How are you getting on?

Site-Wide Activity Forums Shrine Room 30 Days of Nembutsu How are you getting on?

This topic contains 73 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew Cheffings (temple host) 9 hours, 59 minutes ago.

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  • #2218

    This thread is where you can share your experience so far – have you started practising nembutsu yet? Which chant are you using? When/where are you doing it? How does it feel? You can check in as often as you like.

  • #2311

    The 1st of November. So good to read everyone’s introductions on the intro thread – if you haven’t written yours yet, do go here, and do reply to other people & say hello by pressing ‘reply’ at the top of their intros.

    I am away on writing retreat and this morning I did my five minutes of nembutsu sitting in front of my little travel Buddha, thinking of you all. I’m excited to hear how you all get on this month and hope you’ll post here from time to time, or here if you have any questions about the practice or Buddhism.

    Let’s go. Namo Amida Bu!

  • #2312

    Jules
    Participant

    Yesterday from a different site I downloaded some chant charts. I have only heard some from a U-tube video. I have not had the opportunity to look at the chants from your introduction.

    I did however read the introduction and day post and will be using the quotes as an inspiration for daily writing. I had to get up early for an unexpected reason. So I will be unable to officially begin any practice yet – until my home is quiet once again. I will also be away from home for half of the month and will just attempt to do my best.

    I did pen my verse (which I will post later on my blog):

    “Love. Of all things least illusory.” ~ Franz Wright

    cloud covers the sky
    like a rheumy eye; the stars
    still exist like … love

    ~Jules

  • #2315

    Susie Nott-Bower
    Participant

    Jules, I like your idea of writing during this process. 🙂

    I sat for the first time today in front of my wooden Buddha statue with a lighted candle and did the singing chant. It takes me a while to pick up a tune, but I’m getting there. It felt good to make a choice for calm today.

  • #2318

    I usually do a silent Nembutsu chant as my daily practice (well, several, at different times). Sometimes I do continuous Nembutsu out loud. As part of this months practice, I will endeavour to do an out-loud practice daily. I started this morning after breakfast (following my usual morning silent Nembutsu). I’m doing the sung chant quite slowly and with longer breath gaps as I want to let the breath in at its own pace and really fill my lungs when I’m practicing on my own. This quote from Kaspa’s email sums up how I’m feeling right now about the practice:  It relaxes my attempts at controlling what can’t be controlled – my mind, the world. It is love. Well, that’s something I’m working on, anyway!

  • #2320

    Nati
    Participant

     

    I like to practice in the morning, before lunch, because, in that moment, the house is quiet and I have finished my morning duties. It is easier for me to mantain regularity at that time.

    I made my formal practice in front of the little shrine I have placed in my bedroom. After having lighted the candles I like to start by chanting the nembutsu in front of the image of the Buddha while making some postrations. For me this is a way to offer myself: my actions, thoughts, speech…to the Buddha. Today I chose to sit in silence afterwards while some inspirtional music was sounding…Then I remembered the little encouter I had just had with a person in the street and my subtle “reaction” to the words this person had said. I was meditating about my lack of compassion in that moment and the speed of my response…I was being aware of this defensive attitude I have some times and I gave it to the Buddha in this meditation…Then I simply allowed myself to receive the blessing of the Light .

    This was my experience today. Thank you for sharing your experiences as well

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2321

    Johnathan Robertson
    Participant

    I do a little chanting during my little home service. Most of my chanting happens when I walk  from my wife’s law school to home. Today I chanted while I mopped First Unitarian’s Enoch Pratt Parish Hall. It was nice to hear the echo.

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2323

    I loved thinking of us all chanting around the world today. I wonder how many of us there were today.

    I did some formal chanting first thing in the morning, then a little more while walking with my dog up in the autumnal woodland. And I had another opportunity for some silent chanting this afternoon, sitting at the hairdressers while some hair conditioner worked its magic.

  • #2324

    Jules
    Participant

    Susie,

    I finally did chant along with the link at the intro post. I thought it was easier than speaking.
    I may be late with my practice and post tomorrow as I am traveling. But then the time difference between the states… Actually you are about four hours ahead right now it is about 6:15 pm for me and about 10:15 pm for you.

    my site is: *Here*

  • #2325

    Susie Nott-Bower
    Participant

    Hi Jules,

    Yes, I tried the speaking one and found it too fast to keep up!

    I aim to practice sometime every morning. Good luck with yours. 🙂

     

  • #2326

    Jules
    Participant

    Susie and all –
    (My changing will be delayed…but perhaps silently in my head…)
    The November 2 moon in the west sinks slowly into the trees…and I thought of all of us in our many different places.)
    Up early before travel, to share:

    “Our life in this world, even for a day,
    is valuable indeed.”
    ~ Zuiken Inagaki

    early morning full moon
    shines on everything; dreamers,
    all wakeful beings

    ©JP/dh

  • #2327

    Jules
    Participant

    *that changing, could be left, but it should be chanting… it is early – about 4 am for me.*

  • #2328

    I chant Nembutsu most of the day every day to be honest. My mind now just drifts there like its on automatic Nembutsu mode.  The idea that so many people from Amida Shu now makes it very special. Knowing that so many people from all over the world are also chanting every day fills me with warmth and inspiration. Thank you for this opportunity Satya and Kaspa.

  • #2329

    Kerry
    Participant

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="238"]Trixi Cat and Buddha[/caption]

    I’m enjoying the singing chanting and am finding it very relaxing. Even my cat has been joining me as you can see above. I’d like to think she’s joining in and purring away too! It’s wonderful to think so many people around the world are connected in Nembutsu. Wishing everyone a peaceful and happy day

  • #2330

    Colin
    Participant

    Sitting at my mother’s house on this bright but chilly morning I am waiting for a stair lift engineer to arrive to remove the stair lift that my mother had fitted as her mobility weakened.

    The house is almost empty of her personal items now. Just a few items of furniture are left  However, the memories of her as I remember her before she died are very evident within  this room. This provokes a certain amount of sadness . A sense of loss, a cry from within  Breathing in I say Namo, breathing out, I say Amida Bu.

     

  • #2331

    Day 2: I was now confident that 10 times through the chant at my speed takes 5 minutes so I don’t need the watch in front of me as a distraction. I was early this morning, 7.30 a.m., as Ian had to go to work early. I was conscious of the students living next door and hoped I wouldn’t disturb them. I was aware this morning of the Nembutsu as gratitude practice. With gratitude comes awareness of Amida. I like the picture of the cat with the Buddha statue- Namo Amida Bu!

  • #2332

    This morning I chanted as part of our public Friday morning practice session. There were four of us circumambulating the tall golden Buddha in the morning light. The sky was full of pink and grey clouds, a little mist hung in the valley…

    Last week I noticed the nembutsu coming to me unbidden throughout the day, this week my moods have been lower and I have had to more consciously remind myself to say the name. Each recitation is like a reminder, “the Buddha is here. The Buddha is here. The Buddha is here”.

    When I first started practising my nembutsu through low moods was like a please, “Please come and lift me out of this space. Let me feel a connection with you. Remind me that you are present.”

    Now when I practice nembutsu through low moods there is a trust – based on experience – that the moods will pass, and that the Buddha is really there – like the sun behind the clouds, as we say.

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2333

    Jules
    Participant

    I am traveling. Yesterday in my head I recited what I could remember while coloring in a mandala at a train station. Today in the quiet of a hotel room I will quietly chant along with the link.

    Morning 3; the quote lead to this tanka:

    “The cloud of light is unhindered, like open sky;
    There is nothing that impedes it.
    Every being is nurtured by this light,
    So take refuge in Amida, the one beyond conception.”
    ~ Shrinran

    ~~~

    miles from a dwelling –
    that structure; walls and windows –
    with you I am home

    peace comes with your light; with your
    smile, nurturing, and humor

    ©JP/dh

  • #2334

    Michael Sabani
    Participant

    I’ve been chanting 2 rounds on my mala every morning. Not sure if it is all of five minutes, but it is close.

    I’ve been trying to just chant and not expect too much. I wonder while I chant why I’m doing it, like what purpose does it serve, but I just let that fall away. I had a small realization this morning that I’m just calling out to Amida. I feel like I’m trying to understand just who Amida is and how to connect, but just chanting is connecting, to build a connection that I can remember and rely on during the rest of my day. I work from home, so I’m lucky in that occasionally I will look up in my monitor and see my Buddha statue reflected back. It’s a nice reminder to have compassion during the day.

     

  • #2335

    Nati
    Participant

    Today, I was doing my practice when the telephone rang. It was being a special moment of connection so this ringing bell of the phone sounded like a terrible thunder…I knew I had to pick up the phone,…Firstly,I felt some irritation because of the abrupt interruption… but then I picked up the phone and I suddenly remembered “what am I doing this practice for?”…I long to live mindful of the Buddha, every single moment that the day offers me is an opportunity to live mindful of the Buddha. One of the main reasosns of my practice is because I forget so easily… In that moment I felt grateful for  picking up the phone and talking to my husband having this feelings so alive.

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2336

    It’s wonderful to hear from everyone on this thread (love your cat Kerry, & your Buddha Michael). I’m still on my writing retreat and have been enjoying my five minutes of practice. I realised this morning that I’ve missed my usual three hours of weekly nembutsu practice, as I’m away from the temple, but I’ve felt close to the Buddha and this shows me how it can be possible with only short periods of chanting a day… every time I look at my rupas, it’s another opportunity to tune in to something bigger than me and let myself be led. I liked what you said Nati – yes, how can my practice point me towards being more present, more accepting – how can I let the Buddha show me these things? Keep going everyone, and do feel free to share your struggles or questions as well as the benefits you’re receiving. Namo Amida Bu.

