The radiant light, unhindered and inconceivable, eradicates suffering and brings realization of joy; the excellent Name, perfectly embodying all practices, eliminates obstacles and dispels doubt. This is the teaching and practice for our latter age; devote yourself solely to it. It is eye and limb in this defiled world; do not fail to endeavor in it. Accepting and living the supreme, universal Vow, then, abandon the defiled and aspire for the pure. Reverently embracing the Tathagata's teaching, respond in gratitude to his benevolence and be thankful for his compassion.

~ Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Although the glory of Amida's light
Shines unhindered in all directions,
My eyes, blinded by foolishness,
Cannot perceive even a single ray.
How shameful this is! How pitiful!
Yet though my spiritual eyes are closed,
I can still hear the Other Power calling me.
I can smell the fragrance of the Dharma
In those who entrust themselves
Without doubt to the Buddha's wisdom.
I can taste it in the Nembutsu,
And I can feel it in the warmth
Of my Parent's embrace.
And so for me this long night of birth and death
Is not dark at all, but bright
With the promise of the Primal Vow.
Someday soon, I will become one with the light
That illumines and nurtures me constantly,
And join in the great saving work
Of enlightening others.
Namo Amida Butsu.

~ In gratitude. January 13, 2014

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