A New (Large) Collection Of Poems In Praise Of Amida Buddha

I

My Savior, Amida Buddha

Amida Buddha's Universal Love
His Primal Vow no other is above:
Thus I bow to Him
And sing a Hymn:
It still is not enough!

Since untold countless kalpas past,
Amida's span of lifetime is vast;
Thus I bow to Him
And sing a Hymn:
It still is not enough!

Amida Buddha is my Lord and Master,
My Buddhahood could not come faster;
Thus I bow to Him
And sing a Hymn:
It still is not enough!

To Amida Buddha I sing a song,
And though my karmic burden's strong,
I bow to Him
And sing this Hymn:
It still is not enough!

Because Amida knows all my flaws,
He's saved me from my karma's claws;
Thus I bow to Him
And sing a Hymn:
It still is not enough!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha



II

Amida's Promise Kept

Amida Buddha's Loving Light
Embraces One and All:
I've given up the karmic fight,
Responding to Amida's Call.

Only the way of Other Power
I've found is true and right for me,
For as I approach my final hour
Amida will fulfill my destiny!

My heart, a song of Shinjin sings
In gratitude for Amida's blessing;
As the ageless Bell of Dharma rings
I recite His Name, my bliss confessing!

Amida has touched my deepmost heart
With his Light of Boundless Love,
No longer will I be apart
From His Peaceful Realm above!

The Pure Land is my final home,
Guaranteed from ages past
By Amida's Primal Vow alone:
I'll go there at long last!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha


III

Other Power

Awakening from delusion
Is something I can't do;
Awakening from confusion?
I really don't have a clue.

The Buddha's Other Power
My eyes doth open wide;
While Petals of His Lotus Flower
Caress me deep inside.

Amida Buddha's wisdom
Is boundless beyond compare,
With it His Great Compassion
Expels samsara's snare.

I praise Amida Buddha,
The Buddha of Infinite Life;
His Meritorious Store of Karma
Saves me from endless strife.

Amida is my Lord, I know,
I thank Him day and night:
The blessings of his Primal Vow
Fill me with great delight.

I hear Amida Buddha's Call:
The Nembutsu boldly rings,
Resounding through every home and hall,
His Name Nirvana brings!

So I thank Amida Buddha
For saving this foolish being,
He's banished all my karma -
Thus His Name I'll always sing!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha.



IV

The Awesome Sangha

A gift of the Buddha sublime,
This Sangha, Amida's great gift,
Leads to Salvation all beings adrift
In samsaric seas since endless time.

My Dharma friends here are a treasure
Gifted me by Amida's Great Love;
From His Lotus Seat reigning above
He blesses us all without measure.

The Sangha is a great Jewel,
Along with the Buddha and Dharma,
Leading us through the thickets of karma,
The way out of life's trials cruel.

This timeless gift, a true blessing,
The community of our Sangha true;
Its vision of the Pure Land, its view
Offers guidance, our problems addressing.

Together we listen deeply, and,
Surrendering to Amida's Other Power,
In His presence we neither tremble nor cower
As He takes us with Love by His Hand.

I thank Amida, my Savior and Lord,
This great Shinjin from Him I've acquired
Through His Primal Vow, and I abide
Praising Him with many a joyful word!

Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu

Thank You, Amida Buddha
Thank You, Amida Buddha
Thank You, Amida Buddha


V

A Confession

Caught up in life's consuming passion,
I say Nembutsu, an invocation,
And as a balm for my salvation,
Secure in Amida's mighty bastion.

The Nembutsu alone is true and real,
So Master Shinran's words ring forth,
And life's vain baubles, of no worth,
Slip away as Amida's Love I feel.

I sadly live in much delusion,
Assailed by Mara's lies each day,
And by myself, I can't allay
Its litany of dark confusion.

But having heard Amida's Call,
And by His Compassionate Vow-Power,
My smile's returned, a face once dour,
As to me He filled His Promise tall!

Amida is my Anchor deep,
And to His sleeves I clasp so fast:
His Hands hold me unto the last,
And in His grasp my heart does leap.

So in Shinjin I labor not,
Nor calculate what I should do;
My karmic ties that I once knew
Are severed to the tiniest jot.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



VI

Sadness and Joy

I lament the three poisons
Endarkening samsaric lives,
Bringing untold karmic misery,
This travesty of ignorance.

Only Amida and His Pure Land
Are true and real indeed,
The rest is all impermanence
And bound to disappear.

Entrusting in Amida Buddha
And His wondrous Primal Vow
Is the avenue of salvation,
A path I joyfully follow.

What a blessing is this Shinjin,
Amida Buddha's wondrous Gift:
To His Land of Peace and Bliss
His Vow-Power will carry me soon.

I give thanks to Amida Buddha
On His Lotus Seat on high:
To Him I sing His Nembutsu,
My gratitude free, unbounded!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha



VII

Amida Buddha, My Savior

World-weary am I,
Samsara weighing heavily,
So much pain and suffering,
So little wisdom or compassion
In this cruel world, poisoned
By mankind's inveterate ignorance
And ego-bound blind passions.

Such is the life I am born into,
Resulting from kalpas of evil karma,
Such is the life I will escape from
Through Amida Buddha's Primal Vow
And the power of His Holy Name,
The Nembutsu,
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU.

Truly through Amida Buddha's
Gift of Settled Shinjin
I know that when the time comes
For me to leave this mortal coil,
I will truly be reborn a Buddha
As I pass into the Pure Land,
Welcomed by Amida Himself,
Into His Fulfilled Land of Peace and Bliss.

Though dimly do I conceive
Of the coming state of Nirvana,
I know enough of it to realize
That it is what I aspire to,
The end of my timeless journey
From the remotest past
Up to my Pure Land Birth.

Thank You, Amida Buddha,
Yet Thanks are hardly enough,
I cannot begin to comprehend
The vastness of Amida Buddha
And His Boundless Compassion
And His Infinite Wisdom,
Yet He embraces me,
Never to abandon me,
A foolish bombu, a spiritual idiot,
With His eternal vow to save
The most suffering evil persons
First, and then the good persons.

Namu Amida Butsu!
The syllables that ring in my ears,
Bringing me joy and hope,
The Name of Inconceivable power,
Through which my Buddhahood
Will become established
At my last exhaling breath.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!
Thank You, Thank You,
THANK YOU!


VIII

A Gatha: Redeemed by Great Amida Buddha

Yes, full redemption is the word,
My karma fully expiated,
And though my life is so benighted,
He carries me over the dangerous ford.

The river of birth and death it is,
Engulfing all the good and evil,
No matter how intense their will,
Their goal of Buddhahood it misses.

The Dharma Amida Buddha gives
Is full redemption from all pain:
The gift of Buddhahood we gain
At the end of our samsaric lives.

By faith and faith alone in Him,
When nary a single doubt have we,
The Pure Land is our Destiny,
Though now it seems distant and dim.

Nonetheless the Buddha's Primal Vow,
Assuring us of karmic release,
Enfolds us in His Arms of Bliss
And Boundless Love, both here and now.

I thank my Lord and Savior here,
Amida is my Savior true,
He leaves me with nothing more to rue
And never again to shed a tear.

True happiness, dissolved all karma,
For all entrusting in The Name:
Shakyamuni Buddha for us came
To teach Amida's Saving Dharma.

To all on the Sacred Eagle peak
Shakyamuni taught for all to hear
Redemption without hate or fear,
Salvation for the sad and meek.

There is no greater truth than this,
Amida's Name is True and Real;
Truer than what we think and feel,
His Name contains His fulfilled promise.

Yes, fulfilling all His Vows long past,
Amida as a Bodhisattva
Ascended to full, complete Nirvana
Securing Buddhahood at last.

And with His Buddhahood are we
Assured of that Nirvana too;
Yes Buddhahood for me and you,
Born in the Pure Land we shall be.

No effort on our part is needed,
Just our faith in Him suffices;
No matter what our faults and vices,
By Him will we, arriving, be greeted.

Amida greets each and every one
Reborn in His Land of Bliss and Peace;
And by His Vow, my karma released,
A Buddha I'll be, shining like the Sun!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha


IX

SHINJIN IS EVERYTHING

Dis-spirited inside,
But knowing Amida's grace
In me has never died,
To Him I lift my praise!

Amida knows my heart
More than I ever could:
And though my road is hard,
I feel His Boundless Good.

A miracle it is,
Salvation by His Name!
For the Teaching of all this
To us Shakyamuni came.

