Nembutsu in Prison

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Nembutsu in Prison

Post by doublerepukken » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:49 pm

Hey Everyone,

about a week ago now I think, I went to jail in Thailand for a visa issue that was not my fault; my employer failed to secure me a work permit in time and I was arrested for working without one. I was sent to the IDC (Immigration Detention Center) in Bangkok and I experienced some pretty awful treatment/sights. I saw people denied crucial medication (one guy who had Parkinson's was routinely beaten in my cell and was refused drugs), beaten, humiliated, sexually harassed, etc. Thankfully I myself was not on the receiving end of anything as I kept my head down, but it was very hard to stand by and watch. It was the most horrific experience of my life. Throughout this time, the only thing I felt like I had was Nembutsu.

One night in my cell, I started to practice in between two other Muslim gentlemen who were also worshipping. As the beads moved from my left hand to my right, the swirling lights I usually see when I recite formed into an image of Amida. I felt like my body was being lifted up, like I was going to go off the ground; it was frightening, but I pushed the fear to the back of my mind and kept on. What followed was a profound sense of peace like I had never had before; afterwards I fell asleep easily, which I hadn't done in days. It gave me the strength to carry on until I was finally let out about 3 days later (I was there in total 6 days), but the embassy told me to expect to be there for several months to a year since I didn't have the money to pay for my flight at the time (thankfully my employer got me out).

Leading up to my incarceration, I am ashamed to say that I was losing faith in Amida, fast. I thought that he had abandoned me at first, and then it eventually hit me that he probably wasn't real, and I had been fooling myself all this time. But for some reason, I kept saying the nembutsu, I still felt the pull, even if at that point I felt like it was just an empty mantra or just a habit. I truly learned what it meant to be grasped, and never abandoned in jail.

I wanted to share this story because even when things are totally hopeless, when you are at your absolute rock bottom, Amida does not abandon you. He is right there, holding your hand, struggling with you. In a way, I am glad I went to jail, just to have experienced that moment with Amida-sama. Its a truly beautiful thing.

Grasped, and never abandoned.

Namu Amida Butsu _/|\_
なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Nembutsu in Prison

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:15 am

OM PADMO USHNISHA VIMALE HUM PHAT (Lotus Pinnacle of Amoghapasha)
OM HANU PHASHA BHARA HE YE SVAHA ("Just by Seeing" Mantra)
AH AAH SHA SA MA HA (Six Syllables of Clairvoyance Mantra)

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Losal Samten
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Re: Nembutsu in Prison

Post by Losal Samten » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:24 am

Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Empty Desire
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Re: Nembutsu in Prison

Post by Empty Desire » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:00 am

Great experience!!!

In Jodo Shin, there is a famous saying that Ice melts into Water.

This can mean these kind of experiences where out of the pure suffering comes the 'Great Compassion'

The constant pull is also a genuine aspect of Aspiration given out of the 'Great Compassion' like a North Star.

So Embraced never abandoned is a genuine benefit of this Vehicle where I think Nembutsu practitioners are recipients of Amitabha's Bodhicitta.

Just my experience from practising in training and post-training.

Namo Amitabha

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