Ephemeral life—lessons from the kamakura, Humanities

The Ephemeral Life-Lessons from the Kamakura

Age of Degenerate Dharma (Mappo) later degenarte days of the law (mofa in Chinese). Pure Land Sect: Amitabha Buddha central figure: Amida. Needs to constantly appeal to the help of Amida. Nembutsu, saying Amitbha Buddha over and over again; deeds did not matter, it was the only way to salvation. Faith over one's work.

Nichirin associated Buddhism with Patriotic spirit, wanted to make Japan the center of Buddhism. His name means "sun-lotus." Nationalistic fervor: impact on the samurai class, possibly because of threat overseas. Japanese military: government can exploit religious ideology to turn it into extreme national ideology.

Dogen well known zen monk. Idea of humanism of engagement: if everything is impermanent, then why strive for anything? Why seek to even preserve life? " Time does not waste itself. It's people who waste it away." Parting lesson: "life is evanescent like a dew-drop and time passes without waiting for us." You should preserve life precisely because it is impermanent. "action" part of the zen thinking. Time stops for no one.

Kamo no Chomei wrote "An account of my hut." Symbolism of a "temporary hut": randomly picks the location, hut is small and mobile - idea of transience. In his 50's  when he wrote it - seen ups and downs of life. Build for the moment and live without fear. Hut as a metaphor for the "Body," for life: our body is as fleeting as our lives. Intimate awareness of his surroundings: deep appreciation for solitude. Simple life, begging: long-standing monastic tradition: minimal way for you to subsist. Buddhist scriptures/imagery, lute and poetry; inventory of what he owns: tells you everything he has. Subtle reminder that we tend to accumulate and hoard things. He has very little. The list is not long. Life is simple, doesn't crave for companionship. When it comes it comes, whatever happens happens.

Posted Date: 2/28/2013 1:58:49 AM | Location : United States

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