Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View What Do Amida Followers Think of Practices that are Similar to Nembutsu but not Directed to Amida?
3 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2011 - 12:36PM #1
Parvus
Posts: 2
Greetings,

I've been studying Buddhism for several years, but have not often had the ability to go to Buddhist temples/centers because of my remote location. Recently however, I made a trip to Dharamsala. While I was there, I spent some time at a Tibetan meditation center. The experience was enjoyable, and while I was there, Green Tara, one of the deties they were chanting to, stood out to me more than the others. I found her mantra enjoyable to chant and began chanting it all throughout the day whenever my mind did not need to be occupied with something and not long after that I began visualizing her also. This was without any guidance of a Lama because I was only there for a short time. This practice has been very helpful to me, possibly even more so than the various types of sitting meditation that I've tried. 

About a week ago, I was looking at Pure Land Buddhism online and realized that my practice of constant chanting and visualizing the deity was very similar to Nembutsu, the only difference being chant Amitaba's mantra while I am chanting Green Tara's mantra. 

This may sound strange, but from my personal experience, my practice seems easier when directed to a female, possibly because masculinity is rarely associated with compassion while feminity often is in my culture. In the past, I tried mindfulness of Gautama Buddha practice but I was not able to generate much compassion or concentration. With Green Tara, it has been much easier. The fact that she is green also appeals to me.

My question is: in Pureland Buddhism, does Amida have a female form that is venerated? I understand that he is something paired with the Bodhisattva Kannon, who appears to be the Japanese form of Tara if I understand correctly. If I went to a Pureland temple would they ask that I only venerate Amida in his tradition form? Although there are no Pure Land temples near where I live, I want to visit one if I am out travelling but I would like to know what people in a traditional Pure Land Sangha such as Jodo Shinsu would think if I told them I chant the name of someone besides Amida. Would I be able to fit in with them? From my perspective, it seems we have more similarities than differences.

I appreciate any guidance that can be offered and am interested to hear any thoughts, good or bad. :)
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2011 - 3:24PM #2
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
Hi Parvus,

Welcome. Unfortunately, the Pure Land forum not very active.

My experience with Pure Landers is that they're a pretty tolerant bunch. However, that can vary from congregation to congregation. The only way to know for sure how people in a particular group will react is to ask them.

Best of luck.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Jun 08, 2011 - 9:39AM #3
Parvus
Posts: 2

Hi Rengalskap,


Thank you for the reply.


Having thought about it a lot over the past few days, I realized that I can venerate Amida and Kwannon both. I like venerating both, so the only real problem now that I think about it was that I wanted to be sure that have some time to venerate Kwannon. I can always do that on my own time though too. Therefore, it's no longer an issue; I just needed to look at it from a different angle.


If I could ask you another question, do you know where all the Pure Landers went if they're not on this forum? I read in one of the other threads on this forum that they went to E-Sangha.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Jun 08, 2011 - 12:08PM #4
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
I don't know. Esangha has been dead for a while. A quick google doesn't turn up anything.

Good luck. :-)
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook