June 6, 2018 at 10:06 am #2891
Andrew Cheffings (temple host)Participant
I gave this Dharma talk at Amida Mandala Temple on 26th May at the Saturday morning service. Satya asked if I’d put it on the virtual temple, which I am now doing.
The talk is based on a quote from ‘Honen the Buddhist Saint’
“it looks as if the king of the Maras were… incited to greater persecutions. For, after Anraku’s execution, the Emperor’s wrath continued unabated, the faults of the disciples being ascribed to their master, so that (Honen) was deprived of his priest’s license, degraded to the rank of layman, given (a) secular name…, and sentenced to banishment to a distant province… Then Honen said, ‘We must not resent this penalty of exile… Mountains and seas may divide us, but we are sure of meeting again in (the) Pure Land. … I have labored here in the capital these years for the spread of the Nembutsu, and so have long wished to get away to the country to preach to those on field and plain… Now… by the … favour of His Majesty, circumstances have combined to enable me to do so.’
Life has many banishments, both big and small. By following a life of conviction, these are even more bound to occur. Maras, whether real or actualised by other beings may be part of the circumstance of banishment, however, circumstances are also opportunities, opportunities in a new context for the path of conviction.
Circumstances are like currents in a great river. Maras may be part of circumstance but there is something greater, more all-encompassing than Maras: Unlimited, Unbounded Light and Life, illuminating the waters of the great river, from bank to bank, source to estuary, so that wherever the currents of circumstance may carry us, everywhere is equally illuminated by Unbounded Light, equally precious – so, where is the banishment?
In 1919, 17 year old Milton Erickson lay in bed with polio and overheard the doctors in the next room, saying he would be dead by morning. Without saying what he had heard, he asked his family to move the bed and the furniture of the room around, so he could watch his last sunset.
Maybe every apparent banishment can be reframed as an infinitely precious opportunity to participate in the unfolding of Limitless, Unbounded Light.
Namo Amida Bu!
June 6, 2018 at 10:44 am #2892
Acharya Sujatin (temple host)Moderator
Thank you, Andrew. Really like this! NAB
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