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White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for February 2019

We had the Tri-Temple Hoonko service at Watsonville on Sunday, January 25, 2019. Thank you very much for coming to the service and for bringing salads. We were able to enjoy listening to Rev. Matsubayashi’s Dharma talk. We will have the Tri-Temple Social Mixer on Saturday, February 23 at 6 pm at the Buddhist Temple of Salinas. This event is open to everyone, so please join us.

In Jodo Shinshu, the concept of “Shinjin (􏰀􏰁)” is considered very important. (A typical English translation defines shinjin as faith, belief, or devotion, but in Jodo Shinshu, the meaning is quite different. “Faith” usually implies something that comes from self, a determination made by the choice of oneself. In Jodo Shinshu, “shinjin” is something that is received or arises out of the infinite compassion of Amida Buddha). The concept of shinjin is explained in the Jodo Shinshu teaching as two types of “deep faith.” One aspect of deep faith is from “our side,” and the other is from “Amida Buddha’s side.” “Our side” means that people come to realize and accept that ordinary beings like ourselves are weak and have endless blind passions. The deep faith coming from the “Amida Buddha’s side” however, is to understand that Amida Buddha accepts those who have blind passions and are selfish beings no matter what happens. When I say two aspects of deep faith, it may sound like there are two kinds of heart and mind but there is really only one heart/mind. It’s just that there are two aspects. For instance, after I receive my parents’ kindness, I can come to realize what a bad son I might be. Conversely, even after I truly come to realize that I am a bad son for my parents, yet my parents will continue to shower kindness on me. So, in this aspect, I am not able to realize that I am a bad son for my parents without my parents’ kindness. And when I receive more of my parents’ kindness, I am able to realize even more how bad a son I am. It’s kind of the same thing when I realize that I am receiving Amida Buddha’s compassion and that Amida Buddha saves me 100% of the time. I come to realize that I am ignorant and filled with blind passion as a result of Amida Buddha’s compassion. Also, coming to realize that I am ignorant and hopeless means that I am already within Amida Buddha’s compassion. If I am able to receive Amida Buddha’s infinite compassion, then I am able to see my true self. Our loved ones are also watching over us together with the Amida Buddha. With Infinite Compassion and Wisdom, I am able to come to know and understand the two aspects of deep faith that we gratefully receive from the Amida Buddha.

Gassho, Yugo Fujita