Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tariki - A tanka sequence on Amida Buddha



                                                          by Richard St. Clair (Shaku Egen)

My mind
is like a lump of coal:
my heart is as black
and as cold
as arctic midnight.

All these lives
I have been aching
for release
from the wheel
of birth and death.

The sound
of Buddha's call
rings in my ears:
I accept
His saving embrace.

In the depths
of my dark mind
comes a ray
of loving light:
the Buddha appears.

My ignorance
is no barrier!
The Buddha knows
and accepts me
just as I am.

My evil karma
is no match
for Buddha's vow-power,
His compassion
has no bounds.

Limitless light
spreading across
the whole universe:
not a single being
is left untouched.

Neither a prayer
nor a complaint:
The Buddha's light
all told
is all I ever need.

The Universal Vow
accepts all,
rejects none:
Even the wrathful Christ
is grasped and saved.

When I'm alone
I thank the Buddha,
my partner
in life
and in death.

The very rocks
seem to sing
Amida Buddha's praise.
I sing it too:
Namu Amida Butsu.



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