I am neither a monk nor a layperson.
He was independent from established tradition
– his mission was reconciled within himself and manifested in common with all people, regardless of class, type etc.
– his faith was in having and belonging to a community of compassion.
Shinran was neither bound by exclusive precepts
practiced by ordained Buddhist priests (celibacy…seclusion in a monastery) nor did he dwell in the utter oblivion of
the material world. Shinran lived in the world among laypeople. He sought heaven inside hell with courage and joy.
I welcome ALL aspects of myself and my world –
impatience… inattention…passion…lethargy…amusement…fear…I trust completely in the wisdom
and compassion of the universe. I practice this compassionate awareness in meditation twice daily, so that I may live it throughout
Being defrocked, Shinran could not claim the privileges
of a monk. Nevertheless, he was far more than a layperson, like his present neighbors, by virtue of his training and spiritual
bent. He lived among laypeople as a layperson but had one foot in the everyday world of working people and the other foot
in the spiritual world.
He was a person with a mission, he didn’t
really need a label to carry out his mission, and he just was. He lived his beliefs. He preached what he practiced. For me,
I guess less talking and more “being” just do what I do with no intention of setting an example consciously; this
comes more naturally the more I practice consciously.”