Amida Pureland Buddhism
How lovely to meet you last weekend - such a tender retreat!
So - the Amida Scotland news is that there is no news - or, at least, no concrete news - just yet. However there will be more Amida Pureland Buddhist activity in Scotland in 2015.
There'll be a small temple in my new home in Perth similar to the one I ran in Newcastle for 14 years - a 'home temple', which is quite traditional in Pureland Buddhism. I'll teach and offer opportunities for more Pureland practice - chanting, walking, music, some dancing, some art events - in a warm and welcoming space so we can share and support each other in our spiritual journeys. I also hope to teach in Edinburgh sometimes. Other members of the Amida sanghas around the UK, and maybe further afield, will visit from time to time and there's a whisper of Dharmavidya visiting Scotland again, maybe in 2016.
So I look forward to seeing you again
in the not too distant future.
In the meantime here are links that you might be interested in exploring:
This is the
where you can link with others around the world and find special interest groups, blog posts and discussions, past 'Whispers from the Bamboo Grove' occasional newsletters and 'Running Tide', the Amida magazine.
Sign up :: here
to receive the
'Whispers from the Bamboo Grove'
newsletter, which comes out, usually, every 1 to 3 months.
You'll find past newsletters :: here
Introduction to Pureland Buddhism
:: information here
Event: Friendship on the Path
Retreat with Dharmavidya David Brazier,
Amida Mandala, Malvern
February 24 - 28, 2015
:: details here
Event: Pilgrimage: "In the Footsteps of the Buddha"
March 15 - 30, 2015
:: details here
:: more information on the pilgrimage website here
You can find out about Dharmavidya's centre in France
and you can join the Eleusis network
This is :: a link to to the
Zen Therapy International (ITZI)
Event: ITZI Conference
25 - 27 September, 2015
:: link to website
Amida Buddhism: Why Chant?
Everything in life depends upon causes and conditions. Set up the right conditions and the right things happen. Buddhism teaches the right conditions for spiritual growth. A person is what they do. If a person acts with right intention they transform spiritual dangers into opportunities. Buddha taught that times of change (birth, illness, loss, gain, conjunction, separation, and encounter) are occasions of danger that can also be opportunity. However, a person is seldom able to take hold of such opportunity by their will-power alone. Will-power alone tends to be self-defeating because even when it achieves something it gives rise to pride over and attachment to those results. There is a more effective and subtle path to wholesome transformation via the deeper mind and the most effective way of activating such change is to chant.
Actions are conditioned by mind and mind by actions. Since actions are conditioned by mind and mind is also conditioned by its objects, holding a wholesome object in mind conduces toward a wholesome life. Since the most wholesome object is a Buddha, keeping a Buddha in mind is the key to transformation. Since mind is conditioned by actions, the action of calling the Buddha deeply impresses this most wholesome object upon the mind, like a seal pressed into wax. The Buddhas are constantly trying to help us, but generally we resist their help. By calling out to them we open the door to our inner being through which they can help us and, through us, help others.
Actually, the Buddhas are always calling to us. Amida Buddha is calling each of us. Amida’s light penetrates the deepest part of us, but unless we also call we remain closed. Once we begin a practice of chanting, however, a process of transformation begins. Something subtle starts to happen. Each person who chants becomes a vehicle for Amida’s compassionate work in the world, whether they are aware of it or not. Mostly, in fact, one is not aware of Amida’s action until one looks back over a period of time and sees that one’s life has changed. One has become more positive and more effective in many ways and obstacles that used to seem big now seem manageable or small. We do not chant in order to change. We do not chant in order to help others. We chant in order to call the most loving presence into our life and to make ourselves available to it, but the effect is that we do change and others are benefited.
Posted on November 26, 2008
~ Dharmavidya David Brazier, Head of the Amida Order
NAMO AMIDA BU