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Jōshō Adrian Cirlea (釋 成 証)
I’m a priest not a saint. I do not teach morals and I’m not a good example for anybody, not even for myself. All I teach is faith in Amida Buddha, the way of easy practice to be followed by those of inferior capacities.
I’m a priest not a saint. I do not teach morals and I’m not a good example for anybody, not even for myself. All I teach is faith in Amida Buddha, the way of easy practice to be followed by those of inferior capacities.


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This book is, as the title shows, an attempt to explain the meaning of faith and Nembutsu in accordance with the teaching of our school.
I start my explanations with the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha because without it there would be no Jodo Shinshu. As Shinran said:

“If Amida’s Primal Vow is true, Shakyamuni’s teaching cannot be false. If the Buddha’s teaching is true, Shan-tao’s commentaries cannot be false. If Shan-tao’s commentaries are true can Honen’s words be lies? If Honen’s words are true, then surely what I say cannot be empty.”

Every Buddhist school has a lineage of transmission. Ours starts with Amida Buddha, then continues with Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, the seven Masters, Shinran Shonin, Rennyo Shonin and any true teacher that came after them and was loyal to the Primal Vow. What all the representatives of our lineage said with one voice is that the Primal Vow is true and that it contains everything we need for our attainment of Buddhahood in the Pure Land of Amida.

“Be in accord with the Primal Vow” is the motto of our school and this book tries its best to do just that – to be in accord with the Primal Vow, to turn people’s minds toward the Primal Vow and make them follow exclusively the recquirements of the Primal Vow. May all beings who read it abandon the wrong techings of non-Buddhist paths and among the various Buddhist teachings and practices chose the one which represents the true reason for all Buddhas coming to this world – the Nembutsu of faith, the One Vehicle of the Primal Vow.

Link for free download here (pdf),


#BuddhistBooks #JodoShinshu #ShinBooks #JodoShinshuBooks #PureLandBooks #PureLand #JodoShinshu #ShinBuddhism #Sukhavati #AmidaBuddha #Amitabha #Amitayus #Nembutsu #Shinjin #Nienfo #Amituofo #Hongwanji

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My conversion to Amida Dharma happened when the distance between me and my death was reduced to zero. Until then, I always felt like having a lot of time to practice meditation, be wise, read, etc, but in that moment I felt that "time" is a delusion, and nothing is really certain. Everything, especially my life and my so called "practice" or "spiritual achievements" were perceived as they really are, that is, fragile and unreliable. I remember how I dwelt over and over on the same thoughts, "what will happen with me if I die now or tomorrow? Where do I go? I have not attained Enlightenment until now and as death may come at any time, wouldn't be stupid to continue to rely on myself?" Soon the day came when I accepted Amida Buddha's helping hand and I said my first Nembutsu of Faith.

#JodoShinshu #ShinBuddhism #PureLand #Amitabha #Amituofo #Amitayus #Sukhavati #Hongwanji #Nembutsu #Shinjin #Hongwanji #AmidaBuddha

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I wish you a meaningful Obon (festival of the dead)
Namo Amida Bu 🙏

#Obon #JodoShinshu #ShinBuddhism #PureLand #Amitabha #AmidaBuddha #Amitayus #Amituofo #Nienfo #Nembutsu
2) Impermanence and death
2) Impermanence and death

Saptamana asta, incepand de azi, este Obon (sarbatoarea mortilor). Faceti ofrande in numele celor morti din familia voastra, prieteni, cunoscuti, etc, adica oferiti bani, mancare, haine, orice puteti in numele lor, acelora care au mare nevoie de ele, chiar donati sange daca puteti. Cinstiti-le memoria prin orice fapta buna va sta la dispozitie. Si, mai presus de toate, meditati asupra propriei voastre impermanente si a mortii care poate veni oricand, nu pierdeti vremea si incredeti-va in Buddha Amida pentru a rezolva odata pentru totdeauna chestiunea de cea mai mare importanta a nasterilor si mortilor repetate. Buddha spunea ca intelegerea profunda a mortii este cel mai bun prieten pe Cale.

La Amidaji sunt disponibil toata saptamana pt invatatura si practica. Veniti la templu - nimic nu poate inlocui primirea invataturii fata in fata.
Namo Amida Bu

I will dedicate this week to Obon (festival of the dead). Please prepare yourselves and contemplate the two types of impermanence: 1) the impermanence of the body and 2) of your so called “spiritual achievements”. Then, do not lose your time in vain and entrust in Amida Buddha.
Namo Amida Bu


Voi dedica saptamana asta sarbatorii de Obon (festivalul mortilor). Va rog, pregatiti-va si contemplati cele doua tipuri de impermanenta: 1) a trupului si 2) a asa ziselor voastre realizari spirituale. Apoi nu mai pierdeti timpul degeaba si incredeti-va in Buddha Amida.
Namo Amida Bu

#obon #buddhism #festivalofthedead #jodoshinshu #shinbuddhism #mahayana #amidabuddha #amitabha

Question: How can I say that I have or don't have shinjin if there is no special feeling I should associate it with?

