When I feel the working of infinite compassion
and experience deep gratitude for this life, the Buddha Dharma is brought to vivid reality by the saying of the nembutsu as
a spontaneous response. As we awaken to the profound working of infinite compassion, we understand that the Buddha Dharma
is a “fluid aspect of dynamic reality that is constantly becoming.” Because nothing is fixed or final, the limited,
imperfect self, just as it is, can be transformed into a being of supreme enlightenment. This is a truly profound and humbling
realization. It never fails to fill me with a deep feeling of gratitude and joy.
How does I experience the Buddha Dharma? Merely
by saying the nembutsu! In this way I am liberated from self-delusion and I become aware of my human limitations, accepting
myself and others as they are.
“Although Shin doesn’t ask that we
become “wise, better, or more perfect,” it asks us to accept reality as it is while recognizing our human limitations
and imperfections. We must realize the boundless compassion within us.
-- Diane Lux
It is in that deepest, darkest time of despair
that Namu Amida Butsu becomes most available to me, (though it is always with me
but I do not realize it).
I am at my most vulnerable and therefore most
open to the unlimited and non-discriminating Boundless Light and Compassion when I am touched by the profound depth of my sadness, anger and anxiety. In these exposed moments, I know that I could have gone
down a path in which I would be taken advantage of -- to be brainwashed and to be convinced by someone else—this is
how cults recruit people.
Butsu is not a prayer or mantra to make me “feel” better or make “it” go away, it is self acceptance
of me, as I am, at my most inspired or my darkest moments.
Our so called “faults” are what grounds
us. It is out of confusion that makes Namu Amida Butsu what it is, through us –
as we are.
The Nembutsu is the expression of joy and gratitude
for my life.
The Great Mystery is so beyond me, beyond
my comprehension that I stand in awe and I allow the Great Compassion to embrace me.