Why am I a Buddhist?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Cayetano 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #1611

    This morning our little shrine room was happily full – 20 brand new people came to our ‘first timer’s service’. Before we started our walking nembutsu I told the story of how and why I became a Buddhist, and now I’ll tell you.

    I grew up as a self-sufficient, self-supporting atheist. If things needed to be done, I got them done. If I didn’t know how to do something, I learnt how. This was a successful strategy. I got lots done, wrote books, built businesses. I had a lovely life.

    I was in a relationship with someone who was dancing with an addiction. After trying for many years to control him, the addiction, and my own behaviour, I finally reached the point where I realised I needed help. I joined a group. I leaned in. And something surprising – my heart opened, just a tiny bit.

    This opening allowed me to respond to the teachings of the Buddha, which encourage us to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. I found the Pureland teachings, which remind us that we are fallible and vulnerable beings, and that we can lean into something wiser and more patient and infinitely loving. I started practising with the idea that I am acceptable, just as I am.

    That’s the short version, anyway. Since then, Buddhism has helped me ‘lean in’ and given me the courage to make radical decisions. It has brought me comfort. It has helped me to nuzzle up closer to this world we live in, with all its horror, confusion, beauty and awe. I am so grateful for this, I cannot find the words.

    This is why Kaspa, I, and all the other members of this school of Buddhism do what we do. We hope that others might find a little of what we’ve found, either in our group or someone else’s. We have been filled with light, and we want to pass it on.

    Namo Amida Bu. If you’d like to take a step towards the light, contribute something here, take our online Intro to Pureland course or come and see us sometime. Sending blessings from the temple _/\_

  • #1613

    I was brought up in the Catholic faith, but slowly became disenchanted, everything became a sin and as a bad person I felt ill at ease. Then about 8 years ago I came across the friends of Amida on the internet. I studied and became friends with many members, I finally achieved my ambition to go for refuge almost 18 months ago and felt a new beginning thanks to you all. As you know my illness stops me from being as active as I was but doing the introduction course and having a mentor has kept me going. Sorry I’ve not been posting for a while but I have been very ill as my disease has spread into my lungs and my intestines. Buddhism gives me hope and serenity also the book just as you are is a fantastic guide to Pureland Buddhism and as the title suggests you’re welcome just as you are. Namo Amida Bu Colin

  • #1615

    Brian
    Participant

    Congratulations! 20 new attendees is a Dharma windfall. According to the Woe and Weal of the Faithful Sutra (阿難問事佛吉凶經), the conditions of the Dharma-ending age are thus:

    “The Buddha’s words are true but believers are few, for this world is full of evil and lacking in good. People curse and slander each other, creating a truly pitiable sight! If there are those who take heed of these teachings, they number but one or two.”

    My own free and public domain translation

    Thus, 20 is incredible. Keep up the great work, your merits will certainly be without compare!

  • #1617

    Johnathan Robertson
    Participant

    Thank you, Satya and Colin, for sharing your stories._/\_ Namo Amida Bu.

  • #1632

    Thank you Jonathan

    Namo Amida Bu

    Colin

  • #1633

    ‘A Dharma windfall’ – a lovely phrase! Thank you Brian. Yes, we could hardly believe it ourselves. What a privilege to be here in this space where new people are discovering the magic of the nembutsu. Namo Amida Bu!

  • #1634

    Cayetano
    Participant

    Thanks for sharin! Namo Amida Bu

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