Saturday, October 17, 2015
Question and answer on intellectual obstacles to shinjin
Recently, I have been reflecting on my not having shinjin. The problem is I don't know WHY. Any blocks or obstacles to my receiving of Amida's gift of shinjin must be unconscious as I don't have any conscious obstacles at all.
What can I say….
Have you ever wondered that perhaps you complicate your mind? I mean what do you want this shinjin to be, that you stress your mind about it, so much?
It is especially because people tend to complicate their minds and think that shinjin must be this or that thing, that I wrote the article, Faith is simple, nothing special.
Perhaps your mind still thinks that something must happen when you entrust to Amida, or is waiting for something to happen when you have faith. Dear friend, you will NOT change a bit after entrusting yourself to Amida. You are not supposed to constantly feel anything special if you entrust to Amida. There is really nothing there if you entrust to Amida, except a simple faith and Amida who helps you – assures you of your birth in His Pure Land.
Shinjin is simple, it is a simple faith, only the mind is complicated. The mind is waiting for something special to happen. Well, the news is that there is nothing to happen. It will be the same ordinary life with ups and downs of an ordinary unenlightened bombu. It will be the same monkey mind who will continue to keep you company until you die and you are actually born in the
Have you understood the basics of the Amida Dharma? Do you understand that only by Amida’s Power you can be born in the
? If yes, and if you understood the words of
the Primal Vow, then all you need to do is to simply wish to go to Amida’s
Land, entrust yourself to Him without expecting anything special to happen, and
say His Name. Pure Land
We often forget that this Path is the way of easy practice. EASY! This means that our mind can be as it is, while we simply say, “I entrust to you, Amida Buddha to take me to your
. Thank you. Namo
Amida Butsu.” If we ask ourselves too many questions on why this stupid monkey
mind is acting like this or like that, why it thinks this or that, or perhaps
if there is some kind of unconscious obstacle in it that prevents us from
entrusting to Amida ..... then indeed, we might never entrust to Amida! This is
like in that parable with the poison arrow, which I suppose you know well. Pure
But even if you might always have the feeling that you probably do not entrust completely to Amida, just continue to say His Name and entrust to Him as you are now. Even a 20% or a 50% connection to Amida is better than none. However, as I told you before, perhaps the problem is in your head, and the more you try to escape your head/mind, the more you become entangled in the head/mind, and because your mind is used to jump like a monkey from here to there, it will always make you think that perhaps something is lacking, perhaps you do not think nor feel as you should…
So, just say “I entrust to you, Amida Buddha, to take me to your
. Thank you. Namo
Amida Bu” then continue to listen to Amida Dharma and leave your monkey mind to
be as it has always been, and as it will always be until you die and you are
born in the Pure
Land . Because shinjin (faith) is not the
product of mind calculations, thoughts or ideas, because it is not a special
feeling you should develop inside your mind, just entrust to Amida as you are,
and do not bother too much with your mind. Pure Land
People of shinjin can’t even say Nembutsu too often, and are not even asked to do it; this is why the Primal Vow contains the words, “say my Name even up to ten times”. This means that Amida Buddha knows who we are and our limitations, and by asking us to entrust ourselves to Him, He did not mean that we should be something else than ordinary people who can’t even say His Name continuously for a few hours, or can’t keep Him constantly in our minds…
People of shinjin can’t control anything, they simply entrust to Amida to save them and lead them to His Pure Land. That is all. It is nothing special to realize or feel about this.
I hope this helped, but if not, just continue to stay close to Amida Buddha and to the Dharma about Him. If you stay close to Amida Dharma, even if you don’t have shinjin you are safer than before, and there will come a day when you will realize that there is nothing complicated about this shinjin.
- fragment from a letter to a friend -