The radiant light, unhindered and inconceivable, eradicates suffering and brings realization of joy; the excellent Name, perfectly embodying all practices, eliminates obstacles and dispels doubt. This is the teaching and practice for our latter age; devote yourself solely to it. It is eye and limb in this defiled world; do not fail to endeavor in it. Accepting and living the supreme, universal Vow, then, abandon the defiled and aspire for the pure. Reverently embracing the Tathagata's teaching, respond in gratitude to his benevolence and be thankful for his compassion.

~ Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way

Friday, August 9, 2013

Welcome to the Bombu's Digest


The Name of Amitabha Buddha in Sanskrit

Hello, and welcome to my blog! In the posts to come, I will be sharing some thoughts, verses, and scriptures of Jodo Shinshu, the True Pure Land School founded by Shinran Shonin (1173-1263), in an attempt to convey the joy and truth of the teaching of shinjin (faithful mind) and the Nembutsu (reciting Buddha's Name).
The title of my blog comes from the Japanese word bombu, which means a foolish, ignorant person. In Jodo Shinshu, we come to see ourselves as bombu when we encounter the unlimited wisdom and compassion of the Buddha Amitabha (Amida) for the first time. Although the term bombu often carries a light, almost humorous meaning, in reality there is nothing funny or fun about being such a person burdened with evil karma. However, solely through the power of the Name fulfilled in the Primal Vow, the most depraved and miserable of bombu can enter the world of salvation.
Since I follow historic, orthodox Shinshu as delineated by Shinran Shonin and Rennyo Shonin and preserved by the Hongwanji-ha, this blog will not reflect the modernistic religious influence usually present in western Buddhism. Rather, I will celebrate the authentic teachings preserved in the sacred texts of our tradition, remembering the blessed words of Shakyamuni Buddha in the Larger Sutra:

The wisdom disclosed in the scriptures provides for all ways of life. It keeps essential principles together and clearly reveals the truth.

Being a busy bombu, my posts will necessarily be sporadic. However, firmly believing that a task should not be undertaken unless one plans to see it through, I fully intend to update this blog at least once a week. I encourage everyone who visits to listen deeply to the true dharma of the Pure Land Way, setting aside personal opinions and views, and letting their minds and hearts drift into the great ocean of universal compassion. If what I write here causes others to come to savor the true taste of the Nembutsu, then this blog will not be in vain.
May the unhindered light illumine you, wherever you are.
Namu Amida Butsu!