The Sacred Story becomes my story the moment when
faith or true entrusting takes root in my heart/mind. We experience spirit and intent of the Sacred Story. The Sacred Story
is an invaluable tool to help our minds to understand the truth of reality that may otherwise be lost in us. That is how it
works for me.
First, Shinran transformed the Sacred Story of
Amida from one that relates the story of one of many Buddhas to an allegory of the nature of reality itself, that quality
which pervades all of life – a concrete representation of the formless, inconceivable reality of life and truth.
Now, in the way of the myth, I have taken idea
of I have used it as my own personal means of making sense of observance out of what is essentially indescribable to inconceivable.
Thus, I can perceive myself as a tiny part of a network of life, being of compassion that stretches to the very limits of
the universe. It is my means of comprehending that which is, in reality, beyond understanding.
Namu Amida Butsu is the juncture of the Great
Compassion within and beyond my perception of self as a separate entity. My practices of faith (complete entrusting in the
wisdom of universe) and gratitude for the richness and vitality of each precious moment, have opened a portal to complete
joy of being within all experience. Why do I get up in the morning when I am bound to experience frustration as things do
not go my way? What is the meaning of life and suffering? When I choose to allow the vastness of the present moment to envelope
me, rather than to claim some small piece of reality as my own, as I would like it., then I am free… free to taste pain,
depths of sadness and boundless joy…I become completely human.
The saying of nembutsu confirms that our finite
lives are part of an infinite life encompassing all beings in all times. Its components are namu, the self, and amida butsu, the boundless, endless life.
-- Harry Simonsen
Saying the nembutsu confirms the boundless life
of compassion that embraces the limited, fearful individual. I often wonder how I am doing on this path to enlightenment.
At other times I am just glad that I’m on the path at all.