Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Some elements of listening deeply to Amida Dharma


Question:

What should I do in order to listen deeply to Amida Dharma? Please, give me some examples of listening deeply.

Answer:
- Think that solving the matter of repeated births and deaths is the most important thing in your life.
- Put aside all other Buddhist or non-Buddhist teachings, philosophies, and opinions and listen (reading is also listening) only to Amida Dharma.
- Put aside what you think you know and listen to what Amida Dharma has to say. Empty your cup (mind) of your so called, personal "wisdom", and stay open to receive the nectar of Dharma. Consider that you know nothing and that Amida Dharma knows everything.
- Read the most simple and essential texts of our school
- Listen again and again (constantly) in the manner described above
- Ask questions if you have doubts or if there is something you don't understand. Study the answers carefully and without hurry, and ask again if you need to.
- Engage in a Dharma dialogue (not debates!) with people who are already established in faith and who do not embrace wrong views.
- Think on the testimony of Shakyamuni Buddha himself, and of so many wonderful Masters like Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Shan-tao, Honen, Shinran, Rennyo, who accepted the existence of Amida Buddha and the reality of His salvation.

Always ask Amida Buddha for guidance. Bow to Him, and say His Name even if you are not yet established in faith. No matter how many doubts you have, or how awkward it might be at the begining, find some time to sit with Amida Buddha and ask Him for guidance. Give a chance to the idea that He and His salvation are real.

As I told you in the previous letter, you really have nothing to lose if you accept Amida's salvation. On the contrary, you gain everything! You will be born in the Pure Land at the end of this life and become a Buddha! Your suffering in the repeated births and deaths will be over and you will be capable of trully helping others, especially your dear ones.
Please also meditate on what you have to lose if you do not accept the existence of Amida Buddha and the reality of His salvation. The chance you now have to be in a human body and listen to Amida Dharma might not be met in thousands and thousands of lives!
So, just give it a try and do the above things for some time. Also, use the days you will stay at Amidaji for that. I am waiting for you and will do my best to create the proper conditions for you so that you can focus on Amida Buddha and His Dharma.
Namo Amida Butsu



- fragment from a letter to a friend -

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