Amida, my Lord, now
Rescues me from birth-and-death;
Trusting in His promised Vow,
Carrying me at my last breath.

By Shinjin, Amida's gift,
Our key to enlightenment,
From samsara's ocean adrift
Will we all to the Pure Land be sent!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
THANK YOU, AMIDA BUDDHA!


X

Dharma Thoughts on a Windy Morning

The winds of Dharma blow
Lifting me on Its great Wings:
Of this I've come to know,
I'm saved and my heart sings.

Amida's Primal Vow
Extends to one and all,
Before His Throne I bow,
And His great Name I call.

A mystery that confounds
My limited bombu mind:
Amida's Name resounds
And I'm saved by It, I find!

It's inconceivable,
The working of the Vow,
That does my birth enable
Though I cannot explain how.

Amida does not ask
That we strive and strain,
Just leave to Him the task
So we'll the Pure Land gain.

Someday I'll surely die,
This I can't withstand:
But through His Vow will I
Be a Buddha in His Land!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



XI

Sonnet: I take Refuge in Amida's Primal Vow

Master Shinran's words I've read again,
That the clouds and mists of hatred and desire
Cover the sky of True and Real Shinjin,
But beneath the clouds of greed and hatred's fire
There's brightness, and not dark, the Shonin said.
I submit my karmic destiny to Amida,
That in His Grasp there's nothing I need dread,
And by His Vow someday I'll be a Buddha.
In the Pure Land of Amida where I'll go,
When this suffering mortal coil unwinds its last
And by my final breath, of this I know,
I'll experience Buddhahood, profound and vast.
The boundless compassion of Amida, now,
Shines on all through His glorious Primal Vow.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



XII

Verses of Thankful Praise

Amida Buddha made this path,
A way for all to become Buddha:
It is, as it were, a karmic bath,
Just trust in Him, our blessed Savior.

The Holy Dharma's given the answer,
Revealing Buddha Amida's Light:
Shakya taught this way of surrender
To the Vow, by each day and each night.

That Vow empowered Amida's Name,
Indeed, the Primal Vow it's called:
Abandoning this life insane,
Into Amida's Arms I fall.

Amida Buddha's loving solution,
That through His Holy Name I call,
By His Other Power is karmic ablution,
Salvation granted for one and all.

These simple lines I gladly sing,
Amida Buddha's Great Compassion,
Explaining to me everything
I need to know in His Pure Mansion.

Namu Amida Butsu,
This Great Name I do recite:
By the sound of Nembutsu,
Resolved at last, my karmic plight.

And when the time comes, sure enough,
I'll be reborn in His Pure Land,
The end of this life, hard and tough,
Enraptured in Nirvana Grand.

Thank You, Savior Amida,
Namu Amida Butsu,
I worship Thee, my blessed Savior,
More grateful than words can ever say.


XIII

SALVATION

The Dharma Masters I revere,
Who lived their lives for us so brave,
Across the centuries, far or near--
The Holy Dharma to us they gave.

The Primal Vow they taught about,
Is Amida Buddha's saving Gift,
Delivering us from karma's clout,
No longer in samsara adrift.

Amida's grant to our sick world,
The Primal Vow of deliverance true:
By It, when our Shinjin is unfurled,
Will our foolish lives be reborn anew.

Then our lives, as Master Shinran said,
Do enjoy the 'Wisdom of Shinjin':
For despite our idiotic heads,
We'll know salvation lies within.

Shinjin, yes, is EVERYTHING,
As Master Rennyo taught us true,
So in gratitude this song I sing:
My faith is as each day renewed.

I say the Nembutsu night and morn,
It's Amida Buddha's Holy Name:
By it in the Pure Land we'll be born,
And as Buddhas there we'll sing His fame!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!


XIV

ENTRUST

The clouds of samsara
May cover the Light
But nevertheless
Shinjin shines brightly
In this foolish man's heart.

Truly Shinjin is everything,
For it is the sacred key
Unlocking the road
To everlasting Bliss
In Amida's Pure Land.

How I rejoice
In the Nembutsu!
I rejoice in Gratitude!
How profoundly I rejoice
In Amida's Primal Vow!

Nothing can impede
The power of Amida,
For His Primal Vow
Transcends all evil
And saves one and all.

When will the suffering
Masses turn to Amida?
Only Amida can answer:
For us we but need to trust
In Him with gratitude.

Yes, entrust in Amida Buddha,
The Mother and Father of all,
Saving the likes of me,
The lowest of the low,
Through His Holy Name.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha



XV

Friends in the Dharma
are the most precious gift -
Links in Amida's Golden Chain
are the most precious of all,
this Sacred Sangha!

When you hear Amida's Call
do not hesitate - 
Accept His loving embrace! 
Surrender to His Primal Vow!
Namu Amida Butsu!

This troubled world of ours
is no haven for anybody:
The Pure Land of Amida
is perfect for everybody
wanting release from suffering.

It is the place where we all
sooner or later will realize
our ultimate aspiration:
to become Buddhas
through Amida's Other Power! 

Namu Amida Butsu! 
His gift of Shinjin
is worth more
than all the treasures
of the world:

It is Amida Buddha's gift
assuring us of Buddhahood
in His Pure Land
Forever and ever, 
when this woeful life is over.

Namu Amida Butsu! 
Thank You, Amida Buddha!
You are truly My Savior;
My true and real Parent,
You are My all!


XVI

My Salvation

The Buddha of Infinite Life--
Amida is His Name--
Has saved me from all strife,
Removed from me all blame.

True freedom have I found
By Amida's saving Vow;
His blessings do abound
And at His Feet I bow.

It is a simple fact:
The Buddha's Other Power
Our salvation does enact
At this very hour.

My Buddhahood awaits me,
By Shinjin am I saved;
No karma can berate me,
Nor Mara's host depraved.

In the Pure Land I shall know
The inconceivable Bliss
That Buddhahood will endow--
Samsara I'll not miss!

I thank Amida Buddha
For saving this bombu,
Delivering me from karma
By His Loving Name so True.

Namu Amida Butsu!
Thank You, Amida Buddha!


XVII

GRATITUDE

Like awakening from a dream
Embracing the great Primal Vow
And receiving blessings of Shinjin,
I know my salvation even now.

Amida Buddha's holy Dharma
Saves the massive suffering throng
From the burden of their evil karma
That has plagued them kalpas long.

Struggling on from days to days,
Enduring the haunted dark of night,
I thank Amida's Saving Rays
For rescuing me from karmic plight.

The true word is the Buddha's Name,
Reverberating through all time,
To meet His Light for this I came
Into this life of grit and grime.

The Nembutsu Amida gave
The Power of His Primal Vow
For all us bombu fools to save:
For this, to Him, I deeply bow.

The Name, Namu Amida Bu,
Grants all who say it day and night
The joy it gives we never knew
Until our Path was set aright.

Thanking Amida Buddha, Lord--
Saving all who burn and pine;
I cannot find sufficient word,
And so I say this simple rhyme.


XVIII

Samsara truly is a realm of tears,
To leave it once and for all do we need
And let our hearts and minds begin to heed
The Vow that puts to rest our deepmost fears.

Amida Buddha long ago achieved
The great salvation for our karmic ills,
To overcome our ego-burdened wills
And rescue all the masses sore bereaved.

As Dharmakara Amida for us strove
To find the way for all to be enlightened;
Our futures now because of this are brightened
Through Amida Buddha's Universal Love.

By simply saying Namu Amida Bu
In whatever language that we choose,
Our karma can no longer us abuse:
By the Primal Vow there's nothing left to rue.

I thank Amida Buddha for the Gift
Of faith we call Shinjin to me He gave,
Vouchsafing my enlightenment, did save
My foolish self as I was lost, adrift.

By His Great Vow my Buddhahood is sure,
For to the Land of Peace and Bliss I'll go
At this life's end when death takes me, I know,
To dine upon the Dharma food so pure.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!


XIX

A Rebirth Indescribably Grand

The Buddha of Infinite Life
Resides far away to the West;
In His Pure Land there is no strife,
And no being there is oppressed.

The Pure Land of Peace and Bliss
Is the goal of all who aspire
To Buddhahood, out from the mire
Where fools are deceived by a kiss.

Amida created His Land
Penetrated with blissful Nirvana,
Where beings from painful samsara
Can join the redeemed joyful band.

The way to the Pure Land is simple:
Say the Nembutsu and by it be saved;
For all who are evil or depraved,
Rebirth there's assured for those people.

