Namu Amida Butsu

This work is especially dedicated to Zuiken Saizo Inagaki, who sheds light on the pristine and original teachings of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism) for many people, including myself. I regard him as my soul teacher and I am very much influenced by his words and thoughts, which are deeply imbued with the Wisdom of Compassion of Amida Buddha. I read most of his writings available in Chinese language and I wish to share some of his golden words in this blog in English. Rev. George Gatenby and Mr. Gabriel Schlaefer have been kindly and untiringly assisting me to edit the translated essays so that they are readable and true to the intent of Sensei. May all partake of the wisdom of Shinshu teaching and be overpowered by the light of Amida Buddha.

Namu Amida Butsu!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Essay 24

A special shout-out to madam Nam Yuen Thye (蓝运娣老师) for her dedication to the traditional Chinese painting specially tailored for this essay.

The cold skies—
Bush warblers are chirping
Over blossoming plum.*

    The traditional Chinese painting depicts the scene 
    as painted by the haiku of Zuiken.

If you wish to know the real taste of the Buddha-Dharma, first you must put aside your basic necessities (clothing, food, and dwelling), fame, money and the matter of the present life, the improvement of society, the economy, and so on. Whatever these are, just put them all aside and focus on your own life-and-death matter. If you are able to narrow the scope [of your focus], you will become sober. Then you will discover that although you are a bonbu, you can still take notice of the fact that in the world of bonbu nothing can help resolve the matter of life and death.

That’s to say, while living in the world of bonbu, we quit temporally as bonbu. To quit as bonbu means to become a living death. A living death means to not mingle with the wisdom and idea of bonbu, just concentrate on the words of the Buddha and our masters.

*Reverend Zuikaku explained that the plum blossoms bloom in cold weather and the bush warblers chirp when the plum blossoms bloom. This haiku is an analogy: the stored good or shukuzen has emerged (the cold skies), the bush warblers (me) are chirping (say the nembutsu), over the blossoming plum (Namo Amida Butsu). This implies that Namo Amida Butsu causes the saying of Namu Amida Butsu: “Bush warblers are chirping over blossoming plums.”

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