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EXISTENCE AND REALITY
STEVE LANE


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
STEVE LANE

A 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!


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