Friday, August 20, 2010

A vision with Amida Buddha


Today I wish to share with you a personal experience which happened many years ago, even before I became a priest. Whether you believe me or not, it doesn’t matter, as I can’t prove to you that I am telling the truth.  So, you may treat this testimony as you wish. 

Arround 4 a.m. I  woke up from the bed, feeling insecure due to a bad experience and an ugly dream I had that night, and I went straight to my personal altar. There I started to say the nembutsu.
Suddenly an image of Amida Buddha appeared floating in the air and a bright but impossible to describe light came from his head toward me. The image was somehow the same as the one from the altar but more bright and with that beautiful light.
When I saw the image and light I instantly became calm and I was overwhelmed with a sense of safety and security. I felt  and I also heard in my head something like "don't worry I am here and I am protecting you". All that experience lasted less than a minute, so I didn't have enough time to savor it, but I felt it very strong and real. It was as if I was looking at somebody sitting in front of me - this is how I saw that image of Amida Buddha. And it was so unexpected.
With that strong sense of security and peace I could finally went to sleep again.

I often remember that experience, and although it may sound incredibile, I know it really happened. And it was not a dream, but a fully awake experience. It is like seeing somebody right in front of me, this is how I saw Amida Buddha’s image emanating clear light. 

I know other ordinary Pure Land followers like me had simmilar experiences, but few dare to speak freely about them. However, today I decided to speak. I was thinking a lot whether to do it or not, as I was and I am still afraid that some might call me a liar or a crazy person having hallucinations…. But as I can do nothing to change their opinions, I think is better to stop worrying about it. We live in a secularized world where to have or speak about such religious experiences or visions might attract exclusion from the company of the so called, respectable people. 

I also hope the readers will realize the mechanism of these experiences and not have a wrong understanding. They appear only due to Amida's Power and not because of some merits on the part of the practitioner. Every good experience the believer has, is due only to Amida. They just happen or don’t happen at all. I think we should not worry if they don’t appear. Certainly, we should not depend on miraculous events or visions.

Whether we have or not have such experiences it has nothing to do with our birth in the Pure Land, as this comes naturally only due to shinjin (faith).  Diamond like faith is all that matters in Jodo Shinshu and this is nothing special, but a simple, firm entrusting to Amida Buddha.
I am not a special kind of person because I had that vision, on the contrary, I remained the same ordinary person as before.  I really don’t know why it happened, but it surely happened and for this I feel grateful to Amida. 

Again, it was a real event in my life and I don’t care if others believe me or not. Indeed I had a vision with Amida Buddha who appeared in front of me in a form adapted to my mind. Nobody can take this experience from me.  

Namo Amida Butsu


- please also read the article Faith is simple, nothing special

5 comentarii:

Mahabohiyana said...

I am grateful to Amida that you had that experience. Namu Amida Butsu.

vincent said...

THANK YOU DEEPLY for sharing!
THANK AMIDA ~~~

vincent

Marcus said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm glad that you did. Like you say, it is too easy to be persuaded that such experiences mean nothing, when, in fact, they are clearly significant milestones as we travel along our spiritual journeys. Thank you.

_/\_

Josho Adrian Cirlea said...

Thank you all for your comments and support.
Amida, like all Buddhas, is always present even if we see him or not.
More than this, he is real and active, not an abstract concept.
Buddhas have their ultimate reality beyond our conceptual understanding but in the same time they manifest in various concrete forms to help us. Such a form I saw in that night and I am very grateful for this present. Other readers wrote to me and shared their own experiences.

But I repeat, to have such experiences is not something special. Only shinjin (faith) is important for your birth in the Pure Land and Buddhahood.

Our Beautiful Path said...

Dear Josho, Thank you for your post as I too have had a similar but different experience. It was amazing for me also, and I felt that I had seen the essence of 'everything'... I also felt that I would be always changed due to it and I realised that this life, this time was nothing in comparison, and I would never forget... it was as my limited self describes, pure Love, Compassion and everything wonderful. It was as though in this 'place,' I was not me, but part of this great compassion, it was amazing and not really describable. However after a time, living in Samsara, the experience somehow was filed in the background and 'MY' life took over.... And I totally agree with you, this does not change anything about me; Im just the same bombu as I ever was; I believe it was a confirmation if you will that AMIDA is real and more wonderful than I could ever describe or comprehend :) Namu Amida Butsu! Gassho, Camille