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SUFFERING
STEVE LANE

 

What do Shin Buddhists do when a loved one is suffering? What do we do at the loss of a baby? There seem to be no prayers for these in Shin Buddhism. There seems to be no theoretical space for such prayers. Shinran wouldn't even say a nembutsu for his dead parents (Tannisho, Chapter 5). When someone is suffering what can we offer as a Buddhist response? Do we give them a lecture on the Four Noble Truths? Of course not. So we seem to have no more to offer than an atheist. And what do we do when we feel helpless in the face of a loved one's suffering? I do not expect magic, the intervention of a god, but the heart aches to pray.


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