SHIN AND ZEN INTEGRATED PRACTICE

WHY INTEGRATE SHIN AND ZEN?

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"The Universe’s urge to compassion (Primal Vow) will progressively open up our hearts." 

                                                                         ---G.R. Lewis

 

The Buddhist Faith Fellowship encourages you to utilize the philosophies and practices of these complimentary traditions for the following reasons.  In 13th century Japan, the majority of the people were simple folk, illiterate with few possessions. Life was hard and short, requiring long days of hard work on farms and rice patties. Because of these conditions, their minds and bodies were more unified and focused on the present moment therefore likely to better benefit from deep hearing practice. For this reason, the Shin path did not initially stress meditative practice; it was not generally needed for the peasants of 13th century Japan.  Usually, it was the rich who went to the monasteries to undertake meditative practices and learn how to let go of the psychological complexities of their lives.

 

Likewise, our overstressed modern lifestyle makes it difficult to live by and awaken to the purity of the One Mind and Life (Amida), which is found in the present moment, without some sort of meditative practice. Our modern world unrelentlessly bombards and saturates us with so much stuff, which creates deep attachments, greed, pride, anger, fear, stress, violence, etc, etc. 21st century life is much more complicated even for the very rich of 13th century Japan. Therefore, as modern practitioners of the Shin path, we feel that it is important to learn how to concentrate and integrate the body and mind and touch the present moment, through proven meditative practices of a complimentary Buddhist tradition. By doing so, we will be less hindered by the dizzying agitations of the modern world and better nurture our deep hearing skills in order to heed the intuitive call of Life itself.

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Copyright 2008. G.R. Lewis, All Rights Reserved

The author grants permission to copy this document for personal uses only.