Tell a friend about this talk!

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Google Buzz

other talks in this theme

There is no transcript for this talk. Help us make one!

Shinran and Kabat-Zinn

by Ratnaguna

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

Tracks (click play to listen)

Play All

click play to listen
1. Nagabodhi - Introducing Ratnaguna (5:35) 
click play to listen
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 (5:05) 
click play to listen
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) 
click play to listen
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) 
click play to listen
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 (4:54) 
click play to listen
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' (2:41) 
click play to listen
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) 
click play to listen
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 (3:26) 
click play to listen
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) 
click play to listen
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) 
click play to listen
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 (5:18) 
click play to listen
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 (5:18) 
click play to listen
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) 
click play to listen
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: 1:10:34

close