SHIN BUDDHIST SPIRITUALITY

OTHER POWER

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No being exist by virtue of its own effort exclusively. There are myriad forces and influences at work that sustain the lives of all beings. These forces and influences operate independently of any individual effort. 

 

--Robert Orsi

 

 

My existence is itself a living testimony to Other Power…

 

--Yvette Law

 

 

In Pure Land Buddhism, awakening is realizing the limits of self-power and opening oneself to Other Power. Awakening is being liberated from samsara. To me, this awakening is something that happens when you have such an “eye-opening” experience that makes your think about your own life and situation and look beyond it to others.

 

For example, last week, I had a situation where a student showed such extreme anger that it really made me think about how this child was suffering. There was no major trigger tnat set him off, but he could not be pulled around. I stepped back from him in my classroom as he banged on the table, kicked the wall, and bounced in his chair while yelling and felt such compassion for his anger. My focus was totally on how he was feeling and how angry, scared and confused he must be to have the thoughts and actions flowing through his body that he has minimal control over. Why should I worry about a paper that I cannot find when there is such a child that needs my focus?

 

                                                                        -- Diane Lux

 

 

Whatever activity we may carry out in the world, they are not done solely through ourselves. There is an order of things that supports and in a sense works through us. Since our act is our act and is act the same time, not our act, the dichotomy of self power and Other Power is a delusion.

 

--John Brooks

 

 

In pistol shooting, a “surprise break” results in the most accurate shot. One squeezes the trigger slowly, gently and almost imperceptibly, increasingly harder until it releases and the pistol fires. The shooter has not shot the gun, he has let the gun shoot itself. Yet both, the shooter and the gun are required for a successful shot.

 

-- Harry Simonsen

 

Namu Amida Butsu!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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