May 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm #1662
Good evening all!
I wander if someone can give me some advice about how to do a better daily practice. Dilligence is not my best paramita… I recite Nembutsu in any ocasion (and it’s awesome and great), but that’s mostly al… Thank you! Namo Amida Bu
May 7, 2017 at 3:03 am #1663
I feel a daily prayer practice would be a good way to start. I recommend the Path to Pure Land Prayer by Upasaka Xia Lian Ju. He created the prayer for the benefit of those who do not have the time, and for those who desire a convenient daily practice. Here is a portion of the foreword (my translation) that explains the practice:
“….In 1880, when I was gravely ill, I vowed to consolidate and streamline the Buddha’s sutras so as to facilitate easy acceptance and understanding–to realize the Patriarch’s vision of creating a simplified practice (Path to Pure Land) for the masses and beginners. Enabling them to receive the Buddha’s responses within the three karmas of body (prostration), speech (recitation) and mind (mindfulness).
This practice is also in full accordance with the five virtuous intentions. Those who cultivate this practice will be able to expel all of their wandering thoughts.
Moreover, as each prostration is immediately followed by recitation of the Buddha’s name and passages from the sutras, right mindfulness can manifest while false thoughts are given no opportunity to creep in. Not only can one accomplish the thirty two recitations and prostrations of this practice within in a short amount of time, the merit and virtue accumulated will be vast and incomparable. As of now, the Path to Pure Land is on its fourth printing and many have benefitted greatly from it.
Compared to other ways of cultivation, this practice saves both time and energy, thus proving itself to be a great convenience in today’s busy environment. Anyone who regularly cultivates this practice will see their heart fuse with the Sagely sapience found herein. Eventually, they will be at one with their Buddha-nature and profound wisdom will arise naturally without the need for deep study, discourse or analysis. Cultivation of this practice is the same as cultivating Non-abidance and achieving the purity of the Land of Ultimate Bliss.
Afterwards, when they read the great sutras, they will encounter no obstacles ; achieving rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss becomes as easy as sailing downstream amid favorable winds.
Every word herein is sourced from the sutras and must therefore be treated with respect and recited with sincerity. Cultivate it in the manner of Bodhisattva Vasubandhu’s five virtuous intentions and four principles of deference, single-mindedness, uninterrupted recitation and lifelong devotion. Do so and the rare, esoteric and subtle wisdom of the Buddha will reveal itself to you.”
Online Interactive Version and PDF file of Path to Pure Land (Free and Public Domain):
Namo Amita Buddha!
May 7, 2017 at 6:09 am #1664
Thank you very much! I will print it tomorrow first thing.
Namo Amida Bu
May 7, 2017 at 8:23 am #1666
Rev. Satya Robyn (temple host)Moderator
Thanks for the question Cay. Thanks Brian. The Amida Shu approach will differ in some respects to the answer you’ve given Brian – of course different Amida Shu priests will have different approaches, and it’s also helpful to get a broader perspective whenever we are exploring a koan for ourselves.
I think I can hear two parts to your question, Cay – one a practical one (what practice should I do, how often) and another which is more about your nature as a ‘lazy person’ and how this relates to practice.
For the first part of your answer, we do do a variety of practices within Amida Shu and it’s a matter of finding what suits you. There is some information below:
You can also talk about this with your mentor. I am also a lazy person (!) and at the moment I simply say nembutsu, bow to the Buddha sometimes, and rely on the structure of the temple practice sessions. I know that it might be helpful for me to do more daily practice, but I don’t.
This brings me onto the second part of your question. Amida accepts us just as we are. If we can remember this, we begin to feel less worried about our failures and we relax. We may find that an urge to practice sometimes arises in us naturally. We practice as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for what we have already received, rather than as a way of being a ‘good Buddhist’ or in order to get something in our future or in our present. We get to see our fallible nature over and over, and this helps us to connect with the fallibility of others. Where we find our limits, grace leaks in.
I’d be interested in how other people approach this issue, and also in your further explorations Cay – how about giving up practice for a week and see what happens? ; )
Namo Amida Bu, deep bow _/\_
May 7, 2017 at 8:36 am #1667
Andrew Nicholls (Temple Host)Participant
For my practice I visit the Malvern temple when I can. I try to get to the Nirmingham service and I visit a Theravadin Temple on Mondays.
Nembutsu by chanting Namo Amida Bu every Monday as a conscious action and Nembutsu most of the time as an unconscious action. I will then say part of the dawn prayers that I remember each morning at my shrine followed by saying Namo Amid Bu and a deep bow to Amida.
May 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm #1668
My daily practice depends on what is going on around me. Some days I may take fifteen minutes in front of the shrine and some days I may simply say the nembutsu and bow to Buddha before I go out the door. Though having a ritual is nice, simply saying the nembutsu throughout the day is a solid foundation. After a while, you will find what works for you.
May 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm #1669
Thank you all for your kind answer.
SATYA, I’m fond with the Amida Shu approach of practicing (this was one of the main points why at the end I decided to get involved with this Sangha. I had already gave up my practice for a while no so long ago, and the feelings where curious and a bit surprising. For one side, I was less tolerant with my family and coworkers “failures”. For the other side, I was less obsessed to practice, and my mind felts more free. Anyway, when I returned to Namo Amida Bu (or Namu Amita Bul, the Korean variant, which I sometimes mixed unconsciously because of my former practice and my learning of the language) I feel immediately more relaxed and with a strong sense of gratitude. Thank you for your tireless support. Namo Amida Bu.
ANDREW, you seem to practice tons more than me. Your diligence is highly admiring. Thank you for sharing. Namo Amida Bu.
JOHNATHAN, thank you very much for you kind words. They are very encourage ones! Namo Amida Bu.
Thanks to all the sangha for the kind support! A great Namo Amida Bu for all… And enjoy the Sunday evening!
May 8, 2017 at 6:40 pm #1672
I’ve started to chant on a mala, so I can have a set number that I chant, almost every day. I’ve set up a little shrine in my office with a statue and an incense holder and I offer incense and at the very least a clean water dish every day. On the days I feel like doing something special I recite a few things out loud (incense offering, Bodhisattvas Vow, Refuges, Celebration of Amida’s Vow). And of course, just remembering to say the nembutsu during the day whenever I remember! I’m trying to find what works for me.
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