Amida gave power to His Name
Through His Primal Vow ancient, fullfilled:
His Light brighter than Sun's flame--
Through it all our worries are stilled.

The Nembutsu is not for the saint
Engrossed in a regime of effort:
For those without courage or faint,
Their leap to the Pure Land is short.

Master Shinran has opened our eyes
To Amida Buddha's transferred merit;
By His Vow-Power He came to share it
To transform us into Buddhas, all-wise.

In the twinkling of an eye we'll be born,
Never again to suffer from karma—
All our burdens of evil now shorn,
Saved once and for all from samsara.

Transformed from this sad bombu birth
Into Buddhas we'll be in His Land,
Know ye what the Primal Vow's worth:
Invaluable, incalculable, grand!



XX

Sonnet: A Rock for All to Stand on

The Buddha's words for me are coming true:
Life truly is a vale of pain and craving.
I take refuge in Amida for my saving,
To go to His Pure Land when my time's due.
His Love is explained in an ancient scripture
Revealed by our own Buddha Shakyamuni
As if it were addressed directly to me,
An easy path and not a tortuous stricture.
Namu Amida Butsu—Buddha's Name:
By it to me His Saving Dharma came.
And His Compassion reaches every being
Who, karma ripened, will His Light be seeing,
For no one will Amida ever abandon:
His Dharma is a Rock for all to stand on.


XXI

The Buddha's Light warms my heart
Uplifting me each day.
Though grief may tear me apart,
The Buddha's Light warms my heart
Through my life's pitfalls He does chart.
I've found this blessèd way:
The Buddha's Light warms my heart
Uplifting me each day.


XXII

The Buddha's wisdom and love 
Extend to every living being— 
To bring us all to enlightened seeing
Of reality, below and above.
I take refuge in Amitabha, 
The Savior of all who suffer, 
For saving this pathetic huffer 
From the delusional fumes of Mara.
Thank You, Beloved Amitabha, 
For the Vow Power of Your Great Dharma: 
In the Pure Land You'll make me a Buddha 
And will forever save me from all karma!
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU


XXIII


THE REASON I WAS BORN

The Answer 'Why I'm born' is clear—
I came to hear the Dharma sweet.
The Buddha's Call sounds far and near:
The Answer 'Why I'm born' is clear!
The saving Vow of Amida dear
The reason I was born to meet:
The Answer 'Why I'm born' is clear—
I came to hear the Dharma sweet.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha



XXIV

The End of My Suffering

My samsaric life
Was full of pain and delusion;
But leading me out
Of this confounding situation
Was Amida Buddha,
The Buddha of Light and Love,
Through the Power
Of whose Holy Name
Contained in the Original Vow
That has saved me forever more.

Early in life
I learned to entrust myself
To karmically wicked people
Full of ignorance and hatred,
Resulting in much pain:
Now I entrust myself
Fully and solely to Amida,
Who has saved me
From all this long suffering.

The Original Vow
Fulfilled by Amida Buddha
Some sixty billion years ago,
Long before the Big Bang
That brought this universe
Into existence...
This great Primal Vow
Has truly already secured
The salvation and Buddhahood
For every living being.
It only remains for them
To turn to Amida for Salvation
And end their long cycle
Of birth-and-death.

Thus I take Refuge
In the Great Amida Buddha,
Fountain of my Faith
And Author of my Salvation,
Maker of my Enlightenment
When I'm reborn in His Fulfilled
Land of Peace and Bliss
At the end of my life here.

I have had my fill of suffering;
I have long wished
To escape the cycle of karma;
And so I am grateful to Amida,
Though my words fall short,
For the great Gift of Shinjin
Which has opened me to the way
To His Great Fulfilled Land,
To join the myriad ranks
Of all the Blessed Buddhas there!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



XXV

Salvation: Looking Back and Ahead

It is as if I were born yesterday
Full of blind passions and evil karma;
Now in old age I am still a bombu,
A foolish person, beset with blind passions.

The sacred Dharma of Amida Buddha
Is the real reason I came into this life;
Though thankfully a person of Shinjin,
In samsara, my mind still is filled

With blind passions and delusions.
But when I first heard of Amida Buddha
And His gospel of Pure Grace,
I suddenly rejoiced in my heart,

For even though my Shinjin
Was far from settled, I then knew
My karmic destiny would be secured,
And my Buddhahood assured.

Over the innumerable span of kalpas
Amida Buddha reached out to me,
Finally coming in to my life
In my present and final samsaric birth,

To save me from the interminable
Karmic cycle of birth-and-death.
For His True and Real Presence
Called to me from His Pure Land,

A Call of Salvation unmistakable,
Inviting me for once and for all time
To join Him in His Land of Peace and Bliss
As a Fully Awakened Buddha!

The words of Master Shinran
Resound joyfully in my mind!
Through his and Master Rennyo's
Profound salvific teachings

Amida has reached out and touched me,
And grasped me, never to abandon!
This profound and amazing
Gift of Settled Shinjin--

No greater gift can be imagined
For all of us still suffering.
For the Primal Vow contains
The Saving Sacred Name

Of our Great Amida Buddha,
The Inconceivable Nembutsu!
I worship Amida Buddha,
I praise Amida Buddha,

I give thanks to Amida Buddha,
The Author of my Faith,
The Fount of my Salvation,
The Giver of the Holy Nembutsu,

Amida Buddha, My True Parent at last!

Namu Amida Butsu!
Thank You, Amida Buddha!


XXVI

SIMPLICITY
Master Shinran made it easy
For the struggling bombu being, 
No efforts to make us uneasy, 
Amida's Power sends Mara fleeing.
The Call of Amitabha, 
From countless kalpas past, 
The cure for all evil karma, 
And rebirth as Buddhas at last.
By the Power of His Name
Invested with His Merit 
Amida Buddha to me came--
His Name, I joyfully hear it.
And hear the Name I do
Whenever I recite it: 
With the knowledge of it true
I receive the Saving Light.
Yes Amida came to me
In a kalyanamitra's guise
From self effort to set me free, 
Though I'm still a fool, unwise.
I know after death I'll be born
In Amida's Fulfilled Land, 
Nothing left for me to mourn
As a reborn Buddha so grand.
Namu Amida Butsu chanting
Means Thank You, Amitabha
For to me your blessed granting
In Your Pure Land as a Buddha!

XXVII
Wisdom of Shinjin

Amida Buddha's Voice
Calls us, one and all,
To accept It, our best choice,
Is responding to His Call.

The Nembutsu is resounding
Throughout all Time and Space,
His Primal Vow's the basis
Of our salvation's founding.

There is no greater Joy
Than the Promise of Nirvana -
A saving Buddha-manna
For man, woman, girl and boy.

Amida's Great Compassion
Releases all from karma:
His teaching of the Dharma
Cures us of our deep blind passion.

Amida's love extends
To every living being,
Our karmic burden relieving,
Our samsaric suffering ends!

Amida's Holy Name,
Namu Amida Butsu,
The reason Shakyamuni came,
To reveal it to me and you.

Thank You, Amida Buddha,
I look forward to that Day,
Of rebirth in Your Blesséd Land
When my life here ebbs away!

XXVIII

Amida is my True Parent,
He's saved me from birth-and-death
From the path of good I've been errant
Amida is my True Parent.
Though my karmic evil is apparent
I'll say His name to my last breath:
Amida is my True Parent,
He's saved me from birth-and-death.


XXIX

Up from Samsaric Slavery

Everywhere is ignorance,
Everywhere is delusion,
Life's a grotesque dance
Filled with rampant confusion.
Amida Buddha and His Name
Are the only thing true and real;
But for millions life's a sorry game
And their lives are sadly surreal.

Amida has given me new sight,
Offering me a way out of pain,
Showering me my bombu plight
With my Salvation free of blame.
Through His transcendent powers
I'll go to His Sacred Pure Land;
Though in this life I'll pass the hours,
In Sukhavati I'll truly understand.

Yes I'll understand reality
With the wisdom of a Buddha,
Penetrating samsaric insanity
Through the lens of newborn Nirvana.
Though I yearn to go there soon,
In good time my time will come,
In the Light of the Dharma's Bright Moon
There I'll beat the Enlightenment Drum.

My foolishness will someday be gone,
Even though I'm a bombu right now,
And while I repeat the samsaric song
To Amida I gratefully bow.
I thank my Savior Amida
For His diamond-like promise fulfilled;
Through His Blessed Primal Vow
My suffering soon will be stilled!

