Saturday, 11 April 2009

Compassion: Mahayana vs Theravada

Roshi Robert Aitken (wiki) writes:
Nowhere among Mahayana practices is concern for other beings expressed more
clearly than in the metta practice of loving kindness in Theravada Buddhism. One
begins with a focus upon the self:
May I be free from danger.
May I have mental happiness.
May I have physical happiness.
May I have the ease of well-being. 8
Metta then is directed to those near and dear—may they be free from danger, and so on—then to those about whom one feels neutral, then to enemies, and so on to all beings. Under the guidance of a seasoned teacher, the resistance one feels to this compassionate practice is faced squarely and allowed to wither and disappear.
"Formal Practice: Buddhist or Christian" - Buddhist-Christian Studies 22 (2002)

8) Sharon Salsberg, Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Boston: Sham-
bhala, 1995), p. 32.

Shin Buddhism

Shin = aka Jōdo Shinshū (浄土真宗 "True Pure Land School")

Based on teachings of Shinran Shonin (May 21, 1173 – January 16, 1263).

Key teaching: gratitude to Amida Buddha. (See Jeff Wilson article here)

Shinran was a student of Hōnen (法然 1133-1212), founder of Jōdo shū "Pure Land."