Something else that I read in Professor Shigaraki’s (信楽 峻麿) book, Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path, recently, which I wanted to share:
Today the original teachings of Gautama Buddha [Shakyamuni] are largely compiled in the Pāli scriptural texts. A perusal of them reveals that the structure of the path leading to the experience of awakening is based for the most part on three kinds of virtue: belief, practice and wisdom. (pg 43)
Shigaraki explains the three like so:
- Belief: “Belief means that one learns the teachings correctly and believes in them with confidence.”
- Practice: “Practice refers to performing the actions and practices that are stipulated in those teachings.”
- Wisdom: “Wisdom refers to awakening, which is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist path of practice. This means that, by believing in the teachings and single-heartedly performing the practices set forth in them, one will be able to reach the sphere of wisdom, or the experience of awakening, without fail.”
Shigaraki then asserts that all forms of Buddhism that arose since then have followed these three basic principles in some way or another, which makes sense if you think about it.
It’s also a helpful reality check with yourself: does the stuff I follow create more confidence in the Buddhist teachings or not? Am I following practices outlined teachings? Are they helping me cultivate more wisdom?
I think this is already true with most Buddhists, but it’s just nice to remember sometimes.
P.S. I decided to remove the previous post on “complacency”. It just didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Instead, I decided to move this one up a little ahead of schedule.