Ippen's hymn came to me at work the other day when I was struggling to find gratitude for the recent, somewhat un-forseen circumstances of my life. Although we hate the hell realms, ''we seize them again''. I always take these words as a reference to the continuum that unfolds as karma and delivers us to the conditions in which we find faith and then continue to unpick the knot of our bondage to Samsara. Whilst psychological growth is key to the process, equally as important is to acknowledge the plights of the countless others who are caught up in their individual and collective ignorance and delusion; after all, we are all in it together and cannot expect to be truly free whilst others are still languishing. It's easy to see how these two principles(ignorance and delusion) are key components of the self-perpetuating trap of the material realms. If I'm ignorant of the problem, I fail to seek a solution and become more and more enmeshed in the conditions of incarceration. I can also see how an attitude of indignation at the perceived misfortune of my fate can be an accelerant to the very fires that burn and make it painful in the first place. All of this can reduce my ability to apprehend the teaching inherent in the predicament, and therefore miss an opportunity for joy and spiritual nourishment.

It would be easy to associate my new place of work with a hell realm, even though I believe that hell is a psychological state, rather than a place to which we are banished for our transgressions. Many miserable faces, attitudes of intolerance and contempt towards fellow workers, endless noise and infinite repetition of mundane tasks. All contributing to an emotional experience that, whilst challenging, is not exclusive to the particular environment. The feelings evoked can happen to me with equal effect in the most favourable of situations. It became apparent that these things can either be an intolerable burden for me, or, an inspiration to connect with the power that never fails to sustain my spirit despite the adversity in my life. After all, Buddha is everywhere, in everything and everyone. But it's up to me to make the gesture of faith that transforms the apparently secular into the divine, by calling the name and inviting Amida in to my everyday experience.

Namo Amida Bu!

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ITZI Conference 2017

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Korean Version of Workshops

Posted by JAESUNG KIM on August 6, 2017 at 6:58 0 Comments

2017 여름 불교심리치료 및 상담 워크숍 3회 내용

THREE PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING WORKSHOPS

 

WORKSHOP 1: SNOW UPON A SILVER PLATE [ 銀盌盛雪]: PRINCIPLES OF BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY & THEIR PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC APPLICATION

In this workshop we shall introduce and review important aspects of Buddhist psychology including the conditioned and unconditioned mind, object relatedness, skandha process, the unity of path and goal, bodhichitta,…

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Great Intentions.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on August 3, 2017 at 22:42 0 Comments

  • 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…

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Study Group.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on July 18, 2017 at 22:41 1 Comment

We just had a study group meeting at Amida Mandala Temple. Only three of us but a very rich hour. Predictably we came round to the issue of ‘is one Nembutsu enough?’ My understanding: In a sense it is, because when we call Amida we become one with his vow and the Pure Land and thus we are saved. In another sense we have to keep calling him so that he can keep saving us. As if we’re all lost in a thick fog and Amida is a few steps ahead of us illuminating the way, we have to keep him in sight…

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SIMPOSIUM AT OASIS

Posted by David Brazier on July 11, 2017 at 15:30 0 Comments

On 8th July we had a meeting of six teachers at Oasis together with many visitors.

Pictures: Here

Each of the teachers gave a presentation on what they considered most significant in their practice. Then there was an extended lunch period for socialising and, finally a sessions of questions and answers.…

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