  • #2337

    Susie Nott-Bower
    Participant

    I’ve done my five minutes each day. Like Michael, I wonder what the purpose is (especially as I am not a Buddhist) but I want to try it for 30 days and see what happens.

    I came across a lovely quote which says so much about attitude:

    “Playing the host without understanding the host is how you unwittingly create your own misfortune. When you learn to become the guest of a greater unfolding, you can flow into life’s purposeful movement toward the best of what it might become. Knowing your place within the larger flow of life allows you to discover power in great measure.

    Trusting that something more profound might understand your needs in ways that you cannot, “all things in the universe have a purpose; is it right that you should be different?” The future must remain a mystery because life has a special predisposition for exploring possibilities. Through its dance of randomness, it generates innovation and novelty. When you are not busy organizing your life, you will discover that you are the guest of something that demonstrates a greater purpose in leading you.”

    • #2340

      Jules
      Participant

      Susie,

      I like your quote. I think most religious practices can fall into this form…
      of following with blind faith – if you will.
      But by repetition of those things, any things that bring us joy… like writing –
      we can discover a deeper understanding of ourselves as well as others.

      ~Jules

  • #2338

    Colin
    Participant

    Once getting through the usual mental acrobatics, which can be  so difficult at times, it felt good to sitting with the Buddha. A shadow was cast  from the  Buddha icon as the candle flickered  in the darkened room. Despite the difficulties of the day, this offered a sense of peace that spread throughout the room

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2339

    Andrew Hobson
    Participant

    01: At home with wife: tried the chanting, possibly promoted a few bouts of giggling-amusement, the fast repetition of the talking method was the the most challenging, but also the best for merriment.

    02: At home with wife: tried both again. The rapid repeating of the words, again some suppressed laughter and coughing from a dry throat. Must remember, that like a steam engine; it needs water.

    03: Holiday Inn evening: chanted while sat on bed doing some kind of special move involving crossed legs and arms out, solo this time so no giggling, occasional mind drifting to content that was non too memorable.

    04: Holiday Inn at 0530: The first morning go at it: Being so early I tried to chant quietly, the words came out more jiggly as they were at an uncommonly low volume. Lost a bit of the enjoyment of the vibration of air whooshing around my lungs, but I was more focussed; was not conscious of meeting with the buddha but I started the working day with more energy.

    And so I am steadily progressing through each day, at times repeating the words in my head, filling times of silence. Earlier on I had at some times amida echoeing in the background, as my mind focussed (clasped its feathery hand) on the highly charged quick paced morning of meteorology.

    And so the rust falls off the machinery, there may be some working bits, some that will need replacing too as the reprogramming begins.

    Right, time to try some walking chanting; whilst catching some pokemon; on the go.

  • #2341

    Jules
    Participant

    awestruck/ November 4
    ~
    No mouth is big enough to utter the whole thing. ~ Alan Watts
    ~
    when two lips are closed
    they speak volumes of time and
    space; by listening

    ©JP/dh

    I am still following along with the chant, when I have quiet times.
    I think like any repetitive prayer there is a calming and centering that occurs.
    Though when traveling one’s routines need to adjust to the location.

    • #2354

      Delaina
      Participant

      Beautiful.

  • #2342

    Susie Nott-Bower
    Participant

    My chanting was interrupted twice this morning – first time by the postman (so I started again from scratch) and then I was aware that a builder from next door was looking at me as he passed, but I ignored and carried on. I’m gradually learning the tune.

    Jules, glad you liked the quote. And you are right about repeating those things which bring us joy.

  • #2344

    The last two days I’ve been out and about a lot. The Four Noble Truths and Dharmavidya’s book, The Feeling Buddha, have come to mind and are related to my chanting these two days. Trying to avoid self-power to solve mental difficulties, I’ve been reminded to focus instead on the presence related to the Nembutsu.

  • #2353

    Delaina
    Participant

    Hello All;
    I am following the pdf nembutsu chant with tune about twice a day. Here is a little poem I wrote trying to describe the sensations.

    cradle me
    vast embrace

    hold me
    tender space

    ragged stress
    drain from my lungs

    weightless
    I am

    boundless
    I am

    love
    I am

    ~
    I am very much enjoying this chant/meditation. I have never done one before I usually just play some kind of nature sound and let my thoughts come in and out. The chant keeps me more focused on the action of chanting.

    Thank you Satya & Kaspa your voices are so relaxing.

    Namo Amida Bu.

  • #2355

    Jules
    Participant

    Delaina,

    I try to close my eyes when I chant along with the link. My room being right across from the elevator… I can hear the dings… and doors from other rooms opening and closing.
    But I get into that gentle rhythm and try to concentrate on my voice blending with the others.

    Susie,

    Chanting reminds me to recite other blessings and to be thankful for where I am in the now of things. It will be another odd travel day for me. But traveling with my husband brings me joy. Better than me being at home while he is gone.

