Our Sect of Buddhism
Shin Buddhism is a family-friendly path that all ages can participate in together. Shin is the largest tradition of Buddhism in Japan and has been in America for over 120 years.
THE HEART OF SHIN BUDDHISM
Shin Buddhism is a path of deep self-reflection and introspection through listening. Seeing the teachings in our everyday life, we are led to a life of gratitude and appreciation for all that sustains our life, nurtures our life, and enhances our life.
Central to Shin Buddhism is the recitation of “Namu amida butsu,” which literally means, “I bow my head to the truth of enlightenment, wisdom and compassion.” The Shin Buddhist path is a life of listening, reciting, and coming to see Namu amida butsu as a deep and profound truth, and not just a word or recitation.
HEARING THE DHARMA IN OUR LIFE
Listening can mean listening to Dharma talks at the temple, but it can also mean reading and discussing the teachings, and listening to others. By listening, we come to see the teachings in our everyday life, all around us. Anyone and anything can be a teacher to us, if we have the heart and mind to listen, to learn, and to receive.
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Namu literally means to “bow one’s head," and comes from the Indian word Namas. What are we bowing to when we say “Namu amida butsu?” We are bowing to Amida Buddha.
Amida Buddha is not a being, a deity, or a historical person. Amida Buddha is a symbol of the contents of enlightenment, great wisdom and great compassion. We bow our head to the truth of enlightenment, saying “Namu amida butsu,” and we come to receive that truth of wisdom and compassion into our hearts and minds.