“The Unhindered Path” – a “must-read”

Buddhist writer and pastor  John Paraskevopoulos has done it again in this new book about Shin (Jodo Shinshu) Buddhism, in which he elucidates basic Shin teaching and links it to global panentheistic and mystical traditions. He makes a credible case not only for “belief-in” the Spiritual Transcendent; he explains how It can be immediately experienced, even in our “Samsaric” lives in this troubled world. Paraskevopoulos cites numerous sources, some scholarly, others poetic/mystical, in delineating the sacred mystery at the core of Jodo Shinshu, and he describes why and how it is meaningful for us today – and timelessly for all generations. These portions bookend his own profound insights from his pastoral counseling and interviews.

The book has recently come to Amazon:


… and it is the perfect companion volume to his earlier Fragrance of Light:


… which this blog reviewed here:


If you would like to experience an exciting spiritual adventure that leads straight into the heart of divine compassion through the understanding and practice of Shin Buddhism – which culminates in the experience of Amida Buddha’s unimpeded, unhindered Light – you have only to pick this book up and let it sweep you away.




6 thoughts on ““The Unhindered Path” – a “must-read”

  1. Rob

    Since I can’t buy books for a while, and since I’m a fan of John P’s other books, can you explain a bit how the author says the transcendent can be immediately experienced? If I may shamelessly impose here…..

  2. rennyo01 Post author

    It’s basically an extension of JP’s other books, with more detail and new citations from writers on the subject, as well as snippets from his own homilies and interviews – i.e., how Shinjin itself is Buddha Nature, which makes it a matter of experience, not “faith-in”/”faith-about” (as is the situation in, say, Protestant/”Lutheran” Christianity).

    How, because we experience Amida’s grace as that “raft from the Other Shore” that Shin speaks of, we directly perceive Amida’s “more than here”/transcendence in our lives in the here-and-now (immanence). So it’s a matter of experiencing Amida’s working and grace, and his Other Power, while still living in samsara, and still being bombus – which, because this experience is direct, immediate, and unmediated, does not demand or even entail, traditional “faith-in”…the idea being that experience trumps belief.

    The only “faith” that matters is the “perfect faith” (Shinjin) which is a sheer, pure gift from Amida, which only Amida can provide, since we bombus are not capable of it, and cannot provide it ourselves through self-effort.

    I guess this makes Amidism as expressed in Jodo Shinshu/Shin a kind of panentheism, where the divine Absolute is both “here”/immanent and “more than here”/transcendent. But of course Amida is not any kind of deity, so I sometimes borrow a term from Sensei Lewis at the Buddhist Faith Fellowship of Connecticut – “PanenDharmism” or “PanenAmidism” – to express both Amida’s transcendence as well as his ever-available here-and-now immanence. I don’t use the term much, as it isn’t “official” Shin terminology, and I don’t think JP uses it, but sometimes it does help me to conceptualize the way in which Amida’s grace functions.

    That’s about all I can say without paging through the book and citing quotations, for which unfortunately I don’t have the required time. However, if you haven’t already, you might try the book’s Amazon page and see if any of the reviews there contain the kind of information that most interests you.

  3. rennyo01 Post author

    You are very welcome. (I know how it is not having a lot of funding available for books, movies, CDs, etc.) But if you are able to purchase it, I think you will find it a very rewarding adventure. I hope, after you read it, you would be kind enough to send me your review.

  4. Rob

    I downloaded the book on Kindle. I love it, especially the short quotes. Every time I read JP’s books I am filled with longing that is almost painful sometimes.

  5. rennyo01 Post author

    Rob, thanks much for your comments. Yes, JP is an outstanding commentator on all things Shin. I think his work and his books are unique and important toward giving modern people a deep understanding of Amida, Shinjin, Shinran, and many other topics, i.e., his role is indispensable. He has an uncanny knack for bringing the Transcendent into our presence!

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