Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What should I do about my bad thoughts that don’t stop even after entrusting myself to Amida Buddha?

-last revised January 2nd, 2018 -

Don’t busy yourself with them, as Amida does the same. Your salvation has nothing to do with them. This is why Master Rennyo said that our negative karma is like non-existent, in the sense that it will not become an obstacle to our birth in the Pure Land where we attain Buddhahood. This is also the meaning of “we attain Buddhahood without destroying blind passions”. In fact, once born in the Pure Land our blind passions dissapear automatically, but until then, and while we are still in our delusory bodies, blind passions are not a hindrance to our salvation which depends exclusively on  Amida Buddha. 

If bad thoughts arise in your mind, let them pass. It is not in your power to stop them and is not even recommended to stop your thoughts as this can bring mental problems. Just notice them and let them pass. They are your karma, your karmic tendencies conscious or unconscious. I say they are “yours” because you are attached to them, identify yourself with them and you try to fulfill them, but in reality they are like clouds in the sky.

Thoughts belong to nobody; they come from empty space and go to empty space. So, just leave them alone, you don’t need to insist on them or modify them. Just rely on Amida and say the nembutsu of faith. The object of your attention should be Amida’s promise from His Primal Vow, not the various thoughts that wander in your mind.

If you experience good moments, say the nembutsu. If you experience bad moments, say the nembutsu. There will always be something to happen to you or appear into your mind. Don’t expect not to experience bad thoughts after receiving shinjin (faith).
Take refuge in Amida Buddha and say His Name no matter the state of mind you are in. Amida doesn’t care that you are in a good, special or bad state of mind. He knows who you are and that you need him, so don’t worry. He is your best friend, asking NOTHING from you.

Here is a wonderful poem by Senmyo Wajo:

“When you are alone and hurt, recite Namo Amida Butsu.
When you feel the loneliest man in the world and you are depressed,
 again recite Namo Amida Butsu.
Namo Amida Butsu is for this ignorant person full of blind passions.
When things are as they should, not good or bad, Namo Amida Butsu.
Namo Amida Butsu is not recited for other people’s ears,
but it’s a Call between parent and child.
I hear Namo Amida Butsu with my ears,
Namo Amida Butsu I answer with my voice and my heart,
Namo Amida Butsu, recite even for ten times and sleep in peace!
If you suddenly die, whenever and wherever you are, you are home in the Pure Land of Enlightenment.”

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