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Buddhadharma : Summer 2010
33 summer 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly oneness that we call amida Buddha. However, in our fool- ish attachments, we tend to forget our true nature. for this reason, in Shin Buddhism we are called foolish beings filled with blind passions. It may be beautiful to think of a small child feeling in tune with the rhythms of a grasshopper’s life. Yet, I did not have the same feeling when a mosquito bit me, or a dog barked at me. Thus, my own sense of compassion is limited, inconsistent. nevertheless, the deep feeling of oneness, the reality of boundless compassion is always there, if only I would awaken to it. when I become impatient or irritated with someone or something, if I can be reminded that this is due to my own blind ego-attachment, then I may become gradually less impatient, more embracing. In this way, the ever-present compassion of life itself, of amida Buddha, my own nature, breaks through my ego-self into the realization of boundless compassion. Here in the Pacific northwest, rain is plentiful. Thousands, millions, billions of raindrops fall from the sky every year. Just like snowflakes, however, no two raindrops are alike. large or small, warmer or colder, liquid sunshine or refractions of a wintry gray, each takes a journey unique unto its own. Then, as they fall into the great Pacific ocean, they all become as one, each giving itself to the ocean of compassion. each of us rises up with life, like water seeking to escape the salty seas of samsara, forgetting that liberation rests not in escape but in immersing ourselves in the very depths of suffering. Illuminated by the limitless warmth of the sun, we are reminded to return to our own true nature, in the ocean of samsara. The clouds of ignorance release the sweet rain that descends, filling the ocean. The salty seas of samsara are transformed into the warm waters of boundless compassion. each of us, these unique raindrops filled with blind passion, just as we are, enters and becomes the ocean of compassion. rising and falling, rising and falling, we take this journey, over and over, forever and ever. all beings are one with me, and I am led to become one with all beings. Illuminated, touched, embraced, and dissolved into the great ocean of compassion. I, this foolish being, entrust myself to amida Buddha, my deepest, truest reality. Namu Amida Butsu. marK unno is a priest in the shin Buddhist tradition and an associate professor of east asian religions at the university of oregon. he is the author of Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light, and the editor of Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures. (BOttOm)megumiunno,(tOp)sarahBiggarTBiLLLeyDen