Archive of Jornal Articles

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
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
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
Toshio Murakami September 1997


Sallea Unger

Years ago I heard D. I. Suzuki say that in practical life we must rely on ourselves, but in our spiritual life we must rely on the power of another.

In our Culture, self- reliance is stressed. Emerson wrote a famous essay entitled Self-Reliance. We have many sayings such as 'If you want to grow potatoes you had better pick up a hoe' and' If you want something done right, do it yourself. This is valid in practical matter from care of teeth to wise investment of funds, but as the majority of us who try it discover, it is not too helpful in attaining Buddhahood.

The main aspiration of a Buddhist is enlightenment, to see reality without illusion as Sakyamuni Buddha did. And we are told that for this accomplishment of prime importance in our lives we must not rely on ourselves at all? This requires a 360-degree turn, easier said than done.

The mind has many levels of deviousness. If I look, I find that when I do something to 'help' another, somewhere in there is a tiny intention that this 'good' deed is bringing me a step closer to Nirvana. It is almost irresistible for me to try to give the unlimited force field that we call Amida Buddha a little assistance. Most of the time I don't attempt to look. Denial is the great soother. Usually I don't realise there has been denial until the current top layer has peeled off, and I see it for what it was.

Sometimes there is nothing left but to say Nembutsu.

This article first appeared, with the Author's permission, in PLN 7, September 1996. Republished 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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