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1. Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble
2. Buddha of Infinite Light: The
3. Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections
4. Rennyo: The Second Founder of
5. Naturalness: A Classic of Shin
6. The Social Dimension of Shin Buddhism
7. Living in Amida's Universal Vow:
8. Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin
9. Notes on "Essentials of Faith
10. Introduction of Buddhism to Korea:
11. Jodo Shinshu: Shin Buddhism in
12. Call of the Infinite: The Way
13. A miscellany on the Shin teaching
14. The Awareness of Self: A Guide
15. Letters of Shinran: A translation
16. The Evil Person: Essays on Shin
17. Immigrants Pure to the Land: The
18. A Study Of Shin Buddhism
19. Insight Journal (Here & Now,
20. Shin Buddhism: Japan's Major Religious

1. Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn into Gold
by Taitetsu Unno
Paperback: 288 Pages (2002-09-17)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$13.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385504691
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Interest in Buddhism continues to grow throughout North America, and more and more readers are moving beyond the familiar Zen and Tibetan traditions to examine other types of Buddhism. In Shin Buddhism, Taitetsu Unno explains the philosophy anc practices of "Pure Land" Buddhism, which dates back to the sixth century C.E., when Buddhism was first introduced in Japan.

While Zen Buddhism flourished in remote monasteries, the Pure Land tradition was adopted by the common people. With a combination of spiritual insight and unparalled scholoarship, the author describes the literature, history, and principles of this form of Buddhism and illuminates the ways in which it embodies this religion's most basic tenet: "No human life should be wasted, abandoned, or forgotten but should be transformed into a source of vibrant life, deep wisdom, and compassionate living." As a practice that evolved to harmonize with the realities of everyday life, Shin Buddhism will be particularly attractive to contemporary Western readers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The How of Transformation
How exactly does it happen - this turning of rubble into gold? I keep looking for clues urgently, because, believe me, there's a lot of rubble. What is the power of this beautiful branch of Buddhism to accomplish this? What do I need to do?Taitetso Unno patiently answers questions like these, although, not in the way you expect. He tells you stories, talks leisurely to you, as if sitting with you over tea in a lovely, cool garden, and slowly the nature of your questioning changes. Instead of questioning, you begin to notice the rubble, only there is no judgment attached to the noticing. It is like noticing a wound and feeling the presence of a healing balm at the same time. I liked the humorous examples of personal "rubble" Taitetsu Unno gives us from his days as a teacher of religion at Smith College. I smiled at the the quotes from Shinran that show this great master's awareness of his own personal "rubble". But what I like the most about this book is the gradual, existential way that trust is born in us as we read. We learn to trust as we read about trust, or better yet, trust comes to us. We learn to listen for the presence of trust which is always there. Trust and listening are all part of the way of living that Taitetso Unno presents in his book.We trust (not as in we hope but as in we know) that the rubble will not sink us, we trust that we are precious, we listen for ways to use our being, rubble and all, for the benefit of others, and in so doing, the bits of rubble turn to gold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Choice
I cannot say enough about this product.Dr. Unno writes with such expertise and his books can be read by everyone not just scholars.It is as good as "River of Fire, River of Water".I recommend this for anyone interested in Pure Land Buddhism

5-0 out of 5 stars It turns with the seasons
I first read this book when it was published in 2002.I was younger then in so many ways and thought I was hot stuff.What Unno wrote stuck to me like a post-it to a mirror.With only a little heat it slid right off.

I am older now and I leave whatever specialness I might have to the appraisal of the compassionate cosmos.What Unno wrote has become the mirror itself. I highly recommend this book and suggest the reader return to it after some years to see how its insights weather.

4-0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, but really builds up nicely
I really would give this 4.5 stars if I could.Taitetsu Unno is a brilliant writer, and despite being Japanese, he truly knows how to write for a Western audience.My only complaint were the early chapters where he's mostly talking about how great the 'nembutsu' and not much else.It's kind of feel-good fluff.

However, by the second section, he really delves into so many aspects of Buddhism, from a Jodo ShinShu perspective (I am a newly converted Shin Buddhist myself).The chapters are surprisingly relevant and the topics build from the simple topics in the first few chapters into progressively more deep and theological issues for Buddhists.This book has a subtle, but very compelling flow to it.

Taitetsu is clearly a well-read person as he quotes from many interesting sources, and clearly conveys their meaning to the reader.

