This is Part One of Part Seventeen of the commentary on Summary of Faith and Practice. Part Seventeen will be in four parts.

Text: encompasses the three minds

Part One: Background
In this teaching I would like to explain the meaning of the ‘three minds’ 三心 sanjin. The three minds are explained originally in the commentary upon the Contemplation Sutra written by Shan Tao in the seventh century. Shan Tao was the greatest teacher and populariser of Pureland Buddhism in China. He was an erudite, humble and artistic monk and is regarded as a great saint. He painted many icons of the Pure Land of Amida Buddha and these became objects of worship all over China. He also wrote deeply meaningful commentaries upon Buddhist texts. In particular he wrote a commentary upon the Contemplation Sutra.

The Contemplation Sutra is one of the three texts most revered in Pureland Buddhism. The sutra has three parts. The first part is a history that sets the scene, detailing the troubles of Queen Videhi. The second part reveals a vision of the Pure Land as revealed by Buddha to the queen to console her in her troubles and the third part details the nine grades of people who enter such a paradise.

Shan Tao’s commentary advanced what, at the time, seemed a radical interpretation of the third part of the sutra. Until then the nine grades had been taken as a ladder or ascending pathway that the practitioner had to climb in order to reach the highest grade. Shan Tao, however, said that the reason for inclusion of the nine grades in the sutra was to make clear that even those of the lowest grade were not abandoned. They too enter the Pure Land. they too shall ultimately enter nirvana.

Shan Tao lived in the seventh century in China. Honen lived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Japan. Honen was deeply concerned to find a path of salvation for all, not merely the highly accomplished. When he read Shan Tao’s commentary he experiences a great revelation. This completely changed his life. In 1175 he ‘descended from the mountain’ and went forth into the world and it is from his teaching in the years that followed until his death in 1212 that Pureland as we know it derives.

Honen always held Shan Tao in great esteem and saw him as an incarnation of Amida Buddha. Honen is often himself seen as an incarnation of Tai Shih Chi who is, in a certain sense, Amida’s right hand assistant.

In his Commentary, Shan Tao explains the meaning of the teaching in various ways and one of the most important is by means of the doctrine of the three minds. The three minds are
Utterly Sincere Mind (至誠心) shijoshin
Profound Mind (深心) jinshin, and
Mind that vows to transfer merit (廻向発願心) ekohotsuganshin

To be continued...

Views: 61

ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

JOHNNY HALLYDAY

Posted by David Brazier on December 6, 2017 at 10:08 1 Comment

Johnny Hallyday died just after midnight this morning.

A vous autres, hommes faibles et merveilleux

Qui mettez tant de grâce a vous retirer du jeu

Il faut qu'une main posée sur votre épaule

Vous pousse vers la vie, cette main tendre et légère

On a tous quelque chose en nous de Tennessee

Cette volonté de prolonger la nuit

Ce désir fou de vivre une autre vie

Ce rêve en nous avec ses mots à lui

Quelque chose de Tennessee

Cette force qui nous…

Continue

THE RUBICON

Posted by Susthama Kim on December 5, 2017 at 22:30 0 Comments

i have been attending a parent and toddler group at the Steiner school in Kings Langley for a little while. I first started going there with Selena and then started taking Dorian there in September. It’s a lovely place with a different outlook and philosophy, and where I have learned about the Rubicon stage, but unfortunately the regulatory body Ofsted had rated it badly and so it had to introduce radical measures in order to stay open. 

But these changes have made things worse for…

Continue

By sheer power of aspiration

Posted by Susthama Kim on December 3, 2017 at 22:30 4 Comments

Ever since my ordination back in Dec 2003 I have always loved being involved in or being a witness to someone taking a step onto the Buddhist path. The aspirant or candidate taking on the Amida precepts always appears solemn, and sincere, and as I listen to the vows and see how willing they are to aspire to live an ideal life they become even bigger with a certain amount of gravitas and I find myself shrinking and becoming less Significant. It is a wonderfully moving experience and so I always… Continue

letter to Father Christmas

Posted by Susthama Kim on December 2, 2017 at 22:36 6 Comments

Dear Father Christmas,



Please can I have a light up Christmas tree and the prettiest baubles in your workshop. Love Selena



My daughter is 5 and loves decorations. She would love to have a garden with lots of flowers and fruit trees and plants but we live in a flat with a balcony so she spends time enjoying other people’s garden whenever she can. So maybe this Christmas we will try and create a mini Pureland garden on our balcony.



This Bodhi retreat she and her… Continue

© 2017   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service