Friends of Amida-shu

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All Blog Posts (1,483)

Reverend Ananda: "Do Good Anyway"

On a recent Thursday, the non-profit that I run received a call from an older woman who needed help. She said she was living in a house without power or water, which is not that uncommon where we live. Like many others, she did not have a car. Most distressing, she said she did not have any food. I believe her exact answer, when I asked her if she had any food was, “I have a can of beans.”

There was more to her story and I spent quite a bit of time listening to all the twists and…


Added by Sujatin on August 22, 2016 at 6:36 — No Comments


Working in the care sector with people who have or have had experience of mental distress shows me that people can be genuine and love one another for who they are.

The empathy that is shown never fails to warm me and often makes me very aware of my own failings.

There is never talk of are you from this or that country or faith or background. They accept that they have common experiences and feel happy to share in the hope that they will be able to give hope or receive… Continue

Added by Andrew on August 13, 2016 at 0:24 — No Comments

Radical acceptance = relaxation

This is from my writing blog - but I think the lessons apply more generally to life, as well

Deeply accepting yourself leads to relaxation, and better writing

A few days ago I helped my brother move house.



Added by Kaspalita on August 12, 2016 at 16:05 — No Comments


Last night I visited a Theravada temple. The monks and all of the sangha were very welcoming. It was a nice atmosphere and meditation was simple, it was very natural due to the environment.

I have visited some where it's not as welcoming and I have been made to feel like an intruder, not really what one wants or expect amongst any religious community let alone Buddhist.

The evening started with a short sermon followed by some

recitation of the precepts. We then spent about thirty… Continue

Added by Andrew on August 2, 2016 at 23:01 — No Comments

Kind and caring people

Two weeks ago I was partly responsible for organising a mental health awareness day in Handsworth park Birmingham. The event was named mellow and the intention was to have conversations with people and explain a little about the issues with stigma and perceptions of mental distress in black and minority ethnic communities. My job and role was volunteer coordination. To my surprise we had thirty volunteers in total, some of them worked the whole day talking and listening to strangers they met In… Continue

Added by Andrew on July 28, 2016 at 22:13 — 3 Comments


As I attended a number of events leading up to my granddaughter leave her primary school I was reminded of impermanence and just how fast our lives go.

It seems like yesterday- a cliche I know but so true- that I took photos of her first day.

I now take photos of her leaving.

A happy time but also one of reflection and a certain amount of emotion.

Some sadness watching as she tries to deal with the sorrow of leaving her school friends and teachers she has known for long… Continue

Added by Andrew on July 22, 2016 at 19:31 — 2 Comments

Heat, passion, teenagers and the Dharma!

As a retired secondary school teacher with nearly forty years of experience under my belt, I found myself yesterday (on the second hottest day of the year so far) back in the classroom again. I visited a wonderful secondary school not far from Worcester to join colleagues from other faith traditions in a 'Diversity Day' for 13/14 year olds. The idea, of course, was not to 'convert' but to inform and educate the young people about the incredible richness and variety of spiritual life in the…


Added by Richard Ollier on July 21, 2016 at 9:10 — 1 Comment

Shiny hats & tonnes of Dharma

We're just back from the Buddhafield Festival in Taunton run by Triratna. We ran a couple of workshops and held three listening circles as a part of the Dharma Parlour (where all the best stuff happened).

This is our fourth year and we deepened our friendships with Dharma practitioners from other traditions (like the Triratna teacher Dhivan in the shiny hat and the Tibetan monk Tenzin Shenyen, pictured) and met lots of new people. It feels really good to work…


Added by Satyavani Robyn on July 19, 2016 at 8:44 — No Comments

Blessing for a (as yet unborn) new baby

On Saturday I performed a blessing for my friend's unborn born baby. Although it is her second child, she is very anxious about the birth and one of her friend's suggested she should have a 'motherhood blessing.' This turned out to be just a party, but I volunteer to give a Buddhist blessing.

Sujatin was extremely helpful and gave me her notes from a baby naming ceremony she had performed some time ago. I have copied the poem I read for you blow. 