    Here is my verse for today’s quote:
    Help! / November 5, tanka

    Letting life just be requires mercy towards ourselves. ~ Ezra Bayda

    error of ego
    lesson to learn, be self-kind;
    untangle and unwind

    accept that some steps falter;
    be brave and ask for support

    ©JP/dh

    I like the idea of that at some point in time, somewhere someone could be chanting and linking us all together. Like being under the same moon – even if there is cloud cover. And that brings a unique joy I think – to be an individual, yet also to be a part of a whole.

  • #2356

    Colin
    Participant

    Sitting before the Buddha icon the candle flickers in the darkened room. Each breath a recitation, Namo Amida Bu.  Lots going on both internally  and externally. My mind full of images. The most prominent image that of a Bournemouth player who scored in the dying embers of the game at St James Park, Newcastle, on Saturday afternoon  This ensuring the ‘Toon’ suffered another  defeat. This  leaving a sense of disappointment, and a slightly bitter taste as the image ran through my mind.  Externally, the fireworks explode close by. The loud explosions  reminding me of what it might sound like to be close to  a war zone. Namo Amida Bu, This brings my attention back to what does really matter. A prayer for those who do actually suffer in a war zone. Not just a defeat in a football match.

  • #2363

    Jules
    Participant

    My own chanting will be silent today…so far as I have only reached part of a destination.

    Though I was up early enough to post:
    A Living Song / November 6,tanka

    Based on the quote for the day:
    “The light of wisdom exceeds all measure,
    And every finite living being
    Receives this illumination that is like the dawn,
    So take refuge in Amida, the true and real light.”
    ~ Shinran

    gentle breath of life
    rekindle healthful vision
    connecting all things

    let the music of living
    Increase our understanding

    ©JP/dh

  • #2366

    Nati
    Participant

    I have been two days away attending to a workshop given by Dharmavidya. I feel happy for that…Maybe that is the reason my chanting and walking Nembutsu was full of gratitude today. I felt absolutely moved since I was able to appreciate the millions of precious things, circumstances and beings are supporting me in many ways…Most of the time I am blind to that Beauty, but a glimpse of it is a gift that fills my heart, body and mind completely.

    Namo amida Bu

  • #2367

    Susie Nott-Bower
    Participant

    Strange thing this morning: exactly as I began to chant, the builders next door started up a very loud machine outside which almost drowned out the chant. I found it intrusive and irritating. But I remembered something I’d read recently about ‘calm in disturbance’ and instead of closing my eyes to chant, as I usually do, I focused on the candle light and imagined a connection between myself and the flame. Even stranger, the noise stopped as I finished the chant!

  • #2370

    Yesterday was an early start and late back from work and was the first day I missed doing the 5 minutes chanted Nembutsu, although I still did my 15 minutes silent Nembutsu formal practice and silent Nembutsu while falling asleep. Coming back to the practice this morning was good. It always (I think) feels like a gift chanting the Nembutsu out loud, an open ended gift, hard to define, but there is the feeling of receiving something good, a centre-ing away from selfish self-power strategies back to something I could call, spreading the Nembutsu, but I mean it in more than the literal sense. Amida becomes like a loving father and mother, unconditionally allowing me to open to and share the light.

  • #2371

    Liz Allmark
    Participant

    I’ve been doing the Nembutsu chant every morning for the past week. I signed up out of curiosity and have been surprised at how much I look forward to doing the chant every morning. I’ve started to read Kaspa’s and Satya’s book and am totally intrigued. I’d like to get more engaged in the online practices but usually have other commitments when they’re happening, so am sad about this. I’m looking forward to learning and experiencing more through the remainder of the month.

  • #2372

    Jules
    Participant

    I was mostly on the road today. Our plans seemed to always be changing – hopefully I am settled for a few days before heading back east. And early rise prevented verbal chant. And traveling in a car for about 6 hours most of it during rain was not a good time for silent practice of any kind.

    I am glad that I read some where that if you miss a day or two – just start again the next day.
    I just posted my verse on the quote now:
    Compassion and wisdom
    ~
    (haiku & Septolet)
    ~
    “The basic paradox: everything is a mess and yet all is well.” ~ Ezra Bayda

    with emphatic to
    grace the heart tugs mind to use
    diligent prudence

    *
    We learn
    From our
    Mistakes

    Those lessons
    Nature can teach
    If we
    Really listen

    JP/dh

  • #2374

    Jules
    Participant

    I was able to chant this morning. The time seems almost too short. I may extend it to ten minutes tomorrow. I am settled where I am for a few days (Good morning all it is 7:30 am my time).

    The sound of a meditation bell November 8, haibun

    What happens when people open their hearts?”…
    “They get better.
    ~ Haruki Murakami

    Many years ago I walked willingly into a yoga class.
    The sessions ran for about eight weeks. I had gone
    with a friend. The were held in a room that had once
    been part of a carriage house. Now entrusted to the
    local park the building and room was used for many
    things. I remember it was a cold room. After the moves
    were completed there was a quiet lights out time, when
    a bell was rung to start and end a soothing meditation
    period. One forgot discomforts, at least I did.

    openings are gifts
    different beginnings that
    are endless moments

    ©JP/dh

  • #2375

    The last few days, my usual routines have gone awry but the new routine of daily vocalised Nembutsu practice has continued for me. Today I realised some of what was missing, just basic things like doing my hand and wrist exercises to strengthen against too-frequent injuries, and watering the greenhouse. Odd how these things happen. Namo Amida Bu!

