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This wonderful talk by Ratnaguna looks at the Pureland tradition of Shinran, comparing some of his approaches to the contemporary teacher John Kabat-Zinn, pioneer of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The nature of ‘problems’ versus ‘difficulties’ is explored - notions of ‘acceptance’, ‘development’, and awareness itself are considered from new angles that can shed light on our experience of failure and suffering. A lovely, sympathetic and good-natured look at the foolishness of human beings which can, when held in the heart, begin to approach wisdom itself.
Talk given at the Western Buddhist Order Convention, 2005
|1.||Nagabodhi - Introducing Ratnaguna (5:35)|
|2.||Ratnaguna - running blindfolded round a field, falling down a hole; a personal crisis of faith; Shinran and Kabat-Zinn - saying the same thing; influences - Shinran's thinking; Kabat-Zinn's ideas; a way back to practice (5:04)|
|3.||Shinran - turning everything upside-down; Honen, his teacher; quote from Honen on the precepts, meditation and knowledge; Honen's despair - converting to Pureland Buddhism - Other Power; Jodo-Shin; Shinran's banishment (4:22)|
|4.||Shinran's crisis; experiencing failure; radical humility - 'bonbu', 'utterly foolish person'; the 'third age of the Dharma' and Pureland thought - Shin Buddhism born from despair (3:50)|
|5.||Some of Shinran's ideas; 'shinjin' - 'true entrusting'; context of the Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra - Dharmakara's vow as a cast-iron promise; the myth of Pureland and the nature of life and the mind; the karma and dharma niyamas - everything will be ok (4:53)|
|6.||The Chetana Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya); Sagaramati and Pali Canon references to the 'spiral path' of postitve mental states; 'dhammata' - 'natural' progression; Shinran's perspective, 'jinen' - 'naturalness' (2:40)|
|7.||'Hakurai' - 'the calculating, determining, manipulating mind' - and self-power; Shan Tao - 'good acts mixed with poison'; why self-power doesn't work; Amitabha's hakurai; self-power as doubt; Sangharakshita's 'Life is King' - entrusting to life (5:32)|
|8.||Shinjin and 'the point of no return'; emotional not cognitive - 'a change of heart'; knowledge and the realization of foolishness; the Order and FWBO as people who are naturally foolish (3:25)|
|9.||Moment of the arising of shinjin; moment of death in early Pureland; Honen's revision - habitual & death-proximate karma; Shinran's focus; 'ichinen' - 'one moment of time'; quote from Dennis Hirota; the mythical context of time (4:03)|
|10.||John Kabat-Zinn; differences from Shinran; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; 'non-judgementally'; controversy - judgement and the practice of awareness; Zen context; context of long-term illness and chronic pain; acceptance (7:41)|
|11.||'In the present moment'; the Sutra of the Arrow; pain never comes on its own; the present moment as bearable; chapter 15 of 'Full Catastrophe Living'; difference between curing and healing; seeing 'your wholeness' as equivalent to Insight (5:17)|
|12.||The 'immanence' model; common themes in Shinran and Kabat-Zinn; 'Acceptance and Commitment Therapy'; mindfulness as faith; shifts of mind; Charlotte Joko Beck's 'bigger container'; the metaphor of the chess set (5:17)|
|13.||Buddhism and the 'developmental model'; 'immanence' approaches' as a tactic; problems and difficulties; the problem Shinran sets; Kabat-Zinn's problem (pain) and change; digging the hole deeper; the problem is the path (7:22)|
|14.||Willingness in experiencing our problems; curiosity about them; ending a talk with an image - tug-of-war with the monster at the abyss; dropping the rope; really accepting - don't expect an outcome (5:27)|
Total running time: 1:10:28