Namo Amida…


Added by Sanghamitra on July 12, 2016 at 21:30 — 2 Comments

Sogyal Rinpoche talks about Brexit

Sogyal Rinpoche writes:

I have a special connection with the United Kingdom —it's a country I love very much. It’s a place where I’ve spent so much of my time and grown over the years. Many of my oldest and closest friends are British, and much of my education was influenced by the British model. So if there is one place in the West that I associate myself with most of all, it is Great Britain, which is why I am genuinely concerned by…

Added by Sujatin on July 4, 2016 at 9:18 — No Comments

Politics and gratitude

In 1995 I was elected to Birmingham city council representing the inner city ward in which I lived. It was a humbling expuerience with so many people coming out in all weather to support me. I worked hard during my campaign and after my election I held regular advice surgeries and made sure i was available to my constituents. Many would come to my home on their own and sometimes whole families to share food and conversation. I loved the role and being a leader of my community. I was proud and… Continue

Added by Andrew on June 25, 2016 at 9:38 — 2 Comments

Lost wallets & faith

I lost my wallet yesterday. It had £235 in it, which is no small amount to me, along with all my cards & a little photo of me and Kaspa when we first met.

Added by Satyavani Robyn on June 19, 2016 at 14:27 — No Comments

Interfaith Prayer Vigil

Aloha Friends,

Here is a photo from our Interfaith Prayer Vigil held on Wednesday June 15, 2016 at Church of the Holy Cross in Hilo Hawaii. The event was attended by sixty or so community members. Pictured are some of the members of the "Interfaith Community in Action."

Namo Amida Bu!



Added by Ananda on June 17, 2016 at 3:29 — 1 Comment

When the Ground Beneath Your Feet Doesn't Feel Solid Anymore

We spend a great deal of time thinking our existence is permanent and the world around us feels quite solid. We are of course fooled in to this behaviour because largely a lot of life can go unchanged for long periods of time until somethings happens that shakes our ground and we realise it is not so solid after all.

Quite recently I have had a good run at feeling like I am on solid ground, slow steps forward have been every increasing but then yesterday that feeling of being grounded…


Added by Kusumavarsa Dawn Hart on June 7, 2016 at 16:09 — 6 Comments

News from the temple in Malvern

The coach house renovation project has started. Yesterday, Richard, one of our local Sangha members, and Gordon, the builder, began clearing the site ready for work. Today they have been pulling down lime and horsehair plaster that may have been up for 200 years, removing old timber and generally getting on…


Added by Kaspalita on June 7, 2016 at 14:00 — 1 Comment

First Wesak at Amida Mandala

I thought you'd like to see the photo of the first Wesak for local Buddhists from different groups which I organised with my Triratna friend Gunasiddi.

Around 35 people came and we had representatives from 8 Buddhist groups including the Wild Goose Soto Zen Sangha,…


Added by Satyavani Robyn on May 21, 2016 at 18:36 — No Comments

Mary Oliver: "I Worried"

Seems an apt poem for us Pureland Buddhists:

Mary Oliver: "I Worried"

I worried a lot. Will the garden…

Added by Sujatin on May 20, 2016 at 14:28 — No Comments

News from Amida Mandala

I’ve just taken a stroll around the garden, enjoying a burst of sunshine in a day of mixed weather. A couple of hours ago a brief storm completely soaked Angie, who was busy working in the garden. Luckily David, who had also been busy in the garden, was inside during the wild weather.

Angie, who arrived this morning in her short green wellies, had been planting out the seedlings we’ve been growing on the table in front of the big windows in our flat: Foxglove, coreopsis, aquilegia,…


Added by Kaspalita on May 18, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

Listen to nembutsu chanting all over the world (& Malvern!)

This morning between 10 & 11.30am we will be chanting here at the temple in Malvern and our voices will be broadcast across the world as a part of a 24 hours of continuous chanting organised by the Zojoji temple in Tokyo.

You can listen to us later - here's the link:…


Added by Satyavani Robyn on May 14, 2016 at 7:30 — No Comments

The Buddha loves you just the right amount

Recently, I was asked to give a talk on death and dying. It made me recall a passage in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying where Sogyal Rinpoche describes what faces you after death. From memory, I think he writes about first being faced with a bright white light. This is nirvana. If you can enter the light you can enter nirvana. If you can’t manage this, you are then faced with a soft blue light. This is the gateway to the Purelands. If you can’t face that, you are then presented with…


Added by Kaspalita on May 11, 2016 at 12:00 — No Comments

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