Shinshu & Zen: Mutually Exclusive?


In the future, I might return to the Jodo Shinshu temple, but with a Zen interpretation of the teachings. This is with the understanding of the Nembutsu as awakening the Buddha-nature within, rather than petitioning an external being.

As D. T. Suzuki and Rev. Koshin Ogui have shown, Zen and Jodo Shinshu need not be mutually exclusive. Many Zen masters have, at least for lay people, recommended the Nembutsu as a meditation device.  

In the words of D. T. Suzuki, “We find our inner self when NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU is pronounced once and for all. My conclusion is that Amida is our inmost self, and when that inmost self is found, we are born in the Pure Land.”