With the wish to help all beings, may all my thoughts, words and actions be void of attachment and ego.
May they arise from compassion and wisdom.
May they be imbued with wisdom and joy.
–from Going Home to the Pure Land
Bestowed: Responses to the Visionary Mahayana Sutras
Digital artwork by Carol Corey, December 2022
A Message from Susthama
We had a lovely meeting with Enrique, originally from the Canary Islands but living in the UK. He ordained as a priest in the Jodo Shin Shu tradition in 2019 and came to our sangha meeting on Tuesday to talk about his interest in Shinran’s struggle with doubt.
He talked about the doubting heart that is found in some of Shinran’s wasans. A wasan is a poem that is sung in Japanese.
The doubting heart is the entrusting heart. It is the heart that is open and willing to accept that one doesn’t know. It is good to have a doubting heart. Why? Because if we didn’t doubt we might be foolish enough to think that we are certain about our convictions. We would become close minded instead of open minded. We would become extremist which might lead to even more polarisation. It is a good person who has a doubting heart because they can hold their opinions lightly and think that they might be wrong. If they are wrong then they may be open to listening to the ‘other’ in their midst.
PASTORAL LETTERS AND TEACHINGS
On this page, Amida Order members will provide updates, reflections and pastoral letters and more.
AMIDA’S 48 GREAT VOWS: Introduction, February 2021
In my statement of intent to the Order as part of the election process, I wrote that I would follow Amida’s 48 great vows to guide me. I would like to take some time to look at all the vows, where they come from and what they mean. These vows are found in the Larger Pure Land Sutra which was told by the Buddha on Vulture’s Peak. Continue Reading…
A FAITHFUL APPROACH TO THE SUTRAS.
A Heartland Zen Dharma talk by Susthama on 22 January 2022. Here she discusses the role of faith in Buddhist practice by examining both a Pali Canon and Mahanaya sutra.
“OUR BOX OF MATCHES”
Climate change is a global phenomenon that is having a huge impact on the well-being of human beings no matter where they live. We in the west have had the resources to shield ourselves against terrible weather in the past, but as weather patterns become more severe, the less we are able to defend ourselves against the force of nature. Continue reading…
KARANIYA METTA SUTTA
(edited by Bhaktika and Sundari)
Lovingkindness, or metta meditation, is a
traditional Buddhist practice that helps us to move from a sense of dislocation and isolation into more of a connection with ourselves and, ultimately, with all beings everywhere. The literal translation of the word metta is “friendship.” So metta means being a friend to ourselves and a friend to all of life. Its foundation is connection.Every action that anyone commits – even the most misguided and evil action – is an attempt to escape suffering. So we can wish that all beings, including ourselves, find the wisdom to see that true happiness is supported by love and awareness, and not by hatred and violence.
May all beings be happy and secure.
May all beings become happy in their heart of hearts!
And think of every being without exception: the weak and the strong, from the smallest to the largest, whether you can see them or not, living nearby or far away, beings living now or yet to arise – may all beings become happy in their heart of hearts!
May no one deceive or look down on anyone anywhere, for any reason. Whether through feeling angry or through reacting to someone else, may no one want another to suffer.
As strongly as a mother, perhaps risking her life, cherishes her child, develop an unlimited heart for all beings.
Develop an unlimited heart of friendliness for the entire universe, sending metta above, below, and all around, beyond all narrowness, beyond all rivalry, beyond all hatred.
Whether you are staying in one place or travelling, sitting down or in bed, in all your waking hours rest in this mindfulness, which is known as like living in heaven right here and now!
AMIDA ORDER PRECEPTS
Revised December 2021
CLICK HERE for a complete list of the new Amida Order Precepts that can be printed out for use in your practice.
FROM THE PREFACE TO THE ESSENTIALS OF THE VINAYA TRADITION
The great Vinaya Pitaka assembles all the teachings and cannot be fathomed. The broad practice of the Buddha’s ethics embraces all the perfections and is difficult to calculate. The five realms of delusion are quickly extinguished by means of the practice of the precepts. The mental entanglements of the two kinds of death are cut off by means of the path of purity.
The precepts are a jeweled boat to cross the river of desire. They are a divine carriage to traverse the mountain of hatred. They are an immediate cause of entering the citadel of awakening. They are a direct path leading to the realm of the Buddhas. It is because of the precepts that the sustaining power of the Three Jewels, leading all beings to enlightenment, is forever fresh and new. The means of training thus provided for all kinds of beings has great saving virtue.
The spreading across the world of the sutras and their explanations comes solely through the power of the Vinaya. The cutting off of doubts through meditation and wisdom is exclusively a product of the power of practising the precepts. The precepts are the essentials by which the Dharma is protected and the Sangha remains harmonious. They are the model for teaching and saving all sentient beings. They are the level path of enlightenment and nirvana. They are an excellent model of the four wisdoms and the three manifestations of the Buddha….