This really was time well-spent reading, and I definitely recommend this to anyone who's curious about Shin Buddhism.It's the largest school of Buddhism in Japan (not Zen or Soka Gakkai), yet the least known here.Read this book and find out what it's about.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent follow-up to "River of Fire..."
Rev. Unno's book "Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn Into Gold" is essentially a follow-up work to his wonderful introductory text "River of Fire, River of Water". But while that work provided an overview of Shin Buddhism in of itself, this work provides a broader view of how Shin Buddhism affects the lives of those who practice it, as well as exploring the deeper issues of the Nembutsu-faith.

Weaving a complex yet easily-understood tapestry from personal experience, anecdotes, Pure Land teachings, and philosophical insight, Rev. Unno unfurls an examination of the depth and breadth of impact of Jodo Shinshu in peoples' lives. This school of Mahayana Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, is essentially a Buddhism for the common man, emphasizing faith in the "other power" of Amida Buddha as its central tenet, as opposed to the complex battery of practices eschewed by other (and more familiar to the West) schools of Buddhism. A branch of the Pure Land school which was formed in the early 13th century in Japan, Jodo Shinshu emphasizes the "true entrusting" in Amida, the embodiment of wisdom and compassion from which all Buddhist thought emanates. And while this form of Buddhism is largely unknown in the West outside of the ethnic Japanese community, it is a powerful...and easily-accessible...path among the 84,000 Paths to Enlightenment as the diverse streams of religious and philosophical thought are known in Buddhism.

Rev. Unno here shows us how this faith affects those who accept it, and why. Just as "River of Fire..." explained the 'what' of Jodo Shinshu, "Bits of Rubble..." explains the 'how' in like manner...which is clear, concise, and readily-understandable. As a text for both beginners/explorers and those steeped in the faith, it succeeds at delivering meaningful messages and points on which to ponder. I would suggest reading "River of Fire, River of Water" before this, as there seems to be something of a continuity from that book's information and manner of imparting it into this one's. But do read this one after that to gain valuable insight into what Shin brings into peoples' lives. Like that prior book, I recommend this one without hesitation. ... Read more

2. Buddha of Infinite Light: The Teachings of Shin Buddhism, the Japanese Way of Wisdom and Compassion
by Daisetz T. Suzuki
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-02-12)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570624569
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Shin is the uniquely Japanese flowering of the type of Buddhism known as "Pure Land." It originated in the thirteenth century with the charismatic and prophetic figure Shinran (1172–1263), whose interpretation of the traditional Pure Land teachings was extremely influential in his own lifetime and remain so today. In a period when Japanese Buddhism was dominated by an elitist monastic establishment, Shinran's Shin teaching became a way of liberation for all people, regardless of age, class, or gender.

Although Shin is one of Japan's greatest religious contributions—and is still the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in Japan—it remains little known in the West. In this book, based on several lectures he gave in the 1950s, D. T. Suzuki illuminates the deep meaning of Shin and its rich archetypal imagery, providing a scholarly and affectionate introduction to this sometimes misunderstood tradition of Buddhist practice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sensitive intro to Japanese Pure Land Buddhism
In a series of five transcribed lectures deliveredat the American Buddhist Academy in New York in 1958,Zen teacher and scholar D.T. Suzuki presents a concise, non-sectarian introduction to the theology and ethics of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism.Those looking for a history of Pure Land (or Shin Buddhism, as it's known in Japan) or descriptions of its different schools may want to look elsewhere.

A Buddhist reformation of sorts, Shin Buddhism was an effort to cut to the core of Buddhist faith, to do away with ecclesiastic privilege by providing the laity with a simple and inexpensive route to salvation.It is ironic that it is explicated here by a Zen monk, who finds Shin Buddhism more difficult to explain and to practice than Zen.It requires, Suzuki says, more than just the simple recitation of the name Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Light.It requires more importantly that one give up spiritual pretense, abandon striving, put aside ideas of meaning, and live simply in the moment, as one is, with what is - to live in purposelessness.It is only then, he argues, that we are born in the Pure Land, a place that is experienced in the here and now, a place that "we are carrying with us all the time . . . , [that] is surrounding us everywhere."

Suzuki read widely in philosophy and theology and to assist his Western audience he makes frequent comparisons in these lectures of Pure Land to Christianity, concluding that though Amida Buddha is mythical and Jesus of Nazareth historical, their real meaning and significance is found only at the level of individual experience.Both are born in our hearts, or our souls, out of the silence and the release of self, in which the only thing that exists is the one, embodied in the names Amida and Christ.


