Shoshinge: The Heart of Shin Buddhism

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By: Dr. Alfred Bloom.

Translation by: Rev. T. Nagatani and Rith Tabrah

This work is a vivid contemporary commentary linking the insights expressed by the unique religious teacher Shinran on his Mahayana lineage and views of Buddhist practice, life, and relatiy in Shoshinge, the poem that over the past eight hundred years has become like a basic sutra for Shin Buddhists everywhere.

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  • 5
    Dr. Alfred Bloom gives an excellent overview of the Shoshinge.

    Posted by Philip Voerding on 18th Oct 2014

    This was the second book I read by De. Alfred Bloom about Shin Buddhism, the first being "Strategies for Modern Living: A Commentary with the Text of the Tannisho". As much as I enjoyed Dr. Bloom's commentary on that work by Yuien-bo, one of Shinran Shonin's most astute disciples, I find myself going back to "Shoshinge: The Heart of Shin Buddhism" over and over again. Rev. Tabaaki Nagatani and Ruth Tabrah have produced a translation of the Shonshinge that is very clear and moving. As I read and reread the Shoshinge, meditating on each stanza, I find myself going back to Dr. Bloom's explanation to study his commentary. One learns not only about Shin Buddhist teachings and the vows of Amida Buddha, but the history and plan of the dharma from the beginning, the great vows, the relationship of Sakyamuni Buddha to Amida Buddha, and the Shin Patriarchs who kept the teaching alive into the latter dark times when many of the Buddhas other teachings will not work for most people. All of Shinran Shonin's songs and poems are beautiful, but the Shoshinge may be my favorite one. In the future, I intend to read Dr. Bloom's book "Shinran's Gospel of Grace". These three books seem to make a useful trilogy for people like me who are just learning about Shin Buddhism. Perhaps I should have read "Shinran's Gospel of Grace" first, but I believe this book on the Shoshinge will be my favorite of Dr. Alfred Bloom's books mentioned in this review.