Practical Buddhism

Recently, I’ve been reading some old books of mine about the life of Honen, a 12th century Japanese-Buddhist monk who started the Pure Land movement in Japan which includes Jodo Shu and Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Honen had a pretty eclectic following: from nobility in the elite Fujiwara family, to prostitutes, ex-monks, etc. In one famousContinue reading “Practical Buddhism”

Pure Land Buddhism at Large

Recently, I took some personal time to delve deep into Pure Land Buddhist teachings, re-reading some old books, but also some new ones. In particular, I was very impressed by Charles B Jones’s latest book, an excellent survey of the entire Pure Land tradition in Mahayana Buddhism. If you’re not familiar with Pure Land Buddhism,Continue reading “Pure Land Buddhism at Large”

Hosso Yogacara Buddhism and the Five Natures Doctrine

Throughout the history of the Hossō Buddhist sect in Japan, descended from the Yogacara school of thought from India, no one doctrine has caused more controversy or sparked debate with other schools than the Five-Natures Doctrine, or goshō kakubetsu (五姓各別). I don’t necessarily endorse nor criticize this doctrine myself, but I am a big believerContinue reading “Hosso Yogacara Buddhism and the Five Natures Doctrine”