On my conversion to Buddhism, my transformation was on philosophical or intellectual The situation was coming to a head. It was a cold February day and I was living in New York City. I was already practicing spiritual magicke and maintain some Catholicism. I wanted to keep my job and stay in NYC, so I would go to The St Assisi church across from Madison Square Garden. I prayed to God and Jesus with all my Heart. Remember the Bible says pray and believe and you prayers will be answered. It is the Book of Mark. My prayers where never answered.
I did not like the other Buddhisms finding them too mystical or materialistic. I went to the Buddhist Church of new York on Riverside Drive. There was Shinran Statue that was Hiroshima. I walked in and hear Reverent Kan deliver a service about Karma. We all come together because of past circumstances. was the featured topic.
All about Causes and conditions, the cycle of how things work. In there exact reality.
When I left I was broke and hungry, living on my own with substandard pay and a abusive boss. The prayers did not work, I got fired. Eventually I’d have to move to a affordable yet socially retarded area.
When I was in New York, I walked through a slum area, and found people who where homeless. Two where around a burning trash pale, one guy had no shirt and looked like death. He was to embarrassed to look at me.
His eyes looked near death. I have always noted it was a cold cruel world with no mercy.
Where is God in this? Why does he not answer prayers? Why are so Many suffering? One cold day I was standing across from the Empire State Building during rush hour. I spotted this great mass of humanity all rushing home. The streets where flooded with people. I watched each one. Each expression. I was like the incredible shrinking man.
The universe, worlds beyond number, Amida’s silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man’s own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man’s conception, not nature’s. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of Naturalness, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too I stole this from the movie quote and changed it.
Anyway the are billions of people all with their own dimension of life and each dimension has a complex way that each and ever person lives. Seeing people was not simple, they have lives and living them take a vast matrix of factors that make up the life they live. Each and every human being is a complex organic entity with causes and conditions, situations, and array of items that make them live and be the person that they are. I read every face and my head filled with light and I had awakened my Buddha Nature.
But what about God? There is no God. Best explained on the founding of the Buddhist Mission in San Francisco.
We believe we are governed by law, not some personified God, We have within us the highest guidance, The Dharma. Before people can comprehend truth they must be free from delusion. God is not the creator but the created. We ourselves create God. He is not a real existence, but a figment of our imagination. I believe Buddhism is a better moral guide than Christianity.
There is no such thing as God, a God that does not appear and answer prayers is equal to a God that is not there.
Secular Buddhism is a newly emerging, predominantly lay movement within Buddhism. Unlike the various kinds of Buddhist modernism, which tend to be modifications of traditional schools of Buddhist thought and practice in the light of the discourses of modernity, secular Buddhism is founded on a reconfiguration of core elements of the dharma itself. Secular Buddhism proposes that we leave behind the metaphysical beliefs and soteriology of Indian religious culture. This culture saw human life as an irredeemable realm of suffering, from which one should seek transcendence in an enduring beyond-human condition – a stance that virtually all Buddhist schools, as well as Hinduism and Jainism, perpetuate. Secular Buddhism, on the other hand, seeks to deploy the Buddha’s teaching as a guide to full human flourishing in this life and this world.
This makes my blog the 32 nd anniversary of my Conversion to Jodo Shin Shu
Thanks to Steve Whitley, Diane Ames, Alan kehler (1953-1995), Jim Davis, Rev Shishun Kan, and ohers.