  • #2376

    Today I changed Nembutu in my flat as my grandaughter did her homework. Yesterday in my office as I worked and Monday at a local temple.

    Shows me that Nembutsu can be recited anywhere anytime and my practice really is spontaneous.

    Namo Amida Bu.

  • #2378

    Really enjoying everyone’s updates here. Thanks for sharing.

    My morning nembutsu was outside this morning. This week I slipped back into my running shoes and learnt just how far my fitness has fallen since the last time I wore them – maybe a year ago! Still, I enjoyed being out this morning, and my route took me downhill to begin with.

    “Namo Amida Bu” The rhythm matching my feet hitting the pavement. My mind cleared of anything else – just my body, and my breath and the Buddha.

  • #2379

    Fi Curnow
    Participant

    I haven’t managed to sit down and formally chant quite every single day so far (rushing from one thing to another in my life is something I know I have to address!) but I have been loving the daily emails and the quotes within them that I have been trying to take with me through the day.  I have enjoyed being curious about how I have responded to the contrasts between the chanted and spoken versions of the nembutsu.  While I love the melodic nature of the former, I have been interested that mostly I have been finding the latter more powerful in stilling my monkey mind and being focussed in the present.  I have to admit that onn Saturday morning I actually chanted in my head to get me through a Parkrun that I was finding a bit tedious otherwise!  What I have valued is the sense that, while sometimes the nembutsu feels totally amazing and transformative, sometimes it just doesn’t hit the same spot and that’s okay too – you can just trust that at another time it will.  That sense of being able to trust that things will be okay even if they are not working out at the moment has been a very important blessing I have received from my practice since I started coming to the temple.  Right, I better get on a do some more packing now!

     

  • #2380

    Jules
    Participant

    “Day 9
    As you continue to practice you might want to experiment with saying ‘Namo Amida Bu’ at other times of the day – when you make a mistake, or when you feel grateful for something. This is a reminder of Amida’s presence and it plugs you back into wholesome energy.”

    I actually, earlier this week when I was having trouble falling asleep attempted to chant in my head ‘Namo Amida Bu’ rather than count sheep. It is like saying other short prayers that we were taught in any other religion. The repetition and the depth of knowledge and community that comes with this practice brings a serene stability – a cohesive connectivity that helps to process the actions of the day – whatever those actions may be.

    The Buddha is present, November 9 renga

    “Always be compassionate in your faith. Just as a thirsty man longs for a drink, always have exceedingly great love.” ~ Pratyutpanna Sutta

    presence and present
    depth of faith is required to
    give and receive both

    there are many current paths
    held by different good names

    some believe all lead
    to the same conclusion or
    continuation

    ©JP/dh

  • #2381

    Namo Amida Bu. I mentioned you all in my Dharma talk yesterday – how lovely it was to think of you all chanting in your different homes/lives. Fi – Parkrun is the perfect place for nembutsu! I often do it when I’m driving… (that isn’t an official recommendation, don’t want to be responsible for any car crashes!) This evening I’ll be chanting as a part of the service I run on Facebook. Keep going & keep letting us know how you’re getting on – if you miss a few days, no problem! Namo Amida Bu.

  • #2383

    Jules
    Participant

    I really enjoy chanting with the five minute link. Hearing those other voices with my own helps to make me feel connected. Though I do find myself chanting in my head from time to time – especially when I have to wait for something that is out of my control.

    Taking action, November 10 reverse haibun
    ~
    The course of the boat is left to the sail,
    the movement of the sail is left to the wind;
    As for me, I leave everything to Amida.
    ~ Zuiken Inagakie
    ~
    stepping outside self
    accepting currents of change
    linking with a name

    Great Father, Venerable Mother, The Source, The Unknowable,
    Adonoi, Amida; there are so many names one could choose
    when seeking to find comfort and direction. Our individual crafts…
    must float. Though the sails have various shapes and colors.
    Even the wind a constant unpredictable force, drums different
    beats throughout the universe.

    In the end is it always the movement on the path that brings
    us the most joy rather than achieving the ultimate destination?
    What actions can be taken today that were not taken yesterday
    to make one whole and to make the whole healthy?

    Practice takes practice. The ultimate action. To eventually
    become second nature to nurture.
    ~
    ©JP/dh

  • #2384

    Nati
    Participant

    After chanting for a while, I like to practice slow walking while reciting the nembutsu… I tend to make some sort of balance in that moment, while I am walking and calling out Amida, I usually remember some words, acts, or feelings I have experienced throughout the day, it is a way of experiencing my human nature, my vulnerability…At the same time, lots of images of what I have received arise in my mind , usually in a spontaneous way. So gratitude appears as a strong feeling at the beginning of the practice.

