Who was the Buddha?
He was Siddhartha Gautama, the Awakened One, an
idea, a hope, a reality, my father, mother, brother, son, spouse, friend, master and lord. He was you and I; he
was all of us and lives in all of us. He was the greatest hero in human history
who sacrificed and accomplished spiritual victory and freedom for the sake of all of us, all beings everywhere and in all
-- Sensei G.R. Lewis
Authority must come from within and not from without.
[original] Shin teaching is to be interpreted, as I said before, in terms of religious consciousness, and not as done usually
by it’s orthodox followers, in terms of scriptural authority o special revelation.
Self power is the personal, conscious effort to
attain birth in the Pure Land. Whether through saying the Nembutsu,
doing good deeds, or some other way, it is a conscious decision to work toward a particular end. I’ve experience it
both through consciously attempting to be compassionate, to do good, as well as to “get” the deep concepts of
Shin. Of course, since there is no dualism, self power is part of Other Power, so the reality of Other Power is working in
me, in us, at all times, even when we consciously attempt to do something.
Deliverance is achieved by knowledge and realization;
the more I learn more about Shin Buddhism, the more I feel that I am connecting with life and also feeling that I’m
getting closer to the truth of existence.
When I feel that I do not have it, it seems to
be outside of me. When I feel that I have it, it seems to come from inside of me.
Amida are Namu Amida Butsu!
How beyond thought! The use of exclamation points
in this poem says it all for me. How unspeakably brilliant such that it needs to be shouted and can never be over-emphasized.
Be Alert to Our Foolishness
…although we may profess a desire to help
others, in reality the offer may be made to benefit ourselves rather than the other. The offer may be insincere, made grudgingly,
or made on our own terms rather than in the manner in which the other most needs help. We may help if it is convenient, makes
us feel good or boosts our standing in the community, but not if it requires real sacrifice on our part. Our 26th
President understood this.
our use for the man who individually helps any of us and shows that he does it grudgingly. We would rather not be helped than
be helped in such a fashion. A favor extended in a manner which shows that the man is sorry that he has to grant it, is robbed,
sometimes of all, and sometimes of more than all, its benefits. – Theodore Roosevelt, Addresses and Messages.
-- Harry Simonsen
My career path tended to validate the Peter Principle,
that workers are promoted to their level of incompetence. Though a great software developer, I became a poor manager. Recognizing
and accepting that has enabled me to succeed and enjoy more as an individual contributor.
-- Harry Simonsen