I sometimes can’t believe how defective I am!! Whilst despairing of myself the other day I remembered a Shinran teaching that I found some time ago. It really made me think and reinforced my resolve to practice.
It is a Pureland teaching about the depth of our sin preventing us from being genuinely good. Our efforts to be decent, caring beings are always based in and therefore contaminated by our self centredness, greed hatred and delusion. This is due to the accumulation of bad karma over countless lifetimes, since beginningless time. For this reason, the only way that we can be of real use is to allow Buddha, God, etc to shine through us. And the best chance of this occurring is if we relinquish conceit, surrender to our foolish nature and just allow ourselves to be human. this is not a licence to act out or indulge in negative behavior but an invitation to deepen our faith and explore the difference between self power and other power. Even though I fall short of even this ideal(letting go of conceit is not as easy as it sounds), I find the concept very liberating. It serves as a reminder that I am in no way expected to be perfect, in fact, I’m expected to exercise my bombu nature on a daily basis without any effort at all! And, painful as that can be for myself and for others, it also bears the seed of my salvation and awakening.


Namo Amida Bu( :

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Comment by David Brazier on October 14, 2017 at 9:36

Trying to let go of conceit may be a conceited ideal.

Comment by Nati on September 19, 2017 at 16:21

Thank you for these words Adam. Yes, sometimes I wonder if  letting go conceit is really a choice or only an ideal. Sometimes I feel like a fly trying to reach the light behind the glass and hitting against it once and again...In spite of that frustrating fact,I think that the certainty of light is the only thing that can keep my purpose guided.

Namo Amida Bu:)

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