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2385

    Jules
    Participant

    I tried the longer chant this morning. To prevent distraction of thoughts I imagined life force rising up through my body staring with my toes up to the top of my head.

    Practice inspires more practice, November 11 haiku

    “Effort is necessary in spiritual practice; strain is not.” ~ Ezra Bayda
    ~
    life requires breadth;
    depth of thought and diligence,
    being true to truth
    ~
    ©JP/dh
    ~
    Thirty days of nembutsu
    ~
    breadth: noun 3. freedom from narrowness or restraint; liberality
    Yes I did a play on breadth and breath sounding alike.
    breath: noun 1. the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration. 3. life; vitality

  • #2389

    Jules
    Participant

    Being in a small town where most things are closed…
    Perhaps, it will be a quiet day.
    I have already been on a morning walk – at least it is warmer today.

    My daily post on the quote for today is here:
    Inexhaustible love November 12, renga

  • #2391

    Fi Curnow
    Participant

    I enjoyed the 10 minute version, too.  Your visualisation sounds interesting, Jules – I will try that myself.  When I did it yesterday I decided to do a modified version of the prostrations with it (I tend to listen to it on my earphones with laptop, which doesn’t lend itself to full prostrations!) and that felt a very satisfying, emotionally opening experience.  NAB x

    • #2399

      Jules
      Participant

      Fi,

      This morning being a tad under the weather I only did five minutes. But I did the same visualization. I hope to go a second round with the longer version later.

      I am just starting this journey and do not know the ‘prostrations’ – continued success with your experience 🙂

      ~Jules

  • #2393

    Dayamay
    Participant

    Note to self: Namo Amida Bu!!!

  • #2394

    buddhaToday I woke up out of sorts. Nothing major, but a sludge (maybe a hangover from my dreams) that I couldn’t find a way out of.

    At ten Kaspa said he was going out for a run and my immediate thought was, ‘I can do some nembutsu’. I sat in front of this Buddha and chanted for ten minutes.

    I feel different now – something has shifted. I realise that I find it harder to make space for what I need when I’m with someone else, even Kaspa – at any point this morning I could have said I was going into my office for ten minutes and chanted, but somehow I didn’t give myself the mental space.

    I also work well with routine – today is our day off, and so there’s no regular space in my day for practice – from Tues til Sat mornings I practice in the shrine room upstairs with others (often just Dayamay!).

    I wonder if you’re still going or if you need to restart? I wonder what you’re learning about yourself?

    Namo Amida Bu, lovely to be accompanying you all this month.

    • #2400

      Jules
      Participant

      When one travels I think out of sorts can be normal. I may end up missing a day of solo chanting when I have to travel home. Travel seems to take up the whole day. But I can still chant in my head. But for now I have quiet alone time in the morning.

      While chanting with you – the recording sirens of perhaps police, fire or and ambulance ran trough the town right by my first floor window – I continued my chanting with a prayer that were ever those vehicles were going that the people be safe and cared for. I seem to always be distracted by other thoughts so that is why I began trying to visualize a calm life force rising through me while I chant. To keep my thoughts on the same page as it were.

      I did my changing before opening the ‘mail’ and enjoyed seeing the photo of others who could be changing with me. Thank you. My daily verse on the quote can be found here:

      Never alone; November 13 renga

  • #2401

    Johnathan Robertson
    Participant

    Considering my school work and church work, I’ve decided to make Monday my day off from anything school or church related. This has helped me reconnect with practice in a great way as I can get back to my Vow 22 studies and chant with only the cats around.

    Yesterday, during nembutsu practice at First Unitarian, one of the participants made an observation about the nembutsu in relation to all of the noise at the church. She said that, even when we were chanting softly, her mind stopped dwelling on the noises around us. I think that is a nice concrete way to describe the some of the benefits of chanting in general.

     

     

     

  • #2402

    Nati
    Participant

    I recognice in myself that what you say, Satya, about the difficulty of making space for what I need when I am with someone else, specially talking about my practice: I tend to find spaces much more easily when I am alone at home…Maybe the fact that nobody else is buddhist around here… and the fear of being heard …I am not sure, in some way, maybe, I am not used to share my practice and I feel it very intimate,and, on the other hand , it is a celebration, an special encounter, and I feel that it should not be “hidden”…However I also remember those words by Jesus: “If you want to pray, go to your bedroom, close your door, that your left hand does not know what your right hand does…”…As you see there are some contradictory thoughts inside me and I need to learn being more natural about it. Thank you.

