Shin vs. Others

Over the past 2,500 years that Buddhism has been practiced on earth, many variations of Buddhism have become popular.  From Tibetan Buddhism practiced by the Dalai Lama, to Zen Buddhism, to Thai Buddhism and more, the practice varies. Many of the Buddhist practices focus on the monastic life which doesn’t always fit with today’s way of life.   


White River Buddhist Temple practices Shin Buddhism. Shin Buddhism’s founder, Shinran Shonin, tried the monastic practice and became discouraged.  He left the monastery, began a more normal life, even getting married.  He couldn’t get comfortable with how to reconcile the limitations of everyday people with the rigorous demands of accepted Buddhist practice at the time and his Buddhist study and practice led to his focus on the Buddha’s 18th Vow (referred to as the Primal Vow).

“If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, desire to be born in my land, and call my Name, even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.”

We admit, this can be a little confusing.  The 21st century American version can be roughly translated to, “If with a sincere heart, you strive to become enlightened, you will be.”