Archive for the ‘Blind Passion’ Category

Shinran Speaks: The Most Difficult of All Difficulties

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

On July 2, I posted a passage from Master Yuan-chao - quoted by Master Shinran in his Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho - stating that the Dharma of Amida Buddha’s person and work was the most difficult thing in the world to accept by faith.

Here is Master Shinran - in his own words this time - speaking the same thing in his HYMNS OF THE PURE LAND:

It is difficult to encounter a time when a Tathagata appears in the world,
And difficult to hear the teachings of the Buddha.
It is rare to hear the excellent dharma for bodhisattvas,
Even in a span of countless ages.

It is difficult to meet true teachers,
And difficult to instruct.
It is difficult to hear the teaching well,
And more difficult to accept it.

More difficult even than trust in the teachings of Shakyamuni’s lifetime
Is the true entrusting of the universal Vow.
The Sutra teaches that it is “the most difficult of all difficulties”,
That “nothing surpasses this difficulty”.


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…)

Questions That Bother A Shin Buddhist Friend

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

My dharma friend writes:

Here’s are some questions that have bothered me ever since discovering Shinran:

At what point does the attempt to not calculate turn into further calculation? (more…)

When Buddha-Lite Won’t Do

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

Two days.

On Wednesday, one of the world’s great cities is alive with jubiliation.

On Thursday, it is alive with ANGUISH.

Like much (though not all) of the watching world, I stand in solidarity with all who are suffering from the London bombings today. (more…)

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…)

The SHINRAN Manifesto: Staying In Dialogue

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Ray: hi paul,

well, there are certainly a lot of ruffled feathers at the shinlist (a Yahoo! egroup). i am surprised and disappointed at the personal and abusive remarks aimed at you.


Hi Ray,

I’m neither surprised, nor disappointed. I expected it.

When I began this work, I anticipated this exact reaction from any number of people.

I’m hardly made of stone, but I have a very strong sense of vocation about what I am doing here. A bit of verbal abuse will not deter me from doing it. (more…)


Saturday, March 12th, 2005

People generally have a hard time hearing when my teacher Shinran said, “I am an evil person”…and “Hell is my only home”.

Why can’t they hear? Because they just can’t see when THEY look in the mirror what Shinran saw when HE looked in the mirror.

Here’s what he saw, displayed as a metaphor in one amazing picture: (more…)

Genshin’s AHA! Moment

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

If you’re not familiar with Shinran, you probably don’t know Genshin. He was the sixth of Shinran’s Seven Pure Land Masters Shinran referred to as he unpacked this final teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha for plain people in this age of Dharma Decline.

On Beliefnet’s Pure Land discussion list severall folks talked recently about Genshin’s personal AHA! moment.

If you’re doing ANY kind of PRACTICE - Buddhist or otherwise - in order to clean up your act, tame your mind, experience pristine awareness, deconstruct your egotism, etc, etc, etc - I invite you to listen deeply to the discussion. (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…)

Corporate Greed: A Shin Ugly Perspective

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Though I know Jessie has entered a state of complete transcendence, this kind of news (below) is hard for me to read - harder than reading about natural disaster, as terrible as the recent Tsunami, and the more recent earthquake, are to hear about.

Why? Because here in THIS news is the human condition of selfishness - of greed - of dishonesty - writ large. (more…)

The Secret Genocide Archive

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

The Shin Ugly Blog now has readers from around the world.

I ask a favor of each and all of you: (more…)

One Question Changes Countless Lives

Friday, February 18th, 2005

I am grateful to Ananda, beyond any words I can say - for seeing clearly - for listening deeply - and for asking ONE question of his cousin and teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha, one day on a hill called Vulture Peak.

Because of his question - and Shakyamuni’s answer - and Shinran’s true teaching - my beloved Jessie has ended her countless births into lives of endless suffering at last. She lives now as a True Buddha - and soon enough I will too.

Shakyamuni Buddha invites you each and all to join us - whether you’re old or young, smart or dumb, Buddhist or non-Buddhist. None of it matters in the least.

Here’s the backstory: (more…)

Two Rivers and a White Path

Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

Two Rivers and a White Path is Shan-tao’s parable of the path of birth into the Pure Land. It is set forth in his Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra as part of his exposition of the sutra passage: (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…)

Gorillas In the Midst

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

Paul: we’re all still stuck with our endless cravings and aversions.


Fogueira: I think the difference between our philosophies is I don’t KNOW that they’re endless and you think they probably are. :)


That probably sums it up, dear friend. It’s a conclusion I came to, in the wake of great suffering, after 30 years on the path - in this lifetime.

As for your not knowing, I can offer you an experiment that might or might not be helpful: (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…)

Gratitude Even Through the Tears

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

LuanTaoChe: Dear Brother Paul,

Thank you for sharing your experience of Jessie in The Pure Land, as a full Buddha.


Dear LuanTaoChe -

We’ve never met, and probably never will, this side of death.

But it is clear that we share the same reality. (more…)

Blind Passion

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

If you haven’t yet gotten the big picture view, either of Buddha’s basic teachings, nor Shinran’s exposition of Buddha’s final teaching, hang in there, while we unpack it.

This teaching of the Buddha, about the easy path to Buddhahood, has been waiting for your attention, for longer than you can possibly know
. (more…)

Great Negative Karma

Friday, January 28th, 2005

Sujeewa (Suki): I was wondering if I should say this or not, but I think its better said than not said. The Budda said …”One shall not harm any other living being nor Harm oneself.” It creates great Negative Karma. It was his first precept and a very important one to be put as the very first one too. It only takes one away from the path to Nibbana or Salvation or in becoming a Budda, or Arahanth.

I hope you knew about this.


Hi Suki -

Yes, indeed I did know about the Buddha’s first precept. This comment of yours strikes right to the heart of YOUR existential dilemma as much as mine, and my daughter’s – even though she took her own life, and you have not done such a thing.

Let me explain – because this is exactly the point of Shin Buddhist teaching. (more…)