  • #2405

    Jules
    Participant

    Counting the days until I am home again. It is nice to visit someplace new… but home is calling…

    My daily verse on the quote can be found here:

    Taking refuge November 14, haibun

  • #2407

    Caroline
    Participant

    This is from an email I sent on Saturday:

    I am listening to nembutso on the train to Oxford and feel blissful…held in the grace and love of the Divine.
    No mean feat on a drizzly Saturday and a crowded GWR train!
    Please accept my gratitude…hard to express.
    For bringing Amida to Malvern (and spreading far wider)….such a gift.
    May all blessings be yours.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Thank you, thank you for your vision, energy and love

  • #2409

    Jules
    Participant

    Tomorrow is a travel day, I shall attend to my practice late in the day instead of the morning.
    However this day started blissfully…Perhaps it is just in the knowing that I will be returning home soon.

    here is my daily verse on the quote:
    Unwavering strength; November 15 renga

  • #2413

    Jules
    Participant

    We have made it home safely. But my own routines will still be different with the holiday week in the States. And then also with the second half of December. But I will attempt to find quiet time for myself when I can.

    Angel of Truth; November 16 haibun

    “Among all living things mountains and rivers, grasses and trees,
    even the sounds of blowing winds and rising waves –
    there is nothing that is not the nembutsu” ~ Ippen

    Many traditions have selected times to open our doors to strangers.
    There are also teachings to accept those who are down on their
    luck and even look less than appealing – for it is how we treat
    those most in need that reveals how deep our traditional lessons
    have reached.

    If we can believe
    heaven can exist on earth
    we all are angels

    When we walk along everyday paths, we are taught to look for
    the possible angel in every heart. To treat with respect those
    who are so very different from ourselves. To listen to those who
    have no voice and speak for them.

    truth questions, listens,
    accepts different teachings
    with similar goals

    ©JP/dh

  • #2414

    Jules
    Participant

    Only questions… no answers… yet.
    Though I do believe there has been some ‘strength training’ 🙂

    Teachers throughout the ages; November 17 renga (conversation)

  • #2417

    It’s still dark here, still and crisp – I watched the stars when I was out in the garden. The city, across the river, is quiet – being Saturday, there’s no rush-hour traffic along the road below us. I’m just about to start this morning’s nembutsu chanting, happy in the knowledge that others will be joining, somewhere on the planet, sometime during the day – Namo Amida Bu

  • #2418

    Fi Curnow
    Participant

    Just quickly nipping on here because I really should be doing other things!  But this morning I sat down to do my 10 minutes of nembutsu with a certain resentment in my heart that life circumstances dictated I was not sitting down in the beautiful ‘real’ shrine room with some of the rest of you which was where I would much rather have been!  But as I chanted, the realisation came to me that I should just allow myself to just hold this resentment lightly and be curious about it.  This led me to accepting that actually, life was unfolding for me as it should and that was all okay.  Coming to that feeling of acceptance makes me feel a lot better.  Deep bow of gratitude _/|\_

  • #2419

    Susie Nott-Bower
    Participant

    I am still doing my 5 minutes each morning.  I have a simple, wooden statue of the Buddha. I light a candle and sit wrapped in a shawl in front of it (trying to tune out the builders next door). I can’t say I feel much about doing it (as I’m not a Buddhist) but it’s a commitment I have made to myself in the hope of being with some kind of wholesomeness. It must be wonderful to have a faith.

  • #2420

    Jules
    Participant

    Yesterday I chanted in my head. I meant to make time… and did not. Did I miss something.
    I do not light candles or have statues. But I did have a conversation with a living angel.
    Sometimes we do not see ourselves as angels… but that is what happened yesterday – sometimes by just saying ‘thank you’ for something it also makes someone else happy and they believe that you are the angel who visited them. So perhaps that was enough?

    Today I have another reverse haibun on today’s quote:

    Nembutsu is grace; November 18 reverse haibun
    ~
    “The essential vow of Amida Buddha is so profound that birth in the Pure Land is within the palms of your hands.” ~ Honen
    ~
    within our grasp all
    promises can be attained
    through grace of giving
    ~
    This seems to be the lesson that every major religion teaches. Walk in the footsteps
    of the guide who is sometimes named and other times nameless. Or walk off the
    beaten path without the crowd; be not one of the blind sheep to bask in rote script.

    Humanity must vow to care for those who are helpless, to keep air, water and sustenance
    clean. Yet we must also feed those scientists who prefer the accurate accounting of numbers
    and facts to uncover some of the mysteries that perhaps we once knew but have become blind or complacent to in our quests for singular survival.

    Walking together strengthens individuals. Especially in this electronic age where we tend
    to let our fingers walk more than our feet. Let us all vow in our great variety to continue
    to believe – if in nothing else, in the grace of goodness.
    ~
    ©JP/dh
    ~
    Thirty days of nembutsu

    Note: In most areas of the United States the Boy Scouts of America have a program called; Scouting for Food. If you have received a note on your door, please read it, follow the instructions and donate to this worthy cause today.

