We often speak
about the heart. We say a friend is brokenhearted, or we speak
of our heartfelt thanks. And we are not talking about the muscle
beating within our chest. It refers to that other heart, the emotional
heart. But where is it? Not in the chest certainly. Not in the
body anywhere at all. We know this 'heart' is not physical. It
is real and at the same time it does not exist. The same is true
of Sukhavati. It does not exist and yet it is very real.
THE MYSTERY OF THE NEMBUTSU
magician had an amazing trick. It involved nothing more than
a series of Russian dolls - dozens of them. We have all see
Russian dolls being packed inside each other. It may impress
little ones but for adults it is merely a charming gift for
a child. But thousands flocked to see this magician perform.
For he reversed the game of Russian Dolls. He put a doll the
size of a thimble on a table top and placed a slightly larger
one inside it. Then he took another, slightly larger one again
and placed that inside the thimble-sized doll. And another.
And another. The final doll was so big and heavy it needed two
strong assistants to carry it on stage. Yet that too fitted
into the thimble-sized Russian doll. No one ever found out how
the trick was performed.
The nembutsu is a similar mystery. Amida took the eighty four
thousand teachings and fitted them all into the Name. And now,
every time we utter the nembutsu the taste of immeasurable wisdom
is on our lips. How wonderful it is!