Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Old tyme hockey
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:50 am

Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by Old tyme hockey » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:41 am

Hello everybody, for me the nembutsu have had huge inpact in my daily life. As someone mentioned earlier, it really makes you stay humble. And also coping with strong emotions like anger and sadness. I have a job i really dont like, im a welder and i think its awful. So often ,9 hours a day im a mess. But since i started reciting the nembutsu i have something positive to think about. So i almost look forward to working nowdays, that means that i can spend time with Amida. Namu Amida Butsu

steveb1
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Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by steveb1 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:03 pm

Thanks for sharing that. Even though the Nembutsu brings you comfort, still I hope that at some point you can find a less awful job.

:)

Old tyme hockey
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:50 am

Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by Old tyme hockey » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:43 am

steveb1 wrote:Thanks for sharing that. Even though the Nembutsu brings you comfort, still I hope that at some point you can find a less awful job.

:)
Thank you, so do i :smile:

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doublerepukken
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Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by doublerepukken » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:06 pm

For me, nembutsu practice has helped me cope with a lot of negative emotions that I'm feeling. Though I still get angry, upset etc. reciting nembutsu daily has made my reactions MUCH smaller than they used to be, and I feel generally more in control of my mind. No matter what, Namu Amida Butsu calms me down and helps me think straight.. I'm really grateful for this practice and teaching. Also, I feel more aware of the things I do wrong and am much more conscious about doing the right thing in the right moment. This is truly a great blessing that I am really thankful for.

Namu Amida Butsu
南無阿弥陀仏
なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

steveb1
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by steveb1 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:40 pm

doublerepukken wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:06 pm
For me, nembutsu practice has helped me cope with a lot of negative emotions that I'm feeling. Though I still get angry, upset etc. reciting nembutsu daily has made my reactions MUCH smaller than they used to be, and I feel generally more in control of my mind. No matter what, Namu Amida Butsu calms me down and helps me think straight.. I'm really grateful for this practice and teaching. Also, I feel more aware of the things I do wrong and am much more conscious about doing the right thing in the right moment. This is truly a great blessing that I am really thankful for.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank you for sharing your experiences re: life modification via Nembutsu-recitation. So many people just don't get that it is not some mere mind-and-imagination (useless, unreal) exercise. It has real benefits to our bombu psyches in daily life.

shaunc
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Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by shaunc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:44 am

How fortunate we are as westerners to learn of amitabha's pureland. Out of all the forms of buddhism we have available to us today in the west pureland must be the least well known. So simple and easy to practice yet the rewards are immense, not only in the next life but also in our current one.
Namu Amida Butsu.

steveb1
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by steveb1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:12 am

Yes, we are lucky and blessed indeed. Shinjin is a pure, unearned gift from the Other Shore.

Sentient Light
Posts: 101
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Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by Sentient Light » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:15 pm

I don't want to write out a tome (especially because I should be doing work right now...), but I know people would be interested in my experiences, so I'm going to try to put everything down that I'm able to.

I was born and raised in the Vietnamese Pure Land tradition, in America, a child of refugees. My parents didn't speak much about religion. There were statues in my house and all, but I never really knew what they were all about. I went to a Christian pre-school (because it was cheaper) and for a bit of my youth, I thought God and Jesus and whatever was the norm. I didn't find out we weren't Christian until I was in the fourth grade. But then my mother started taking us to the temple, because we were losing our ability to speak Vietnamese, and she thought this would help.

We didn't learn much about Buddhism back then at the temple. And because my siblings and I were very American-ized, and lacking parental oversight (my parents were poor, and so they were always working and never around), we were bad children. We picked on the goody-two-shoes and bullied them quite a bit. Eventually, my brother, cousin and I were 'kicked out' of the Vietnamese language classes at the temple. My mother was going through some shit with my older sister at the time, whom had gotten in with the violent Vietnamese street gangs at the time (mid-90s), so she wanted to stay during the services to offer prayers. The temple decided to have a western monk named Tom look after us -- away from the other children -- while my mother participated in the chanting services. Tom was pretty cool. He was the first person to start answering my questions about Buddhism. I mostly wanted to know why a white guy would come to Vietnamese religion, and he explained it in terms of letting go of feelings that cause you harm.

This part of my life disappeared from my memory until I got back into Buddhism as an adult, so fast forward into high school... I'm a rebelliious child. I think Buddhism is really silly and no different from the faith-based Christianity that I grew up around. I get into death metal and consider myself an atheist, but I've always had a spiritual yearning, so Buddhism -- after learning the Four Noble Truths in history class -- sticks in my mind ever after. And, in college, when I start developing post-traumatic stress disorder due to my childhood (bringing up now that the parental neglect and the Vietnamese-American street violence of the 90s resulted in a few things... like my sister trying to murder my brother and I when we were around 9 years old), I go through a few psychotherapists, try a few medications, study different religions intensely... I start a love affair with Islam, but ultimately decide that I don't believe in God (if God exists, and he is loving, how could he have allowed me to live the life I had...? Why would he let children suffer?). Later, when I start doing parkour with some kids, a friend said, "You grew up Buddhist, right? My uncle's a Buddhist monk. A lama, actually. I could put you in touch."

