Ever since my ordination back in Dec 2003 I have always loved being involved in or being a witness to someone taking a step onto the Buddhist path. The aspirant or candidate taking on the Amida precepts always appears solemn, and sincere, and as I listen to the vows and see how willing they are to aspire to live an ideal life they become even bigger with a certain amount of gravitas and I find myself shrinking and becoming less Significant. It is a wonderfully moving experience and so I always look forward to these ceremonies.

I think we are like caterpillars. Just like the hungry caterpillar that started off as an egg on the leaf and then popped out as a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar who then looked for food and ate pretty much everything it came across. We are like those very greedy caterpillars, consuming everything we can with very little awareness of the harm we are causing as we continue to consume and indulge ourselves. We are clinging, grasping creatures that need so much more than most of the other species that share our planet and we are very good at making sure that we survive. We now have a huge list of animals on the endangered species list and the number of animals now extinct is shocking and sad but we are very good at armouring ourselves and acting as if we are not guilty of that. We have no idea how spiky, or poisonous, or harmful we are until after the fact.

And even though it is a hard truth to face up to and acknowledge that we are greedy, selfish, harmful, and deluded beings it can be a bright day if this acknowledgement leads one to a point of contrition. For then, just like in the Life of no regret, where it says, “though Buddha lands and worldly realms be numberless like sand, by sheer power of aspiration, I will fill them all with light.” This is a moment of transformation...like the caterpillar in the chrysalis emerging as a butterfly, only it’s better than that because the transformation is instant.

One awakens to the reality, and to the Dharma, and one becomes a beautiful butterfly. Delicate, fragile, vulnerable, but never ceasing to travel from one place to another to bring beauty and to carry pollen from one flower to another to try to create conditions in which a Pureland can be seen. They flutter about in almost every direction, always busy but without a visible direction to us caterpillars. But they have their own vision and they know that they will cease to exist one day and so they work tirelessly and effortlessly, together with other Buddhas to try and awaken other caterpillars to the Bodhisattva path. They will not stop long enough for us to truly see their beauty but they are fluttering about in and out of our lives enough to give us a glimpse and an intuition of something much greater than any one of us.

I use to take Selena to a place called butterfly world. It had a glass house in which many different exotic species of butterflies and moths lived and we would all try and stand still, hoping that maybe a butterfly would come and land on us. And one time we saw one land on a little boy and his mother said, ‘That is a gift.’ And then the butterfly flew away to the other side of the plants and disappeared.

To have the opportunity to attend and witness an ordination ceremony is a gift. It doesn’t last long, but the vows and the aspiration to follow a different tune is a beautiful and wonderful gift that Amida has bestowed on us.

Namo Amida Bu

Views: 135

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) to add comments!

Join David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis)

Comment by Vajrapala Lut Moerman on January 2, 2018 at 15:19

Thank you so share again, I better understand it now.... my english.....

Namo Amida Bu

Comment by Juline Smit on December 31, 2017 at 17:02

Thank you Susthama.  Your words ring true. 

Was a gift to visit Butterfly World with you and Selena a few years ago.

_/|\_

Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on December 5, 2017 at 17:57

Thank you, Susthama. It was nice to read this and remember your beautiful talk. I like the modifications too. Namo Amida Bu!

Comment by Satya Robyn on December 5, 2017 at 9:50

Yes it was good to hear it again. Namo Amida Bu!

Comment by Susthama Kim on December 4, 2017 at 22:29

Namo Amida Bu. You probably recognised this as the talk I gave during the last order retreat before Andrew’s aspirant ceremony. Prajna asked me to write it down for her and I never had time until last night so I modified it slightly to fit the next special occasion.

Comment by Satya Robyn on December 4, 2017 at 18:58

Namo Amida Bu. Thank you Susthama. Look forward to seeing you soon!

Events

ITZI Conference 2019

Subscribe to ITZI Conference Newsletter

* indicates required

Blog Posts

MY REAL LIFE

Posted by David Brazier on December 8, 2018 at 15:00 3 Comments

I'd like to try to say something about real life, which is the only thing that is really interesting.

I have been a bookworm ever since I learnt to read, which was not until I was seven years old. By that time I had already had important spiritual experiences. I was a rather odd child. Many ideas went through my head that tended to set me apart from other children.

Now,…

Continue

More Will Be Revealed!!

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on November 5, 2018 at 12:46 2 Comments

Adjusting to the extreme contrast between India and England has been a truly enlightening experience for me and I will probably be processing it psychologically for quite a while to come! 

It is impossible not to be affected by the seething mass of raw energy that flows endlessly there, seemingly toward no apparent goal except pure survival. It often seemed like hell…

Continue

MARY MIDGLEY

Posted by David Brazier on October 21, 2018 at 17:25 1 Comment

Born: September 13, 1919, London, United Kingdom

Died: October 10, 2018

Mary was a dear friend and inspiration. I first met her when she came to a meditation class I was leading. Her husband had recently died and she was grieving. She did not need meditation, she just needed to grieve and that be OK, which it definitely was, but she continued to come to meetings and made a…

Continue

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.

© 2018   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service