- Gebundene Ausgabe: 156 Seiten
- Verlag: Kodansha Co., Ltd. (März 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 4062099810
- ISBN-13: 978-4062099813
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,3 x 16,1 x 3,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 249.218 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Tariki: Tapping Into the Ultimate Power: Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – März 2001
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Hiroyuki Itsuki, a novelist by trade, turned to Buddhism to make sense of his life, a life that has known both extreme deprivation and outstanding success. He notes that Buddhism begins with negativity, and instead of glossing over it and moving on to the brighter side, he dwells on it, calling the Buddha the ultimate negative thinker. This is what is known as True Pure Land Buddhism, a sect that subscribes to a belief in the unredeemable depravity of people and the need for divine intervention. But along with chanting "Amida" and hoping for the best, Itsuki offers a lyrical reevaluation of True Pure Land, showing it to be "a philosophy of radical spiritual activity, of personal, existential revolution." Tariki is the "other power," that second wind you get near the end of an ordeal or the unexpected blessing in the midst of general malaise. Itsuki examines this sect's patriarchs, Honen, Shinran, and Rennyo, finding that their lives and their work still speak to us today. Many of us feel powerless against the overwhelming forces of life. Tariki is about acceptance, about "having the wisdom to know what reality is, and the strength to react properly to that reality." And then, despite the harshness, we can enjoy the tariki wind when it blows. --Brian Bruya
Tariki is the power derived from the full acceptance of the reality that is within us & surrounds us. Personal episodes in the author's life illuminate the principles involved & demonstrate how they can make sense of human experience.
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Hiroyuki describes his childhood as the son of a Japanese teacher in occupied Korea before and during World War II. When Japan was defeated, Hiroyuki's world fell apart. After losing their home and belongings, Hiroyuki's mother died, his father became an alcoholic. Ultimately it was the then thirteen year-old Hiroyuki who cared for his siblings and dragged them to safety in South Korea. The trauma of these experiences and others caused Hiroyuki to develop a very negative view of life. The significance of this development, which was clearly missed by one reviewer, is the fact that Hiroyuki's negativity is not nihilistic. Instead, Hiroyuki argues that when we accept the negative facts of life (primarily that we will experience loss, pain, sickness, old-age, and death) we are better able to lead a positive life. Hiroyuki goes on to describe the Buddha as "the ultimate negative thinker" and explains how the Buddha gave up His life of wealth and privilege in order to comprehend and then address the suffering that comes with existence.
In explaining the differences between Zen and Pure Land Buddhism, Hiroyuki addresses the common misconception that the latter is based on blind faith. Zen, according to Hiroyuki is a religion of action that involves meditation and other exercises while Pure Land Buddhism simply requires a simple belief in and verbal acknowledgement of the Amida Buddha. This belief is not an attempt to find the Amida Buddha, for according to Hiroyuki He has already found you and has reached out to you with countless subtle mechanism that can include the kindness of complete strangers and the pages of Hiroyuki's book. Hiroyuki refers to these countless mechanisms as the "Other Power" and contrasts them with the "Self Power" associated with Zen. According to Hiroyuki, the practice of Zen involved time and activity to perform self-development that was simply not available to anyone beyond Japan's privileged classes. Pure Land Buddhism appealed to the commoners because it did not require developing the "Self Power" of Zen. Instead they merely had to believe in and acknowledge the "Other Power" of the Amida Buddha's commitment to save them. More to the point, the Amida Buddha already had saved people; they simply needed to wake up to this fact.
If Hiroyuki's writing only focused exclusively on the suffering and despair of his personal history then readers could justifiably find his negativity appalling. But Hiroyuki contrasts these experiences with the surprising kindness of strangers and other positive experiences that he eventually came to attribute to the "Other Power".
Ultimately, "Self Power" and "Other Power" are parts of the same thing. "Other Power" is faith, and it is also a required foundation for "Self Power". Hiroyuki convincingly argues that you cannot practice any form of self-development without a faith to precede it. Hiroyuki draws a parallel between the two schools of Zen Buddhism and the differences between Catholicism, which stresses salvation though one's works and Protestantism, which bases salvation upon faith alone. Hiroyuki concludes that the relationship between faith and action are universal to practically all of the world's religions and cites a recent accord between the Vatican and Lutheran council that acknowledges the primacy of belief in Christ and the importance of supplemental good works in His name.
So why do we need negative thinking to have a positive life? Hiroyuki argues that if we are driven by optimism alone then we are fooling our selves and are only going to suffer in the long run. When we acknowledge the normalcy of suffering, we are better able to cope with it. We are also more likely to appreciate and less likely to be fooled by the cycles of our own happiness. For me the most interesting part of this Hiroyuki's thinking is that fact that it is an equal blend of faith in human salvation and deep existential courage. Hiroyuki also gets right to the spiritual heart of religion rather than its alienating social and political elements.
If you have ever felt that life has no meaning; if you have ever thought "there is nothing I can do"; if you have always suspected that "willpower" was a sham, then this book will be a friend to you. Written like a great dinner conversation, full of digressions, this book is a deep well of humanity and compassion.
Often very bleak and dark in places, "Tariki: Embracing Despair; Discovering Peace" is a sobering examination of how faith in Amida Buddha as held by those of the Shin faith can be both an anchor and a comfort to those in grave infirmity, grief, or facing death. Since much of the tenets of Shin deal with "resolving the question of the afterlife", it is natural that the book dwell in such heavy territory for much of its material. And while Itsuki does concentrate on such darker issues, it's important to note that...as would be appropriate for Buddhism in general...ultimately one comes to a realization that the duality between the 'dark' thoughts and the 'light' ones is really false. In this, Itsuki creates a very interesting and thought-provoking 'map' of the harsher aspects of life and how this harshness can be resolved through faith in the "other power" of Amida Buddha to unfold these experiences as ones of personal power and meaningful depth.
Again, this is no "starter" book for those wishing to learn more about Shin Buddhism; for those seeking that sort of information, I would suggest either Rev. Taitetsu Unno's "River of Fire, River of Water" or Dr. Ken Tanaka's "Ocean". But after absorbing the teachings set down in one or both of those, returning to Itsuki's book for a sober look at how those teachings affect and ground the lives of Shin Buddhists is a must.
TARIKI is not a pessimistic book if you are not an optimist. It is a stark often bleak appraisal of the aspects of our human being we would rather not acknowledge and obdurately deny. By starting from that most basic of Buddhist insights that living entails suffering, Itsuki moves on to a deep gratitude for the genuine moments of grace in our lives which come from the winds of a wisdom and compassion that embrace us and yet which are never other than us.
While TARIKI may be of value to the despondent, it is of even greater value to those of us who need a grounding in the facts of life in order to make our efforts on behalf of others sane, reasoned, and devoid of expectation. I recommend this book highly to those who have few illusions about life and death.
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