Andrew Ralph Cheffings's Blog (6)

Buddhism Day

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

Two Songs

Wrong

I am about to do, or have already done, something wrong,

Which will cause me to be responsible for something terrible.

How can I prevent this from happening, or undo what is already done?

I even feel responsible for others' atrocities I don't even know.

Lamb

There are accidents,

There are mistakes,

And there is deliberately doing wrong.

Why do I feel responsible for others'…

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Added by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on April 12, 2017 at 21:28 — 4 Comments

Saint Thomas

As I walked up and down the Strand,

I glimpsed Saint Thomas White

On the other side of the street.

Shamefully, I glanced at him.

He smiled.

In shame, I looked away and walked on.

A second time I saw him,

And found my eyes drawn to him-

So pretty, so slight, so masculine.

He winked at me.

In shame I looked away

And walked on.

A third time I saw him.

My eyes moved to…

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Added by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on September 14, 2016 at 17:36 — 1 Comment

Hymn of Conciliation

I've sent this hymn to a person who has been fairly central in the recent storms in my life. It's something of an ending, I hope:

Foolish Beings

I do not blame you for being you;

I do not blame me for being me;

To Amida, we are both foolish beings,

But we can entrust ourselves to Him

And let him transform

Our foolish, vulnerable selves into Gold.

You carefully appreciate what you…

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Added by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on May 4, 2016 at 18:36 — 2 Comments

Resigning Hymn

Here is the hymn I wrote which helped me resign from a job which I have been struggling with for many years:

Two Trees

A culture of bullying is like a tree:

If bullying is in the trunk,

It spreads through every branch and twig,

Until we all become bullies or colluders.

Amitabha reaches out to rescue me;

I stretch out my arm, and take His hand.

He is the trunk of a different…

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Added by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on April 21, 2016 at 17:41 — No Comments

Hymns of Trouble

I came back from my retreat at Amida Mandala in Malvern, knowing that I would have to face my problems at work which are a mirror and continuation of problems I have faced since age five (and probably had karmic forbears as well). I am writing hymns which reflect this but I try to use the Nembutsu to turn the feelings around and come up with new responses, rather than old, counterproductive ones. Here's a hymn:

Say No

I have been…

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Added by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on April 20, 2016 at 11:00 — 7 Comments

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Blog Posts

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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