Friends of Amida-shu

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Amida in Scotland Newsletter 14 ~ Sangha Gathering 6 September 2016

Amida Sangha in Scotland

Newsletter 15

Our next meeting will be on

6 September 2016

A date for your diary -
our next sangha meeting in Perth
will be on the evening of
Tuesday 6 September
 2016

As most of you are away on holiday or otherwise unavailable,
there's no meeting in August

Time:
 7 - 9 pm
Venue: 'Taigh an t-Solais'
19 Fairmount Terrace
Barnhill
Perth
PH2 7AS

Details of where to find us are :: here


Note: Meetings are open to all.
No experience necessary.


Come along and join us - and bring your friends! 
All meetings include Pureland Buddhist practice, tea and biscuits, time to check in with each other. We'll plan meetings in the future to include guided meditation, art and music. From time to time other members of the Amida Order will visit us.

There's no cost for these meetings - we welcome donations for Amida projects in Delhi and the UK. Suggested amount between £2 and £5.


Directions: From the Queens Bridge, travel south along the A85 Dundee Road, in the Dundee direction. Turn up Fairmount Road beside the Sunbank House Hotel. Continue to the right along Fairmount Terrace, going beyond the small crossroads beside Balnagraig School. Shortly after this you will come to a small cul-de-sac on the left hand side, where you will find Number 19 at the top of the cul-de-sac.
Here's a photo of the house so you'll recognise it!

We're near the bottom right of :: this map


The shrineroom is on the ground floor, overlooking the terraced garden at the back of the house.





Amida Buddhism: Faith and Practice 5

 

Threefold Path

Sila, Samadhi and Prajna

Commentary:

In Amidist Buddhism we do not see ethics, mind cultivation and wisdom as the path leading to enlightenment so much as the path leading from the awakening of faith. If one has faith in the Pure Land then one naturally wants to serve all beings and so one’s behaviour is likely to be kind, compassionate, wise and friendly. Similarly, if one has faith, then one is not troubled by setbacks or confused personal agendas so the mind becomes clear and bright. Amidist Buddhism does not present spiritual perfection as an emotionless or mindless condition. It is a condition in which the feelings of gratitude, awe, longing and reverence become powerful motivators giving a person energy, patience, single mindedness and clarity of purpose.

 

Threefold Practice

Keeping the Pure Land in mind

Engaging fully with the world of bliss and affliction

Renunciation

Commentary:

Keeping the Pure Land in mind means always to be guided by faith. This may be expressed in many different ways. Many practitioners like to recite the names of the Buddha and especially the name Amida, perhaps in the form Namo Amida Bu. Or to visualise the Pure Land in the form described in the scriptures or naturalistically. Some find their faith strengthened through contact with natural phenomena and others through listening to teachers or inspirational study. The most characteristic method in Amidist Buddhism is to call the name of Amida thereby expressing the depth of faith and longing in one’s heart.

Engaging fully with the world of bliss and affliction means that faith atrophies if it is not acted upon. If we have the vision of the Pure Land before us we can hardly help ourselves wanting to make it a reality in everything we do. Even though we may have very poor capacity and have much spiritual blindness, still, if we have faith, we have some light and if we act on whatever light we have, be it ever so small, more light will appear. If we can trust that the light really is Amida - measureless - then we can entrust ourselves to it. The words for bliss and affliction are sukha and dukkha. The Buddha said that his whole teaching was concerned with pointing out dukkha and the possibility of its transformation into sukha. We will soon realise that dukkha is really to be understood as whatever threatens our faith and sukha as whatever strengthens it. The Buddha told his followers to go forth into the world to help everybody in every way we can - to resist the conditions of ill, assist the afflicted and demonstrate an alternative.

Renunciation means that if we have faith we do not want to be encumbered with things and habits that get in the way of our living in accordance with that faith. This is where all the common practices of Buddhism come to be seen as valuable: simplifying one’s life, making offerings, bowing, contrition, rejoicing in others, reverence to teachers, spiritual ancestors and the objects of refuge, requesting teaching, generosity, hospitality, non-killing, non-stealing, avoiding sexual misconduct, non-use of intoxicants, right speech and so forth.
 

Transmission of the Dharma

Without our many generations of teachers we would never have awakened to the truth.

Without our awakening to the truth the future generations would be without help.

Commentary:

From Shakyamuni Buddha down through Ananda and more than eighty generations of teachers the faith in the Buddhist Pure Land has come down to us and nobody fully awakens this faith without help. The call from without awakens the call from within. Even though a person may be granted a vision of the Pure Land spontaneously, faith matures through the inspiration of living and ancestral teachers.

Dharmavidya David Brazier, Head of the Order of Amida Buddha


*****
You can find out more about

Amida Scotland on our website  ::here

The Amida-shu (School) of Pureland Buddhism by visiting this :: website
The on-line Amida community around the world :: here
Dharmavidya's hermitage in France :: here
and his daily news updates :: here

Amida Scotland has a :: FaceBook page


NAMO AMIDA BU

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