Tagged: Pureland Choirs
July 30, 2019 at 11:11 am #3550
Andrew Cheffings (temple host)Participant
I’m thinking about the transcendental nature of the Nembutsu – Namo Amida Bu – syllables of great compassion.
As with transcendental meditation, the long, continuous repetition of the syllables can open up different mind spaces – visions, sensations, feelings, auditory hallucinations.
I’m thinking about the physical components of opening to these altered states and I’m reminded of a particular kind of tinnitus in which the mind spontaneously transforms the white noise of altered hearing into choirs of angels singing sacred hymns.
I’m reminded of travelling on a train, singing the Nembutsu to myself, subconsciously in harmony with the dominant tones of the train’s white noise – the sounds of the wheels on the tracks, the engine sounds, the sounds of the air conditioning. When I stopped singing, my subconscious mind took over and opened to the sounds of a celestial Pureland choir continuing my singing. I marvelled at the inventiveness of the singers as they improvised new harmonic lines, effortlessly and easily.
Such experiences are mundane, in that they are explainable in physical and psychological terms, but profound in that they reveal transcendental truths, in this case, the truth that all sound, all movement, when undivided, is white noise, and white noise contains the sacred syllables – it can even be the sacred syllables.
So, at all times, all beings can open to the movements of the cosmos around us and hear Amida Buddha’s Call of Namo Amida Bu, whether or not we can form the sacred syllables with our lips or conceptualise them in our minds.
“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. It is not human beings alone who share in the all-surpassing Vow (to rescue all beings)” (Ippen)
August 7, 2019 at 5:20 pm #3558
Beautiful reading, thank you
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