Amida and Jesus


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Hello, Everyone :)


Well, I'm pretty sure I am going to do this at some point, anyway. I thought now might be a good time, and I hope this is a good place to do it.

I mentioned to a friend of mine the other day that I have a vision. (Yes, I have visions.) I see Amida and Jesus walking hand-in-hand. I don't really know what this means, but I think it means just what it suggests. Not that Amida is Jesus or vice-versa, but that they might walk together in some way.

Maybe I see this because I know that as a Christian, I am able to walk hand-in-hand with followers of Amida. (I cling to that label because I love Christ, not necessarily because of any particular religious affiliation, although I do realize that by my claim, I am automatically bound in some way to certain philosophies. But I just can't let go of the Name--it isn't a step I can take for myself. I can be ousted or excommunicated or whatever, but I can't deny Christ, and so rejecting the label of "Christianity" is just too difficult for me to do, so maybe I am not supposed to.) Gee, I am rambling already....nothing like derailing one's own thread on the first post! :D

Anyway, I hope that by attempting to start this conversation, I have not offended. I am just curious as to how some others here might feel about what I have said. Anyone interested?

....nothing like derailing one's own thread on the first post!

Excelllent, I think you've just set a new benchmark!

I'm sure Earl and Tariki will be along in a while...

...and as for causing offence, watch this:

The Buddha was a gormless goon.

.............................................see? Nothing.

Enjoy yourself!:)

What? No barbecue? No stones? This is going to take some getting used to....

Amazing Grace

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
Wow InLove! I love your pluralistic vision! And I think you are brave for following your path where it leads you. No need to apologize for 'clinging' to the name of Jesus! I look forward to hearing more about this enlightenment you've experienced.

But, who is Amida :eek: ? I must not have been paying close enough attention, or the name did not stick for some reason. *luna sneaks off to wiki to try to rectify her ignorance*

Shakyamuni Buddha (the man himself) gave the world what we call in the West Buddhism. As the teachings spread around the world over time they changed and mixed and developed as one would expect. The major schism in Buddhism led to (ultimately) Theravada Buddhism and the (more heterogeneous) Mahayana Buddhism. The latter sometimes (generalising furiously) involved the development of “conceptual” (rather than the historical) Buddhas. For example, Pure Land Buddhism; which prescribes loving devotion to one such Buddha, Amida Buddha. It became, and possibly remains, the most popular school of Buddhism in Japan, from where it originated.

Hi All :)

Well, it looks like there might be some interest in this topic after all! Who knew? ;)

Thanks, SG. What a dear, dear hymn that is to me.

Wil--I know a little about Thich Nhat Hanh. I have often been very moved by some of the quotations accredited to him. And I do know that Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, but that didn't go over too well with some folks. What I don't know is how much he is associated with Pure Land Buddhism. Do you know? Anyway, for the time being, I don't know who else is there in that vision. Maybe off to the side somewhere, there are fact, I am fairly sure of it! If I went into all that at right now, then I would take us in directions I have already been. Kinda want to explore this one for the moment. Hey! Is that me doing the linear thing? Yikes! :D

Lunamoth, I don't know enough about the language and history to offer a proper explanation of exactly who Amida is. I am in receipt of some pretty reliable reading sources, I think. But I am surely no expert. I kinda thought maybe I might give my friend Tariki, as well as maybe earl, a place where they might find the sort of communication they have been looking for with a willing Christian audience, even if it is a small one. I am not shopping for a new religion, only looking for a deeper understanding of what I think I already see. I do think that if we try, we can communicate. And from what little I do know about it, it is a worthwhile effort. It may not appeal to everyone, but I am interested. And I don't have to deny what I know in order to learn about what someone else knows. :)

I appreciate your sharing Inlove. I no doubt will return to this topic in the near future. For now though, I wish to "lay down my load beside still waters." Both Amida and Jesus would be able to appreciate that.:D earl
I am Amida, Buddha of the moonlit garden
I welcome those who seek truth and liberation
I offer them the lotus seat of welcome
My paradise is peaceful and tranquil
For true seekers who wish to escape the noise and bondage
Of the worlds of incarnation
Here, they can meditate in peace
Free of passion, and sweat, and debt
Here they are tranquil and compassionate
Walking the jeweled path to freedom
This paradise has pathways scattered with pearls and moonstones
The calling birds chime, and the wind rustles
The leaves of trees with golden fruit.
The mountains shimmer with blue and lavender
In them sit many future buddhas in meditation
Hidden by the shining mists.
It is a garden of moonlight
Where the moon is larger than the sky
And the clouds that hide it sparkle with awareness
The ponds and fountains splash with insight and new ideas
The waterfalls rush down with inspiration
The temple bells chime with liberation.
Here is a paradise for the pure to keep them from falling into karmic bondage
Along its peaceful and beautiful paths,
Come insight falling like dew in the morning
It is a world of light, only taking form,
For those that visit and are still attached to it.
We bless the lonely, encourage the shy, quiet the restless,
And expel the desirous and dishonest
This paradise is not easy to gain
People chant for Amida’s grace, but most do not come here
Instead, they come to its lower reflection, the world of grace
Here, the light is muted, the forms more enduring, the flowers brighter
Here people are saved from the results of their sins
In this world, they get a second chance to make right what was wrong
They can fulfill their obligations; apologize to those they have harmed
They can find out their errors and correct them.
Here, they can choose a future
They can stay in the paradise to help others
Or return to Earth to help the suffering
Or they can go on to the higher paradise of moonlight
Or they can incarnate again to complete their works
When their chains are broken, and they are free of bondage
Then they truly have free will
By surrendering totally to the Buddha's grace
I am the Buddha of moonlight, surrounded by rainbows
I sit on a white lotus throne
Its radiance and fragrance fills the worlds.
For those who pray in my name, I say:
Bless all the people that you know
In order to receive the Buddha's blessings,
At death, hold up your bound hands
And I shall release you
By surrender to grace,
You shall gain your freedom.

