January 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm #2557
I was so happy when I found this virtual community. Although there is an Amida community in London, it’s really not a very convenient place for me to get to and I was hoping to find somewhere where I could have a sangha in which to test the waters.
I usually identify as a Unitarian, as I say in my profile. This is for a number of reasons, but mainly because Unitarians welcome everyone, no matter what, and because we’re non-creedal, so I can be what I term a ‘new reformation Christian’, which many Christians wouldn’t really call a Christian at all, and bring along my practice of Reiki and fascination with Buddhism, and nobody bats an eyelid.
I’ve been interested in Buddhism and not sure if I’m really a Buddhist (whatever we take that to mean) for a long time – probably about 15 years. I find some ideas of Western Buddhism very attractive and I love the teachers in the American Vipasana movement, especially Tara Brach, but I’ve always felt something missing. A few years ago, I encountered Amida Buddhism somehow and it just felt right. The nembutsu felt ok to say and the idea of a Pureland just made sense to my (odd) Christian way of thinking. When I’ve needed to pray and have lost the words I need, my thoughts go to two places: the prayer of Jesus (aka Our Father – I don’t use the normal words) and the nembutsu.
I run my own business, a gym, and I was getting extremely stressed by it and needed a physical practice other than going to the gym to help me deal with it. I turned to Reiki as it had helped me before. I found a pair of teachers who teach together and make sure to teach part of the course in the Japanese tradition. We discussed the symbols we use as practitioners and one of them is possibly derived from part of the root of the word for the Amida Buddha. When I heard that, a light just went on and I knew I had to pursue the Japanese way of Reiki over the ‘new age’ way. The more I practice, the more I realise that it is deeply rooted in Buddhist thought.
And so here I am, slightly messy, definitely bombu and hoping to be part of your community in some way. I’ve been reading Satyavani and Kaspalita’s book (I’ve read a few others about Amida Buddhism before too) and it still makes sense to me. It’s a beautiful thing.
Much love and light
January 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm #2558
Great to see you here – welcome 🙂
We come here from very diverse backgrounds! Enjoy 🙂
Peace, Love and Light
January 4, 2018 at 4:01 pm #2561
Rev. Satya Robyn (temple host)Moderator
Hi Tristan – a warm welcome. Do hope you find some useful stuff here – there are lots of great teachings in the shrine room, and lots of lovely folk milling around all over the place. Do feel free to ask questions, post etc, look forward to getting to know you. (and, early days, but we have some good resources for people wanting to start their own little Amida Shu groups – ask if you’re interested at some point!)
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