Inconceivable the Pure Land's adornments—
They cannot begin to be described
In this language of the Four Elements
By fools like me, in passions imbibed;
Yet as a Buddha I'll soon realize
Amida's Indescribable Pure Land
When I'm reborn there, with open eyes,
To experience Nirvana first hand.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha
Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha


XXX

A Long Night's Journey into Day:
The Path from Suffering into Bliss

I take refuge in The Buddha of Infinite Light;
I entrust myself to the Buddha of Infinite Life.
The spiritual story of this foolish being
I sing herewith in verses for any to hear.

I do not know when my karmic history began;
I cannot guess how many endless kalpas
I have cycled in birth-and death, suffering
And ignorant of the Dharma, wrapt in blind passions.

Long before I ever knew about the Dharma,
I was already known by Amida Buddha,
Who secured my salvation kalpas ago,
As He had for all other beings who suffer.

It is only when my karma had ripened
That I finally came to settled Shinjin,
The faith-mind consciousness leading to
Buddhahood in Amida's Pure Land.

Shakyamuni Buddha came into this world
To reveal the Dharma of Amida Buddha,
The Savior of all suffering beings like myself
Whose pitiful lives stretch across the cosmos.

In my current birth in samsara, my quest
Began with Protestant Christianity,
One of the myriad religions misguiding
The ignorant suffering masses.

In Presbyterianism which I was born into,
I was taught about Predestination,
About how, as a Presbyterian, I was saved,
Even though I had never requested it.

It was because of the inconsistencies
Of all branches of Christianity
That I was disillusioned about religion
And became a frustrated agnostic.

Even as an agnostic I was welcomed
Into Unitarian-Universalism,
A religion that my father scoffed at,
Calling it 'Practically zero religion.'

Yet even in its 'zero religion'
I found some fellowship at a time of
Confusion in my life and spiritual chaos
In a world burning with hate and violence.

But such fellowship was not enough,
It left me thirsting for more,
For something truly satisfying—
A path of truth and illumination.

Bearing deep karmic wounds, I was
Weak and vulnerable, allowing false prophets
With sinister ulterior motives
To take over my religious life totally.

Seventeen years was I mentally trapped,
Seduced by the allure of spiritual reward,
Intimidated by threats of damnation,
Subjected to rituals of emotional torture.

After round upon round of these abuses
I finally had had enough and walked out:
Taking my abuser to court I saw him,
As the blubbering coward he always was.

My spiritual quest resumed in earnest;
Many years followed in psychotherapy
Leading to a new window of promise,
Tibetan Buddhism's warm allure.

But finding it full of hard practices,
I left it and dabbled for a few months
In Nichiren Buddhism, its energy and glitz
Going nowhere but throwing me into despair.

Then I discovered Honen Shonin
And a book about Master Shinran:
A Light went on in my fevered brain,
Sensing that I was perhaps coming home.

But it wasn't home enough to just read
Books, books, and more books
By modernist Shin writers and teachers
With their pet theories and divergences.

Then a voice came through loud and clear
On a Shinshu discussion email list,
A voice calling for the Sangha to return to
The pristine teachings of Master Shinran.

That voice was none other than Paul Roberts,
Whose own discovery of the True Teaching
Came during a time of personal grief,
But he received Shinjin despite his tribulations

Through the mentorship of Eiken Kobai Sensei,
A Shin priest who assured Paul that Amida Buddha
And His Vow of Universal Salvation
Were reliable, true, real and fully trustworthy.

At first, while I was still enthralled by the
Seductive prose of modernist Shin teachers,
I scoffed at and attacked Paul out of ignorance,
Not realizing he would become my Mentor.

It took me a few more years enmired
In modernist Shin teachings, when on a day
I will never forget, my teacher Alfred Bloom
Said, 'Of course there's No Amida Buddha.'

That rejection of Amida Budha on his part
Threw me into a tailspin of disillusionment,
Since I was not yet a person of Shinjin—
And I was about to reject Buddhism altogether.

I began to experiment with other religious paths,
Even returning briefly to Nichirenism
With its virulent condemnation of Amida,
His followers, and His Path of Faith.

Yet a prompting came to me, doubtless by Amida,
To seek out my enemy, Paul Roberts, for his opinion
On whether Amida and the Pure Land were real
Or just a symbol, as the modernists were saying.

As a last resort I phoned Paul that fateful day,
And he said to me without hesitation,
'Yes, Amida Buddha is a Real Buddha;
Yes, the Pure Land is a Real Place.'

Just hearing though words was all I needed
To come to Shinjin in a bolt of Light,
For the Truth resounded so authentically
In Paul's words of entrusting and deep faith.

This is a perfect example of the
Importance of having a True Teacher,
A person of Shinjin, one indeed qualified
To correctly transmit the Dharma of Amida Buddha.

My seeking had finally resulted at long last
In finding the answers I yearned for,
The solution to my entire karmic destiny:
I simply said the Nembutsu and was saved by Amida.

Master Shinran wrote of 'the Wisdom of Shinjin',
And although I'm still a foolish bombu
Caught in the straits of blind passions,
I know this most important thing of all:

That most important thing is Shinjin;
All the learning in the world means nothing
If there is not full reliance upon Amida:
Shinjin is the greatest Wisdom of all.

And living in the Wisdom of Shinjin,
Though I'm but a foolish bombu,
I know what the ancients long sought,
The Way to Nirvana: Amida's Primal Vow.

Truly Amida is the Greatest of all Buddhas;
For only He devoted His entire Enlightenment
To the precondition of fulfilling His Great Vows
To save all the suffering beings everywhere.

Experiencing the vastness of Amida's Compassion
Has awakened me to the Great Bodhisattva Vow:
Beings are Numberless: I Vow to Save them All.
And so I will, when I am a Buddha myself,

When I'm reborn in Amida's Pure Land
At the end of this, my last life in samsara,
And join Amida and His legion of Buddhas
To save all beings who still suffer.

By saying 'Namu Amida Butsu'
I thank my Savior, Lord Amida Buddha,
For saving this struggling foolish being
From the bane of endless birth-and-death.

This is the True Meaning of Rebirth
In Amida Buddha's Land of Peace and Bliss:
It is why All the Buddhas rejoice when
Persons like myself come to settled Shinjin.

And with settled Shinjin, all will be well,
For the attainment of Buddhahood will be,
As it already is, the common inheritance
For all beings on every plane and world!

Kimyo Jinjippo Mugeko Nyorai:
I take refuge in the Tathagata
Of Light Unhindered in the Ten Quarters,
Amida, my Savior, the Savior of One and All!


XXXI

Saved!

Hold fast to the Nembutsu,
The Holy Name of Amida;
It's the one and only vehicle
To rescue us from samsara.

The ninety-five wrong paths
Are but Mara's distraction;
Yet through them Amida Buddha
Guides with His Great Compassion.

Amida Buddha's Light
Shines on the Path that is True;
No other ways are needed
For Faith is the truly Right View.

In the Pure Land or Outlying Land,
Buddhahood is assured;
Even if our faith is unsettled,
In Amida's Light we are gird.

Amida Buddha's Compassion
Is boundless upon one and all;
No being is ever rejected,
So let's accept His salvific Call!

The Buddha asks nothing of us,
Just our singleminded trust;
Rejecting all calculation,
It's 'Buddhahood or bust'.

Gratefully I worship the Buddha!
His Gift of precious Shinjin
Pierces through my blind passions
And awakens my Buddha Within.


XXXII

Amida Buddha, My Savior

Thank You, Amida Buddha,
For rescuing me from birth-and-death.
I need no other saviors,
For You are all I will ever need.

I have come a long way
Over countless kalpas,
Born and dying over and over
In samsara, the realm of suffering.

Amida knew the plight
Of me and all others, caught
In the net of pain and ignorance
And blinded by foolish passions.

All this Amida knows:
For, as the Buddha of
Infinite Wisdom, He understands
The specific nature of all karma.

It's amazing, to contemplate
The infinitude of Amida Buddha;
We simply cannot grasp the vastness
Of His Wisdom and Compassion.

He is truly the Greatest
Of all the countless Buddhas
Throughout the Ten Quarters,
For He has saved us, one and all.

Let us open our arms and hearts,
Let us joyfully receive
The Blessings of Salvation
Amida offers us unconditionally.

With His Gift of Shinjin
We will certainly be reborn
In His Land of Peace and Bliss
And become Buddhas there ourselves!

So Let us Join Together in Praise, singing:

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha!
I take Refuge in Your Holy Name
And the Power of Your Primal Vow.


