Buddhist Beliefs, Practices and Experiences

Awakening

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My Life is Buddha’s Life

 

According to Shin Buddhism, your practice does not lead you to attain realization or liberation but is the manifestation of the enlightened life or liberation, of Amida herself. This is because, through the Primal Vow, as expressed in the Sacred Story, the One Life or buddhaverse, as first coined by Dr. Robert Thurman, has already unconditionally created the enlightened life or spiritual liberation, for suffering beings like ourselves. Hence, you have nothing to offer or add to your spiritual enlightenment. Just become aware of it. Be as you are! The buddhaverse accepts you as you are unconditionally.  Let Amida, as the one Life, take your hands out of your eyes so you can see things as they truly are and not what you think they may be. You do not have to live in darkness and suffering anymore.

 

Simply, by just changing your attention or perspective from viewing yourself as a finite and limited wave on the ocean of Life, destined to suffer and eventually to die, to experiencing yourself as the infinite and deathless Ocean of Life and Light, then and only then, will you be able to see yourself as you really are and be liberated from the spiritual ignorance that holds us in the bondage of separation and fear. When you learn about and truly realize your true ocean-like nature, then and only then will you realize that you are Buddha and intuitively know that you with everything else are truly eternal and everlasting. This is the nature of enlightenment available to all regardless of class, race, gender, age, moral status, sexual orientation or even religious belief.

 

How can the shinjin experience be described? When you voice the nembutsu-Namu-Amida-Butsu, it is the Life who is really voicing the nembutsu. Ippen Shonin wrote, “Say the nembutsu, and there is neither Buddha nor self: there is only the voicing of Namu-Amida-Butsu.” When you practice deep hearing, it is the Buddha who hears the rhythm of the buddhaverse. When you chant, it’s the universe calling unto itself. When you put your palms together, you are cradling the universe. When you bow with another person, it is the countless galaxies, multitudes of worlds and beings bowing with you. When you do zazen, it is the true expression of the awakened life that is already embedded within your relative life. When you get up in the morning, it’s the Buddha who gets up in the morning etc, etc.  T.S Eliot commented on the non-dual experience when we wrote the following verse.

 

“Music heard so deeply

It is not heard at all

And you are the music

While the music lasts.”

 

When you embody the cosmic music, you will be transmuted into the music. This is shinjin as the experience of awakening. This is the reality of Oneness that is the intimate, non-dual and interconnected boundless web of life. The working of the tariki or Natural Power is everyday life. It is our life, it is Buddha’s life and it is your life too

 

 

 
 
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Copyright 2006. G.R. Lewis, All Rights Reserved

The author grants permission to copy this document for personal uses only.