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October Dharma Talk

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    • #3607

      October Dharma Talk

      Although it seems barely possible that I am moving away from Leicester after being based here for 28 years, it now seems that this truly is the case, so I feel I had better get this Dharma talk written down in preparation for this transition.

      Leicester is an old word with layers of meaning, a word that signifies an area of the Earth close to the centre of that larger area of the Earth often known as England.

      Whichever area of the Earth I am based in, it is still, primarily, the Earth. Where-ever I am on the Earth, if I look downwards from my seat, my gaze is towards the same Earth’s centre. I am part of the same centre of gravity where-ever I am on the Earth. Leicester’s smooth, orangey-brown brick appears different to the hard, black stone of the stupas of Bodhgaya, but both share the same gravitational centre. Spinning every-which-way through space, I am never in the same place twice.

      Yet I long to return, to hold tightly on, in case the meaning and stability I crave should escape, like sand between my grasping fingers.

      In communion with the beloved, much-abused Earth, learning to no longer hold on or push away, Shakyamuni Buddha found the middle way, and weapons became a glistening meadow of wild flowers.

      Symbolically, I take some small remainders of my time here in Leicester, in the form of flowering plants, which I hope will flower in my new base, while I meditate, surrounded by their blooms, symbolising that all places on Earth share the same precious planet, without which, Shakyamuni Buddha could not have touched the Earth as witness to the revelations of the middle way.

      Namo Amida Bu.


      Middle Way

      Physically aware that the Earth is supporting me,

      Mara wells up from within;

      I’m terrified to find he is not separate from me.


      Physically aware that the Earth is supporting me,

      I find Mara washes, like sea waves, over me.

      In each lull, his evils glisten, like pebbles in the sun,

      Or a meadow of wild flowers.

      I am neither pure nor impure,

      Both bombu and the mind of true entrusting,

      Gifted equally to all by Amida Buddha.


      Sitting still, supported by the Earth,

      Shakyamuni Buddha still reveals the middle way.


      Leaving the Earth behind, stillness disappears,

      My mind projects Mara onto others,

      Anarchic wars slash and burn;

      Jizo stands resolute in the flames.


      Sitting still, supported by the Earth,

      Shakyamuni Buddha still reveals the middle way.


      This pain, this inability, this frustration,

      This pushing as far as separation can go,

      Up to the edge of the abyss,

      Becomes wisdom at the Buddha’s seat.


      Sitting still, supported by the Earth,

      Shakyamuni Buddha still reveals the middle way.


      No longer pushing away or holding on,

      Shakyamuni Buddha found the middle way.


    • #3634
      Tommy Bradshaw

      Thank you for sharing. I certainly hope that you (and your plants!) will thrive in the next chapter of your life, wherever you may be led. Is this hymn an original creation? It was greatly enjoyed and will be shared!

      Namo Amida Bu __/|\__

    • #3636

      You’re very welcome. Namo Amida Bu. I wrote the hymn to go with the dharma talk, or maybe it was the other way round, I can’t remember which now. Please do share it. It always makes me happy if someone finds some benefit in these hymns. We sometimes sing hymns I have written in the Malvern Temple Community Choir after the 4th Saturday of each month morning service at Amida Mandala Temple.

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