I got to do this very cool thing....
I got to do this very cool thing....
If you want to explore Amida Shu Buddhism, why not start by trying our simple practice?
The nembutsu is the core practice for Pureland Buddhists across the world. It is a way of aligning ourselves with the wholesome energy of Amida Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. We do this by saying ‘I entrust myself to Amida Buddha’ in different languages, most often using the phrase: Namo Amida Bu.
In order to start the practice, you don’t need a clear idea of exactly what Amida is or how nembutsu works. To begin with you can see Amida an unfolding wholesome energy, as the spirit that moved the Buddha to live a good life, or as unconditional love. We would encourage you to try it for a week or for 30 days [a free online course is coming soon] and to pay attention to any changes in your mood or in your daily life. If it works for you, keep going!
Nembutsu is a simple practice and it requires no special equipment or specialist knowledge. It doesn’t require the practitioner to study long texts or sign up to any dogmas. It is suitable for those with busy lives, and for those who are struggling with self-destructive habits or with feelings of despondency, anger, sadness or confusion. Nembutsu practice also connects us with the beauty in the world, with gratitude for all we receive and with a more meaningful way of life.
We have a new offering for people who would like to practice and study Amida Shu Buddhism in their local area - Amida Shu Home Groups.
These are local groups which can be run by anyone who is interested in our form of Buddhism. Group leaders will be offered ongoing support from an Amida Shu mentor and a pack of resources, including a suggested script to make setting a group up nice and easy.
Posted by sujatin on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 at 12:11 PM in Amida, Amida Courses, Amida Malvern, Amida Pureland Retreat, Buddhism, Buddhist, Buddhist Practice, Buddhist Teaching, Dharma, Diary, Inspiration, Jnanamati, Kaspalita, News, Pureland Buddhism, Retreats, Satyavani, Whispers from the Bamboo Grove | Permalink | Comments (0)
Meet Poppet, our newly three-legged bunny.
Kaspa and I enjoyed our two week break and at the end of our first day back, a busy volunteer day, I went to feed the much-loved temple bunnies with 3 year old Felix.
It took me a while to notice that Poppet wasn’t coming out of the hutch. When I looked closer I saw the blood, and that her back leg was at a horrible angle underneath her. I won’t go into details but when I picked her up it was a traumatic sight. We think she caught her leg in a slatted chair – I still can’t understand how she broke it so badly.
Felix was amazing and ran to get a grown-up as fast as he could. We rushed off to the emergency out-of-hours vet in Worcester, trying to balance speed with not bumping her around too much. I couldn’t imagine how much pain she was in. The vet said she’d keep her comfortable overnight and then we could take her to our own vet in the morning.
Rabbits are more difficult to treat medically, both because of their size and digestive systems, and because vets don’t get as much experience as they do with cats and dogs. We did some hasty Googling that evening and I spent the night worrying. Would she survive the shock? The anaesthetic? Would they save her leg? What would happen if not?
The next day we said goodbye to her at 10am and waited. It was 3.30pm when the vet called. She’d made it through the op, was eating well, and by 5pm we were asked to come and pick her up.
She’s currently in a temporary pen in the living room with her friend Peter for company (I just went in to check on them – Peter is licking Poppet’s head, and Fatty our old cat is hanging out nearby). She’s already managing to hop around remarkably well, and the prognosis is good.
Whilst waiting for the news I couldn’t concentrate on anything and so I had lots of time to look at the beautiful blue sky and contemplate. Life is so short and unpredictable. Most (all?) of the discomfort I experienced from the time we found Poppet injured was because I wanted thing to be different than they were, and I wanted to be in control. I wasn’t in control of how far away the vets were, or whether or not she was going to stop breathing on the journey. I wasn’t in control of whether she came round after her operation. Of course, I manipulated the situation as much as I could – barking orders at poor Kaspa, interrogating the vet about her surgical skills, beating myself up for leaving the chair in the rabbit’s enclosure – but none of these things made any substantial difference to the outcome.
By the grace of the Buddhas, Poppet has been allowed some more time alive – to flop over and roll in the sunshine, to race up and down the grass, and to snuggle under Peter’s belly.
