The Nembutsu

For Shin Buddhists, the Nembutsu's (Namo-Amida-Butsu) meaning is extremely important.  Below are some notable views on the Nembutsu from Shin Scholars.

Namo Amida Butsu...expresses the feeling, "I entrust everything to Amida Buddha."

           -Monshu Koshin Ohtani's The Buddha's Wish for the World (pg 117, 2009)


We should look on the Nembutsu as an expression of gratitude for the Buddha's great benevolence and compassion.  We should say it all our lives, thinking, "If it were not for Amida's compassionate Vow, how could such a wretched evildoer as myself ever hope to be liberated from samsara?"

          -Yuien-bo's Tannisho translated in Alfred Bloom's Strategies for Modern Living: A Commentary with the Text of the Tannisho (pg 15, 1992) 


In Shin Buddhism, Amida's Name "Namu Amida Butsu," is the most important thing...It is one of the most compact and excellent expressions of the essence of Buddhism.  ...[it] means "Bowing Amida Buddha."  This Name expresses the "humble and dynamic spirit," the essence of Buddhahood.

           -Nobuo Haneda's Dharma Breeze: Essays on Shin Buddhism (pg 25, 2007)


I have heard that native English speakers have a lot of trouble saying Namo-Amida-Butsu.  If a person finds themselves awkwardly pronouncing the Nembutsu, it doesn't matter.  You should just think that the heart of Amida Buddha is the heart to save all without exception.  This heart of Amida Buddha already exists in the depths of our own hearts.

          -Monshu Koshin Ohtani's The Buddha's Wish for the World (pg 118, 2009) 


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