During a recent seminar held at the Japanese Jodo-Shinshu temple in Düsseldorfand given by Reverend Professor Hoyu Ishida of Kyoto,Marcus composed three pages of thoughts inspired by the teaching of this lesser known Buddhist school and made more interesting by the inclusion of themes with which his readers are familiar.
(See also Learning to Say The Nembutsu)
HAIRY HAIKU FOR HO-ON-KO
To the eight Shin priests of Düsseldorf
This is a new beginning, a fresh start. I will be brave and cheerful.
Today’s first task – to overcome my guilt feelings for getting up late.
This is the world into which I chose to be born, and I accept it.\
Are we not advised to say the nembutsu with joy and gratitude?
After Namo Amida Butsu I cannot do anything wrong.
Namo Amida Butsu – a feeling of wellness overcomes me.
The pressures of the outside world no longer cause bother or trouble.
Amida is aware of my poor condition and flies to my aid.
Think of enjoyable situations in the past and cherish them.
Amida vows to save everybody and everybody is me.
“Samsara” is nothing more than the normal process of birth-and-death.
‘Non-duality’ consists of rising above ‘me’ and ‘the other’.
Buddhahood is the natural state of every sentient being.
Everything is perfectly all right as it is, and that includes me.
Fear of the undefined future, known as worry, is a time-waster.
Foolish, ignorant person that I am, I possess great qualities.
The important thing is to feel good at this very moment in time.
Feeling good is a deposit in the savings bank of happiness.
Mix with people who make you feel good and benefit from their goodness.
If saying nembutsu makes you feel good, why! go ahead and say it.
After trying everything under the sun Honen chose nembutsu.
DUSSELDORF AND AFTER
Lost in emptiness he aimlessly wanders round the temple garden.
The most important thing is to awaken the Buddha in oneself.
Absolutely nothing can resist the power of Amida’s Vow.
Let your nembutsu be humble, sincere, devout, meaningful and true.
Shin Buddhism – a universal message of love and tolerance.
Do I love myself enough to be called Amida’s true follower?
Continuous nembutsu practice eliminates anxiety.
On the Way Home:
Leaving the temple behind he drags his suitcase back to samsara.
Outside Starbucks café at Düsseldorf station: “Nothing can go wrong.”
I am a member of the human family – always re-member!
Everyone’s all right exactly the way they are – no-one needs changing.
Back in Bruges:
Today I’ll make an effort to be sweet-tempered and non-judgmental.
Grouching gets us nowhere – let me make a supreme effort to feel good.
No need to think what other people think or enjoy what they enjoy.
With resolute faith in Amida everything becomes possible
and ten times more enjoyable. Action is effortless and easy.
Powerful feelings of gratitude make the meanest task a pleasure.
Beware of negativity – it creeps in when you least expect it.
Warm with Amida’s love I head forth boldly into the cold grey town.
My one nembutsu was strong enough to embrace the whole of Belgium.
Show your friends the life of nembutsu is one of joy and gratitude.
A form of detachment is the key to successful relationships.
Unbelievable winter night! I’m alive and saying nembutsu.
NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
to my 3 major buddies, who always understand me
Although I love the home I live in I’m still only a visitor.
“Not one evil can obstruct the working of Amida’s Primal Vow.”
Saved by the Buddha I become a Buddha – meaning “I’m awakened”.
Let me remind myself – whatever I do or don’t do is all right.
Respect yourself – and be sure to respect everybody around you.
The seeds of Buddhahood are within us all – let us remember this!
As far as Amida is concerned I’ve never done anything wrong.
After this I cannot help saying twenty or thirty nembutsus.
Nembutsu is my way to change from negative into positive.
Is my imperfect body a reflection of an imperfect mind?
Thirty five prisoners in a Colombian jail commit suicide.
Otherwise, this saha world continues to tick along happily.
Before I die I want to say nembutsu for every living soul.
The best way to “live in the now” is by feeling constant gratitude.
Thanks, Amida, for always embracing this bombu without hindrance.
Another grey lifeless December day to jazz up with nembutsu.
Namo Amida Butsu – without you, my plans fall into water.
The “average man” (me!) has a head full of preposterous ideas.
Everything is to be enjoyed – most of all this melancholy mood.
Forget your self, forget the Other, just focus on what you’re doing.
Let the day unfold according to Amida’s inscrutable plan.
Helped by countless Buddhas I meditate upon Maria’s muesli.
Come, Kuan Yin, whenever you want – I’m ready for a trip to the Pure Land.