The Nembutsu, Part II

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The Hua-Yen school emphasizes the fact that the phenomenal does not preclude nor impede the noumenal, and the noumenal does not impede nor preclude the phenomenal, phenomena interpenetrate phenomena, noumena interpenetrates noumena, unity does not preclude nor impede multiplicity, multiplicity does not preclude nor impede unity, the temporal does not preclude nor impede the atemporal, the atemporal does not preclude nor impede the temporal, the material does not preclude nor impede the spiritual, the spiritual does not preclude nor impede the material, etc.

T’ien T’ai (Tendai) Patriarch Chih I, in his “Ching-t’u Shih-i-lun” (or “Ten Doubts about Pure Land”) has provided insight into the nature of true thusness.

 

 
The one Mind at the phenomenal level is not tainted by delusions of views and thoughts, and the One Mind at the noumenal level is not deluded by the supposed dualisms [of essence and form, nirvana and samsara, buddhas and sentient beings].’

 

In Shinjin, our religion ceases to be a matter of ‘views and thoughts’ (being ‘mired in views’) but rather we are gradually unburdened of such impediments and come to conform to and reflect in our lives that shinjin bequeathed to us by Amida through the practice selected in the Primal Vow (i.e. the nembutsu).

Ultimately, one need not concern oneself at all with such questions as:

  • Is Amida one among many buddhas?
  • Is Amdia a Nirmanakaya, Sambogakaya or Dharmakaya Buddha?
  • Is Sukhavati a place in space and time, a heavenly realm, or a state of being?
  • Do we go to the Pure Land after bodily death, or after a change in our state of being immediately upon receiving shinjin?

These questions and their answers are neither here-nor-there, nor thus-nor-otherwise … let them be and recline and rely upon Amida’s entrusting heart/mind.

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