4-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism
Ever since the first Englishman translated the final words of the Buddha as "work out your own salvations with diligence," the English-speaking West has associated Buddhism almost exclusively with the cool, detached path of self-power and the attainment of enlightenment through the individual cultivation of wisdom, ethics, and meditation. Perhaps it is due to this limited understanding of the Buddhadharma, perhaps it is because so many Westerners have come to Buddhism in order to escape from a theistically oriented religion; whatever the reason, out of the millions of Westerners who now find themselves attracted to the Buddhadharma, few are familiar with the Buddhist path of Other-power, a path which finds its clearest expression in the Jodo Shinshu Buddhism of Japan.

Thankfully the folks at Shambhala Publications have decided to fill this gap in knowledge by updating and republishing a classic work by D.T. Suzuki, perhaps most well known in the West for his work on the Zen traditions of Japanese Buddhism. The result is this short, clearly written work which attempts to explain the essential teachings of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism (aka Shin Buddhism) in a way that situates them squarely within a more familiar Buddhist worldview.

Suzuki admits up front that his presentation of Shin Buddhism, stripped of what he calls "accretions," will go directly against more traditional interpretations, and so obviously this book is not an exhaustive treatment of its subject. Instead the book sketches the basic premise of Shin Buddhism (i.e., Amida Buddha has vowed that anyone who calls out to him with sincere faith will be reborn in the Pure Land, a stainless realm whence anyone can attain enlightenment) and discusses its essential practice of reciting the *nembutsu* ("Namu-Amida-Butsu") in the context of standard Buddhist philosophical concepts (e.g., selflessness, emptiness, compassion, etc.).

So for Suzuki, the practice of reciting the nembutsu is not about calling out to a god for salvation, although that is certainly how it first appears. Instead "Namu" symbolizes self-power, "Amida Butsu" Other-power, and the conjunction of the two in the nembutsu is emblematic of the essential nonduality of oneself and the enlightened mind of the Buddha. Likewise, Suzuki explains that we cannot practice the sincerity necessary to call out to Amida because sincerity is the "perfect forgetting of oneself." In other words, what initially seems "too easy" is seen on closer analysis to be nigh impossible. This is why Shinran's modification of existing Pure Land Buddhist doctrines was, and is, so radical; for him, the nembutsu isn't a prayer or mantra to be put into practice (after all, what good would such practice be given our hopeless self-centeredness?) but an expression of gratitude for having already been swept up into the Pure Land through the absolute grace of Amida's compassion. For Shinran, the Pure Land itself is not merely understood as a post-mortem destination but is a radical re-envisioning and sanctification of the present moment. The strict separation between what is self and what is not-self, between what is samsara and what is nirvana, blurs; "When sincerity and insincerity are transcended, then Amida comes into our inner self and identifies himself with this inner self. Or, we can say, this self find itself in Amida. And when we find this self in Amida, we are in the Pure Land" (p. 41).

This is a great introduction to an often-overlooked school of Buddhist thought and practice.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine addition to a Shin Buddhism library
D.T.Suzuki is well known in the West for his discussions on Zen Buddhism, but many are not aware that he has a strong background in Shin Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu) as well.His mother was a follower of Shin Buddhism, and has had a big influence on his life.This book is a good explanation of Shin Buddhism from the outside perspective of someone who isn't deeply involved in the more orthodox Hongwanji Branch of Shin Buddhism, but is nevertheless very familiar with it.

While many Shin Buddhism books explain what Shin Buddhism is, most are not well-suited Westerners who look at Shin Buddhism and have their doubts about Other-Power, the efficacy of the nembutsu, and so on.Suzuki nicely addresses these issues, and other concerns Westerners would have.

The book is short, but helps fill in gaps other Shin books leave wanting.This should be part of anyone's library if they're exploring Shin Buddhism, or wanting to take their knowledge further.

Namo Amida Butsu

5-0 out of 5 stars Necessary forShin Buddhism Studies!
This book is one of the classics for Teaching of Shin buddhism.
I felt that it had a bit of modernization to it, possibly due to translation Etc... and with the mention of Science and Metaphysics, even Voltaire which you don't hear about very often in a Shin guide.

I found it quick and to the point but it did skip around too much for my small one track mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!Were's the Zen, Mama?
Just kidding!

This is an excellent primer in Shin Buddhism, written by a man who I actually thought was only a practitioner/teacher of Japanese Zen.It's really cool how Suzuki, as well as a few others, can convey the Shin tradition in a way that resonates with those of us who have practiced Zen.

