October 23, 2017 at 9:45 am #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.
November 1, 2017 at 8:55 am #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!
November 1, 2017 at 10:39 am #2312
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
November 1, 2017 at 11:39 am #2315
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.
November 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm #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!
November 1, 2017 at 4:33 pm #2320
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
November 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm #2321
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
November 1, 2017 at 9:53 pm #2323
Acharya Sujatin (temple host)Moderator
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.
November 1, 2017 at 10:17 pm #2324
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*
November 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm #2325
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. 🙂
November 2, 2017 at 7:59 am #2326
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
November 2, 2017 at 8:00 am #2327
*that changing, could be left, but it should be chanting… it is early – about 4 am for me.*
November 2, 2017 at 8:23 am #2328
Andrew Nicholls (Temple Host)Participant
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.
November 2, 2017 at 9:16 am #2329
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="238"] 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
November 2, 2017 at 9:58 am #2330
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.
November 2, 2017 at 11:48 am #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!
November 3, 2017 at 11:52 am #2332
Rev Kaspalita (temple host)Keymaster
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
November 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm #2333
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.”
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
November 3, 2017 at 1:54 pm #2334
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.
November 3, 2017 at 4:47 pm #2335
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
November 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm #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.
November 3, 2017 at 5:23 pm #2337
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.”
November 4, 2017 at 11:11 am #2340
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.
November 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm #2338
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
November 4, 2017 at 10:52 am #2339
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.
November 4, 2017 at 11:16 am #2341
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
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.
November 4, 2017 at 11:18 am #2342
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.
November 4, 2017 at 4:35 pm #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.
November 4, 2017 at 10:53 pm #2353
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.
drain from my lungs
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.
November 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm #2355
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.
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
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.
November 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm #2356
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.
November 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm #2363
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.”
gentle breath of life
rekindle healthful vision
connecting all things
let the music of living
Increase our understanding
November 6, 2017 at 4:44 pm #2366
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
November 7, 2017 at 10:20 am #2367
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!
November 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm #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.
November 7, 2017 at 7:52 pm #2371
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.
November 7, 2017 at 9:33 pm #2372
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
Nature can teach
November 8, 2017 at 12:35 pm #2374
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).
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
November 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm #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!
November 8, 2017 at 6:09 pm #2376
Andrew Nicholls (Temple Host)Participant
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.
November 9, 2017 at 9:50 am #2378
Rev Kaspalita (temple host)Keymaster
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.
November 9, 2017 at 10:10 am #2379
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!
November 9, 2017 at 11:39 am #2380
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.
“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
November 9, 2017 at 3:49 pm #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.
November 10, 2017 at 12:28 pm #2383
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.
November 10, 2017 at 6:16 pm #2384
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
November 11, 2017 at 11:34 am #2385
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.
“Effort is necessary in spiritual practice; strain is not.” ~ Ezra Bayda
life requires breadth;
depth of thought and diligence,
being true to truth
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
November 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm #2389
November 12, 2017 at 7:56 pm #2391
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
November 13, 2017 at 1:43 pm #2399
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 🙂
November 13, 2017 at 8:50 am #2393
Note to self: Namo Amida Bu!!!
November 13, 2017 at 10:40 am #2394
Today 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.
November 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm #2400
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:
November 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm #2401
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.
November 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm #2402
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.
November 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm #2405
November 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm #2407
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
November 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm #2409
November 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm #2413
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.
“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
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
November 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm #2414
Only questions… no answers… yet.
Though I do believe there has been some ‘strength training’ 🙂
November 18, 2017 at 7:13 am #2417
Acharya Sujatin (temple host)Moderator
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
November 18, 2017 at 10:07 am #2418
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 _/|\_
November 18, 2017 at 10:23 am #2419
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.
November 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm #2420
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.
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.
November 18, 2017 at 4:04 pm #2421
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
November 19, 2017 at 10:54 am #2424
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
November 19, 2017 at 11:37 am #2425
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’.
“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
a compound word seeking to
exist in every heart
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).
November 19, 2017 at 6:10 pm #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
November 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm #2432
Today I wrote on the quote as well as the photo in the daily email:
“The life of a person of Nembutsu is life in the joy of faith.”
~ Zuiken Inagaki
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
Thirty days of nembutsu
November 21, 2017 at 11:08 am #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.
November 21, 2017 at 1:47 pm #2437
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
brings a calming peace; a glue
to mend that distance
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
Thirty days of nembutsu
hence : 2. in the future (used after a period of time).
November 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm #2438
“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?
Thirty days of nembutsu
November 22, 2017 at 1:59 pm #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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