Friday, June 17, 2011

Only sitting with Amida

I would like to share with you a poem I wrote today, having got the inspiration of it yesterday evening before I nod off to sleep. It combines an understanding of Soto Zen, Mahamudra and Jodoshinshu. Yesterday (thursday) morning, I woke up with a dream that explains that no matter what we practice, gradual or sudden enlightenment, no matter what our Buddhist lineage/ school, we need the grace or blessings of the Buddha. I was at a house on top of a hill and there is only one long winding road that leads to the foothill, where my car was. I could either walk the long way down but the road is long and along the way, there are fierce dogs. Or I could climb down the hill vertically but risk injury or death should I fall. Then I thought of a 3rd way. The host of the house could take me down by riding on his motorbike.Then I woke up. I knew that the dream was a good explanation of how Amitabha's vows work. It also reminded me of the time when I was in Nepal more than a year ago and there was a public strike in Kathmandu. There was no taxi to go to the airport. Thankfully the host of the hotel I was staying at offered me a ride in his motorbike. But along the way I saw many others had to walk the long way and dragging their luggage along. I was lucky. I am thankful to the host of Shambala Village Resort for going the extra mile for me. So, to those Christian evangelists out to convert Buddhists, it is not true that Buddhism does not have any grace. We have lots of grace, not only from Amitabha Buddha, but also from the entire Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times.

And the day before (Wednesday morning woke up), the day after Sakadawa, I dreamt I was at a temple with many monks and nuns. They are of all traditions of Buddhism, but mostly are Eastern Mahayana monks. There were some chanting/ prayer going on. It was auspicious to dream of this at the last night of Sakadawa. And this morning, I remember I dreamt of a flying horse that appeared at a ceremony hosted by my mother at a temple. Very strange. Anyway, those are just dreams. Here's the poem.

Only sitting with Amida
No matter what we practice,
Whether Shikantaza or Mahamudra,
Abandoning the hope of enlightenment,
There is no seeking.
Observing the mind with clarity,
There is only sitting
For all sentient beings.
With faith and gratitude,
Amida's Vows deliver all
In nine grades.
Namu Amida Butsu...

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