2018 Volume 67 Issue 1 Pages 120-123
Shinran understood jūnen 十念 as jūnen sōzoku 十念相続 in the Kyōgyōshinshō. In particular, he focused on the aspect of “sōzoku” (Continuing). This phase jūnen sōzoku is from the Commentary on the Treatise and the Collection on the Land of Happiness. Shinran used this term in his discussion of both practice and faith. My suggestion is that we have to understand the meaning of jūnen in Shinran’s thought by considering the relationship between each ichinen 一念 and jūnen sōzoku. From the standpoint of practice, jūnen sōzoku means continuing saying the nenbutsu for life. And from the standpoint of faith, jūnen sōzoku means remaining mindful of the Buddha as shingyō no ichinen 信楽の一念 for life. The reality of ourselves as foolish beings becomes apparent in this shingyō no ichinen. The teachings regarding jūnen sōzoku of faith are a call for us to return continually to this ichinen. The teachings regarding jūnen sōzoku of practice also have this message. Therefore, the significance of jūnen in Shinran’s thought is that it is a call for us to walk the path to Buddhahood by continually returning to shingyō no ichinen for our entire lives.