Question: I was wondering if there were any major diferences in approaches or practices between Amida shu and Jodo shinshu?
Dharmavidya: In terms of faith in Amida and the nembutsu, there is no difference. There are differences at a more superficial level.
- In Amida Shu there is relatively more emphasis upon ethics which we see as a reflection of faith whereas Jodoshinshu often take “precepts” etc to be “self-power” practices.
- There are elements of Zen in our style of religious training.
- In Amida Shu we tend to emphasise that Pureland teachings are “original Buddhism” deriving from Shakyamuni and to emphasise our commonality with Mahayana Buddhism as a whole, whereas, for historical reasons, Jodoshinshu has had to put some effort into distinguishing itself from other branches of the religion.
- In Japan, Jodoshinshu distinguishes itself quite strongly at times from Jodo Shu, whereas from our perspective the differences are of minimal importance.
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