XXXIII

A Poem of Hope and Faith

Amida Buddha grasps me tight
In these days of worldwide fright;
He understand my growing fear,
Assuring me He's always near.

What karma this, I do not know--
I just before Amida bow;
And in the midst of widespread terror
He rescues me from sin and error.

Amida Buddha is infinite,
Embracing all in wondrous Light,
His Boundless Love forsaking none,
Salvation of all He's already won.

Namu Amida Butsu!
Each day Your Light brings joy anew:
I know You're here and with me now,
My refuge in your Primal Vow.

Amida, You are True and Real!
Before You gratefully I kneel,
Awaiting birth in Your Pure Land,
Where You will bring me by Your Hand!



XXIV

Facing Fear in Amida's Light

My tumultuous life
In the days of pandemic
Has experienced
Real desperation,
Agony and terror.

I am but a bombu;
Amida does not
Judge my anxiety,
Only holds me tightly
In His loving Arms.

Constantly pulled
In a myriad directions
By the forces of Mara
I am at the mercy
Of my own foolishness.

Truly I have always
Been living in Hell,
The abode where I have
Cycled endlessly
For countless kalpas.

Amida Buddha,
And Amida Buddha alone,
Offers the true means
Of my deliverance
From pain and suffering.

The means
Of my deliverance
Dharmkara Bodhisattva
Achieved for all beings,
Becoming Amida Buddha,

By fulfilling
His Forty-Eight Vows
For the salvation
Of all beings like myself
Throughout all existence.

The key to deliverance
Is none other than
Amida's Holy Name,
The Nembutsu,
Namu Amida Butsu.

His Holy Name
Amida has given us
Without conditions--
And through our entrusting
In It we come to Shinjin.

Truly Shinjin is Everything;
The Nembutsu alone
Is True and Real;
The myriad other paths
Are devoid of Truth.

As Master Rennyo says,
From time to time
We must clear
The channels of faith
In Amida's Other Power.

I offer Amida Buddha
My deepest apologies
For paying any attention
To Mara's siren call,
A treacherous song.

Namu Amida Butsu!
Thank You, Amida Buddha;
You have given me
This priceless Gift
Of eternal salvation.

Once free from this Hell
I will thank Amida
Directly when I arrive
In His very Presence
In His Fulfilled Land.

And when I arrive
As a Buddha
In His Land of
Peace and Bliss
I'll know Nirvana,
Karmically freed forever.

I am humbled
Before Amida Buddha's
Mighty Presence,
The Lord and Master
Of my entire karmic destiny.

And I am humbled
Before Master Shinran,
Who through his teachings
Works tirelessly for us
As a Buddha in the Pure Land.

Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu



XXXV

A Poem of Faith and Thanksgiving

Thank You, Lord Amida Buddha,
For rescuing me from samsara.
In this world of sickness and fright
You bathe me in Your Loving Light.

I rest in Your great Loving Arms,
Protected from my karma's harms.
I know life is impermanent,
But saved am I by Your Great Vow's intent.

In gratitude I say Your Name,
My paltry self-effort is lame.
I take refuge in Your Other Power,
Its blessings on me sweetly shower!

My Pure Land birth is settled now,
My Buddhahood it will endow.
I'll surely know Nirvana's bliss,
Samsara's pains I will not miss!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Amida Buddha, I thank You!
Your Primal Vow, true and sublime,
Will make me Buddha in Your Good Time.


XXXVI

THE VASTNESS OF THE BUDDHA

The vastness of the Buddha,
His Wisdom and Compassion
Are beyond our comprehension,
As is His profound Dharma.

Amida is my Savior,
My True Authentic Parent,
To all His Name was sent,
And to His Call did I answer.

I'm clinging to His Name,
A desperate evil bombu:
Through His great Nembutsu
To save us all He came.

Amida's Love is infinite--
The White Path he did show,
Calling from the Far Shore,
Filling me with hope and light.

My Buddhahood is assured,
In me no doubts remain;
Broken is every karmic chain,
From birth-and-death am I cured!

Namu Amida Butsu,
Thank You, Lord Amida!
In Your Dharma and Your Sangha
In joy I rest, born anew!


XXXVII

Witness

Dear Savior, Amida Buddha,
The Gift of Your Holy Name
Revealed in the Sacred Dharma
Has saved me without blame.

The Treasury of Your Merit
Bequeathed to all of Faith
Uplifts them with every breath,
This Gift with whom You share it.

Above dark clouds of suffering
Your Face shines like the sun;
And so Your Saving Name I sing
With gratitude, your son.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha
I take Refuge in You, Amida Buddha
Kimyo Jinjippo Mugeko Nyorai


XXXVIII

LONGING FOR THE PURE LAND

Longing for the Pure Land
(Tired of this bombu life)
To see its Glories Grand,
A Realm devoid of strife.

Some days I feel so blue,
I know not whence it came:
Shakyamuni Buddha knew—
My karma is to blame!

This foolishness of mine,
My evil karmic debt,
Up from it I can't climb,
By self power I'm inept.

When Sukhavati's gate
Opens to me at life's end
My suffering will abate,
On knees in thanks I'll bend.

By the Power of Amida
A Buddha I shall be,
Blessed with Great Nirvana:
All Truth I'll finally see.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha!
I take full Refuge in You,
The Savior of One and All!


XXXIX

Some Home-Spun Gathas to Think on:

Days of serenity are rare
In this life of samsaric woe;
But even if we are alone,
We're always in Lord Amida's care.

Overwhelming can our challenges be,
Defying our bombu foolishness,
We try, but keep on making a mess,
Making everything about stupid 'me'.

Amida Buddha knows all our foils,
But never deserts us in a crisis:
Loving us despite all our vices,
He lances all our spiritual boils.

I worship my Dear Lord Amida,
The Author of my Great Salvation;
And though I am of lowly station
He accepts me, to make me a Buddha.

My self-power long ago failed me,
Leaving me a helpless fool;
But I learned to follow one simple rule:
Say His Name and be saved by Amida.

That rule came from His Primal Vow,
Inviting every suffering being
To Amida's great vow to be cleaving
And take refuge in Him, even Now!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
I thank You, Amida Buddha:
I take Refuge in You, it is true,
Through the Power of Your Holy Dharma.


XL

Pandemic Dharma

The times, they have a-changed,
Master Shinran knew it well
When plague and pestilence fell
And over the land they rampaged.

We now have a new pandemic,
A treacherous insidious virus:
What wisdom is there to inspire us,
At a loss under this epidemic?

Just know that Amida is caring,
Whatever the burden, our karma;
Revealed in the Pure Land Dharma
Is courage we all can be sharing.

The doctors advise us, 'wear face masks'
To keep the pandemic from spreading;
And though words of calm we are reading,
Social distancing and masks remain our tasks.

The Buddha exhorts to show reason,
To care for our fellow bombu;
We must cling to what we know is true
At the height of the pandemic season.

Remember to say His Holy Name,
Take refuge in His Primal Vow;
The Pure Land beckons us now -
To teach this to us the Buddha came.

So board Amitabha's Great Ship,
Sail across the sea of birth-and-death;
Entrusting in Him with each breath,
Let us chant with gratitude on every lip.

Namu Amida Butsu


XLI

THANK YOU, AMIDA BUDDHA

Thank You, Amida Buddha,
My Savior and my Lord,
I celebrate Your Dharma,
Its every precious Word!

For a bombu such as me
You made your Primal Vow,
So a Buddha I could be,
Your Merit will endow!

The Pure Land I will go
At this life's sorry end;
And of this I do know,
To it You will me send!

I make this heartfelt rhyme
To praise you, Glorious One,
For in Your Own Good Time
My Buddhahood will be done!

So Your Great Name I sing,
Each syllable with joy;
My heart on grateful wing,
Nirvana I'll soon enjoy!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha!
My Shinjin comes from You,
Transcending all my karma!


XLII

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU

These simple words I sing,
So powerful and so true,
To me they mean everything,
I feel thanks through and through.

The Holy Name of Amida
Lifts me day to day:
To become a real Buddha,
The Nembutsu is the way.

I am a foolish bombu,
Embroiled in my evil karma;
There's nothing I can do
To bring myself to Nirvana.

I take refuge in His Vow,
The Primal Vow that saves all;
I chant the Holy Name now
As I answer Amida's call.

To go to Amida's Pure Land
Is all I really want:
Amida takes me by the hand,
His Holy Name I chant!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!


XLIII

A MIRACLE INSIDE A MYSTERY

How I'll become a Buddha
In Amida Buddha's Pure Land
Is a truly mysterious drama--
Something amazing, truly grand.

