Dharmavidya's Seasonal Message
December 18th, 2013
Peace to each and all.
Posted on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 at 04:31 PM in Amida Pureland Retreat, Amida Sangha, amidashu, Buddhism, Buddhist, Ceremony, Dharma, Dharma Talks, Dharmavidya, Friends of Amida, Inspiration, Modgala, News, Pastoral Letter , Pureland Buddhism, Retreats, Susthama, Whispers from the Bamboo Grove, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
| | |
If you wish to grow in spirit, give yourself first to contrition. Do not think of this as a burden, but as liberation. Put yourself in the position of the other and inquire deeply. Then a change of heart may arise naturally and the energy of enlightenment will flow in your veins like the nectar of bitter-sweet tears.
Here is an ancient verse. Please take it to heart:
All the harm committed by meIs due to beginningless greed, hate and delusionAll this is the work of my body, speech and mindI now confess everything wholeheartedlyAnd resolve to begin anew
Kaspa & Fiona have taken over my blog for today, because they need our help.
They are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world through writing. They are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of June.
For their fantasy wedding present, they are asking people across the world to write them a ‘small stone’ and post it on their blogs or on Facebook or Twitter.
A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more about small stones here.
If you’re willing to help, we’d love you to do things:
1) Re-post this blog on your own blog any time before June the 18th and give your readers a chance to hear about what we’re doing. You can simply copy and paste the text, or you can find the html here.
2) Write us a small stone on our wedding day whilst we’re saying our vows and eating cake, post it on your blog, and send it to us.
You can find out more about our project at our website, Wedding Small Stones, and you can also read our blog at A River of Stones.
We also have a July challenge coming soon, when we’ll be challenging you to notice one thing every day during July and write it down.
Thank you for listening, and we hope we’ll be returning from our honeymoon to an inbox crammed with small stones, including yours.
Kaspa & Fiona
Every year during the Bodhi Retreat (the most important event in the Amida year), which is held at Amida's Buddhist House, Narborough, we chant the Nembutsu continuously for a period of time. We will be chanting the Nembutsu for 72 hours and would like to invite you to come and participate/experience some or all of it. The aim will be to keep it going for 72 hours between all of us therefore we do not expect anyone to chant continuously without taking any breaks. The practise will be shared and so people are welcome to dip in and out according to their needs for rest and food.
It would be lovely if you could join us. Along with the three days of chanting there will be special ceremonies on the 9th.
Noon 1st to noon 4th December
72 hour continuous nembutsu chanting
Sunday 5th December
Refuge and Admission Ceremonies for people becoming or confirming their Buddhist commitment or entering or confirming membership of the Amida-shu.
Evening session of Other Power Life Dance
Monday 6th December
Day of Silent Contemplation (Quan)
Tuesday 7th December
Meetings for Practice, Devotion, Sharing and Instruction
8th December - Bodhi Day
Ceremonies for Ordination, Admission to the Amida Order, or Admission to Aspirancy or Postulancy.
The retreat is a wonderful occasion for entering into the heart of the sangha, its community and its practice.
Please pay for your accommodation and give a suitable donation toward the work of the Trust and the Order. Thank you.
Dharmavidya writes: On the evening of 14th November seven members of the Amida Mosaic Sangha took refuge. This marks a big step forward in the development of the Amida-shu on this side of the Atlantic. Congratulations to all these wonderful pioneers. Afterwards we had another party !!
On the 9th December 2009, in an historic and beautiful ceremony presided over by Dharmavidya at the Buddhist House, Narborough, the following good people took various vows, refuges, precepts, new responsibilities and spiritual commitments as follows:
Prasada became an Acharya;
Modgala became an Acharya;
Sujatin became an Acharya;
Rachel Abel became an Order Member and was ordained as a Ganko-sha with the name Amita Kuvalaya;
Orna Matri became an Order Member and was ordained as a Ganko-sha with the name Amita Pundarika;
Yaakov Matri became an Order Member and was ordained as a Ganko-sha with the name Amita Vimalashri;
Massimo D'Alessandro became a Postulant;
Simon Williams became a Postulant;
Madrakara Albiges became an Aspirant;
Tony Danford became an Aspirant;
Dawn Hart became an Aspirant;
Zee-Zee Heine became an Aspirant;
Madrakara Albiges took the Five Precepts;
Zee-Zee Heine took the Ten Precepts;
Annetta de Quaasteniet was admitted as a member of the Amida-shu;
Bruce Coleman took the Five Refuges;
Brandon Haywood took the Five Refuges;
Dean Haywood took the Five Refuges;
Richard Ollier took the Five Refuges.
On the following day, the 10th December 2009, in a ceremony at the Buddhist House presided over by Sujatin, the good person and new Postulant Simon Williams was admitted as a member of the Amida-shu.
Namo Amida Bu
video of highlights
Ah, so Buddhism wasn't left out, after all!
Lama Surya Das passed on this fascinating bit. Richard Blum, who is the husband of California Senator Diane Feinstein, also happens to be a major supporter of Buddhism. He was up on the platform during the swearing in.
Beforehand, he told Barack Obama that he had with him a white khata -- a silk Tibetan scarf -- given him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Blum described what happened next in a letter to an associate of the Dalai Lama:
"I offered it to President Obama before the ceremony. I said that I could get it delivered to him later. He said, no, that he was going to take it and have it with him; in fact, it was in his pocket when he was sworn-in."
What's the significance? Lama Surya Das, one of the nation's leading Buddhist monks/teachers, explains: