The nembutsu is the core practice for Pure Land 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 Japanese: 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 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.