The working of Inconceivable Light

More clivias; 28.09.15
More clivias; 28.09.15

‘I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!’ (Shinran, Shoshin nembutsu-ge, CWS, p. 69)

‘Each ray of light shines over the worlds of the ten quarters, embracing and never abandoning those beings who are mindful of the Buddha (nembutsu).’ (Shakyamuni BuddhaThe Contemplation Sutra, CSA, p. 39)

‘The karmic consciousness of true and real shinjin is the inner cause. The Name and Light–our father and mother–are the outer causes. When the inner and outer causes merge, one realises the true body in the fulfilled land.’ (Shinran, Kyo Gyo Shin Sho II, CWS, p. 54)

‘Deep mind (jinshin) is true and real shinjin.’ (Shinran, Passages on the Pure Land Way, CWS, p. 315)

‘Deep mind is the deeply entrusting mind. There are two aspects. One is to believe deeply and decidedly that you are a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death, ever sinking and ever wandering in transmigration from innumerable kalpas in the past, with never a condition that would lead to emancipation. The second is to believe deeply and decidedly that Amida Buddha’s Forty-eight Vows grasp sentient beings, and that allowing yourself to be carried by the power of the Vow without any doubt or apprehension, you will attain birth.’ (Shinran, Kyo Gyo Shin Sho III, CWS, p. 85 et. al.)

‘The Two Bags
‘We all carry Two Bags about with us, one in front and one behind, and both are packed full of faults. The bag in front contains our neighbour’s faults, and the one behind our own.  Hence it is that we do not see our own faults, but never fail to see those of others.’ (Æsop, Æ p, 49)

‘The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of one’s self is difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour’s faults like chaff, but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the bad [dice] from the player.’ (Dhammapada, DP, p. 31)

The Inconceivable Light that is the working of Amida Buddha, fills the boundless reaches of the universe.  This same Inconceivable Light shines within the hearts and minds of those who hear Amida Buddha’s Name. It brings us to trust his Vow because it has also shown us our inner reality.

That, after all, is what the Buddha Dharma is.  It is the way that we ‘see things as they really are’.

Our inner reality is our blind passions (Sk. klesha, Jp. bonno). Our minds are dark until the Inconceivable Light that is Amida Buddha removes the obstacles that stop us from seeing–in stark relief–the things that we would rather not see:

‘Suppose there is a room that has been dark for a thousand years. If light reaches it, however briefly, the room immediately becomes bright. How can the darkness say that, having occupied the room for a thousand years, it refuses to leave? ‘ (Shinran, Kyo Gyo Shin Sho III, CWS, p. 146)

That is why the nembutsu, Namo Amida Butsu, is the celebration of both joy and gratitude. It is the outward expression of deep mind– the shinjin that is true and real.