What does Shin Buddhism ask of us?
It asks that we become authentically real humans;
aware of our limitations and imperfections…Waste material (compost) becomes the soil. No need to change. Come as you
are. The same is with the nembutsu. What it’s done for me is to begin to release compassion in me, to make me more aware
of my imperfections, and to aid me in working towards alleviating them, through the Nembutsu.
Shin asks us simple to deeply hear the primordial
call of life known as Namu Amida Butsu....
For me, in my life, it’s accepting myself
as I am and allowing myself to be transformed by my willingness to let go of how I think things should be. I make up the prison
in which I see myself. As long as I recognize this fact, I am free and I can see the world I look upon in another way, in
the light of compassion which shines back at me. I am then able to begin to understand the goodness of all living things,
including myself, and their oneness with me.
Shin is considered the easy path because
there are no (prescribed) precepts, meditative practices or doctrinal knowledge required, just deep hearing.
Although Shin doesn’t ask that
we become “wise, better, or more perfect,” it asks us to accept reality as it is while recognizing our human limitations
and imperfections. We must realize the boundless compassion within.
Shin asks us to become our authentic
selves and face the unacceptable parts of ourselves we try to deny. This is possible because of the boundless compassion that
we have to support us in doing so. As a therapist, I try to encourage patients to not worry about whether they are normal
of not. Being normal is not the goal of therapy but understanding and accepting who you are.
Shin asks me to consider just being me and in
so doing, to believe that who and what I am is not significant in and of itself, rather I am part of the whole and that I
am is already capable of being more virtuous just by becoming more open and aware. Becoming more my mind –when this
happens, my ability to hear what is going on within becomes enhanced and hearing what is going on without less acute and disturbing.
A sense of abiding peace begins to settle into my bones, lifting me up.