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Acharya Sujatin (temple host)

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    • #3871

      Welcome, Duncan, from an equally rainy Perth in Scotland!

    • #3789

      To read further instalments of this discussion, look :: here

    • #3787

      And a further comment from Dharmavidya:

      Thank you for the question.  Often in the sutras we see the Buddha delighting in receiving a good question.  He says such things as “Oh, well done, Ananda!  This question will be for the benefit of many beings for a long time”.  A good question is a Dharma door.

      As I understand it, anapanasati is not so much the sati of anapana but rather sati by means of anapana.  In other words, anapanasati is not “watching the breathing” but rather it is what the Tibetans call “mounting the practice on the breath”.  This is a significant change of emphasis.

      In Amida Shu the practice is to remember Buddha at all times.  The recollection of Buddha enters into everything one does.  This is called nembutsu, literally “mindfulness of Buddha” or “recollection of Buddha” and it often takes the form of saying the Buddha’s Name. To this end I encourage my people to have a mala and to use it.  This is not just because the mala is handy for counting recitations of the Buddha’s Holy Name,; it is rather that as soon as one sees the mala, or whenever one takes it in hand, the thought of Buddha is straightaway in the mind.  Telling the beads keeps the recollection going.  With each bead one says so many nembutsu.

      Now anapanasati is like that.  When one mounts the practice on the breath, then the breath becomes your mala.  Every breath becomes a nembutsu.  Through anapana one’s sati (nen in Japanese) is reanimated. The breath is the soul of recollection.

      The Pureland way is also to make every aspect of Dharma into a Buddha recollection. This both simplifies and deepens the practice.  So it is not a matter of learning a scatter of practices – wisdom, compassion, rapture, impermanence, truths, powers, etc., so much as that all of these become  extensions of the one key recollection.  This being so, one does not need, necessarily, to learn many volumes of teaching in order to get the blessing.  Whether you know one teaching or many teachings, they are all recollection of Buddha. It is always valuable to listen and learn, but always, whatever the teaching, one is listening to Buddha.

      Once one has selected nembutsu (selection is an important word in the teachings of Honen Shonin) then all practices become nembutsu and “only nembutsu is true and real”.

      Thus,  in the anapanasati passages in the sutras, anapanasati might be used to establish, for instance, rapture.  With each breath the rapture comes back to one.  In this way, by means of breathing, recollection of rapture occurs.  In Pureland, rapture is just another way of experiencing Buddha.  Buddha is rapture.  Rapture is the blessing of Buddha entering one’s physical being.  So anapana bringing rapture is anapana bringing the experience of the presence of Buddha.

      In anapanasati, the breath is ones mala.  When the breath is one’s mala the recollection occurs all the time and it does not matter which aspect of the Dharma appears, they are all recollection of Buddha.  Buddha is the mani gem: it is a jewel with innumerable facets. Buddhism is to ever be in contact with Buddha, ever receiving the blessing, taking it in with every breath.  Sati is to keep the blessing in one’s heart and anapanasati is to refresh it with every breath.  I am not breathing – Buddha is breathing in me.

    • #3780

      Namo Amida Bu – good to see you here, Gertjan.

    • #3732

      Yes, one of my sangha was talking about how he came to Pureland Buddhism yesterday evening – I’m sure that that instant ‘at home’ feeling is because Amida has always been chanting to us – and, at one point, we are blessed to stop and listen and then hear that call.

    • #3725

      @dharmavidya says, “Jodo Shu”

    • #3723

      It was incorporated at a time when I wasn’t with the sangha – I will ask for you

    • #3721

      That sounds like a good source of inspiration, Tommy. Post-it notes – what a good idea – just writing one now…

    • #3719

      What word would you choose for the year ahead?

    • #3641

      Yes, I agree with you both. Doing what we can is better than doing nothing, both spiritually and psychologically. And one of the Amida tenets is ‘demonstrating an alternative’. Showing we care about our earth and the sentient beings it houses. Showing courage and supporting others who do so.

    • #3577


      FOOTNOTE: It is sometimes assumed that the kind of approach described above is slower than more directive approaches. This is incorrect.  How rapidly an approach moves along depends on its accuracy. Most of the encounters in Zen stories are very brief – two minute therapy. Two minute therapy is possible when the exchange is on the ball. To be on the ball in this way, the therapist must, in principle, be empty of self and empty of preconceived ideas. To put the same thing differently, they must be invulnerable to manipulation and have no manipulative intention of their own. Things can then move along without impediment. I imagine this principle applies whatever type of therapy one is talking about.


    • #3448

      Hello Paulo – there are occasional on-line activities you can join in that will help you connect with others here and that will support your practice. Look here

      For example, tomorrow evening there’s this

      And lots of suggestions here

      Namo Amida Bu

    • #3446

      Beautiful – thank you! _/l\_

    • #3344

      Hello Stephanie – wasn’t that a super day! You haven’t been able to follow the link because I changed it from Shibusa to Shibui, which sounds gentler to me. I think shibusa is the noun and shibui is an adverb

      At the moment I am knitting – a twiddlemuff for my 97 year old mother whose world is shrinking dramatically. I finished the knitting part and have just been to The Range to buy beads, buttons, bows, ribbon to add to it. So poignant to see her decline (via small video clips from my sisters)

    • #3315

      Thank you – I will. I’ve just taken a small piece off the little loom to take to the lodge as a wall hanging. Planning my next pieces!

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