While this IS a great introduction and interpretation of Jodo Shinshu, this really isn't the best introduction to Buddhism as a whole.If you want to know more about basic Mahayana Buddhism, then I recommend you buy a few books by Thich Naht Han.If you want to learn about the Theravada, then read Kornfield.But by all means, look into this Shin Buddhist practice, because the more I study it, the more I am pursuaded that it might very well be the best form of Buddhism for those of us who have to work for a living and then take care of our familes, as opposed to those who "hide out" in the tranquility of Zen Centers, Dharma Retreats, and Kai Kans (damn things!).

Have fun! ... Read more

3. Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness
by Jeff Wilson
Paperback: 176 Pages (2009-04-28)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0861715837
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Despite its 800-year history and standing as one of the most popular branches of Buddhism in the world, Shin Buddhism has been passed on primarily through an oral tradition, leaving few books written about it. Buddhism of the Heart addresses that gap. Using anecdote, reflection, humor, and more, this book invites readers into the world of Shin stories and metaphors, passed down, elaborated, and re-energized generation after generation. The truth of Shin Buddhism’s sacred storytelling, explains author Jeff Wilson, lies in the degree to which it points the hearer on toward deeper humility, awakening, and thankfulness. He shows how the tradition moves us beyond the petty ego as we come closer to the “entrusting heart,” the heart that is rooted in boundless gratitude and considerate awareness of others. A major new voice in Western Buddhism, Wilson evokes the warmth of Robert Fulghum and the nonjudgmental spiritual struggling of Anne Lamott in this accessible, affirming work for the modern seeker.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Colloquial Buddhism
Most of the world's native Buddhists do not meditate as a matter of practice.This often comes as a surprise to Westerners who assume that Buddhism is synonymous with meditation.In fact, most native Buddhists are devotees of one or another buddha or bodhisattva, practicing a Buddhism of faith, which is often perceived as inferior "popular" religion by those for whom meditation is sine qua non.

Not often referred to by Westerners, at least positively, are the missionary Lotus Sutra sects Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu, whose numbers in the West -- particularly Soka Gakkai's -- may well surpass all other transplanted sects combined.The practice of these schools is not centered in mediation, and if you add the fact that they have a quasi-magical view of the efficacy of the title of the Lotus Sutra -- Nam(u) Myoho Renge Kyo -- they too are regarded as being for the simple and unsophisticated, and barely Buddhist.

Ironically, Shin Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu) is intentionally Buddhism for the simple and unsophisticated in the sense of being for those who have been made to realize, by the light of compassion (Amida Buddha), the folly they create out of an illusory sense of self.Shinran Shonin, the founder of what has come to be known as Shin, was acutely aware of human finitude and the astigmatic view of reality we are burdened with owing to the causes and conditions that create us and we create.He taught and wrote passionately about the futility of trying to discipline the self through meditation and ethical precepts with only the power of the self.His was a Buddhism of surrender to the embrace of infinite light and life.

Jeff Wilson's BUDDHISM OF THE HEART can be compared to a guide to everyday conversation as opposed to a grammar of religious language.Such Shin grammars exist in English, and some of them are anecdotal and inspiring.But what Jeff has accomplished stands out.Rare among Shin writers Jeff is not an ordained Shin minister, and he writes from the perspective of a young Caucasian American finding his voice in a tradition still strongly connected to its 800 year-old Japanese origin.As an outpouring of Jeff Wilson's unique spirit, BUDDHISM OF THE HEART is alternately poignant, pungent, prophetic, funny, and illuminating.

The stories in BUDDHISM OF THE HEART are short and easily comprehensible, but they are not facile and they have a way of becoming our stories.I would recommend this book as an excellent place to start for people who want to feel their way into Shin Buddhism.It is exceptionally worthwhile reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lives up to it's title
I have to admit that Pure Land is one of Buddhism the schools of Buddhism that I have been least interested in. I tend toward the traditions that emphasize meditation more, like Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan schools. The devotional aspect of Pure Land didn't really appeal to me, and what little I read about it did not catch my interest. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved reading Jeff Wilson's book. On one hand, it is a very warm and personal book. Wilson illustrates points about Buddhism using his own life experiences, but without ever becoming sappy or sentimental. Instead he comes across as full of sincerity and compassion. It's very articulate and accessible, but never condescending or simplistic. Aside from that, this book made some of the principles of Shin (Japanese Pure Land) Buddhism more comprehensible to me. My interests are still primarily in the above-mentioned traditions, but I have a new found appreciation for Shin. If you like Shin Buddhism, then I recommend this book. If you're not interested in it, then I recommend it all the more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This book is very readable and enjoyable.Jeff keeps it simple and avoids any heavy doctrine.I am a Pure Land Buddhist and this book is humorous and very refreshing.More books of this nature need to be written more often.I am sure that I will reread this book regularly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Blessing of A Book
Jeff Wilson's Buddhism of the Heart is a blessing of a book.I have been interested in Shin Buddhism since I have become acquainted with the writings of David Reynolds and Greg Krech.Naikan finds its roots in this Japanese form of Buddhism.Through personal anecdotes, Jeff Wilson offers living examples of what it means to be a Shin Buddhist, the deep acceptance and gratitude for existence and the support of every living being.One participates in his journey and we are all better people for it.Namu Amida Butsu. ... Read more

