The Nembutsu, the Name of Amida Buddha, expands
religious consciousness because it is comprehensive as well as inclusive. It is the center without horizon, a center of wholeness.
It expands consciousness because the Name of Amida expands the entire universe, from atoms to the galaxies.
The Name of Amida is a symbolic name for
the Ultimate Reality of the universe. The Name represents the Great Compassion of the universe. The Name encompasses
all realities; the Tao, God, alpha and omega and Allah are all encompassed in Amida
[The Nembutsu], the Name of Amida, is a mediator,
a channel whereby the human spirit comes into immediate contact and oneness with that source (our ultimate source of existence)
in the midst of false and delusive consciousness which obscures it. The Name of Amida is not a signpost for any one thing
– it is a gateway to the inconceivable mystery, the foundation of existence, which is utterly “beyond the grasp
of reason.” When I recite the Name in earnest, I open my heart to infinite possibility. My own futile attempts to free
myself from suffering – my mental gymnastics – pale in comparison. “Drop the story line,” I warn myself.
“Drop the regret… the anxiety… the strife… just drop it.” What is left is nothing. Said or unsaid,,
it is Amida.