heart of the shin buddhist path: a life of awakening

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    A must-read.Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka, Musashino University

    Dr. Shigaraki is one of the most respected modern interpreters of Shin Buddhism.Taitetsu Unno, Smith College,

    and Mark Unno, University of Oregon

    In Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path, Takamaro Shigaraki examines ShinBuddhism anewas a practical path of spiritual growth and transforma-tion, challenging assessments of the tradition as a passive religion ofmere faith. Shigaraki presents the core themes of the Shin path in fresh, engaging, down-to-earth language, considering every facet from both secularand religious perspectives.Shigaraki shows us a nondual Pure Land that finds philosophical kinship with

    Zenbut has thus far been little discussed in the West. With its insights drawnfrom a life of practice, Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path dispels the fog of mis-conception that has shrouded Western appreciation of Shin traditions, revealingthe limitless light and life of Amida Buddha that suffuses all.

    Offers a significant perspective for the expanding interfaith dialogue betweenBuddhism and the diverse world of contemporary spiritual movements.

    Alfred Bloom, Emeritus Professor, University of Hawaii

    This volume offers illuminating contemporary insights into Shinrans lifeand thoughtand the way his ideas resonate today, both psychologicallyand ethically. Mark L. Blum, State University of New York at Albany

    A book that will be of interest both to Buddhist practitioners of alldenomi nations and scholars of modern Japanese Buddhism.

    Richard M. Jaffe, Duke University

    buddhism/philosophy & spirituality

    Wisdom Publicationswww.wisdompubs.org

    ISBN 978-1-61429-049-0 US$16.95

    Heart of theShin Buddhist Path

    A Life of Awakening

    t r a n s l a t e d b y d a v i d m a t s u m o t o

    Takamaro Shigaraki

    Produced with Environmental MindfulnessZ

  • A Note from the Publisher

    We hope you will enjoy this Wisdom book. For your conven-ience, this digital edition is delivered to you without digitalrights management (DRM). This makes it easier for you touse across a variety of digital platforms, as well as preserve inyour personal library for future device migration.

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  • heart of the shin buddhist path

    Acquired at wisdompubs.org


  • Acquired at wisdompubs.org


  • Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path

    A Life of Awakening

    Takamaro ShigarakiTranslated by David Matsumoto

    Wisdom Publications Boston

    Acquired at wisdompubs.org


  • The frontispiece consists of the calligraphy and artwork of Takamaro Shigaraki. The calligraphy is of a poem, which states,

    Shibugaki no shibu ga sono mama amami kana.

    (Ah! How very sweet! Is the bitterness of the Bitter Persimmon.)

    Acquired at wisdompubs.org


  • Acquired at wisdompubs.org


  • Wisdom Publications199 Elm Street

    Somerville, MA 02144 USAwww.wisdompubs.org

    2013 Takamaro Shigaraki; English translation 2013 David MatsumotoAll rights reserved.

    No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photo graphy, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system or technolo-

    gies now known or later developed, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataShigaraki, Takamaro, 1926 [Shinshu no taii. English]

    Heart of the Shin Buddhist path : a life of awakening / Takamaro Shigaraki ; translated by David Matsumoto. pages cm

    The present text developed out of the notes of lectures that Dr. Shigaraki delivered at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in 1999. Those notes were originally published in Japanese as Shinshu no taii

    [The Essence of Shin Buddhism] in 2000. Includes bibliographical references and index.

    ISBN 1-61429-049-0 (pbk. : alk. paper)1. Shin (Sect)Doctrines. I. Shigaraki, Takamaro, 1926 Shinshu no taii. Translation of: II. Title.

    BQ8718.3.S4513 2013 294.3926dc23


    ISBN 9781614290490; eBook ISBN 9781614290605

    17 16 15 14 13 5 4 3 2 1

    Cover and interior design by Gopa&Ted2. Set in Garamond Premier Pro 11.4/15.2.

    Wisdom Publications books are printed on acid-free paper and meet the guidelines for perma-nence and durability of the Production Guideli nes for Book Longevity of the Council on Library


    Printed in the United States of America.

    This book was produced with environmental mindfulness. We have elected to print this title on 30% PCW recycled paper. As a result, we

    have saved the following resources: 10 trees, 4 million BTUs of energy, 818 lbs. of greenhouse gases, 4,439 gallons of water, and 297 lbs. of solid waste. For more information, please visit our website, www.wisdompubs.org. This paper is also FSC certified. For more information, please visit www.fscus.org.

