If I could actually accumulate some merit by my own power, I would help my dead parents by the grace of Invocation to Amida  (But it is not I who can save me, but Amida himself).  So I should give up the self-concieted attitude of hoping to save myself and others by the grace of religious practice (and I should rely on the grace of Amida). 

 Ways of Thinking of Eastern People p. 424

am boggled that the author uses the term grace, a Christian term.  Is there a concept of grace in Japan before the introduction of Chrisitanity?

not quite

August 4, 2008

“…if you are not quite a saint, he is not quite an idiot…”

Visistacarita Bodhisattva

Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples p. 383

autumn

July 21, 2008

“Weary as I am

Of this world,

When autumn comes

And the moon shines serene,

I feel I should like to survive.”

“Wearied of this world

Why should I be?

Those once despised by me

Today my delight turn out to be.”

Japanese poem

Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples p. 372

sweeping discovery

July 14, 2008

The first lesson of the ascetics of Hinayana Buddhism is to regard one’s body as impure.  Here the body is regarded as the source of all evils, and as a hindrance to the practice of the Way.  Dogen, however, revised this interpretation.  According to him, contemplation should be realized in one’s actions in everyday life.  “So-called contemplations are everyday activities like sweeping the ground and the floor.”  That should be concieved as exactly identical to “recognizing one’s body as impure.”  Moreover, in that case, one is expected to transcend the dichotomy of purity and impurity.”  

Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples p. 370 (paragraph 3)

Shamanism

July 7, 2008

“Shaman,” from which the word Shamanism derived, means a dancing man.

Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples p. 584 paragraph 3

He (Donghak) even went further to say that “human beings are Heaven, and Heaven is Human beings.  Heaven does not exist outside human beings, and human beings do not exist outside Heaven.  Here, Choe identified humankind with Heaven and imbued humanity with the dignity of Heaven.   (Genesis 1.26)

He claimed that because humans are one with Heaven, we mus serve others as if they are Heaven,” saying that prejudices such as the discrimination in the social status system which values sons of wives over sons of concubines and yangban over common people went against Heaven’s will.

Korean Philosophy its Tradition and Modern Transformation (p. 413-14)

Learning never ceases

June 23, 2008

Hyegang said that all affairs in daily life were objects of earnest learning.  If one abandonded these affairs and sought learning elsewhere, one’s learning would become void.  Through affairs, sin-gi shows the truth of things, achieves knowledge, and nurtures and trains itself.  Without affairs, sin-gi is unable to display its omnipotence. 

 Korean Philosophy Its tradition and modern transformation

Benevolence, righteousness, civility, and wisdom are formed around corresponding conduct.  Therefore, benevolence can be achieved only when one loves others; before this love, benevolence does not exist.  After one commits a good act, one can recognize righteousness.  Before he so acts, righteousness does not exist…How can it be asserted that benevolence, righteousness, civility, and wisdom are inherent in human mind, like seeds in a peach or apricot?

Korean Philosophy it’s Tradition and Modern Transformation p. 363

Guanyin, precisely as the sutra promised, was known to be especially adept at rescuing the drowning.  In the midst of a river battle a fat man meditated on the bodhisattva and abandoned ship.  The water was deep and the river was raging, yet the water came up only to his waist, as if he were standing in shallow water.  Eventually a boat came to rescue him, but the man’s weight was so great that he could not be lifted aboard.  The man looked down and saw four men pushing him up.  Once he was on the ship he looked back, but no one was there. 

The Story of Buddhism p. 80 paragraph 3

Matthew 14:22-36 

 

In the chapter, the Buddha explains that if suffering beings single-mindedly call his name, this bodhisattva will rescue them from all forms of harm, including fire, flood, shipwreck, murderers, demons, prison, bandits, and wild animals

[...] In the centuries after the sutra was translated into Chinese, miracle stories began to circulate about the bodhisattva’s wondrous powers, how those who called upon him in times of dire need would find that the shackles had fallen from their ankles and the prison door stood open, that their names had been erased from execution lists, that they could walk through hordes of bandits unnoticed, that their houses remained undamaged in the midst of a great fire, that they had been cured of leprosy.

The Story of Buddhism p. 80 paragraph 2 

 NOTE: YOU MAY FIND THE VIDEO I SELECTED TO BE BIAS, BUT I HAVEN’T COME ACROSS ANY VIDEOS ON MODERN MIRACLES ASSOCIATED WITH THE ONE CALLED “AVALOKITESEVARA”.  (PERHAPS IF THERE ARE ANY THEY ARE NOT IN ENGLISH).  WHAT WOULD THE DIFFERENCE BE THOUGH IF THE FRIAR TOLD THE REPORTER THAT HE ATTRIBUTED THE HEALING TO “GUAYANIN”?  EITHER WAY THE FRIAR IS IN A HUMBLE STATE NOT CLAIMING THE GLORY FOR HIMSELF, AND ATTRIBUTES THE MIRACLE TO THE GOODNESS OF THE MULTINAMED ONE WHO DISCERNS THE SOUNDS OF THE WORLD. 

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