Today is the second day of the Bodhi retreat. It has been a wonderful energetic day. The morning service was beautiful with strong melodic chanting. And the rise of the morning sun encouraged our chants and filled the meditation hall with beautiful morning light.
After breakfast we received a inspiring and vital Dharma talk about the importance of bowing and awareness of the body; how paying attention to your body gives a doorway to understanding ‘reality’ and how this can help you with your spiritual life. Bowing is an important ritual in daily Buddhist practice. In the dharma talk we heard that bowing is also nembutsu, bowing is a form of taking refuge.
Imagine a tree in the storm. A bending tree will survive while a stiff tree probably will break by the force of a strong wind. We are like this tree… when we are flexible in times of storm; when we have the skills to bend, we are so much more capable to survive a storm. Bowing our body is an important practice…. It will teach us to face obstacles in life with more flexibility.
During the morning service we practiced Nei Quen. During the silence meditation you meditate about the following questions;
- What have you received?
- What have you given in return?
- What trouble have you caused?
Strong questions that immediately awaken a lot of sensations in my body. A mixture of gratitude, happiness and also some feelings of restlessness and a touch of despair; What have I given in return… what trouble have I caused…? Lots of images, memories and emotions passed by in a few minutes….
During this meditation I noticed that I felt very grateful for all the beautiful things I experience, especially this week. I feel so happy to have the chance to experience the Amida Sangha. I feel so at home, so surprisingly comfortable and also this warm energy…. I feel inspired, inspired and warm because of so many meetings with members of the sangha. Sincere, personal meetings with intimate conversations.
Yes it was a bright, light and lively day…
(At the picture you see the Amida Trinity; Tai Shih Chi, Amida Buddha and Quan Yin)