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