On Buddhist Awakening, Faith, and Letting Go

A Deliberate Life

Recently over on Facebook, I have watched a couple discussions move from literalism in Buddhist interpretation (Is Amida´s Pure Land to the “West” of here? If so, how far “west” and what exactly does “west” mean in the context of space where there is neither “up” nor “down” much less east, west, north or south?) to whether we should understand doctrines and teachings more metaphorically. I responded to one question, about how can we ever know we have “faith” (or shinjin in the Shin Buddhist tradition) with the following reply, slightly edited for comprehension. It is about as clear an explanation I can give to what and how I believe what I do:

The longer a tea bag remains in water, the darker the fluid becomes and the stronger the tea. Likewise, dipping into Pure Land “faith” may change the flavor of the “water” a bit, but until one lets…

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