Thursday, June 23, 2016
Amidaji is strictly a Jodo Shinshu temple - short discussion between me and Zuio Inagaki Sensei
"I wonder if your temple is purely Jodo Shinshu or Zen or combination of both. I am in favor of seeing a combination of both, or a new way of Buddhism".
This was my answer:
My temple is strictly Jodo Shinshu. I am strongly against any combination between Jodo Shinshu and Zen or Jodo Shinshu and anything else.
As Shinran or Rennyo did not make any combination, I myself will make none. We are ignorant, unenlightened beings and so we do not have the authority nor the wisdom to play with various Dharma gates or create a "new way of Buddhism", as you say. I even think that this is very dangerous and leads people into confusion. We, as priests and teachers should try to be as simple as possible, so that even illiterate can understand the Call of Amida, and have a simple faith in Him. We live in times of great confusion in the international sangha with various clerics and scholars teaching many wrong views, like the "Pure Land is here and now" or "in our minds", or describing Amida as a metaphor, fictional character, etc, and this makes ordinary people to depart from true birth in the Pure Land. To add another obstacle to this big mountain of confusion, like mixing Jodo Shinshu with Zen, is something I will never do.
My goal is to escape Samsara as quickly as possible, and to help others escape it as quickly as possible. Without the Primal Vow, there is no chance of doing this, and in the Primal Vow there is no mention of anything else than entrusting ourselves to Amida Buddha, say His Name in faith and wish to be born in His Pure Land. Thus, Amidaji is a temple which limits itself to the Primal Vow.
Here is another short question and answer between me and Inagaki Sensei: