I am at Vajra’s. Here the day starts with meditation. I sit. How does one meditate? I have been doing it for decades. I must have sat thousands of hours now - but how really should one meditate? I feel even more ignorant now than when I started all those years ago. Much more ignorant, in fact. Then i was proud of my so good lotus posture, which my doctor now no longer allows me to do! In those days I thought I knew what I was doing.

I reflect upon this and offer my history and my ignorance up to the Buddhas. They always receive everything happily. I feel emptied and refreshed. I hear a car drive past outside. My mind turns to all the people getting ready for the day, hurrying to work, often full of stress and worries. I embrace them with my thought and offer all this mental stress again to the Buddha. He takes this great bundle in his hands so delicately and lovingly and I realise that in the core of every worry there is a nub of love, a little jewel sparkling. The Buddhas are collecting these jewels to decorate their lands of bliss. The sparkling light cascades down and I am filled with rainbows.

Yet even in the midst of this great grace I notice there is a pain in my shoulder. Bodies are such. Yesterday it was a sore eye, today a stiff shoulder, tomorrow it will be something else. Even the good food I have eaten in the last couple of days is now quietly complaining in my stomach. And so it is for everybody. Not only do they have so many worries about work and relationships, goals and losses, they also have bodies that are never completely at ease. I offer all this physical pain and suffering to the Buddhas. Again they receive it with such wonderful delicacy for in the heart of every item there is life, like a diamond hidden in the mud. Such radiance.

The rainbow light again descends, deepening my peace. I sit in the calm, the, as-we-say, “tranquil abiding”. I feel deeply at peace, yet I also feel tears of joy. I can feel them in my throat and pricking at my eyes. These too I offer up, and I hear those words from the end of the ordination ceremony when the bodhisattvas say, “If this is so, then you are the same as we…” and I know that this is a universal truth of life, that we are touched and moved by love. However much it may be submerged by seeming troubles, there is a truth that endures which is the truth of love and compassion, and this is the Dharma.

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Running a Course in Korea and Elsewhere

Posted by David Brazier on August 3, 2018 at 1:40 2 Comments

I am currently leading courses on Buddhist psychology here in Seoul, Korea, but as I am putting the course onto this site as we go along, members of La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) are also responding so it is a bit as though the course is going on in several countries at the same time which is nice.

Varlam Shalamov

Posted by Geeta Chari on July 16, 2018 at 0:00 1 Comment

From The Paris Review:

For fifteen years the writer Varlam Shalamov was imprisoned in the Gulag for participating in “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities.” He endured six of those years enslaved in the gold mines of Kolyma, one of the coldest and most hostile places on earth. While he was awaiting sentencing, one of his short stories was…

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The Buddha, Season 1, Episode 1

Posted by Geeta Chari on June 29, 2018 at 9:21 1 Comment

I have been watching The Buddha on Netflix, and although I came well-prepared to scoff, there is a surprising amount of food for thought from a Pureland perspective. What follows is a review of the Pureland touches in the episode, coloured inevitably by my upbringing in India, although I have now lived in Britain for more than half my life.

The scene opens in the republic of Kapilavastu, depicted as a green and pleasant land, with the Himalayan mountains as a backdrop. (I was…

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Nembutsu Question

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 20, 2018 at 8:22 1 Comment

I found this in a book that I'm reading. It has challenged my current "understanding" of the Nembutsu. I tend to think of the name itself as salvation and the bridge to the Pure Land...

"...Nembutsu is not a means to gain salvation but a reflection of it. Shinran acknowledges there is nembutsu without true entrusting because he lived in an environment where nembutsu was recited for benefits and merit. By itself it cannot produce true entrusting. Nevertheless, they are inseparable as…

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