Transformed by Amida's Power
Is a miracle inconceivable;
For in that wondrous hour -
As in the White Path parable -

My Buddhahood will be
Something I cannot explain;
When on my bended knee
My karma will no longer remain,

And with my karma gone,
I'll experience great Nirvana
As a Buddha, no longer alone,
In the company of countless Buddhas.

The Pure Land is a place
Where fools like me are enlightened,
Where one's former tortured face
Is blissful, no longer frightened.

I thank Amida, my Savior,
Who became a Buddha for me,
To open to me His Pure Land Door
And become Buddha, instantly!


XLIV

NEARER, MY BUDDHA, TO THEE

The way out of samsara--
The bliss of Great Nirvana--
The infinity of Amitabha--
The sweetness of the Dharma...

At all these great blessings
I humbly bow in prostration,
My humble faith confessing
In tears of exultation.

The Power of the Primal Vow
Made for us in Ages Past
Is offered to each of us, now,
As this life here won't last.

Our days on earth are numbered,
We can't turn the clock back:
Though by karma I'm encumbered,
My faith in Amida doesn't lack.

Let one and all rejoice,
For the gift of full salvation!
Let us sing with one great voice,
Throughout each and every nation.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU,
The Name of Great Amida
Has grasped me through and through
By which I'll soon be Buddha.

Yes, through Amida's Power
A Buddha I'll soon be;
And with each passing hour,
I draw closer to Sukhavati!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



XLV

POEM OF GRATITUDE

O, this foolish being, do I now sing
The Name of Amida Buddha--
The Nembutsu, the greatest thing
Revealed to us in the Holly Dharma.

Saved by Amida's own Power
I've relinquished every doubt
In which I once did cower,
But now in Shinjin do I shout!

Yes, I shout with thanks of joy,
Thanking Amida - His compassion -
For saving this karma-bowed boy
In such a dramatic bold fashion!

It is true, I shall go to the Pure Land,
When my samsaric life here is at end,
To that Place, so Majestic, so Grand,
My way o'er the Jewel-Paved Streets I'll wend.

I'll meet Amida Buddha face to face,
Prostrating myself, my head bowed.
He's my Savior, and in His Embrace
I now chant His Name, joyous and loud.

O Thank You, Dear Buddha Amida,
For saving me from birth-and-death!
In the presence of Your Holy Sangha
I praise You with my every breath!


XLVI

ESCAPE TO BLISS

Such emptiness and fear
Is this samsaric existence
For all that we cling to dear
Suffers from impermanence.

The Buddha taught the Way
Out of this hellish life,
So that on our final day
We'll be freed from karmic strife.

The Pure Land is the Place
Where Buddhahood comes true:
Through Amida Buddha's Grace
We'll experience Nirvana anew.

Shinjin is our ultimate refuge
Our guarantee of full salvation--
Its assurance is truly huge,
Our grateful tears' elation.

Take faith, forsake all doubt:
Let Amida's Other Power
Drive your nagging fears out
So you need no longer cower.

Rebirth in His Pure Land
Means eternal peace and bliss,
Means Buddhahood so grand
That your craving you won't miss.

I praise Amida Buddha,
I sing His Holy Name;
Listening deeply to His Dharma
His Gift of Buddhahood I claim!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha


XLVII

GRATITUDE: A SONG OF FAITH

Today my gratitude runs high;
Today my gratitude runs deep.
Amida grasps me, waking or asleep,
As this my life's end is drawing nigh.

The Primal Vow for everyone
Who in it take no-strings refuge
For Buddhahood in the life to come:
For this, my gratitude surges huge.

This life in samsara weighs on me
With the passing of each heavy day;
How I long for Nirvana, to be set free
From this bombu's sad feet of clay.

My faith in Amida Buddha's Love
Fills me with His Light of Joy;
His boundless compassion from above
Saves man and woman, girl and boy.

There are no strings attached, He says,
Ten kalpas ago He saved us all,
And as we live out these woeful days
We but need accept His Loving Call.

Thank You, Amida Buddha, my Lord,
Responding to your Call so sweet
I chant your Name, each precious Word
Brings me closer to You to meet.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha


XLVIII


Grateful Grateful Grateful

This Sangha is Amida's Gift—
It never fails to give me a lift;
Though battling depression every day,
I'm deeply grateful for Amida's Way.

What is gratitude, you ask,
Why grateful for the Primal Vow?
Because it's for we who suffer now—
We need not wear a pious mask.

Let go and Let Amida's love
Carry us to His Realm above,
Surrender to His great compassion
For it will not go out of fashion!

The distance from His Land to here
Is said to be galaxies away;
But yet His Loving Light so dear
Penetrates samsara's fray.

Master Shinran forged the road
Whereon we let go of calculation:
Regardless of our life's poor station
Amida saves by His sacred mode.

Do not slide into mindless fear
That all this teaching is sheer fluff!
Nay, faith in Amida is enough,
For He saves us, right now, right here.

Hard striving toward our Buddhahood
Obstructs our Pure Land rebirth future;
Amida's power and karmic nurture
Rescues us as no other could.

Seek first the blessings of Shinjin,
For that's the intent of Amida's Vow;
Into your heart let Amida in—
His gift of faith it will endow.

Amida Buddha saves one and all,
No one is ignored or left out;
So in gratitude, give forth a shout,
Say yes, embrace His timeless Call!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha


XLIX

A POEM OF PRAISE TO AMIDA

I recite Namu Amida Butsu—
That alone is true and real;
It's the Holy Name, the Nembutsu,
And upon my heart it is a seal.

In gratitude daily I honor
Amida Buddha's All-Embracing Love;
Though the world suffers untold horror,
I'm grasped by His Compassion above.

I say the Nembutsu each day
With thanks deep in my heart;
Amida my karmic debt has paid,
My destiny He long ago did chart.

I am truly a suffering bombu
Tied to my passions and delusion;
Amida, I profoundly thank You
For lifting me out of confusion.

Shinjin is the greatest gift,
From my karma is it a release:
Though in samsara I am still adrift,
I now live my life in real peace.

Rebirth in Amida's Pure Land
And Buddhahood there for us all
Is something inconceivably grand,
Meeting Him in His Sacred Hall.

Thank You, Amida Buddha,
My Savior from ten kalpas' past,
With thanks for Your Dharma and Sangha
And rebirth in Your Pure Land at last!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha


L

The Only Thing That's True and Real

Only what is true and real
Is Amida Buddha's Holy Name;
It's something I can inward feel,
Like a bolt of light to me it came.

Rennyo said 'Shinjin is Everything'
And for that fact I'm simply grateful.
The Nembutsu sets my heart to sing:
This faith is something wonderful.

Do not give up, if you're not sure,
Amida's Light shines bright on you;
You're in His Loving Light so pure--
Shinjin will come in time, it's true.

Just listen deeply, nothing more--
Entrust yourself to Amida's Vow;
For when you knock at Amida's door
He'll welcome you in, as He does now.

Amida Buddha's Name I chant,
The wondrous Gift, His saving Dharma;
Nothing else that I could want,
He's saved me from my evil karma.

To be born a Buddha in His Land
Is a miracle inconceivably grand;
And when I repeat His Nembutsu
Each time I feel reborn anew!



LI

Sukhavati, My New Home

Though a man of many desires
The only thing I truly am wanting
Is the quenching of my karmic fires
And the end of Mara's taunting.

In order to be set free
As a Buddha in Amida's Land
I've entrusted in Him totally--
On His Sacred Dharma I stand.

There is nothing so True and Real
As the Nembutsu, so Shinran writes:
It is, as he said, the real deal
And the end to our suffering nights.

The strength of Amida's Great Vow
Is the salvation of us, one and all:
I cannot explain it just how--
I just answer Amida's Great Call.

Grasped and never left alone
Am I amidst a growing horde;
Sukhavati will be my new Home
Through the Power of Amida, my Lord.


LII

A CONFESSION

Sometimes my faith is hard,
Burning passions are a-flaming;
At times I'm burned and charred—
My karmic bonds I'm blaming.

Amida Buddha knows this
And grasps me all the same;
His promise is of Bliss
Through refuge in His Name.

I yearn for His Pure Land,
A land devoid of evil;
Amida takes me by my hand—
My heart with hope He does fill.

Shinjin is True and Real,
Without any attached strings:
The Pure Land's music I already feel—
In my ears Its Chorus sings.

