1Gordon 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"
2David 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"