QUESTION: I have been at an event this weekend led by a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. The teacher taught about the four immeasurables, loving kindness, compassion and tonglen meditation. Today she is teaching about lojong mind training. I found some of the meditations very moving. Are these helpful auxiliary practises for Pureland Buddhists or should we solely concentrate on the Nembutal like Honen and Shinran?

SHORT ANSWER: Yes, they can be helpful.

LONG ANSWER: Each school of Buddhism centres its teaching on a particular perspective upon the Dharma, but these are like windows that all look into the one big Dharma room. If one's school is Pureland, then "the nembutsu is a window through which the whole universe of Buddha's teaching can be perceived in all its depth". If one were Zen, then zazen would be the window. If one were Nichiren then the Lotus Sutra would be one's window, and so on. First choose your window! Having chosen nembutsu, then other practices become auxilliary to that. Tonglen is about exchanging self and other and all the mind training of the Tibetan system is about enhancing one's capacity for compassion. In Pureland we do not see such enhanced capacity as itself being a road to enlightenment, we see it as the expression of faith in the world. If one has faith then one wants to be involved in Buddha's Great Work, so all manner of enhanced capacities can be useful.

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Thank you - I found your answer reassuring since it was roughly what I thought you might say! Also your post from today helped to clarify things.

Namo Amida Bu

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Korean Version of Workshops

Posted by JAESUNG KIM on August 6, 2017 at 6:58 0 Comments

2017 여름 불교심리치료 및 상담 워크숍 3회 내용

THREE PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING WORKSHOPS

 

WORKSHOP 1: SNOW UPON A SILVER PLATE [ 銀盌盛雪]: PRINCIPLES OF BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY & THEIR PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC APPLICATION

In this workshop we shall introduce and review important aspects of Buddhist psychology including the conditioned and unconditioned mind, object relatedness, skandha process, the unity of path and goal, bodhichitta,…

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Great Intentions.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on August 3, 2017 at 22:42 0 Comments

  • The power of intentions is a topic that comes up regularly for me and always provides me with food for thought. In a recent service I was struck by the gravity of the Bodhisattva vows that we sing as part of our liturgy. ”Innumerable…

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Study Group.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on July 18, 2017 at 22:41 1 Comment

We just had a study group meeting at Amida Mandala Temple. Only three of us but a very rich hour. Predictably we came round to the issue of ‘is one Nembutsu enough?’ My understanding: In a sense it is, because when we call Amida we become one with his vow and the Pure Land and thus we are saved. In another sense we have to keep calling him so that he can keep saving us. As if we’re all lost in a thick fog and Amida is a few steps ahead of us illuminating the way, we have to keep him in sight…

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SIMPOSIUM AT OASIS

Posted by David Brazier on July 11, 2017 at 15:30 0 Comments

On 8th July we had a meeting of six teachers at Oasis together with many visitors.

Pictures: Here

Each of the teachers gave a presentation on what they considered most significant in their practice. Then there was an extended lunch period for socialising and, finally a sessions of questions and answers.…

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