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1 Gordon Bermant = "What is nembutsu?The nembutsu is the essential feature of Pure Land Buddhism. A good way to begin is to think of nembutsu as the name of the Name.  So what’s in a name of the Name?The Name is Amida Buddha.  Pure Land Buddhists honor Amida Buddha by reciting his/her Name in a traditional phrase. Namo Amida Buddha is the phrase in Japanese Pure land Buddhism. This is sometimes printed Namu Amida Buddha as well; it doesn’t matter. There is a slightly different phrase in Chinese. Given that these phrases in our alphabet are efforts at transliteration from ancient texts in ideographic languages, we shouldn’t become overly concerned about the details of the English spelling. The point is what is in the reciter’s mind and heart as she recites the Name. The “Namo” part has been translated in a few different ways, including “I take refuge in…” and “I pay homage to…”  You can think of this as the same “Namo” that appears in Sanskrit and Pali, for example in the recitation of the Vandana: “Namo tassa Bhagavato, Arahato, ….” In which sacred figures are honored in a traditional chant. So nembutsu is the word in religious Japanese, now carried into English Pure Land vocabulary, referring to the traditional phrase honoring Amida Buddha. You may also find some authors using a slightly different spelling: nenbutsuThe religious significance of of nembutsu is a considerably longer story. If you want to dive in deep, I recommend Hsiao Inagaki’s Three Pure Land Sutras. Several texts by Alfred Bloom, Kenneth Tanaka, and Taitetsu Unno provide completely trustworthy introductions with different styles and emphases.In gassho,Gordon BermantMarch 26, 2015"
2 David Zuniga PhD MDIV MA = "Shawn, thanks for sharing this. I listened to it several times with my children tonight before putting them to bed. This is a very traditional, popular and beloved chant in Buddhism. It reminded me of an article I posted on my Deily page of an article in the Austin-American Statesman about raising children as Buddhists in the west. Western Buddhist parents often struggle to find child-friendly Buddhist resources. Your posting of this chant was a nice gift to my family. Warmly, David"