People often think that renouncing the world means to turn away from the world as it is and live in personal bliss. However, renouncing the world has a different meaning to me, particularly in relation to the nembutsu.
Though I accept the reality of the world, I renounce or reject the idea that it MUST be the way it is.
In brief, I reject the idea that we must live in a world dominated by greed, hate, and delusion. I affirm a better world, a pure land, where all are welcome and none live in fear. The image of the Pure Land of Amida guides me in doing what I can to make this world a little better. For me, the love, grace, generosity, and compassion inherent in every utterance of the nembutsu is a rebellion against the the very system that locks us all in conflict and turmoil.
Namo Amida Bu
Image from the Shaw Institute