Imagine a religion without original sin, judgment, a wrathful God, a multitude of gods and saints,
an eternal hell, Satan, a sense of guilt, a personality cult, idolizing a book, a blood sacrifice for atonement, a rejection
of personal experience, holy wars, hypocritical rules, sexism, a cultish mindset, and money and power obsessions. Luckily,
a religion without all of this negative core baggage does exist and it is called Shin Buddhism.
Buddhism is an 800 year old religion and
a way of life dedicated to manifesting the endowed purpose of every human being to realize enlightenment. This is a natural
path open to everyone; it is especially geared to ordinary working people involved in daily responsibilities and worldly entanglements.
It is called a natural path because it is devoid of superstitious dogma and is based on personal experience and reality-as-it-is.
It uses everything as a vehicle on journey to enlightenment. It never forces itself onto others and maintains a gentle but
persuasive demeanor. What’s more, it does not have a blind eye to what it is to be a real human being but it fully accepts
the human condition with all of its limitations and potentialities.
Being a natural way, it is also all-inclusive and embracing because like the ocean it accepts
everybody, even non-believers and the so-called lowliest of our society. No matter who you are or what you have done or what
burdens you carry, you and everyone else is assured to be transformed through the power of great compassion into an authentically
real and awakened person. This is the assurance of Shin.
At its core, Shin can be seen as an anti-cult; this feature is clearly manifested in our Buddhist
Fellowship, which is non-hierarchical, egalitarian and non-dogmatic. Moreover, it does not ask for followers but seeks dedicated
practitioners of daily compassion, love and wisdom, so together we can transform ourselves and the world into a happier place.
As a wholesome vehicle to spiritual practice, it does not have any requirements to join but only to have the faith and commitment
to transmute the burdens of daily life into the source of received wisdom and compassion. Come as you are and practice with
What We Believe?
Below is a brief summary in 21 points of the core beliefs and tents of our international association.
These basic beliefs are skillful instruments given to us by the Buddha, so that we can awaken to our deepest inner
potential of compassion and wisdom. They are not creedal pronouncements that bind us into dogmatism. In order to
touch the Ultimate Dimension, we must go beyond all words and ideas, and experience the ineffable Oneness of Reality
as it is. Words and ideas can help us along the path, but let's not be attached to them. Let them serve as guideposts
The 21 points cover such topics like the ultimate nature of reality, the significance of our Buddha,
the purpose of life, basic practices, death, hell, evil, eternal life, salvation, scriptures, etc. Ultimately, these 21 points
can be summed up in the belief in the One Life, compassion, love, hope, and the inner potential of every human being.
1. We believe….there is only one Life,
present in everybody, in everything and everywhere, manifesting in infinite forms who is the beauty and power of the cosmos.
This is not a God but is that which transcends Creator and creation and is our
true nature; for this reason, the Buddha is known as the teacher of gods and humans.
2. We believe….in universal compassion.
The one Life, symbolized in our tradition as Amida, the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light, is infinite in space and time,
identifies with our sufferings and joys and enjoins us to be compassionate and loving with others
3. We believe….in universal liberation.
The one Life actively seeks to liberate all beings by embodying itself as the nembutsu-Namu-Amida-Butsu;
this living nembutsu reveals itself when we are spiritually guided to believe, hear, affirm and entrust ourselves
to the one Life.
4. We believe...the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni
was the human manifestation of Amida Buddha who in turn is the compassionate expression of the non-conceptual ultimate dimension,
known as the dharmakaya.
5. We believe….in the Three Jewels:
the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, as the best vehicle to touch that which is true and real, to engage in the beauty of
life, and to offer a safe haven from suffering and impermanence.
6. We believe….life is a bumpy ride,
but the universe is fundamentally good; it is our ego-driven life that causes most of the suffering but luckily our self-centeredness
can be transformed into a source of wisdom and compassion (Buddhahood). This is the Buddha’s teaching of the Four Noble
7. We believe….nothing just happens
but all is the result of karma (cause and effect); this reality emphasizes individual responsibility and the universal karmic
power of Amida Buddha, symbolized as the Primal Vow.
8. We believe….in the interdependence
of all things, in which everything simultaneously co-arises with everything else (mutual creation) and that every form is
intimately part of everything else.
9. We believe….in Other Power (grace).
No one human life is wasted or abandoned but all will be transformed by the natural working of the boundless one Life.
10. We believe…every person has a natural
and endowed purpose to realize enlightenment by embodying the nembutsu for the sake of all beings.
Buddhist Beliefs, Practices and Experiences web site
To continue with the rest of our "What We Believe?" section and to find out about our 13 core
practices and read all about our 10 spiritual experiences, just click on the link below to enter our comprehensive "Buddhist Beliefs, Practices and Experiences." web site.