4. Rennyo: The Second Founder of Shin Buddhism (Nanzan Studies in Asian Religions)
by Minor Rogers
Paperback: 456 Pages (1991-02)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$6.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895819309
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The first book length study of Rennyo (1415-1499), a Jodo Shinshu priest who transformed the Honganji religious order into the most powerful Buddhist organization in Japan. It includes an annotated translation of Rennyo's major letters, the source of much of his influence.

"...This reasearch will be the standard source on Rennyo for years to come..." Choice ... Read more

5. Naturalness: A Classic of Shin Buddhism
by Kenryo Kanamatsu
Paperback: 152 Pages (2003-09-06)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$9.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941532291
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Shin, or Pure Land, is the flower of Japanese Buddhism. Although it is less well known in the West than Zen, Vipassana or Tibetan Buddhism, its message of holy freedom, or naturalness, which arises when man conforms with sincere attachment to the eternal saving will of the Buddha, has been an illuminating way of spiritual awakening for multitudes of Japanese people since the sixth century when Buddhism came to Japan.

Kanamatsu's book, written in 1949, is more than an introduction to the essence of Shin Buddhism. It is a profound and enlightened meditation on the relationship between man and Amida Buddha, who is pure mercy and whose Name is a vehicle of Nirvanic Reality. Combining the erudition of a philosopher with the sensitivity of a poet, Kanamatsu leads the reader into the heart of the subject where man may unite with the Buddha-Nature even in the ordinary activities of everyday life. The deep compassion and beautiful simplicity of this classic work--which like a haiku speaks volumes with few words--will appeal to all people who seek a spiritual antidote to the artificiality and ugliness that causes much of the suffering in our world.

Very few books have appeared in the West on the Shin tradition, yet D. T. Suzuki--recognized as the foremost exponent of Buddhism to Western culture--has characterized Shin Buddhism as Japan's major religious contribution to the West. Kanamatsu's Naturalness allows the reader to experience that "even here lies the other shore waiting to be reached--yes, here is the Eternal Present, not distant, not anywhere else." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Shin Buddhism from a sentimental perspective
The concept of "jinen" or "naturalness" is an important part of Shin Buddhism, and so I was expecting this book to cover this concept.Instead, this book was more of an introduction to Shin Buddhism, with the focus being the sentimental side to Shin Buddhism, not the analytical side.

There are plenty of books around that explain in theory how Shin Buddhism works, but not many explain what it all means to the average person, so I think this book fills a special niche.

The problem is in the writing.The book is somewhat dated, and its translations of some terms are equally dated.As with earlier Buddhist writings, this book tries to use Christian terminology rather than more establish modern Buddhist terms, so a new reader may get the wrong impression in thinking that Shin Buddhism is like Christianity for Buddhists.

Also, the author tends to use more literal interpretations of Shin concepts.The term Jodo Shinshu gets translated as "The True Teaching" which it really means "The True Pure Land Sect" in more modern translations.The author takes the Pure Land sutras at face value, which I am not all that comfortable with.Western interpretations tend to see them as symbolic, not literal.

One thing I really liked about this book is explaining the importance and meaning behind the Nembutsu.A lot of people misunderstand the purpose of the nembutsu and treat it like a mantra.

The other problem with this book is the flow.The book spends a lot of time covering what the Pure Land is like, which again is taken from a literal perspective, and lot of time praising Amida.Toward the end, it finally explains why this matters, but I felt that the praise was unnecessary (let the reader decide that) and detracted from the more important message at the end.

