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Pure Land Notes. Journal of the Pure Land Buddhist Fellowship. Web version. namandabuPLN web header.gif
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The Tannisho Today
Rev Tairyu Furukawa March 1996
On Meditation
Vaughan Evans May 1995
From Blood to Rocks
Geoff Carpenter March 1996
Tokudo
Rev John Paraskevopoulos March 1996
The Meaning of Kikyoshiki
Hongwangi International CentreSeptember 1996
The Shin Buddhist Way
Rev Jack Austin September 1996
A Sutra of Healing and Protection
Tricycle Publications March 1996
Rules for Being Human
Unknown September 1996
Reliance
September 1996 Sallea Ungar
The Importance of Self Effort
Joren MacDonald September 1997
Self Power and Other Power Play Together
David Brazier
September 1997
Faith in What?
Sep 1997 Ajahn Sumedho (summerised by Max Flisher) Sep 1997
The Myokonin
Friedrich Fenzl September 1997
Seiza
Toshio Murakami September 1997
 
 

 

ON MEDITATION
Vaughan Evans


As I reflect, I realise apropos meditation, that I have come full circle, though the meaning or intention implied in the word is not the same at the beginning as it is at the end.

The Shin experience highlights two different types of power, self-power and other-power. Prior to discovering Shin, but while still a professing Buddhist, I was undoubtedly a self-power seeker both inside and outside of Buddhism. This latter characteristic should cause no qualms or astonishment, for the same passion for defining, the same preoccupation of the mind for discriminating thought, imbues the one no less than the other. Meditation, the embod-iment of jiriki or self-power is arguably the central feature of these non-Shin schools and to that extent and from that point of view something that is through and through artificial. Maybe considering the high ideals of these 'self-powered' Buddhists, you will come to agree with me that their medita-tion was all a bit stultifying, and that were you to know a better way, you would take it.

A little in despair at my own efforts, I by chance lighted upon the Shin or other-power alternative. But while accepting what I thought it was about, somehow the old habit of thought, my 'unregenerate nature' seemed to ob-scure what so many said seemed rather to be the case. A case of looking back, I suppose. But try I did, and eventually in nature's own time and way, the former jiriki way of thinking seemed to pale and fade. Trust grew and grows still, for this is where I am at.

Do I think of meditation at the extreme end of the spectrum, as Shin's bete noir? I don't think so. If there is any such being about, I think it rather as that which negates nature and naturalness. If you like, you can call what I have written a meditation - about, in time, a mind evolving. Mind itself being in evolution.

So at the last, as it 'were, I view meditation, this residual jiriki practice, as what I have been doing, which is plainly self-reflection or opening up to the unconscious, to the Buddha nature that lies obscured, in as natural a way as possible. In a word, the only school whose method meditation truly knows is that of Nature herself. So, as I started by saying I would, I find myself at where I started, in deed and in truth.

A multitude of doctrines have been established and left behind by the many wise masters, but they are all merely temporary statements made in response to different confusions. The nembutsu practicer, then should discard even these and simply say the Nembutsu.

Ippen Shonin - quoted from 'No Abode 'by Dents Hirota.

This article first appeared, with the Author's permission, in PLN 5, MAY 1995. Re-published here in agreement with the compiler/editor of the inaugurate hard copy Journal. The Author, any person or any organisation credited, quoted or connected with this article are cordially invited to contact me with any comments, amendments, fresh contributions or complaints. email me

 

 

 
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