Amida is calling to me, is calling me, which means that all the Buddhas that ever were or will be are calling me, calling to say “Stop! Look!” “Look at the Dharma we have discovered!”

When I say “Namo Amida Bu” - or any other form of refuge, I am acknowledging the call of the Buddhas. I am saying “Receiving, receiving!” I am allowing their love, compassion, joy and peace into my heart, into my life.

However bad things may get in the conditioned world of birth and death, this infinitely precious gift is to hand, “Stop! Look!”

There is no need to make this into a complicated or challenging “practice” as though by accumulation or by prowess one could become the controller of the grace. It is a free gift. The Buddhas do not call only or especially to the viruous or skilful or meritorious. Even having received it, one’s hands are still empty and one is still receiving.

We are the shravakas - the hearers - and the Buddhas are the callers. The spiritual wayfarer is one who hears and follows the call. This is personal, not formulaic. Thus there is a special intimacy between each wayfarer and the Buddhas. This sets the wayfarer apart from worldliness. Although the wayfarer may go down into he market places of the world, he or she remains immune because of this calling. He of she carries a treasure more precious than any worldly praise or gain.

This liberates. The wayfarer can be just what he is - ekagata - simply, non-defensively. This is possible because whatever stresses, illnesses or misfortunes he encounters, he remains at one with the calling of the Buddhas which is always and everywhere the same, the voice of the unborn, of the deathless.

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