All in all, I think this book is a useful addition for the Shin Buddhist library, but I hope someone can edit this book, or at least add footnotes to explain some of the phrases chosen.This book is well-intentioned, and has some useful points, but I wouldn't call it the definitive book on Shin Buddhism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simplicity
This little volume by Kenryo Kanamatsu is informative and "transformative." It does not only describe the faith underlying Shin Buddhism, perhaps it will also open your heart to an awareness and acceptance of Shin's trust in creation's goodness. The book will lay before you that (often neglected) side of Buddhism that speaks to the heart's yearning to surrender to something great, to our natural impulse and need for devotion. There are more scholarly works on Shin Budhism. This book is more like the poetic expression of a man who has touched Heaven. It is beautiful and true, like the truth it seeks to convey, and it will call you to read its words again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short book, long read
Kanamatsu's work here isn't that big a volume, to be sure. But to just skim it would be wrong, since the depth of thought that this slim volume can provoke is very great.

In a sense, this is an introductory text to Jodo Shinshu, the True Pure Land School of Mahayana Buddhism. But at the same time, the author focusses this introduction through the critical Shin concept of 'naturalness'. As such, this is no easy concept to digest on a rational, Western level, especially for beginners who might encounter this book. But somehow, Kanamatsu actually manages to pull off an exegesis of this central precept in such a way that it IS accessible...provided one reads carefully and thoughtfully, as such a topic requires. Approached in mindfulness, this is one of those little books that has the potential to be a life-changer! I wouldn't say that this is the best place to start in ones' readings in Shin Buddhism...I would peg that as either Dr. Tanaka's "Ocean" or Dr. Unno's "River of Fire..."...but this is definitely one of the ones to pick up after the very first intro works. ... Read more

6. The Social Dimension of Shin Buddhism (Numen Book Series)
by Ugo Dess
 Hardcover: 286 Pages (2010-08-10)
list price: US$154.00 -- used & new: US$123.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9004186530
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Shin Buddhism (J?do Shinsh?), although weakened in many ways by secularization, continues to be a stable presence in Japanese society, as is emblematically shown by the very symmetrical position of the Nishi (Honganji-ha) and the Higashi Honganji (?tani-ha) head temples in the center of Ky?to, and by the recent projects for their renovation. This book addresses the need for more academic research on Shin Buddhism, and is specifically directed at describing and analyzing distinctive social aspects of this religious tradition in historical and contemporary perspective. The contributions collected here cover a wide range of issues, including the intersection between Shin Buddhism and fields as diverse as politics, education, social movements, economy, culture and the media, social ethics, gender, and globalization. ... Read more

7. Living in Amida's Universal Vow: Essays on Shin Buddhism (Perennial Philosophy Series)
by Alfred Bloom
Paperback: 344 Pages (2004-06-25)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941532542
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is the first comprehensive collection of essays on Shin Buddhism bymany of the most important Shin scholars and religious authorities of thelast one hundred years.It may thus be considered as a foundationalintroduction to this largely unknown branch of Buddhism in the West, whichreaches out to all of its practitioners with the compassion of Amida Buddha.The depth of Shinran’s teachings, as they are expounded in these variousessays, reveals a universal faith open to all.

Shin Buddhism arises from the teachings of Shinran, a profoundly compellingspiritual authority of 13th century Japan. In contrast to monastic JapaneseBuddhist traditions, which attracted the more learned and aristocraticelements of Japanese society, Shinran taught men in all walks of life tofind solace and strength in Amida Buddha, a compassionate aspect of theCosmic Buddha who renounced his own enlightenment until all men are savedthrough his power. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Namu Amida Butsu
The reader from North Carolina makes a good case for reading book jackets: in this case the subtitle "Essays on Shin Buddhism."While Amida is not tangential to these essays, the subject matter is eternal life in the Infinite Light of Amida Buddha.This is a very different matter than approaching Amitabha/Amitayus as a deity or a member of a pantheon of buddhas, which, perhaps, is what the reader was after.

LIVING IN AMIDA'S UNIVERSAL VOW is not an introductory text on either Buddhism in general or Shin Buddhism in particular.It assumes a basic familiarity with the subject of Shin; more, it presumes that one is already engaged with the Universal Vow and is seeking to deepen and broaden one's appreciation of its scope.

Some of the essays are easier reading than others; some are more personal and intimate than others.Shin is a subtle practice, easy on the one hand, harder than you might imagine on the other.It has not received the attention paid to Zen, Vipassana or Tibetan Buddhism, therefore it has not had to lively up its presentation for American consumption.Perhaps because of that, Shin's evolution in the West has been more organic, more private, and more painful.

