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:
I have been here before.
She used her magic on me.
I was her talisman,
To terrify others into obedience.
Magic is devious manipulation,
In another word, bullying.
That because I didn't stand up to her bullying,
She activated the bully-within,
Which ever since has given me no peace.
Now I find myself there again,
And know that this time I must stand up to her,
Or she will make the bully within me
Strike me as it has never struck before,
But I cannot wash the mud
From a thousand, terrified eyes-
I couldn't do it, aged five,
And I still can't do it now,
In a country of endemic bullying-
So, I know, I must stand up,
And entrust myself to Limitless Compassion-
Namo Amida Bu.
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