Pundarika – Valerie’s story

                   Amazing Journey to JodoShinshu – I now ‘ GET IT ‘


Pundarikas – rare White Lotus Flowers that rose from the mud of blind passions…

All mundane foolish persons whether good or evil
Having heard and entrust in the Universal Vow of The Tathagata
The Buddha called them persons of vast excellent understanding
Who are also named by people as ‘Pundarikas’.


With the encouragement of Paul who is the moderator for the On-line Sangha – True Shin Buddhism Yahoo Group, Valerie shares her amazing story of her search for a Way that will free her permanently from all pain and suffering. Her good karma from the past ripened when she joined the On-line Sangha in May 2010 and in a short period of about three months, she had cleared all her doubts, gratefully saying – Thank You – I now ‘get it’.

Relating her wonderful journey she wrote…..


Several years ago when I first visited the True Shin Buddhism (TSB) website, I identified as a Nichiren Buddhist (SGI), although that path of Buddhism was no longer working for me.  I was raised a Christian, but I had been a seeker all my life, exploring various paths within (and outside) of Christianity. A year or so previous to this, I had heard about Shin Buddhism, and decided to investigate it. However, due to the confusion caused by the modernist teachings of the Shin authors I read (Unno, Bloom, Tanaka,etc.), I lost interest and turned back to Nichiren Buddhism (SGI). However, I continued to be disillusioned by various things happening in the SGI at that time. So, I decided to give Shin Buddhism another try.

Now, looking back, I can see Amida working behind the scene, directing my path and directing me to the TSB website. The wonderful news I discovered there was that Shin was EXACTLY what I initially hoped it was (before I encountered the modernists’ false teachings) – a teaching of real salvation by a real, living Buddha. Over the next few months I eagerly read all the posts in the TSB archives, as well as articles from the Shin Ugly Blog, Josho Adrian Cirlea’s website. I particularly found Paul Roberts’ teaching of the Three Pillars of True Shin Buddhism to be a real eye-opener for me – the basics of Shin Buddhism were presented in a clear and understandable manner which made complete sense to me.

During the time I was reading this literature, which kept repeating the true teachings of our Dharma Masters, I came to realize that my deepest aspiration was to become a Buddha. I also came to the conclusion that I was utterly unable to save myself. I had actually known this, deep inside, for some time. All along my spiritual journey (through Christianity, Hare Krishna, and Nichiren Buddhism) I was never able to truly believe that these teachings would really enable me to achieve any kind of permanent spiritual result.  All the same, I did believe that there was something real out there that I had been searching for my whole life – I had just given up hope of finding it! I was tired of seeking and never seeming to find, trying one path after another.

Thanks to the true Dharma teachings I encountered, I came to believe in a real Amida (saviour), a real Pure Land, and a real future (to become a Buddha). Now for the first time the concepts of Buddhahood and enlightenment made sense, as did the Vow to save all beings.  I decided to entrusted myself to Amida, just as I was, with all my baggage. My karma was obviously ripe at that point – I completely gave up on other paths/practices and asked Amida to rescue me and to bring me to the Pure Land.  I asked Him to show me any doubts that I may be harbouring. That was all I could do. I felt confident that Amida would give me the gift of Shinjin in His time and I wasn’t going to worry about it.

Now I know that He has grasped me and that I am among those who have reached the stage of non-regression. I have peace and am not interested in “being a seeker” anymore. When I think about Amida and his salvation, I experience joy and gratitude. I realize now that Amida had been leading me my whole life, when I didn’t even know about Him, so he is fully capable of leading me to the Pure Land.  I can now just live my natural life as a bombu, with its normal ups and downs.

Val Whelan


Thank you Valerie for sharing your amazing journey and your profound understanding of Master Shinran’s pristine Amida Dharma. Other seekers, thirsty for the water of True Liberation, would certainly benefit from your experience and one whose karma has ripened will be fully quenched by The Call of Boundless Compassion.

NAMO AMIDA BUTSU   南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛


Home Page – The Call Of Boundless Compassion

Page 2 – The Primal Vow

Page 3 – Gatha Of True Faith