I thank Amida Buddha,
My Buddhahood He has gifted;
I listen deeply to His Dharma
Through which I am uplifted!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha


LIII

This Bombu Fool

A fool it is who dilly-dallies,
Absorbed in escapist hobbies, pastimes,
And though on faith he never shilly-shallies,
He habitually turns out these many rhymes.

Such a fool I am, my Dharma friends,
I never waiver in my faith in Amida,
To while away the time, it sends
Me comfort to praise the Greatest Buddha.

'Namu Amida Butsu' I sing and chant,
Entrusting myself to His Holy Name;
For t'is Buddhahood to me He'll grant--
As for so many others, the wondrous same.

The greatest Gift, the Nembutsu,
For us in samsara it's all that's real;
To many a person of many a wrong view
Relying on His Name is the real deal.

I thank Amida my Peerless Savior,
To know that when I breathe my last,
I'll never again be fleshly reborn,
My lives in samsara a thing of the past.

As a Buddha in Amida's Pure Land,
I'll praise Him day and night,24/7:
It will be Enlightenment so grand
This existence in His Nirvanic Heaven!


LIV

SALVATION

A blessing beyond words is this,
Amida's Gift of true Shinjin;
In Sukhavati I'll know true bliss,
No longer burdened by karmic sin.

Amida's Great Compassion shines
On one and all, both good and evil;
In the Pure Land every Buddha dines
On the Dharma, cured of every ill.

To be a Buddha in the Pure Land
Is indescribable, simply grand!
As bombu we live out lives of pain
Yet say the Nembutsu, now and again.

I thank Amida, my Lord and Savior,
Released from cycling birth-and-death;
In His Land His every word I'll savor
And raise my thanks with every breath.

Namu Amida Buddha: Its truth
Is all I ever need to know;
My foolish life ill-spent from youth
Is saved by Amida's Primal Vow.

A Buddha in the Land of Peace
I'll quick become, the Shonin taught;
Through Buddha's Power we find release...
Enlightenment will be our lot!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



LV

Such a Treasure!

What a treasure,
What a joy,
How grateful
Saved by Amida,
Assured of Buddhahood
At this life's end!

The Amida Sangha,
A great blessing
Of this Great Savior,
Savior of all,
Good or evil,
All are embraced
In Amida's Light.

When the time is right
And karmic conditions are ready,
All will receive Shinjin
And relax
Free from obstructions
Free from obscurations
Free from doubts
Free from calculation
Free from self-power...
Saved for all time
Reborn in Sukhavati
The Fulfilled Land
Of Peace and Bliss!


LVI

Namu Amida Butsu: A Gatha

So much of what we feel to be true and real
Is impermanent and empty of lasting essence;
So much of our lives are spent in delusion,
Attached to the foolishness of this world and its people.

Master Shinran uttered these words of wisdom:
'The Nembutsu ALONE is true and real.'
So when we suffer from attachments and aversions
And/or from loss and conflict and hatred,

That is not true or real, that is not true reality
It is not the reality that Amida Buddha sees
For the reality that He wants us to see,
Is the true and real wisdom of the Nembutsu.

The Nembutsu is the powerful Name of Amida
It contains the Power of His Primal Vow
It contains the karmic Power to free us
From the endless shackles of birth-and-death.

This is why the Nembutsu alone is true and real:
For through the Nembutsu we take refuge in
We will be saved forever from samsaric pain
And will join the multitudes in the Pure Land

Where we will become Buddha ourselves,
Fully enlightened and liberated from suffering,
Filled with the Joy and Bliss of eternal Nirvana,
And sharing that Joy to save all who still suffer.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
THANK YOU AMIDA BUDDHA
I TAKE REFUGE IN AMIDA BUDDHA
AMIDA BUDDHA, YOU ARE MY SAVIOR

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
NAMU AMIDA BUTSU


LVII

Nembutsu Joy

The peace that passeth
All understanding for me
Is the Peace of Nembutsu
And the Shinjin it brings.

Namu Amida Butsu
The Buddha's Holy Name
Contains the karmic power
To save all who entrust in it.

I thank Amida Buddha
For the Great Wisdom
And the Boundless Compassion
He showers upon one and all.

Already He has saved
The suffering multitudes
They only need to awaken
To His Great Dispensation.

Yes, the Nembutsu
And the Peace it brings
Is the Fount of Joy
For this foolish bombu.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha


LVIII

A Sonnet of Faith

Shakyamuni came into this ailing world
To teach us all Amida's Primal Vow:
He came into this world with banner unfurled,
Urging us to aspire to the Pure Land now.
What purpose did I have to be born here?
Was it to be an artist of great fame?
No, I came into his life of pain and fear
To take Refuge in, and be saved by His Name.

Even now I struggle with my bombu ways,
A 'bad Buddhist' I really am, through and through;
But Amida's loving grasp doth me amaze,
Inspiring me to thank Him, and I do!
So I say and sing the Nembutsu of faith
And am saved for sure, so Amida Buddha saith!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!


LIX

SAVED BY AMIDA BUDDHA

Battling with harsh physical pain
Distracting my Nembutsu life--
The pain demon over and over again
Cuts into me like a razor-sharp knife.

But I remember Master Shinran's statement,
'The Nembutsu alone is true and real';
So even if my pain has no abatement,
I'll still thank Amida on bended knee.

This life's like a flash of lightning or dew,
I'm here today, but someday I'll be gone;
I gratefully recite the sacred Nembutsu,
For in the Pure Land soon I'll be born.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
THANK YOU, AMIDA BUDDHA



LX

The Blessed Sangha

The Gift of Amida Buddha,
His Dharma and His Sangha,
His Surety of Salvation
For the suffering population.

Amida knows our faults,
Our foolishness and all;
He saves us from all this,
Leaves nobody amiss.

The Pure Land is not far,
In the twinkling of an eye
The Buddha's loving star
Will beam us there so high.

Shinjin the greatest thing
Freely given to those
Whom Amida will thus bring
By the Vow for us He chose.

Entrusting is the key--
All the Buddha asks,
That we reject vain tasks
In Faith on bended knee.

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha


LXI

Verses of Gratitude

The distractions of this worldly pain
Cloud my vision again and again;
Only the Nembutsu is true and real
Regardless of what I think or feel.

Shinjin is everything, so Rennyo said,
What greater gift could there ever be?
Long after I'm buried, forgotten and dead
I'll be a Buddha in Sukhavati.

Nirvana is the greatest joy,
The end of all suffering forever;
My pain inherited from worlds nether
Will no longer plague me and annoy.

Buddhahood is ultimate liberation,
No more lifetimes of birth and dying;
Reborn in the Pure Land will be my station
On wings of bliss forever flying.

Namu Amida Butsu I sing--
The Nembutsu of universal salvation;
Shinran's words in my ears ever ring
With gratitude and peerless elation!

Namu Amida Butsu
Thank You, Amida Buddha!



LXII

Blessed by and enfolded
In Amida Buddha's Light,
This foolish being
Undeserving of salvation
Nonetheless grasped
And never abandoned
Neither chastised nor blamed
For countless lives
Immersed in evil karma,
And scorched by my blind passions
Everlastingly forgiven
And assured through the power
Of Amida's Primal Vow
With the certainty of Buddhahood
With my next birth in the Pure Land,
I offer my humble gratitude
To the greatest of all the Buddhas,
Amida, Amitayus, Amitabha,
With my chanting and singing
Of His Timeless Holy Name,
Namu Amida Butsu!
Namu Amida Butsu!
Namu Amida Butsu!



LXIII

The timeless Dharma gift
Of Amida Buddha's teaching
Across the stretch of time
Is a miracle far-reaching.

I thank Master Shinran
For awakening in me
Salvation by Amida's Vow
For Pure Land victory.

The blessings of this Sangha
Sustaining me through ills
My true home and refuge;
My troubled heart Amida stills.

The Larger Pure Land Sutra
Is where Shakyamuni taught
Salvation through Amida's Vows
For all our suffering lot.

Amida Buddha's saving Light
At the end of this tunnel of life:
He beckons all to His Pure Land
To leave forever this world of strife!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
My chant of thankfulness
I gratefully offer Amida
Saving me from this life of stress.

Refuge in His Primal Vow
Is all Amida asks,
His Vow Power does the rest,
For us no more self-power tasks!


LXIV

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU

My Lord Amida Buddha
Has prepared for One and All
A Land of Serene Sustenance
A Land of Peace and Bliss
A Pure Land of true Refuge
For the lot of suffering beings
A haven where they all too
Shall become Buddhas themselves
Who will reach out to save likewise
All those who continue to suffer.

