people, Buddhists and non-Buddhists, who might say the same thing.

Why would a Buddhist make such a statement, anyway? (more…)

Two Compassions

Monday, March 14th, 2005

The Shin Ugly truth is this: regardless of who we are, and what we do, we are all living a life that I call ICEBERG US - bound and determined in ways we cannot even see by our own blind passion, our own cravings and aversions, our own ineradicable egotism.

This is why my teacher Shinran, looking deeply and honestly at himself, said for his whole long life, “I am an evil person”…and “Hell is my only home”.

Shinran KNEW he was stuck - that his existential predicament was inescapable - that playing at being a good Buddhist was a worthless exercise.

He had seen through his own agenda - he knew it was just another form of religious self-indulgence in order to convince himself that he was earning some kind of karmic brownie points - while ignoring the truth of his own endless grasping - even his grasping after merit, or the acclaim of others as a good, righteous and spiritual person. (more…)

Mission Impossible: Avoiding Self-Indulgence

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

For anyone who aspires to Buddhahood, the SHIN UGLY perspective of Shinran is unique - and sometimes hard to understand, even though it is simplicity itself.

Shinran teaches that ultimately there are only two dharma gates (paths to FULL awakening) for us human beings to consider: (more…)

Of Impasses and Tea

Sunday, February 6th, 2005

I’ve noticed, over several years, how easily other Buddhists dismiss out of hand this most simple, most precious teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha, with it’s promise of an EASY, guaranteed path to Buddhahood - the end of suffering at last.

Such easy dismissal is an easy mistake to make. (more…)

Bitter in The Mouth - Sweet in the Stomach

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

Fogueira: If I have understood correctly, even if I drop everything right now and think Shinran was onto something, and I believe his vow is going to “save” me, I’m not going to “become a Buddha” until “next time”.


That is exactly what Buddha teaches in the Larger Sutra, when it comes to plain people like me, Fogueira. (more…)

The Easy Path to Buddhahood: Part 1 - Awaken Your Aspiration

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Shin Buddhism as been called the easy path to Buddhahood. And it IS easy.

It’s so easy, that Shinran and his teacher Honen were able to share this easy path simply and effectively with unlettered people who were the outcasts of their day. Their sharing of this path opened the door to Buddhahood for many of the most unlikely, and most confused. (more…)