Living with Amida

Presented by: 
Ed Parker

Amida is
light in our darkness.
What am I?
This mystery?
This I,
this lie
This story of me
to stop, to answer?
Where there is no stopping?
And the answer is changed by
the question
And vanishes
It’s all about the question,
What am I?
And finding light in the darkness

I became a Buddhist many years ago, or maybe I was always a Buddhist, perhaps I never will be; the meaning of the name changes. I read a great deal, but understand no more than I understand myself, which is little enough. Meditation does not appeal to me, well not for overly long, ten, twenty minutes to settle the mind, though I have always pondered, and wrote about the space between. That soft, silent gap from which a soft beat pushes, pulls me on to the next thought, act, life- where does it come from? Causes and conditions beyond comprehension encompass us all? This is the gap. Still, Buddhism was a game, a puzzle to be solved by thinking this way or that. I waited for it to emerge like a baby from the womb, listened for it between the words of the wise and the frauds, wondering if I could tell them apart. Then, one day I realized, I am a fool. That we are all fools, each living inside our own confusion, our own gap; the space between. In that moment, the puzzle vanished. This is the light of Amida, the infinite wisdom of Amida, shifter of paradigms. I am a fool living inside my foolishness. All things are my teacher when I accept that I am a student; a seeker, and ignorant of answers, that there is no one, answer. Truthfully, I have learned to avoid answers, as well as those who hold to them, unable to move on. People who have nothing more to learn, now that they are sixty three, or twenty five, or eighty: arbitrary lines marking only impermanence. I am troubled by such spiritual pretenders who chatter wisdom like birds, but understand nothing, though I am unsure why.
Truthfully, there is no answer to why I am a fool, no one answer. Instead, I look for that which I have misunderstood, for that which I have not created from my ego. There is only the question: What am I? What have I created from my spiritual ignorance? This is my practice. This is my Buddhism. Namu Amida Buddha

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