Rev'd Sujatin pointed out this interview in Tricycle to me. I thought followers of this site might be interested. Taitetsu Unno is a Shin Preist based in the U.S. and known for his writing on Pureland Buddhism. In the interview he talks about the impossibility of giving up 'self' through one's own power, and the paradox that when one gives up trying to give up liberation can happen.
He also talks about how he feels about Buddhism in the U.S. and the need to mature teachers and the overemphsis on meditation:
... The temple of modern life requires moments of silent meditation, but that’s not the goal of Buddhism. We were in Japan for six months recently, and while there I was reading articles and essays written by Buddhist laypeople and monks. The very distinguished abbot of a huge Zen monastery wrote this little article that said, “In Zen, there are only three things. First, cleaning. Second, chanting. And third, devotion. That’s all.” Many Americans go to Zen hoping to get enlightened, but they don’t want to do the cleaning. It’s very demanding and rigorous. You get up at 3:00 A.M. - and you not only sweep the floor, but you have to mop it. On your knees, you know? And then you have to chant, for an hour in the morning and an hour at night. You can understand why a bright young American boy would say, “What am I wasting my time for? I want to get enlightened.” But enlightenment can be manifested only in the daily chores of cleaning and sweeping and polishing - and chanting and devotion.
Welcome to the Light of Amida website. The Light of Amida is the name for the Amida Trust programme of retreats and religious training, facilated by the Amida Order.
The Light of Amida is also a reference to the unilimited wisdom and love of Amida Buddha which shines upon each of us individially and upon all of us. Amida Buddha is particually important to Pureland Buddhists, and it's within the Pureland tradition that we practice.
Be creative with your life. Amida will inspire you. Amida Trust is both a dedicated Pureland Sangha and also a wide and creative network of spiritually inclined ordinary people from many orientations. Out of this rich diversity has arisen devotional, inspirational, educational, social, community, campaigning, and cultural projects.