Jodo Shinshu Selected Readings
All of these readings are recited at a temple service or can read daily in front of your own butsudan shrine.
Shinshu Pledge - Seikatsu Shinjo
The Seikatsu Shinjo is a verse of thanksgiving to Amida Buddha and a reminder of our responsibilities and attitude towards life.
Homages - Kikyomon (Three Treasures)
Also referred to as the "Triple Treasures" or "Ti-Sarana". The Three Treasures is the basic affirmation of Buddhism. The Three Treasures of Buddhism are the Buddha (an enlightened person), the Dharma (the body of truth a Buddha becomes enlightened to), and the Sangha (the community that tries to live its life based on the Buddha's teaching).
These are the eight ways of living for all Buddhists, regardless of sect. It is a systematic method for understanding the universe, living compassionately, and achieving peace and enlightenment.
The Shin Buddhist Creed - Ryo Ge Mon
Rennyo Shonin wrote this passage because of his desire to have all understand and receive Shinjin (attaining enlightenment). The character ‘Ryo’ translated into English means, "important point" while the character "Ge" means to understand. Although the passage is short, it contains the essence of the Jodo Shinshu teaching.
An ode to the great wisdom and unconditional love and compassion of Amida Buddha. That which embraces us all and makes life possible, aspiring us to enter into a life of Enlightenment together with all other beings, with wisdom and mercy, without a trace of discrimination or prejudice, and that is, with no exceptions.
Golden Chain & Promise
The origin of the "Golden Chain" is unknown. Yet, these two short passages have been recited by Dharma School students for many years. Although they are intended to teach just children, they have a deeper message for both children and adults. In "The Golden Chain", participants are reminded of the interdependence we share with all sentient beings. Also that we do not live alone and our lives are sustained through the give and take we have with the world around us. Ecology in a Buddhist sense.
In "Promise" we express appreciation to the Buddha who has provided us with these wonderful teachings.