I reached out to this friend's uncle and we had a few exchanges. He answered some of my questions on basic doctrines and then suggested some reading to me: The Heart Sutra, and one of Maitreya's treatises. This set me on the path of devouring the sutras. I started to think, "Maybe the answer is actually somewhere in here." And, partially, in my anger toward my parents for never being around, I also started to go in looking for any and all evidence that Pure Land Buddhism, specifically, was not a valid school of thought.

I studied and practiced. Eventually, I left behind the Tibetan teachings I had started studying and went into the Pali canon, "looking at the source", in my head (although I still couldn't shake the fact that there was a lot to the Mahayana teachings I believed in). At this point in time, I was getting desperate. My sister tried to kill herself. Family went to the hospital... sister said she didn't remember it. Her boyfriend, at the time, was a cocaine dealer and not exactly the greatest guy. He'd convinced her to open a cafe to front his 'business' -- she lost her savings on that, plummeted her life into some ruin, I guess she didn't know how to go on. A year later, she tries again. In that summer, we went to the hospital twice a month. She kept saying she didn't remember what happened, but it was clearly a cry for help. Eventually, she's diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder (which starts to contextualize her murder attempt, and many other things about her past and our childhood). I can't deal with the family turmoil, so I just dove into studying the scriptures and ignoring everyone in my life. I figured that if I have to be reborn again, I can't handle it. I need to find the way to enlightenment NOW.

And so I returned to the Mahayana sutras, deciding that the Theravadin teachings weren't resonating for whatever reason. I went into the Pure Land teachings, but mostly put them aside. There was soemthing about them that compelled me... I finally understood what all the kung fu students/masters in the martial arts films I watched as a kid were saying (the Buddha's name) and it was an easy thing for me to recite, so I used what I learned from practicing samatha-vipasyana with the Theravadins and applied it to reciting Amitabha's name. I was reading chan literature at the time and catching onto this whole Mind-Only thing. I read some Asanga and started to read about dual practice and started to question this reality. If this world is made of mind, what does it even mean to be reborn? What is the Pure Land?

Years pass. My family situation settled down for the most part. I'm still practicing on the name, but don't yet believe in the Pure Land. And then my great grandmother dies. We fly down to Houston for her funeral. At the time, I am reading through the Lankavatara Sutra for the first time. I get food poisoning before the first day of the funeral, spend most of the afternoon puking and shitting my guts out, and then the monks and nuns arrive... we assemble onto the floor and begin chanting the Rebirth Mantra. The Infinite Life Sutra follows. We're on our knees -- the ground is hard as hell -- prostrating every time one of the nuns strikes the large singing bowl. My great grandmother's body is in front of us. And despite being sick all day, my stomach settles and I become calm, and I imagine her in the Pure Land. The funeral rites go on for three days -- more chanting, more kneeling, more prostrations, more offerings, some dharma talks, and then the cremation.

The Quan Am Temple in Sugarland, Texas, btw, is the most beautiful Buddhist temple I've been to in the United States. It hosts the largest Buddhist statue in the western hemisphere (it's of Quan Am), and is a sight to behold.

After the funeral, something's changed. I'm not sure what it is. I just know something's changed. Time goes on. And then I have the most vivid dream of my life -- more "real" than any waking moment has ever been. There is a purple sky. I'm soaring through the air. I have a feeling I'm supposed to land, so I descend. And I see him: a tower of gold, larger than any mountain I've ever seen. I look down--pine trees are growing between his toes like blades of grass. He's holding out his palm flat, so I fly down and land on his index finger. The ridges of his fingerprint looked like rows of benches, so I sat down and looked up at him. He looked down at me. There were feelings, but I don't think I can describe them here. But that's all that passed. I woke up and there's a text on my phone from my mother: "It's the 49-day ceremony. You and your brother come home before noon to cung." ("Cung" is the ritual offering ceremony.)

I wasn't entirely sure what had happened until much later. I knew that Amitabha was real, and I became convinced of the Pure Land, and my insight and understanding into the dharma sorta just ran into overdrive at that point (it felt like I could now read any of the scriptures and just get a strong idea of what's going on, when before it took some very serious studying to figure out the point), and I knew that Amitabha was telling me that my great grandmother had been reborn there, was under his tutelage now. A year later, knowing I had been permanently transformed by that experience, consulted a monastic teacher about it, and he confirmed for me what I had seen, what I was being told, and what it means for my practice and progress.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

shaunc
Posts: 576
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Re: Benefits of Nembutsu In This Very Life

Post by shaunc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:10 pm

Thank you for telling us about yourself and your journey to pureland buddhism.
Namu Amida Butsu.
Shaun.

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