It’s often in the midst of crisis that we realise how much we take refuge in the things we can’t control. Remembering this, I might do better during the next crisis, but I probably won’t. Instead I can relax, knowing that the Buddhas accept me just as I am, and give thanks. Thanks to the overnight emergency nurse who found & fed Poppet dandelion leaves. Thanks to our vet for her kindness. Thanks to the insurance company for paying most of the £750 it cost. Thanks to Felix for staying calm. Thanks to the supportive friends, the car, the Chinese takeaway we had at the end of a long day, the people who grew the carrot Poppet just munched…
And thank you to you, for reading and for caring. Namo Amida Bu.
Huge thanks to Satya for these:
Nien Fo Book: The service book of the Amida Order
"This is a lovely, gentle introduction to a lesser known (in the west) Buddhist tradition. It gives a user friendly outline of what Pureland Buddhism is and a realistic insight into the lifestyle of devotional religion. The authors use their experience to carry a message of compassion and a deep insight into Human nature as foundational aspects of a revolutionary way of life. An essential read for the Buddhist who wants to look beyond the dogma to the heart of the teaching. Namo Amida Bu!"
~ Adam Dunsby
"An enjoyable and understandable read. Very open, honest, and realistic. Covering day to day temple life and daily experiences, and shared moments of real insight.
Both writers and contributors capture the essence of what is unique in Pureland Buddhism and explain simply the various methods of practice.
A very positive and helpful book with a feeling of real gratitude running throughout."
"This is a very accessible introduction to Pureland Buddhism and an open account of life in a temple. Factual information is clear and never dry, and this alternates with personal experiences which are always honest. The overall impression is of warmth and acceptance - a must read for Buddhists, non Buddhists and the spiritually curious."
~ Amazon customer
For those of you who couldn't join us, I wanted to give you all a taste of our two weeks of retreat in Bessait-Le-Fromental at Dharmavidya's hermitage, Eleusis. We were an international bunch - the group was Ganendra (Spain), Modgala, Kaspa, Satya, Adam and Caroline (UK), Prajna and James (Canada), Jan (Hawaii), and Maitrisimha, Annetta, and Floor and Jnanamati (the Hague).
Our first week was a Nei Quan retreat and Dharmavidya asked us to pay attention to any thoughts and feelings which arose during practice or times writing in our journals, chasing them and examining them rather than letting them go. We gave daily 'reports' of our findings to Dharmavidya in front of the group which was helpful for individuals and stimulated thought for the rest of the group. Many of us felt great personal shifts, held by Dharmavidya, the daily practice, the group and the beautiful setting.
The second week was the Order retreat which coincided with a heatwave and so we held most of our meetings in the shade under the walnut tree rather than in the stifling attic room! We heard reports of Amida sanghas in India, Malvern, London, Canada, the Hague, Belgium and Spain. The Order retreat is also a time when those who run groups can get support from others in a similar position, and share ideas and experiences.
We were cooked delicious food by Jnanamati, Adam and Floor, and enjoyed much good conversation over the washing up table, going on walks and gathered by the wall in the evening with a cup of chicory. We also enjoyed a swim!
Maybe we'll see you next year... If you'd like to visit before then to volunteer for Dharmavidya in the house or garden, get in touch with Jnanamati for more information.
Namo Amida Bu.
Reverend Satyavani, secretary for the Order
Dates for your Diary - retreats led by Dharmavidya
There are three opportunities to attend a retreat led Dharmavidya over the coming year - do put them in your diaries.
Tues 8th - Sun 13th December 2015 - Bodhi Retreat, Malvern
(12th - all day chanting, 13th - ceremonies)
For more information, look here
Tues 31st May - Saturday 4th June 2016 - Retreat in Malvern
(you can attend part or all of the retreat)
Tues 28th June - Sat 2nd July
Mon 4th July - Fri 8th July 2016
Retreats in Dharmavidya's hermitage, France
More information to follow
Namo Amida Bu
Culturally Engaged Buddhism
Friends of the Amida Order
Posted by sujatin on Thursday, 29 January 2015 at 06:50 PM in Amida, Amida Academy, Amida around the world, Amida Courses, Amida Hawai'i, Amida India, Amida London, Amida Malvern, Amida Newcastle, Amida Pureland Retreat, Amida Sangha, Amida Scotland, Dharmavidya, Eleusis, Friends of Amida, Jnanamati, Kaspalita, News, Pureland Buddhism, Retreats, Satyavani, Susthama, Whispers from the Bamboo Grove | Permalink | Comments (0)