sculpting the buddha within

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“Sculpting the Buddha Within is a thorough account of the vibrant life and work of Shinjo Ito, the innovator behind the Japanese Buddhist school Shinnyo-en, which recasts ancient spiritual lineages to meet the needs of contemporary practitioners. It’s also a story of regeneration and the courage to move forward with new paradigms in the modern era.” —Helen Tworkov, founder, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review


The Life and Thought of Shinjo Ito

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Sculpting the Buddha Within is the first major biography of Shinjo Ito, the founder of the Shinnyo-en tradition of Buddhism and one of the twentieth century’s most innovative spiritual teachers. Ito was schooled in Shingon, the millennium-old esoteric Buddhism of Japan, and used that as the basis for developing a unique lay practice grounded in the principles and concepts of the Mahayana version of the Nirvana Sutra.

Ito’s wish was to help his practitioners see their own potential for goodness so that they, too, would be inspired to work diligently to shape and give form to their inner buddha. Rather than encouraging his followers to believe in a fixed system of practice or beliefs, Ito taught how to live life in accordance with one’s buddha nature—and the gratitude, creativity, and happiness latent within it.

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