Answer: Rather than asking yourself, "do I feel the right thing" in relation to shinjin (faith), you should better ask:

- do I accept the real existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land?
- do I accept Amida Buddha's salvation as promised in His Primal Vow, that is, do I entrust myself completely to Him?
- do I accept that only Amida Buddha can save me through His Power from birth and death and that nothing which can be found in my unenlightened personality can help me in any way in achieving this goal?

If your answer to the above questions is YES, I DO, then you are a person of faith.

So, you are a person of faith not because you feel the right things, or because you have an intellectual understanding of all Buddhist concepts, including faith, but because you accept and you know that Amida Buddha and His Pure Land are real and that He saves you by assuring your birth there after death.
When you say YES, I DO, this is Namo Amida Butsu as the expression of faith. Nothing special is implied here, but only the knowing that you are saved by a real, existing Amida Buddha.
This knowing may be, of course, accompanied by joy at the first time of the awakening of faith or from time to time during your daily lives. It is not my intention to deny that joy can accompany faith. All I want to say is that you should not depend on the presence or absence of a particular feeling. Faith is just knowing that you are saved by Amida Buddha. If you sometimes take great delight in this knowing, or you are simply too overcome by personal difficulties and sorrows, it has absolutely no importance. Faith is faith, no matter you are up or down. You are saved by Amida's Power, and NOT by your capacity to feel joy or any other feeling.

Your personal fears, problems or difficulties are not important in relation to faith and birth in the Pure Land, because they are part of your unenlightened personality, while faith and birth in the Pure Land are due to Amida's Power. The cause of your personal problems, difficulties, fears and anxieties are your delusions and attachements, while the cause of your faith, saying of the Name and of your birth in the Pure Land is in Amida Buddha's Power. This is why it is said in the Tannisho that no evil can hinder the Nembutsu and no good is superior to Nembutsu.

Nothing which can be found in your unenlightened personality can influence or improve your chances of birth in the Pure Land. Only Amida Buddha can take you there, so cling to Him, not on your feelings.


fragment from my new book, The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism which you can download for free at this link,

#buddhism #mahayana #shinranshonin #honen #rennyo #amitabha #amidabuddha #jodoshinshu #shinbuddhism #pureland #sukhavati #nembutsu #nienfo #shinjin #hongwanji

If one does not listen deeply to the teaching, but is filled with ideas of self power or keeps oneself under the influence of various non-Buddhist religions, he cannot receive shinjin (faith in Amida Buddha) nor say the genuine nembutsu which is the natural manifestation of shinjin. Faith and nembutsu are not forcibly imposed in our hearts by Amida Buddha, so if somebody does not show interest in the Buddhist teaching and especially in the teaching about the Primal Vow of Amida, he cannot receive shinjin.

Here are some examples of listening deeply to Amida Dharma:

- Think that solving the matter of repeated births and deaths is the most important thing in your life.
- Put aside all other Buddhist or non-Buddhist teachings, philosophies, and opinions and listen (reading is also listening) only to Amida Dharma.
- Put aside what you think you know and listen to what Amida Dharma has to say. Empty your cup (mind) of your so called, personal "wisdom", and stay open to receive the nectar of Dharma. Consider that you know nothing and that Amida Dharma knows everything.
- Read the most simple and essential texts of our school
- Listen with a devotional mind and heart
- Listen again and again (constantly) in the manner described above
- Ask questions if you have doubts or if there is something you don't understand. Study the answers carefully and without hurry, and ask again if you need to.
- Engage in a Dharma dialogue (not debates!) with people who are already established in faith and who do not embrace wrong views.
- Think on the testimony of Shakyamuni Buddha himself, and of so many wonderful Masters like Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Shan-tao, Honen, Shinran, Rennyo, etc, who accepted the existence of Amida Buddha and the reality of His salvation.

Always ask Amida Buddha for guidance. Bow to Him, and say His Name even if you are not yet established in faith. No matter how many doubts you have, or how awkward it might be at the begining, find some time to sit with Amida Buddha and ask Him for guidance. Give a chance to the idea that He and His salvation are real.

You really have nothing to lose if you accept Amida's salvation. On the contrary, you gain everything! You will be born in the Pure Land at the end of this life and become a Buddha! Your suffering in the repeated births and deaths will be over and you will be capable of trully helping others, especially your dear ones.
Please also meditate on what you have to lose if you do not accept the existence of Amida Buddha and the reality of His salvation. The chance you now have to be in a human body and listen to Amida Dharma might not be met in thousands and thousands of lives!
So, just give it a try and do the above things for some time.


fragment from my new book, The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism which you can download for free at this link,

#buddhism #mahayana #shinranshonin #honen #rennyo #amitabha #amidabuddha #jodoshinshu #shinbuddhism #pureland #sukhavati #nembutsu #nienfo #shinjin #hongwanji

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O fi "penal" sa mazgalesti un panou de la munte care anunta pericol de ursi cu "PSD"? Azi fusai pe traseul asta (Sinaia -Poiana Stanii). Iata nivelul intelectual si moral al unor imaturi anti PSD care nu pot accepta ca au pierdut alegerile. Nu-si pot tine ura acasa, o cara cu ei pe munte.