By presenting this book, Dr. Bloom has opened Shin studies to a wider readership, one which may be prepared to accept Shin on its own terms as a practice of faith, different from Zen or Vipassana or Vajrayana, but perhaps more suited for those of us acutely aware of our passion-bound finitude. ... Read more

8. Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion & Culture (Latitude 20 Books)
Hardcover: 199 Pages (1997-12)
list price: US$39.00 -- used & new: US$13.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824820274
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Light book, but provides good documents
Buddhism is one of the major religions in Japan, but it is not the Buddhism one thinks of in India, or that commonly comes to mind in the West. The Japanese religious tradition tends towards Mahayana Buddhism, rather than Theravada. Mahayana, especially in its Japanese forms, such as in Shin Buddhism (Pure Land Sect), actually has remarkable parallels to Christianity, with notions such as hell, an afterlife in a paradise-like realm, sin and salvation. Andreasen concentrates on this sect of Shin Buddhism, rather than Zen Buddhism or Theravada.

In this book, Andreasen's treatment of Japanese Buddhism is rather light. He does not delve into the details and complexities of his subject, nor does he attempt analysis. However, what he has done very well in this book is bring together a large number of documents which are very enlightening (sorry) for the reader and eminently readable. Andreasen's own writing is easy to understand and clear, if not deep.

For the collection of documents, it is a book worth looking into. But for a much more detailed and exhaustive look at Mahayana Buddhism, I would recommend looking at Paul Williams book 'Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations'. ... Read more

9. Notes on "Essentials of Faith Alone": A Translation of Shinran's Yuishinsho-mon'i (Shin Buddhism Translation Series)
by Shinran
 Paperback: 127 Pages (1979)
-- used & new: US$14.00
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Asin: 4938490021
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10. Introduction of Buddhism to Korea: New Cultural Patterns (Studies in Korean Religions and Culture ; V. 3)
by Lewis R. Lancaster, Chai-Shin Yu
Paperback: 240 Pages (1989-09)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 0895818884
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Product Description
A collection of articles dealing with the introduction of Buddhism in Korea and its subsequent spread from there to Japan. The studies contained in this volume cover the Three Kingdom period. ... Read more

11. Jodo Shinshu: Shin Buddhism in Medieval Japan (Institute of Buddhist Studies)
by James C. Dobbins
Paperback: 264 Pages (2002-04-01)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$171.00
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Asin: 0824826205
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis of the development of Joudo Shinshuu
The book provides detailed and profound information on the development of the Joudo Shinshuu sect of Japanese buddhism, which is the biggest of Japan's buddhist sects today and also the one whose beliefs arguably bear the most resemblance to those of Christianity. The orthodox view of Joudo history held by the members of the sect itself is covered as well as the "historical" view through the eyes of the scholar. The important - that is to say unique - parts of the Joudo belief are covered in detail, especially the process of the establishment of Amida as a kind of saviour whose mercy paves those who rely upon him the way to rebirth in the Pure Land - in sharp contrast to other sects of buddhism, which focus upon satori (enlightenment) through one's own efforts - mainly meditation (jou), study (e) and the strict observance of the rules for buddhist monks (kai). The evolution of Joudo belief and organization from the time of its founders Hounen and Shinran through the middle ages is also looked at in detail.

Overall a convincing analysis of this interesting Japanese sect by a renowned scholar, aiming at an audience of scholars and people interested in facts and solid argumentation instead of mainstream esoteric ballyhoo. ... Read more

12. Call of the Infinite: The Way of Shin Buddhism
by John Paraskevopoulos
Paperback: 114 Pages (2009-12-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$13.45
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Asin: 1597310956
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hearing the fragrance of the light
The literature in English on Shin Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu), the largest denomination in Japan and the oldest on American soil, continues to grow, albeit slowly.But what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality.In 2009 alone we saw the publication of Jeff Wilson's Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness and Monshu Koshin Ohtani's The Buddha's Wish for the World.The first is an anecdotal account by an American convert to Shinshu, the second a series of short inspirational chapters by the head of the Jodo Shinshu denomination.

CALL OF THE INFINITE is a rare and lovely thing: a succinct treatment in 96 pages of the major concerns of Shin faith and life which manages to be compelling for all its brevity.Author John Paraskevopoulos is an Australian convert who is also a Shin priest.He has the marvellous ability to anticipate a reader's questions and answer them in straightforward fashion in a clear, lively prose.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend CALL OF THE INFINITE to one who has no previous background in Shin Buddhism.I feel confident that such a reader could then go on to the more fully-orbed works of such established writers as Alfred Bloom, Dennis Hirota, Kenneth Tanaka, and Taitetsu Unno.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Compassionate Guide for the Spiritually Perplexed
This is a deeply thoughtful work and is a mature and useful guide for the spiritually hungry or perplexed.It is brief, but not epigramic; each paragraph gives the reader plenty to contemplate, but the meaning is always clear.The book is written in beautifully constructed English - not something one can take for granted in any published work.It is also cleverly and clearly structured.

