Author Topic: Ant - Introdution  (Read 1295 times)

Offline Nothing_Special_Ant

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Ant - Introdution
« on: March 14, 2015, 08:59:12 pm »
Hi I'm introducing myself here as a Pure Land Buddhist.

I'm Ant, practiced the Dharma since 20, now 36.

I ordained in the Thai Forest Tradition at the age of 20, becoming a bhikkhu under Ajahn Khemadhammo, until the age of 26.

I struggled to understand Buddhism as a Monk, gaining some good Metta, Samadhi and was a prolific chanter, mainly the Patimokkha.

I had a three year period drinking a lot of beer and not practicing at all!

But at 29 as a laymen turned to the Pure Land way and reciting the Buddha's name Amitabha. I practiced in accord with the 19th Vow, reciting the Buddha's name with various other practices, basically Theravada. Had a few different Theravadan Masters helping me, phone calls, retreats etc, as I did this full time as a laymen. I then dropped the Theravada and solely recited the Buddha's name, 20th Vow, like Chinese Pure Land. Studied a lot of Patriarch Yin Kuang and followed his teaching.

I then turned to the Eighteenth Vow and Jodo Shinshu, becoming a member of Three Wheels Sangha in London and became a disciple of Rev Sato. I went through a fairly intense process there, both working and engaging in the Sangha activities on the Pure Land Path.

I left in November 2013 and seconded myself to Bhakti Yoga, practicing as a devotee of Hanuman, with the Pure Land teaching still there (Other Power).

Then returned properly to the Pure Land Path about 6 months ago, so I just recite Amitabha, or moreover it comes from deep within, along with all the other aspects of Faith in the Jodo Shinshu.

Anybody can ask me anything about my Dharma Journey, be great to get some dialogue going!!!!!

Namo Amitabha

Offline Marcus Epicurus

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Re: Ant - Introdution
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 03:26:49 pm »
Very interesting journey so far.

If I may ask a few questions?

1.  why did you drop the Theravada school ?

2. why adopt Pure Land instead ?
The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching of the Awakened.

Offline Nothing_Special_Ant

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Re: Ant - Introdution
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 03:47:45 pm »
Hi Marcus

Good question! Thanks

In Pure Land and my thinking, we are living in a particular age in Shinshu we call it Mappo, the age of dharma decline.

As a monk I tried a lot of practices, but everything in my actual experience lacked a potency or a power to take me to the kind of points in practice that I could only read about in the books in the monastery library.

The choice of reciting Amitabha in 2008 was more spontaneous decision I had no real idea about how things would unfold, but I was drawn to this practice on a heart level, through the exposure I had had as a monk to the Pure Land tradition etc..

So I knew about it and I also knew how to recite a 'mantra' for long periods due to my training as a monk.

So in 2008 I recited Amitabha for 8 days through. At the end I made a kind of determination and then all of the Buddha-Dharma started to unfold.

Now I can say I was practicing in the 19th Vow, which one Shin Teacher in Australia describes as practicing in the Age of Right Dharma, as if you were nearer to the Historical Buddha - Shakyamuni.

Also in the Thai Forest Tradition there were some enlightened monks, and practicing with them has been described as the same, like you were close to the Historical Buddha.

However the Pure Land practice has a tremendous potency and power due to Amitabha's Vows. The Eighteenth Vow specifically came about for the age we live in now, where it is difficult to make progress in the Dharma with our own effort.

With Faith in Pure Land, it is the end of self-power and absolute entrusting to Amitabha, the entrusting is given by Amitabha, it is a realisation, not a belief. Amitabha as Shinran described is 'the one freely working'.

The main substance of Faith or Shinjin is the Buddha's Mind reciting the Name - Amitabha, in my experience it is coming from the Pure Land to this shore, our Karmic Reality. Faith has two reality's Amitabha Buddha and his Vows and our Karmic Reality fraught with problems, those problems being solved by the Vow's dynamic working.

For some people Theravada is the Path and that is what they are doing and will continue to follow that vehicle, whatever point they are at.

For me, Theravada showed me I couldn't practice it effectively, but the potency and power of the Pure Land teaching enabled me to proceed in the Dharma.




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