Who Am I

by Haya Akegarasu 

My thought is thought,
It is never myself.
I had thought that my thought is myself,
but now I’m aware
I made a terrible mistake.

My experience is
experience. It
is never myself. I had thought
that experience is
myself, but now I’m aware
I made a terrible mistake.

My feelings are feelings,
they are never myself.
I had thought that my feelings
are myself,
but now I’m aware
I made a terrible mistake.

My will is will. It is
never myself.
I had thought
that my will is myself, but now
I’m aware I made
a terrible mistake.

My wishes are wishes,
they are never myself.
I had thought that my wishes
are myself,
but now I’m aware
I made a terrible
mistake.

My deeds are deeds,
they are never myself.
I had thought that my deeds are myself,
but now I’m aware
I made a terrible mistake.

But then
who am I?
Yes, it is true, that through
thought, experience, feeling,
will, wish, and deed
I manifest myself,
but also
I manifest myself
when I break out
of all of these.

I am not such a limited self,
conceptualized self,
as to exist apart from others!
I alone
am the most noble:
I embrace the cosmos.

What an indescribable, subtle
existence I am! – I cannot in
speaking or writing
put down who I am!

I always touch this indescribable self,
always follow this indescribable self.
Truth is here.

Our Sangha is growing!

dharma4

Our Sangha is growing! and how lovely it is.  We are growing and sharing more of the Dharma, more of the joy, light and compassion that is symbolized by Amida Buddha.  It is amazing to see the fellowship deepen with each passing week as we share our practice and start to truley wake up the the Oneness of Life and Compassion that calls out us each day.

Over the past few weeks we have been learning about the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, and this coming week we will be going over the Five Precepts.  The Discussions have been open, free and full of caring and insight as we learn the practice together.  I am astonished at how each member of our fellowship is willing to be open, and share fully  and willing to invest in our gathering.   Here is a great quote about the Pure Land and the Sangha by Rev Rijin Yasuda

“People say various things about birth in the Pure Land. But could there be any greater ‘birth in the Pure Land’ than the fact that we are now sitting and learning sitting and learning the Dharma together? This place where we are listening to the Dharma together is the Pure Land. Our being allowed to be part of this place, of this Sangha, is ‘birth in the Pure Land.’

 

Together we are working to make the Pure Land here and now.  We look forward to see you at any one of our Sunday Gatherings.

 

Namu Amida Butsu

 

 

Call me by my True Names

I love this poem from Thich Nhat Hanh

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive….

I am the 12-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving….

Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.[9]

The Path of Foolish Beings

headerfbwp

Here is a great article in the magazine Buddhadahrma about the Shin Buddhist path.   Who are the foolish beings? According to the Shin tradition of Pure Land Buddhism, we all are. Mark Unno explains that only by becoming aware of our limited self and acknowledging our fundamental foolishness can we realize the oneness of all beings and the limitless flow of compassion.

One of the implications of the Mahayana Buddhist idea of emptiness is that the important question is not “What does it mean to be a  buddhist?” It is “What does it means to be a human being?” That’s because emptiness applies to Buddhism itself as much as it does to ordinary objects of attachment. It is only when one has been “emptied” of all preconceived categories, including those of Buddhism, that the deepest reality of being human becomes apparent. As the Zen master Dogen states, “To study the buddhadharma is to study the self. To study the self
is to forget the self.”

Read More….