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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ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

Shinran and Ippen

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 16, 2018 at 8:00 0 Comments

On Saturday evening our regular study group met on Skype where we looked at and discussed material from "No Abode", a beautiful book about the life of Ippen, ancient Japanese Purland master and "The Essential Shinran" which documents the life of Shinran Shonin, one of Honen's most famous disciples. We had a very stimulating discussion which I enjoyed greatly. We will be meeting again on Saturday 19th May at 9pm British time. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to join us.…

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Buddhism Day

Posted by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on March 28, 2018 at 15:46 1 Comment

I wasn't getting as much done as I intended to or 'needed' to in my previous mode of moving between lots of different activities, so I decided to devote one day a week to a particular activity, and this week I'm doing a Buddhism day. I've finally managed to get started on Vow 22, then I did some online research and catching up with mostly Buddhist emails, then I wrote a dharma talk. I plan to do a service run-through later. It's certainly easier for me to get things done this way. Namo Amida…

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REMEMBERING SAIKO SENSEI

Posted by David Brazier on March 19, 2018 at 21:43 1 Comment

Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the death of Gisho Saiko. Sensei Saiko was the founder of Shinshu Counselling. He wrote a number of books and presented his ideas at international conferences as well as through his university and Buddhist organisations in Japan. He referred to my work in his books and when I visited Japan a few months before his death, he took on to invite me to a number of gatherings and hosted my wife and I in royal fashion. He was enthusiastic that I should play a…

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Bombu Magic.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on March 14, 2018 at 10:31 0 Comments

''The lotus does not grow in the solid ground of lofty plateaus, but in the muddy ponds of lowland marshes. This is an analogy meaning that foolish beings, while in the mud of blind passions, put forth the blossoms of the Buddha's perfect enlightenment; This indicates the inconceivable power of the Tathagata's universal Primal Vow.''

From ''The Essential Shinran.''

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