  • #2421

    Nati
    Participant

    Today I was chanting in a soft voice while I was going for a walk with my dog. The sky was totally blue and there was a real beauty in the brightness of the morning…It was the perfect shrine to chant or saying the nembutsu, and I felt a sense of special reverence in my heart…the Light always permeating everything, though there are so many times I forget that…

    Namo Amida Bu

  • #2424

    Colin
    Participant

    Namo Amida Bu. Condolence to Cynthia and your family. I can empathise with your recent loss. It is just a few months since my mother died at the age of 83yr. Her health deteriorated quite quickly during those final few months. Although sad, it was with some relief to see the end to her suffering. This ending the pain that she had stoically endured for a number of years. I will always remember her grit,determination, and tenacity* as life brought its daily challenges. This her legacy that I will hold in my heart.

    During those final moments as my mother took her final breath, I  quietly began reciting Namo Amida Bu, this brought forth the images of  the Buddha, Amida, Dharmavidya and the wider Amida community to my mind. This brought a feeling of comfort within my heart.  A feeling of  being  held as my  mother  had once held me when I was a child. Namo Amida Bu

  • #2425

    Jules
    Participant

    The cold wind outside embraces everything with a chill. Yet I am awake before dawn, the rest of my household sleeps. Yet I think of the warmth that internal recitation can bring. Just staying committed to a singular act or actions to connect with and perhaps bring long distant comforting to those who need an additional ‘hug’.

    Spontaneous nembutsu; November 19 haiku

    “Although my eyes, blinded by passions, do not see the brilliant light which embraces me, the Great Compassion never tires, always casting its light upon me.” ~ Honen

    lovingkindness is
    a compound word seeking to
    exist in every heart

    ©JP/dh

    Thirty days of nembutsu

    Notes:1) lovingkindness can also be two words or a hyphenated word, loving-kindness.You can research lovingkindness and find definitions in relationship to several teachings. 3) According to one site the First Known Use of lovingkindness: 1535. 3) though, chesed is found in older documents according to one site (חסד, also Romanized ẖesed) is a Hebrew word commonly translated to mean; mercy, lovingkindness, steadfast love, compassion and even goodness or acts of goodness (acts of lovingkindness).

  • #2426

    Wonderful to read your updates. I’ve also had a dozen private updates from people on email who are also finding it helpful/inspiring/having spiritual experiences etc.

    Namo Quan Shi Yin Bosat, Colin. Sending love.

    I’m settling into a little routing of doing 5 mins morning and evening, in addition to whatever else happens here, using my mala with 54 beads. It feels good for me to have some structure, and I’m enjoying doing the same chant today – we have so many here.

    If anyone is interested in how we sound on the continuous nembutsu chanting we did yesterday morning (although they are a bit different every time!) here’s an old recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPrSzY8pxes

  • #2432

    Jules
    Participant

    Today I wrote on the quote as well as the photo in the daily email:

    Blessings and benefits; November 20 renga

    “The life of a person of Nembutsu is life in the joy of faith.”
    ~ Zuiken Inagaki

    positive thinking,
    visualizing goodness,
    ripples like water

    in the calm pond where lotus
    bloom and their seeds fall freely

    around the statue
    of the figure head always
    smiling for us all

    ©JP/dh

    Thirty days of nembutsu

  • #2436

    While visiting my family in Belgium I was off-line. I did formal Nembutsu practice when I went to bed and when I got up in the morning. These were worship moments and I reflected on how worship and gratitude can be the same thing. Namo Amida Bu.

  • #2437

    Jules
    Participant

    I liked the heart in smoke, but I missed seeing a Buddha – I do have a photograph of a crystal Buddha that was on display at a store…

    For today: The same boat; November 21 tanka series

    “Everything belongs, even the bad and dark parts of yourself.
    Nothing need be rejected or denied.” ~ Richard Rohr

    everything shapes us –
    others choices and our own
    each; one whole puzzle

    some of the pieces seem lost
    or adrift at some far sea

    being accepted
    brings a calming peace; a glue
    to mend that distance

    negativity dances
    All around us everyday

    in science that force
    is needed, is natural;
    like the yin and yang

    the past cannot change, only
    our reactions moving hence

    ©JP/dh

    Thirty days of nembutsu
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang
    hence : 2. in the future (used after a period of time).

  • #2438

    Jules
    Participant

    Full of awe; November 22 haibun

    “Learn to pray without ceasing.” ~ Ezra Bayda

    It seems that I have been writing forever. Almost more than
    anything else i have ever done with my life, maybe except to
    breathe.So I also equate the poetry of words strung on a page
    as my breath. Some of the thoughts may have been angst filled
    walking from an age of discomfort through the age of reason
    into the age of adulthood.

    Yet every path I take seems to end in question marks. If prayers
    are also questions then I have prayed long daily. Everyday with
    a variety of voices that flow freely from my thoughts that some-
    times get penned.

    every breath prays true?
    thankful for air, life, and love;
    is that not enough?

    ©JP/dh

    Thirty days of nembutsu

  • #2439

    Today, I’ve been thinking about building that bank of worship and gratitude around my wounds. I’ve been thinking about wounds becoming wounding in their own right, to myself and others. There can’t be too much worship and gratitude in that bank! (Unless it gets compulsive and loses its flavour.) Namo Amida Bu!

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