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  • Table of Contents

    Authors Preface xiii

    Translators Notes 1

    Part One: The Shin Buddhist Path

    1: The Fundamental Principles of Buddhism 11

    The Teachings of Gautama Buddha 11Buddhas Final Words 11What Is the Buddha? 13Aim of Buddhist Teaching 16

    The Development of Buddhism 18Buddhism after the Death of Gautama Buddha 18Renunciant Buddhism 18Householder Buddhism 19Formation of the Pure Land Teaching 20Hnen and the Pure Land Teaching 21

    2: The Pure Land Buddhist Path 25

    Amida Buddha 25Immortalization of Gautama Buddha 26Amida Buddha as Symbol 27

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  • viii heart of the shin buddhist path

    Jinen 29Wisdom and Compassion 32Buddha-Body and Buddha-Name 33

    The Primal Vow of Amida Buddha 35Truth and Non-Truth 35Buddhas Enlightenment and Our Enlightenment 37Eastern Logic and Western Logic 38

    The Pure Land Buddhist Path 40Hearing the Name and Seeing the Buddha 40Saying the Name and Hearing the Name 41Path of Teaching, Practice, and Realization 43

    3: The Shin Buddhist Path 47

    The Path that Shinran Walked 47Constant Practice of the Nembutsu 47Living the Nembutsu 50

    The Nembutsu of Choice 51The Nembutsu Alone Is True and Real 51Nembutsu as Living 52Continuous Practice of the Nembutsu Every Day 54

    Nembutsu and Shinjin 55Nembutsu History 55Psychology of the Nembutsu 56Nembutsu and Shinjin 60

    Part Two: Shinjin

    4: The Idea of Shin in Buddhism 65

    Belief and Faith 66Secular Notions of Shin: Belief 66General Religious Notions of Shin: Faith 67

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  • table of contents ix

    Buddhist Notions of Shin 68Shin as Prasda 68Shinjin Is Nondualistic and Subjective 69Shinjin as the Experience of Awakening 69Shinjin as Knowing 70

    5: Shinjin in Shin Buddhism 73

    Shinjin in Shinrans Thought 73Shinjin That Is Wisdom 73Shinjin as Awakening 74Shinjin as Becoming 75

    Traditional Approaches to Shinjin 76Past Interpretations of Shinjin 76Objective Interpretations of Shinjin 77Subjective Understandings of Shinjin 78

    The Threefold Shinjin of the Primal Vow 80Three Minds of the Primal Vow 80Three Aspects of Shinjin 81

    6: Deep Mind, True Mind, and Mind of Aspiration 83

    Deep Mind 83Psychological Perspective 83One Who Is Falling into Hell 87What Is Tariki? 89Conditional Arising and Tariki 91Religion as Path 93

    True Mind 95Philosophical Perspective 95Transformation of Life 97To Die and Be Born 100

    Mind of Aspiration 102Ethical Perspective 102

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  • x heart of the shin buddhist path

    Aspiring for Buddhahood to Save Sentient Beings 103

    Part Three: Shin Buddhist Life

    7: Salvation in Shin Buddhism 107

    Types of Religious Salvation 107Shopenhauers Theory of Happiness 107Three Ways of Seeking Happiness 108

    Salvation as the Fulfillment of Desire 109Supernatural Power 109Petitionary Prayers and Miracles 110

    Salvation through Self-Control 112Will of a Transcendent, Absolute Being 112Faith and Self-Modification 113

    Salvation as the Establishment of Personal Subjectivity 114

    Basic Principles of the World and Human Beings 114Establishment of a New Personal Subjectivity 117

    8: Shinjin and Human Life 121

    The Ethics of Shinjin 121Shinjin and Society 121Ultimate Truth and Worldly Truth 123Living in Shinjin 126

    The Starting Point for Understanding Buddhism 128The Basic Commonality of All Life 128The Teaching Not to Kill 130The Logic of Harmonious Living 133

    A True Disciple of the Buddha 136Soft and Gentle HeartFirm and Resolute Mind 136Eyes that See Beyond the Secular World 138

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  • table of contents xi

    A Single, Unhindered Path 140

    9: The Shin Buddhist Way of Life 143

    Living with Prayers for the