“Buddhism of the Heart,” by Jeff Wilson
Bhaktika Mike Fitter (January 5, 2010)
Buddhism is often thought of in the West as a path of practice firmly embodying self-reliance. Bhaktika introduces us to a book outlining another approach to Buddhist practice: complete reliance on the Buddha Amitabha.
“Shin Buddhism has a long history of scholarship and academic learning — but that won’t be the focus of this book. Instead, I’m just going to talk about Buddhism in the manner that regular Pure Land Buddhists have always approached it; through story, anecdote, reflection — and humor”. Thus states Jeff Wilson in his introduction; in my view this is an accurate description of what is in the can. And as one who identifies as a Pure Land Buddhist I enjoyed and appreciated what I read.
The book comprises some 80 chapters, most of which are one to two pages in length. There is a foreword by Mark and Taitetsu Unno, Shin priests, respected teachers and writers, which locates Jodo Shinsu (Shin) Buddhism in the context of Buddhist history, geography and core teachings. The foreword and the book itself serve as an excellent introduction to the core ideas and the feeling tone of Pure Land Buddhism.