The author opens with `Pain and Longing', in which he takes a long hard look at the manifest unsatisfactoriness of the human condition.He is frank in his appraisal, but never negative.Our mundane desires will not produce lasting happiness or peace of mind, but that does not mean our desire for happiness and fulfilment is worthless.The `longing' is for something more than transient satisfaction, a spiritual longing, latent if not apparent in everyone.The longing is, in the end, for Nirvana, and leads to a spiritual quest.

The next chapter is `Infinite Light'.In this chapter the author goes into detail about the Shin Buddhist understanding of the Infinite - of the reality of Amida Buddha and the Pure Land.He is rightly critical of Western Buddhist revisionists.He points out that

`Buddhism is not a secular or humanistic philosophy, nor merely a `rational' religion.It is a religion in the true sense of the word (from the Latin, religare, `to bind') in that it binds us to authentic reality.' P34

Going further in this chapter he takes the reader through the meaning of the Sutra descriptions of the Pure Land - an imagery aimed at describing the indescribable.

The third chapter, "Awakening to the Real' takes on the crucial but commonly misunderstood matter of practice in Shin Buddhism.Having disposed of the idea that Buddhism is a dry `philosophy', the author reminds the reader that `meditation' as a formal method is not and never has been practiced by the majority of Buddhists and it is a Western distortion of the teachings to claim that a formal meditation practice is the sine qua non of Buddhism.He discusses the crucial issue of `transformation'.How could an unenlightened self make itself into an enlightened self by its own efforts?It could never happen.True practice comes from Amida Buddha.The author goes into detail about this and this, of course, entails a detailed consideration of the nature of shinjin, of true entrusting, and then of the nature of the Nembutsu (Namo Amida Butsu) - the calling of the Name of Amida Buddha.

`...the realisation of shinjin is the awakening of Amida Buddha's mind within us, the nembutsu that is invoked with this awareness is, in fact, the action of Amida Buddha coursing through our very being and emerging as Namo Amida Butsu from our mouths.'p 57

Jodo Shinshu is a contemplative path, but the contemplation is not a means to an end.

`It is none other than the unhindered expression of a life immersed in the splendour of Amida's infinite light.'P 61

The final long chapter is `Joy Amidst the Shadows' in which the author presents the Shin Buddhist approach to morality - the same as for all Buddhists, but with no rigid expectations of perfection.He then considers the emotional life of the Shin Buddhist and going on from that brings the book to a close with an examination of the intimate connection between the aesthetic and spiritual aspects of our lives.This cleverly brings the book back to its beginning.Our intimations of and thirst for real value are often given to us by our experience of aesthetic emotion.

The book concludes with a very extensive list of references and suggestions for further reading, so that this book can really be the starting point for any interested person's discovery of the Jodo Shinshu path.Highly recommended!
... Read more

13. A miscellany on the Shin teaching of Buddhism
by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
 Hardcover: 151 Pages (1949)

Asin: B0007J0FO0
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14. The Awareness of Self: A Guide to the Understanding of Shin Buddhism
by Gyodo; Masuda, William (Translator) Haguri
Hardcover: Pages (1967-01-01)

Asin: B003LA40LQ
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15. Letters of Shinran: A translation of Mattosho (Shin Buddhism translation series)
by Shinran
 Paperback: 102 Pages (1978)

Isbn: 4938490013
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16. The Evil Person: Essays on Shin Buddhism
by Shuichi Maida
 Paperback: 101 Pages (1989)

Isbn: 0962204706
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17. Immigrants Pure to the Land: The Acculturation of Shin Buddhism in North America, 1898-1941 (Pure Land Buddhist Studies)
by Michihiro AMA
 Hardcover: 312 Pages (2011-03-31)
list price: US$47.00 -- used & new: US$34.52
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Asin: 0824834380
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18. A Study Of Shin Buddhism
by Gessho Sasaki
Hardcover: 152 Pages (2008-06-13)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$24.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1436676576
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone! ... Read more

19. Insight Journal (Here & Now, Forty Years in the Dharma, Working with Perception, The Good Sal Tree, Shin Buddhism, Killing me Softly with Dharma and Free of Fear, Winter 2009)
Single Issue Magazine: Pages (2009)

Asin: B003WC9PLI
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20. Shin Buddhism: Japan's Major Religious Contribution to the West
by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
 Paperback: 80 Pages (1971-03-04)

Isbn: 0042940664
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