The Way of Oneness is one of the most basic Buddhist principles and pervades all Buddhist thought. Rooted in the original teachings of Gautama Buddha, this presentation of the Way of Oneness has its origins in the Japanese Mahayana tradition. This open, eclectic approach concentrates on individual spiritual growth rather than on any particular sectarian dogma. This is our emphasis because we believe that it will also make sense to those who may not come from a culture with Buddhist philosophy already ingrained.
The Way of Oneness is the non-dual, non-dichotomized method of every day spiritual awareness focusing on the universal teachings of the Buddha. It is togetherness with the Suchness of Life. Transcending all labels and concepts. Beyond ego and self calculations.
This lineage summary offers a brief explanation of the teachers and traditions whose influence and teachings helped develop the unique approach of the
Bright Dawn's interpretation of the Way of Oneness.
The lineage represents a rich tradition of historic and modern thinkers who taught the Dharma in a language and style accessible to all.
The Way of Oneness is based upon consistent descriptions by Rev. Gyomay Kubose's approach of emphasizing non-dualism and non-dichotomy of life, focusing on the Universal Life that underlies each person's individual life. This presentation and particular emphasis is unique to Bright Dawn Center's approach to Buddhism and spirituality.
The Way of Oneness was developed as a uniquely American Buddhist approach to everyday spiritual life.
The Bright Dawn Lineage has its origins in the Japanese Mahayana tradition. Specifically the Zen and Jōdo Shinshū traditions of Japanese Buddhism.
Jōdo Shinshū , a distinctly Japanese denomination of Buddhism, was revolutionary in its focus on making Buddhism available to all people. Prior to that in Japan, Buddhism was largely reserved for the highly-educated elite. Jōdo Shinshū teaches that the insights of the Dharma are accessible by everyone.
Zen Buddhism has been a part of the Buddhist tradition of many different countries and cultures. Zen focuses on the importance of seeing the world and one's self as they truly are. One of the methods used when striving to obtain this correct vision is meditation.
However, our lineage teachers, although also trained in Zen practice and method, came directly from the Jōdo Shinshū tradition.
Jōdo Shinshū (浄土真宗, "True Pure Land School"), also known as Shin Buddhism, is a school of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded by the former Tendai Japanese monk Shinran. Today, Shin Buddhism is considered the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan.
The Seven Patriarchs of Jōdo Shinshū
The Seven Patriarchs of Jōdo Shinshū were seven Buddhist monks who helped to develop Pure Land Buddhism over time.
The Seven Patriarchs, in order are:
1. Nagarjuna (2nd-3rd century CE), India
2. Vasubandhu (4th century), India
3. Tan-luan (476-542), China
4. Tao-cho (562-645), China
5. Shan-tao (613-681), China
6. Genshin (942-1017), Japan
7. Hōnen, also known as Genku (1133-1212), Japan
Shinran Shonin (1173-1262) , founder of Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism, established a lineage for Pure Land Buddhist thought that traced all the way to the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. Between the Buddha and Shinran, the Seven Patriarchs each contributed to Pure Land Buddhism at different eras and different regions of the world, as was summarized in the Jōdo Shinshū hymn, the Shoshinge. Shinran also frequently quoted the writings and commentaries of the Patriarchs in his major work, the Kyogyoshinsho.
Honganji Temples 本願寺
The Honganji Temple (lit. "Temple of the Original Vow") was founded in 1321 as the head temple of the Jōdō-shinshū (浄土真宗 ; "True Pure Land") sect of Buddhism. The temple was built next to the mausoleum of Shinran (1173-1262), founder of the sect.
Nishi Honganji was established as a temple in 1321.-- Higashi Honganji was established in 1602.
Rev. Manshi Kiyozawa was a Japanese Shin Buddhist reformer of samurai background who studied at Tokyo University in Western philosophy under the American philosopher Ernest Fenollosa. Many Shin scholars feel that Kiyozawa's viewpoints are comparable to the religious existentialism of Europe. Many Higashi Honganji scholars trace their line of thought to Manshi Kiyozawa, including such men as Haya Akegarasu 1877-1954, Daiei Kaneko 1881-1976, Ryojin Soga 1875-1971 and Shuichi Maida 1906-1967. Some of his essays were translated into English, and have found a Western readership.
Rev. Haya Akegarasu 1877-1954