Some of us came as we were interested in Buddhism or in living more meaningful or more spiritual lives. Some of us were seeking calm, clarity or comfort. Some of us had become aware of our limitations. Some of us were in pain and turned to spirituality as a last resort or in desperation. We all came seeking something new.
All of us have found that we can take refuge in something bigger than ourselves – Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Light. We find that it doesn’t matter how we conceptualise of Amida Buddha or whether we believe in the teachings literally or metaphorically. We all find our own personal way of making sense of the teachings. What is important is that we see Amida Buddha as a presence that is infinitely loving, patient and wise, and that Amida Buddha is not something inside ourselves.
We deepen our refuge in Amida by reciting the nembutsu, by studying the teachings, and by creating and attending Amida-shu groups where we can practice, study and share together.
In our experience, as our sense of refuge slowly deepens, we feel more settled and content. We are able to live more skilfully and we become more available to help others in a way that feels healthy for us and for them. We receive the love and grace of Amida which helps us in our daily lives.
No matter what your reasons are for attending the group, and whatever difficulties exist in your past or your present, we hope that you will also find the consolation we have found in this sangha, and that Amida’s grace will shine on you.