Love Dharma Talk and Hymn

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  • #3362

    Love Dharma Talk

    My favourite vow from the Longer Pureland Sutra at the moment is Vow 32:

    “Blessed One, may I not attain unsurpassed, perfect Awakening unless, when I have attained Awakening, all of the living beings in innumerable, uncountable, inconceivable, incomparable Buddha-fields who are touched by my radiance are filled with a happiness which surpasses that of gods and men.”

    In this vow, Dharmakara Bodhisattva wishes all beings the greatest happiness and aspires to give it to them.

    To me, this is an expression of Great Love and to be in accord with this vow, for me, is to follow the path of love.

    What do I want to say about love?

    That love can be an inclusive path in times of difficulty and confusion.

    Personally, I find it hard to feel included unless I include all beings in the Cosmos myself, and love helps me to do this.

    Times of difficulty and confusion are like that for me –

    They are times when I don’t feel included in the happy flow of the universe,

    As if I have somehow got caught on a passing branch when the river was in spate, and now the flood has passed, and I’ve run aground, left high and dry, far from the Great River.

    What have I learned from these difficult times?

    For me, deep hearing within myself has revealed the surprise to me of the River within.

    Sometimes, this river of love within expresses itself spontaneously. I remember suddenly singing a hymn as a child, alone in my room, tears flowing, a hymn about the goodness of God.

    Sometimes, I can be with others and the experience of shared expression, like here in our service together (Amida Mandala, Malvern), can be an expression of the River for me.

    Expressing the River, I feel the River flowing freely.

    Truly, I am never alone in my room – there are beings all around, and the whole Cosmos expressed through me. How could I even exist without the interplay of all the elements of the Cosmos?

    Maybe the Cosmos made me. Maybe not in the deliberate, conscious way of a Creator God, but still, I feel the love of being brought into existence.

    Love is a word, a smile, a gentle burble, language of the eyes, kind attention, sharing the sights, sounds and feelings of a soft summer breeze in a garden of flowers and buzzing bees.

    In my experience, never always one particular thing.

    It’s hard for me to gage what’s going on within.

    Somewhere, within, I think there is love.

    But love also challenges me. Love excludes no beings, so every time I exclude through failure to love fully, there is the challenge to me – How can I include next time?

    The bonbu nature of the samsaric self may, daily, reassert itself, but to me, true reality, the true self, is love, deep within.

    If I let go of the flow of labels and stories, can I hear it?


  • #3364

    Thanks Andrew _/\_

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