4110 N MLK Blvd, North Las Vegas, NV 89032

Shin Buddhism

A Path for Everyone

Shin Buddhism is a non-monastic tradition. The founder, Shinran Shonin (1173-1263), was one of the first monks in the Japanese Buddhist tradition to marry and raise a family, and called himself “neither monk nor lay person.” Shin Buddhism is a family-friendly path that all ages can participate in together. Shin is the largest tradition of Buddhism in Japan and has been in America for over 120 years.

Shinran had a unique insight into Buddhism. For many years, he practiced monastic Buddhism in an attempt to lessen his ego self and attain enlightenment, but to no avail. Shinran’s religious and spiritual experience was to discover that enlightenment is not something to achieve or attain, especially when the ego self is involved. The ego self is relentless in that the more one achieves, the more highly one thinks of oneself.

Shinran gave up striving for enlightenment and instead opened his heart and mind to receive the truth, the light of the Dharma, into his heart and mind.

Shin Buddhism is a path of deep self-reflection and introspection through listening. Seeing the teachings in our everyday life, we are led to a life of gratitude and appreciation for all that sustains our life, nurtures our life, and enhances our life.

Central to Shin Buddhism is the recitation of “Namuamidabutsu,” which literally means, “I bow my head to the truth of enlightenment, wisdom and compassion.” The Shin Buddhist path is a life of listening, reciting, and coming to see Namuamidabutsu as a deep and profound truth, and not just a word or recitation.

Namu literally means to “bow one’s head,” and comes from the Indian word Namas. What are we bowing to when we say “Namuamidabutsu?” We are bowing to Amida Buddha. 

Amida Buddha is not a being, a deity, or a historical person. Amida Buddha is a symbol of the contents of enlightenment, great wisdom and great compassion. We bow our head to the truth of enlightenment, saying “Namuamidabutsu,” and we come to receive that truth of wisdom and compassion into our hearts and minds.