Monday, September 25, 2017

Simple Nembutsu service at Amidaji temple

                                                     (please click on the highlighted words in the text 
                                                                       as they lead you to very important teachings!) 

(update: scroll down to the last video to see Nembutsu service with drum!)
This is a simple religious service based entirely on Nembutsu recitation. The rhytm of recitation is held by hitting a wooden mokugyo in a normal or faster speed. This service is useful to anybody, especially to newcomers who don't know to recite the various hymns included in other services. Thus, they can join immediately in the temple chanting without any difficult introductions. As you see in the video, the recitation can sometimes be accompanied by bowing three times. The priest bows three times from standing, while the rest of the sangha from sitting. Also, when the priest enters the Hondo (Dharma Hall) and approaches the altar he bows three times from standing while saying Nembutsu. The sangha also accompanies him from sitting. Here Nembutsu is recited as:

In Jodo Shinshu we speak about the Nembutsu of Faith. When one has faith (shinjin), one is convinced that Amida Buddha and His Pure Land exists, and that the Promise He made in His Primal Vow is true, so he simply entrusts to this Buddha and wishes to go to His Pure Land (Buddha-field of Amida) after death. Saying Namo Amida Bu often or seldom means exactly this – “I entrust to Amida Buddha/I take refuge in Amida Buddha and I wish to go to His Pure Land”. It also means, “Thank you Amida Buddha for saving me and taking me to your Pure Land at the end of this physical body”.

Nembutsu can be recited in many other forms, like Namo Amida Butsu, Namandabu, Namo Amitabha, Namo Amituofo, Namo Adidaphat, and of course, without the need of a mokugyo or any instrument. The form is not important, nor is it the number of recitations, but the presence of faith in Amida Buddha, as Nembutsu is nothing else than the expression of faith and gratitude. Also, you don't need any special feelings or states of mind when you say the Name in faith.

Here you can see Nembutsu recitation without the mokugyo. This one was recorded at Tariki Dojo but we use this style at Amidaji too, during our regular service, before and after chanting a hymn:

And here you can see Nembutsu service with a drum, preceded by Three Invitations and Refuges:

You can chose one or another for your personal service or at the meetings with your sangha members, or chose your own style. Just enjoy the Name.

Namo Amida Bu

- the simple Nembutsu service with mokugyo was recorded 

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