It is a primordial tenet of Jodo Shinshu/Shin Buddhism that Amida Buddha grasps us once, never to let go.. This loving embrace permits we ourselves to let go, in the sense of “Let go, and let Amida”. This is the essence of Tariki or Other Power-reliance. In this age of Dharma decline, most of us are simply not fit to walk the Holy Way, the Path of the Sages, with all of its methods, meditations and exercises – although of course, some of us do still attempt to assay the Difficult Way.
But Master Shinran Shonin, through his experience of Shinjin mediated by Amida Buddha, realized the general folly of reliance on self power in spiritual matters. That is, self power methods and ideas, although laudatory in non-spiritual endeavors (if we want to graduate or get a job, self effort is an absolute essential), is useless and even dangerous and delusional in the spiritual quest for enlightenment and Buddhahood. This is so because for most of us, self power practices can at best only provide brief glimpses into our Buddha Nature and temporary states of Bodhi. Full enlightenment in one lifetime is not usually attainable by we bombus, we selfish beings led by blind passions and wrong ideas.
Instead, Amida Buddha provides everything we require to fulfill our twofold spiritual need for redemption and Buddhahood. There is nothing we need to do. Indeed, there is nothing (as bombus) that we can do. Amida does it all, spiritually speaking. Buddha is not an intervening creator-deity and does not manipulate the material universe on our behalf: does not tamper with our karma or our circumstances so that we may graduate or get a targeted job; does not answer our grasping petitionary prayers. No, Buddha’s work and activity are solely directed toward evolving us to Buddhahood in the Pure Land.
Amida Buddha’s assurance is, that through the grace of Shinjin granted by Amida alone and not by our own efforts, at the moment of physical death, we pass into the Pure Land where an unearned crown of Buddhahood awaits us, delivered by Buddha’s infinite merits, wisdom, compassion, unimpeded Light and eternal Being.
This post’s title is, “Blessed Assurance, Amida is Mine”. But it would perhaps be better phrased, “Blessed Assurance, I am Amida’s”, for it is Amida Buddha alone who offers and guarantees the neverending Embrace in which we pass into Buddhahood