My Lord Amida Buddha
Is Teacher of all the Buddhas;
He has saved already those
Who continue to languish and suffer
Who are lost to the sands of time
And who live lives of silent delusion
Without Whose Saving Vows
They would suffer for all eternity...
All these he has saved long ago
And assured of their own Buddhahood
When their karmic time has come.

My Lord Amida Buddha
Is Master of One and All
Is Master of all the Buddhas
And all the Bodhisattvas
Is Master of His Pure Land
And Master of all the Faithful
Who rely upon His Primal Vow
And entrust in His Great Compassion;
He's Master of my karmic destiny
My Savior for all eternity.

My Lord Amida Buddha
Knows me inside and out
Knows all my monstrous faults
And all my piddly virtues
Knows all my karmic history
Knows all my aspiration
Knows all my blind passions
Knows all my lies and follies
But cares for me all the same
And saves me all the same.

Such is My Lord Amida Buddha
In Whose Hands I place my Trust
For without His Saving Vows
I too would be lost forever
Yet now I know to be true
He will usher me to the Pure Land
To become a Buddha there
When my life in this pitiful body
Shall end, my final fleshly birth
In this realm of suffering, Samsara.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
THANK YOU, AMIDA BUDDHA


LXV

Entrust, Entrust, Entrust!

Namu Amida Butsu
Entrust in Amida Buddha

Namu Amida Butsu
Fear not, just entrust

Namu Amida Butsu
You'll be embraced, never abandoned

Namu Amida Butsu
Your Savior and Loving Parent

Namu Amida Butsu
Entrust and never doubt

Namu Amida Butsu
Buddhahood will surely be yours

Namu Amida Butsu
To the Pure Land you will go

Namu Amida Butsu
Amida Buddha's Primal Vow fulfilled

Namu Amida Butsu
This your final life of suffering

Namu Amida Butsu
Entrust, Entrust, Entrust!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
Thank You, Amida Buddha


LXVI

A Few Quatrains of Faith

Namu Amida Butsu, Amida's Name
The Nembutsu is my refuge and my truth
Amida's Light fills my heart, my very being
With love and hope unbounded, aye forsooth!

There is no greater truth than the Nembutsu
For within its syllables is grace, our Shinjin...
And while we languish in our burning passions,
The Name itself contains our just salvation!

Buddhahood awaits us, male and female,
The Great Ship of the Great Vow carries all
When we but give ourselves to its Vow Power
In answer to the Buddha's Ageless Call!

It is so easy, yet the hardest thing,
Entrusting in Amida's Loving promise;
Yet give yourselves over to it, my dear friends--
This burden of Samsara you'll never miss!



LXVII

What Kind of Fool I Am: A Gatha of Faith

What kind of fool I am,
Sunken in the pit of karmic evil,
Scorched by my burning passions
And a victim of my foolish self-will.

Yet somehow Amida Buddha
Knew all this and much more,
Gaining salvation and Buddhahood
Carrying all to the opposite shore.

Amida Buddha's Great Compassion
Reaches out to the suffering throng
Through His Primal Vow he assures
Buddhahood despite all their wrong.

Amida is greatest of all Buddhas,
Only He made Buddhahood possible
For us entrenched in evil karma and
Otherwise lost forever in hell.

The Nembutsu, Amida's Great Name
Is salvation for the evil ones first
And then the good persons too—
No longer by our evil natures cursed.

Buddhahood in the Pure Land
Is the reward to all who entrust
In Amida's great Primal Vow
When their bodies are turned to dust.

Namu Amida Butsu
I thank Amida Buddha, my Savior
Let us all learn to trust His Compassion
And pass through that Golden Door!


LXVIII

Living Naturally

Learning to live my life naturally,
Held close to the Buddha's heart,
He holds me fast to His bosom,
So I know we are never apart.

Amida is my father and mother,
Nurturing all of my spiritual needs,
He never gives up on me, ever,
Regardless of my past evil deeds.

I say the Name of the Buddha,
Chanting Namu Amida Butsu,
Knowing that I am always grasped,
And bound to become Buddha, too.

At times I feel completely lost,
Adrift in a sea of confusion,
But Amida lovingly protects me
From each evil thought and intrusion.

I thank Amida Buddha, my Lord,
The Author of my great salvation:
He carries me across the river
To Nirvana and lasting elation!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
THANK YOU, AMIDA BUDDHA


LXIX

The Meaning of the Nembutsu

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
'I Take Refuge in Amida Buddha';
This is the Name of the Buddha
Also known as the sacred Nembutsu.

It is This NEMBUTSU that we understand
As the ONLY thing TRUE AND REAL
In our troubled realm of Samsara...
Thus did Master Shinran to us reveal!

In gratitude do I say over and over
The Holy Name of Amida Buddha:
In it is my full and final refuge
And escape from this realm of evil karma.

Amida, my Lord and my Savior,
Cares for and embraces me as does no other;
His Saving Dharma I hold close and dear,
For He is my True Father and Mother.

The Dharma of Amida Buddha
Was revealed by Shakyamuni Buddha
On the heights of Mount Grdrakuta
Triumphantly proclaimed to one and all!

It is through Amida Buddha's Sacred Name
And the Power of His Great Primal Vow
That I am saved forever, bound for His Pure Land
To become Buddha myself: To Him I BOW!

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
THANK YOU, AMIDA BUDDHA



LXX

A Triolet

'Twas ten great kalpas ago
Dharmakara Bodhisattva fulfilled his Vows
And became the Buddha Amida we know:
'Twas ten great kalpas ago
For those of us living below
Our Buddhahood Amida Buddha endows
'Twas ten great kalpas ago
Dharmakara Bodhisattva fulfilled his Vows



LXXI

My Savior, My True Parent

Washing over me
In waves of gratitude
Is my knowing of being rescued
By the Great Amida Buddha
My Savior
My True Parent

No other Buddha
Could possibly care for me
As Amida has
Since time immemorial
My Savior
My True Parent

Amida is the Greatest Buddha
He has saved us all
Whether we know and accept it
Or remain in darkened minds
He is My Savior
My True Parent

Eventually all
Will come to know and claim
Amida's Gift of Buddhahood
And with it eternal Bliss
Of everlasting Nirvana
Amida is My Savior
He is My True Parent



LXXII

Was Lost but Now I'm Saved

Amida will hold our hands
As we make the transition
Across the river of death
To the Pure Land of eternal bliss.

We need never quake nor fear
Nor doubt this will happen,
For Amida Buddha is there with us always--
Our savior, parent, and friend.

And when we arrive in that land of bliss,
We will certainly understand at last
What the sutras have long been telling us,
Assuring us of rebirth there as Buddhas.

Let us praise and thank Amida
As we chant His holy name,
Worshiping Him with our hearts,
Resting in his blessed bosom.

Namu Amida Butsu
How sweet the sound,
I once was lost but now I'm saved,
Was blind but now I see.

Thank You, Amida Buddha!


LXXIII

Namu Amida Butsu

Amida my Lord and Savior
Seeing me through trying years
His mercy and boundless compassion
Wipes away my salty tears.

Twelve months of covid trauma
And deaths of countless lives
A time of cruel karmic drama
Cuts my heart like sharpened knives.

My faith in the Buddha is still strong
Amida is always there
My heart lives in Him, my song
Celebrates His great love everywhere.

Thank You my Lord Amida Buddha
To Your Pure Land I will go
Meanwhile I rest secure in Your Dharma
Its Truth and Salvation I know!


LXXIV

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU

It is so easy for us to forget
Amida Buddha's great dispensation
For the likes of our pathetic lot
Beset constantly by blind passions

The Larger Sutra brings to mind
The sacrifices for us by Dharmakara
Who spent many long kalpas of hard practices
Accumulating merit to deliver us from Samsara

The Other Power of Amida Buddha
Dharmakara Bodhisattva brought to pass
Fulfilling His Forty-Eight Great Vows
Thus saving our karma-beleaguered mass

All we need to do to claim this salvation
Is entrust ourselves completely to Amida
By simply repeating His Holy Name
In gratitude for His powerful Dharma

Let us set aside all calculation,
All defeating self-power and doubt,
Let us fully accept Amida's salvific embrace
Never abandoning us or leaving us out.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU
The sweet sound of His Holy Name
Brings me tears of deep thankfulness
Saved by Him without condition or blame!

Thank You, Amida Buddha!

A New (Large)   Collection Of Poems In Praise Of Amida Buddha
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS OF THE POEM

Dreams