This NASBA Manual has been revised in
2008. Please review the Outreach Steps and Element I, IV, Vb for new material. Also, you may now listen to
Elements I, II, IV via Podcast.
NASBA'S Buddhist Fellowship Manual
Buddhism is a life long education to learn how to realize
our human potential by transforming suffering
into peace, joy and liberation.
The North American Shin Buddhist Association (NASBA), headed by the Buddhist Faith Fellowship
(BFF), is an innovative and expanding western Shin Buddhist community, with chapters and groups throughout North America and beyond. NASBA is deeply
rooted in the teachings and practices of the Mahayana tradition. We offer an open, caring, and nurturing environment for all
who seek the Buddhist experience. We see ourselves as spiritual pioneers of the 21st century, expanding the boundaries of
the Buddha Dharma and helping to create a new American Buddhism.
|A Buddhist Faith Fellowship gathering
Our task is to provide a positive and nurturing environment that
explores our human potential and cultivates the spiritual awakening to the Oneness of Life, symbolized as Amida Buddha. Together, we are actively engaged in the Buddhist teachings and practices to transform
ourselves in service to other beings and the world. As equals, we encourage one another to understand, accept and live by
the Buddha Dharma, sharing its message of hope and compassion with all.
Inspiration: Anchored in the Mahayana tradition, we are dedicated
to the teachings of the historical Buddha and the 13th century Japanese reformer, Shinran Shonin, the founder of
Shin Buddhism or Jodo Shinshu. In addition, we are inspired by the iconoclastic
and meditative Soto Zen tradition, as an effective skillful means to better
cultivate a calm and lucid heart and mind to hear the spiritual light within us. We are also open to all Buddhist traditions and the entirety of world spirituality and wisdom.
Journey: We are called to entrust ourselves to the heart
of Great Compassion, symbolized as Amida Buddha, to live by her calling, to gracefully experience the unfolding of life
and to practice love and compassion with others. As a result, we are spiritually transformed, experiencing a renewed life
of joy, purpose, and gratitude and dedicated to promoting the welfare of all sentient beings.
Practices: While our inclusion of Soto Zen practice acknowledges
the value we place on inner silence through meditation, the heart of Shin practice is about integrating spirituality
with daily living by developing deeper compassion; practicing monpo or deep hearing (mindfulness); and voicing the
nembutsu (Namu-Amida-Butsu) as an expression of our trust in and gratitude for the ultimate Oneness of Life. We engage
in community service, support one another’s spiritual growth, and strive to remember that we are all foolish humans
doing the best that we can.