I know a little about Thich Nhat Hanh. I have often been very moved by some of the quotations accredited to him. .... What I don't know is how much he is associated with Pure Land Buddhism. Do you know?
I enjoy the heck out of his contemplations...I don't know the intracies it seems some see him as blending too much of the cultures/religions...of course since this is already my bent and I am not married to one...I appreciate what he conveys...

Finding Our True Home: Living in the Pure Land Here and Now
An examination of the Amitabha Sutra, a central Sutra of the Pure Land School of Buddhism. In Thich Nhat Hanh's interpretation it touches on the deepest concepts of Buddhism: happiness cannot exist without suffering. But once we realize that the Buddha is within ourselves we will see that the Pure Land is here and now, not just in future. Thich Nhat Hanh skillfully melds mindfulness practice and Pure Land Buddhism in his commentaries focussing on two main areas: the benefits of the practice itself and the need everyone has to create and live in an environment that is a "Pure Land"--a place of peace and harmony--. He reveals how students of meditation can use Pure Land practice as one of many Dharma doors that can bring happiness and transform suffering. A practice since the time of the Buddha it puts us in touch with the beauty in our own world and brings us security, solidity and freedom.
Thich Nhat Hanh. What I don't know is how much he is associated with Pure Land Buddhism.


I think he's trained in both the major schools (being an expat Vietnamese I think he will have trained in Theravada - the oldest teachings) as well as Mahayana, the more "laiety" based schools, especially zen.

He's founded his own order, called Interbeing (I think!)

I think the Peace Prize debacle was because one is not supposed to "promote" candidates for the Prize.

Wow. Thank you, Snoopy. :) I know, I know--it sounds like dangerous grounds for a Christian, doesn't it? But I just don't see it that way. I see grace. I see free will within that grace. I see reincarnation if one wants to see it, or I think maybe it doesn't have to be seen that way. I'm not sure. But I want to know more about it.

I have in my possession a very interesting quote that I would like to post. I am unsure about the original source, but I know who told it to me. I would like to discuss it, maybe. But I think I will wait until some other folks get here. Maybe I'll ask about it then. ;) LOL--yeah, I am being a little cryptic, but mostly out of caution. I'm so blasted used to being careful! But at this point in time as I know it, I have decided to toss some unwarranted cares away, and just follow the path I am given (which happens to include Jesus, and possibly Amida, at least for a while, anyway :)). We'll see....

Hi InLove,

Where's the danger?!

Toss them unwarranted cares away, and those filthy rags.:) (I wouldn't expect you to be shopping, you just look so much better without those rags). I know I enjoy a good slapping off sg.:D

Hey earl--I totally overlooked your post earlier. Yes, I do so understand the need for those still waters. Might even be partially why I am here doing this.

LOL, snoopy and seattlegal--nor do I mind a good fish-slapping done in a peaceful spirit! I've been known to wield a pretty big fish myself on occasion. :D


Edited to add: I have to jump off here for a while, and I may be out of pocket for a day or two. Be good to one another while I am gone, and I'll hopefully come back to read some more....
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Oh you know I can't resist:D . But I can let other people do some of my talking for me while I'm a restin'. As I don't foresee posting again on the "regular" Christianity board, just like Tariki, I'll be sticking my gosh, darn liberal views in other places-like here. So here's a "liberal" theologian's take on Christ and Amida-the infamous John Cobb:

Amida and Christ:: Buddhism and Christianity

Now back to those still waters.:) earl

ps. Snoop. loved that Pure land stuff you posted.
Well, I know I said I was going to log out (and I am), but I just want to let you know I missed a couple of other posts ( the rest of the discussion about Thich Nhat Hanh) somehow along the way. So thanks, guys! I'll "see ya" maybe later tonight or it might be a day or so.

(And Tariki, really--no pressure to join in, but if you want to, that'd be great--even if it is just with some good resources...)


Edit: I just saw your last post, earl--lol--thanks! Logging out, really, I'm logging out, really.:D
I had the blessing of coordinating our church to be the home of an ordination of a Buddhist monk last year...It was a friend of mine...and we were halfway between NY where the NGO American Buddhist Rep was and where my friend now lives in North Carolina. There are so many folks I know that happily merge Buddhist and Christian thought and beliefs...while I for some reason am not comfortable with Bahai beliefs I do believe that G-d spoke with a lot of different peoples, a lot of different times around our universe...
I do believe that G-d spoke with a lot of different peoples, a lot of different times around our universe...

An He still is, I think...

How beautiful it is when brothers come together.:)