Question: What is the relation between our good karma from past lives and faith in Amida Buddha? What is the role of the teacher? Are there any other direct or indirect causes of birth in the Pure Land?

Answer: According to Master Rennyo, there are five conditions that someone must meet in order to be born in the Pure Land:

1) stored good from the past
2) a good spiritual teacher
3) Amida’s light
4) the entrusting heart (shinjin/faith)
5) the saying of Amida Buddha's Name (nembutsu)

1) The stored good from the past
The "stored good from the past" represents our good karma from past lives and this life (prior to the awakening of faith) which manifests itself as an opening or receptive state of mind towards the message of the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha.
A lot of people hear the teaching about the Primal Vow but few are opened to it. This openness is very important in our tradition and is the manifestation of the good stored from the past. Also, if you listen again and again to the teaching in this life, thus becoming immersed with all your being in the Dharma, this listening will become a “stored good” which one day will make you open to the call of the Primal Vow.

2) The good spiritual teacher
The good spiritual teacher is the one who guides us to the Path of reliance on the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. He (or she) is the messenger who urges us to take refuge in Amida and his apparition is also a manifestation of the stored good from the past. His message can be received only in the opened state of mind I explained before.
In Jodo Shinshu the teacher is called Zenjishiki (kalyanamitra in Sanskrit) which is translated as a “good friend on the path”. It is not to be mistaken for the role of the Master or Guru in other Buddhist traditions.

The good spiritual teacher can also be a book written by somebody who had true faith and was loyal to the true teaching on Amida Buddha, or a sacred text. Thus, the good spiritual teacher might be someone who already went to the Pure Land but whose words and instructions help you to become open to Amida Buddha and entrust yourself to Him. In my case, I can say that I found answers to all my questions after reading A Standard of Shinshu Faith by Ryosetsu Fujiwara Sensei, as well as various sacred texts in our tradition, like Tannisho, Shinran's Letters, Rennyo's Letters and the Pure Land sutras themselves. Thus, I cannot say that I had a living teacher or mentor.

3) Amida’s light
Amida's Light represents the working and the wish of Amida Buddha to save (lead to Buddhahood) all sentient beings drowned in delusion. The manifestation of this work and wish is His Primal Vow.

Amida’s Light is a permanent presence upon beings everywhere, opened or not opened to it. Through His Light Amida tries permanently to influence beings and make them accept His salvation contained in the Primal Vow. It is like an immense magnet attracting all beings to Him. Some become opened to it sooner while others will do so in the future, but Amida will continue sending it until all samsaric realms become empty and all beings attain Buddhahood.

4) The entrusting heart (shinjin)
Because of the good stored from the past, we meet with a good spiritual teacher and we are open to his message – the Primal Vow (Amida’s light). At this very moment the so-called “Awakening of Faith” or the apparition of the entrusting heart (shinjin), takes place.
The entrusting heart (shinjin) means that the follower accepts the existence of Amida Buddha and relies exclusively on Him for the attainment of Buddhahood in the Pure Land.

5) The saying of Amida Buddha's Name (nembutsu)
The true saying of the Name (“Namo Amida Bu”) appears in the same time with the Awakening of Faith, as an expression of it and of saying „thank you” to Amida Buddha for saving us exactly as we are. This is the only nembutsu accepted in our tradition – the Nembutsu of faith and gratitude.

The “stored good from the past” and the “spiritual teacher” are only conditions which create a beneficial environment for Amida’s Light to manifest, but they are not the direct causes of our birth in the Pure Land. Only the entrusting heart (shinjin/faith) is the direct cause.
The faith (“entrusting heart”) and “saying of the Name” are the manifestations of Amida’s Light in the heart of the practitioner, and cannot exist independently of Amida’s Light. Only because of Amida’s working and His wish to save us are we able to entrust in Amida and say the Nembutsu.

Master Rennyo explained in one of his letters:

“Prompted by the working of this light [Amida’s light], those endowed with past karmic good have come to attain the entrusting heart of Other Power. Thus, it has now become clear that the entrusting heart is bestowed by Amida Tathagata. Accordingly, we now clearly know that this is not the mind created by the followers but the great entrusting heart of Other Power given to us by Amida Tathagata.”


fragment from my new book, The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism which you can download for free at this link,

#buddhism #mahayana #shinranshonin #honen #rennyo #amitabha #amidabuddha #jodoshinshu #shinbuddhism #pureland #sukhavati #nembutsu #nienfo #shinjin #hongwanji
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