• The power of intentions is a topic that comes up regularly for me and always provides me with food for thought. In a recent service I was struck by the gravity of the Bodhisattva vows that we sing as part of our liturgy. ”Innumerable are sentient beings: We vow to save them all.”. This is no small order, in fact it sounds impossible, but the verse conveys a conviction which is inspiring and intriguing.  I have heard these words many times but this time there was an extra emphasis, a deeper dimension of meaning which seemed to be imbued in them. I thought of a Dharma talk from the past that stuck in my mind as a useful resource for times of doubt and fear.  An analogy of a great conflagration consuming the world and a compassionate being armed with only a bucket of water and a kind heart, determined to make a difference by easing the suffering of others. The fire goes out.  The good intention, followed by affirmative action, is enough to have a profound effect on the problem.

    This, I believe, is the nature of the spirit behind these sacred words, which at first might seem naively optimistic! And this is the nature of the Buddha Amida’s holy vows, which declare a similar sentiment towards the issue of suffering and a profound desire to save all beings. The Buddha speaks his vows with a confidence that leads us to believe that they are already fulfilled. The strength of his love for us determines the effectiveness of his intention to rescue us from the sea of affliction that is Samsara. It is done, we are saved. The love is enough, in the same way as a tiny pale of water is enough to extinguish a raging inferno, when compassion is the motivation for the action.

    This principle is very helpful for me at the moment, as I am in the training stages of a new job which puts me in a position of responsibility over some very vulnerable people. There is often a sense of being overwhelmed by an impossible predicament, but there is also a genuine desire and intention to contribute something useful to it. And a feeling that my efforts are not just futile gestures in the face of inevitable disaster, but in some inexplicable way, counterbalance the weight of the problem, making solution more possible.

    Namo Amida Bu.

Views: 31

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)


ITZI Conference 2019

Subscribe to ITZI Conference Newsletter

* indicates required

Blog Posts

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…


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…


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.…


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…


© 2018   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service