Jodo Shinshu Buddhism is welcoming, open, and holds no secrets. Yet, some people follow a “secret” kind of Shinshu, off-limits to outsiders.
Such groups existed ever since Shinshu’s founder Shinran Shonin’s time. Called by various names, including “hiji bōmon” (secret dharma) and urahōmon (hidden teachings), members follow a tight-lipped tradition of closed-door gatherings, obscure rituals, evangelical-like sermons, and teachings considered heretical by major Shinshu denominations. Noted Buddhist scholar D.T. Suzuki reputedly as a child underwent a secret dharma ritual, following his mother, who was a member. Such groups still are active today in Japan. Continue reading “Secret Shinshu”