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April 2017

Newsletter 22 Two meetings in May 2017

The next dates for your diary -
inviting you to Pureland Buddhist evenings in Perth
on
Tuesdays 2 and 30 May
 2017

The evening of 2 May will include a gentle guided
Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation for Relaxation.

 

Note: No meetings in June

Time: 7 - 9 pm
Venue: 'Taigh an t-Solais'
19 Fairmount Terrace
Barnhill
Perth
PH2 7AS

Details of where to find us are :: here

Note: Meetings are open to all.
No experience necessary.

Come along and join us - and bring your friends!
All meetings include Pureland Buddhist practice, tea and biscuits, and time to check in with each other. Our evenings may include guided meditation, art and music. From time to time other members of the Amida Order will visit us.

While there's no cost for these meetings, we welcome donations for Amida Shu projects in Delhi and the UK. Suggested amount between £2 and £5.

This is :: our website 

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Amida Shu Pureland Buddhism:
Faith and World Peace 2

The Gate of Contrition

Contemplating the sun of wisdom we see dark clouds trailing across its pure drum-like disc.

Commentary:

A common form of Pure Land meditation is to visualise the white disc of the setting sun. As we do so we are aware of trailing clouds obscuring part of its radiance. These represent the obscurations in our own nature (kleshas).

The main obstacle to our ability to bring peace to others is the lack of peace within ourselves. We would like to bring peace to all sentient beings, but often enough, we cannot even bring peace to our own family or even to ourselves. Some other schools of Buddhism, therefore, assert that one must become enlightened before one can be any use to others. This, however, is a doctrine of despair. The Amida Buddhist is well aware of his or her own imperfect nature and sees no immediate likelihood of entering into supreme enlightenment by his or her own efforts. 

Yet, in the meantime, all around, beings are “drowning in samsara’s ocean”. To put off compassionate action even for a moment cannot be in accord with the Buddha way. We have to accept, therefore, that we are going to work for world peace even before we have achieved peace within ourselves.

In order to do so, however, we must be acutely aware of the clouds across the sun: we must realise that our wisdom is far from perfect and even our best efforts are going to be flawed in many ways. To the best of our ability we will try to assist the work of the Buddhas as though we were bottom grade apprentices just beginning to learn the bodhisattva trade from the example and instructions of those who have gone before us on the path.

Shan Tao therefore advocated the supreme importance of contrition. Since we have been wandering in samsara we have accumulated untold karmic obstacles. We ourselves are part of the problem. Accepting the reality of the state we have been bequeathed by our past, we can voluntarily take responsibility for it, and yet, in accordance with the teaching of Shakyamuni, realise that “I am not that”.

The way to make an act of contrition is as follows:

All the harm committed by me

Is due to beginningless greed, hate and delusion,

The work of my body, speech and mind:

I now confess everything wholeheartedly

And resolve to begin anew.

The way to realise “I am not that” is to give up reliance upon self and resolve, instead, to live in faith.

Just as greed, hate and delusion flow through the world like the wind and the tide, so wisdom and compassion are also ever present like the sun and the moon. Just as our little nature is always at work in its hurt and meanness, so the vows of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are measureless, inexhaustible and reliable. We can turn to them even while knowing that we ourselves are still far from the state of purity.
 

Dharmavidya David Brazier, Head of the Order of Amida Buddha

NAMO AMIDA BU