Events

Hoonko Seminar

Fr–Su 22.–24.11.2019., Start: Fr 22.11., 2:00 p.m. seminar room
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Tanaka (Prof Emeritus, Musashino University)

“Shinjin Awakening in Shin Buddhism: Its Mahayana Buddhist Roots and Nembutsu Meditation”

Prof. Tanakas description:

    ” Shin Buddhism is often seen in the West as a Buddhist version of Christianity and, at times, not even Buddhism. This seminar aims to dispel this erroneous understanding by focusing on the Shin soteriological experience called “Shinjin.”

     Shinjin is most often translated into English as “entrusting,” which perpetuates the myth that Shinjin is simply “devotional” or a “folk religion.” In reality, however, aside from this “entrusting,” Shinjin contains other dimensions of “wisdom,” “joy” and “non-doubt.” Thus, no one term can do justice to the multivalent and rich meaning of Shinjin. Within this context, I prefer to render Shinjin as “awakening,” “awareness,” or “realization,” in part, to emphasize the Mahayana Buddhist roots of Shin Buddhism.

During the seminar, we will also practice “Nembutsu Meditation” framed within the Pure Land teaching of “Five Correct Practices” by Shandao and the Mahayana teaching of “Six Paramitas” that Shin Buddhists practice especially at two equinoxes of the year (Ohigan). Nembutsu Meditation includes elements found in Mindfulness Meditation and basic Zen meditation. In keeping with the Shin Buddhist spirit and teaching, this Nembutsu Meditation is not self power but Other Power in nature.

     The Shin Buddhist path offers a realistic path for those of us who lead non-monastic, lay lives with all our attachments and worldly obligations. Shinran was the only founder among the major Buddhist schools in Japan to get married and even have children. Thus, the significance of the famous phrase “Neither Monk nor Lay” to describe himself is enormous.

     I plan to run the seminar in a relaxing, casual and humor-filled style, with small discussion groups to allow for greater audience participation. This style is in accord with the Shin Buddhist spirit of Ondōbō Ondōgyō (Cooperating Companions and Practitioners in Oneness).”

The entrance to the presentations is free. People who also want to participate the dinner at Friday and lunch at Saturday are kindly requested to pay an inclusive price: 15€ for the buffet on Friday and 8 € for the Japanese Snack box (o-Bento) on Saturday at lunchtime.