Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Testimony

When I was in college, I read a book called THE LIGHT OF A THOUSAND SUNS. In just two pages somewhere in the middle of the book, there was mention of Amida Buddha who radiated blessing energy and healing grace to anyone who called upon upon his name, who promised to liberate anyone who called to him, and who visualized and manifested a world called Sukhavati from the deep purity of his compassionate meditation, a place where people could be reborn into after they died and continue to meditate in peace into supreme perfect enlightenment. I did not know much about chanting. But I was transitioning away from Christianity, which had a similar idea of divine grace, but also threw anyone into eternal daily agony if they rejected this grace. Amida Buddha represented a divine grace without any trace of punishment for rejecting it. During that time in my life, it was something that I needed.

After many long days at college, where I was taking 18 hours a week of class and working 25 hours a week of work at the cafeteria, had tons of homework and labs, I would end my day walking in the cool night air and chanting "Namo Amida Buddha" with a kind of plain song Gregorian style that I made up as improvised the chant. I found that when I came back to my dormitory that I always felt well. I would move through many emotions as I chanted and somehow Amida Buddha would uplift my energy into peace.

When I was in Florida, I got inspired to make my own mala and chant 1,000 repetitions of the mantra per a day. I found that the beads got so charged with blissful energy that people who touched them would feel peaceful. I would often give the malas to people who were going through sadness and kept making a new one in its place. I ran out of them eventually and chanted using the joints of my fingers as a bone mala to do the count. I would feel uplifted to a space where I was beyond the world of ordinary events and yet I could feel all the people I cared about. I could send them energy from this space.

I was doing some Sufi lucid dreaming practice at this time and Amida Buddha appeared to me and told me to add the word "Om" in front of "Namo Amida Buddha". He said that he wanted the mantra to be universal, associated with no religion in such a way that someone had to join the religion to receive his blessing, that he would support any path that anyone was on and help them to go further into healing, love, and bliss, that he wanted the pure land to be a place of refuge to anyone who needed it, not just Buddhists.

When I was in Washington, I was sad when I was feeling stuck in my life. I was working delivering pizzas. I started to chant the mantra and found that I received three times more tips than usual. I did not need the money, but somehow grace reaching deep into the Earth plane and physical plane meant something to me. Amida Buddha later shared in dreamtime that he wanted the Earth to be transformed into a pure land, a place of peace, where everyone loved each other, took care of each other, and were sensitive to the needs of each other.

In Oregon, on the coast, two friends were getting married, and Amida Buddha wanted to bless them. I asked them if it was okay to channel this blessing to them. They said yes to this. During the wedding ceremony, I placed my hands on both their heads and started chanting. It was a typical cloudy day on the coast. The clouds parted in that very moment and sunlight shined directly to the gathering, gliding across the favorite tree of the male of the couple.

During another dreamtime encounter, Amida Buddha shared that he wanted me to add "Hreeh" to the end of the mantra, so it ended up being, "Om Namo Amida Buddha Hreeh". It has not changed since then, but more instructions have been added that relate to visualizing "Hreeh" in neon fiery red in the sacred, "Om" in luminous white at the 3rd eye, and the energies mixing at the heart to form a silvery blue life force elixir that vibrates with "Ah".

During my time on the coast of Oregon, I was 10 miles away from a town of only 3,000 people (1,000 in the actual town and 2,000 nearby). I lived more in nature than in human civilization. I loved feeling the thunder rumble in the clouds. Lightning energized me. I would often leave my physical body and soar through this natural world and sometimes beyond. During this time, I saw thousands of worlds. I saw worlds filled with so much sorrow that Earth as it is now would feel like heaven to those beings in those worlds. I have seen worlds so beautiful, loving, and tender that I would just fall to the ground and cry. I saw worlds where everyone was dedicated to the spiritual path, honored the spiritually wise over the money wise, and had no wars, no poverty, and no violence. I saw teachers in those worlds teach and words leave their mouths as radiant liquid light that would flow directly into the ears of the students. Whenever anyone understood a deeper truth, had a realization, or opened their heart into deeper love, flowers would spontaneously bloom to honor this event, and flowers were blooming all the time.

I learned from my travel to all the worlds and saw how they were made mainly by thought. Just as Amida Buddha visualized a wonderful world from a deep and loving meditation, uncaused by any past thoughts, every angry thought creates worlds of fighting and hatred, every jealous thought creates worlds of wandering hungry ghosts, every dull thought creates worlds of compulsive habits and numbing addictions, every fearful thought creates a nightmare, and every greedy thought creates worlds of competition and struggle. I saw that this world, this beloved Earth, was formed by thought, arisen by thought, sustained by thought, and will be transformed by every loving thought, every loving chant.

I remember sharing the mantra with people who were even a little receptive and even just a little sincere, and found that even one repetition was bringing light into their aura, but they did not stay with the process, that just million chants is needed to go the whole distance to supreme liberation, to flash into Sukhavati and to see this beautiful world that Amida Buddha created through his own mind. But the very first chant is enough for the light to shine into our sorrow and start to lighten our karmaic load. I found that Shinran said, "The first chant is all that is needed, such is the grace of Amida Buddha, and remaining chants are only chants of gratitude."

I found that some sutras exist that describe Sukhavati. I saw the world before having read about them. They are a little different and mostly the same. The trees glow with small orbs of light. Some describe white light orbs and some describe rainbow lights. Both are right. There are many orchards with different shining lights, different luminous healing herbs for many illnesses. Every one is meditating. You have to like to meditate to be in this world. Some meditate in a Lotus posture on the ground. Some are on Lotus blossoms in the many lakes. Some are floating in bubbles of light in the sky. There is a natural progression in the lessons of meditation that are in this world. Those with many negative thoughts are placed in Lotus blossoms that envelope them and contain them until their minds are pure, until all their thoughts converge into the mantra and then disappear into the pure thoughts of the luminous void. There are pools of water where you learn to calm the waters (emotions) with your mind, simply by waving your hands and saying, "Calm, calm, calm." Thought has more obvious power in this world. It has power in our world, too, but our thoughts are more confused and run at cross purposes with each other. When we converge our thoughts into the mantra, then when we focus our mind we have more power to manifest anything. It is more important then to not be negative at all, because the power of our minds to manifest this increases many-fold.

At this point in my life, I have chanted the mantra over a million times. When I started, it took 1,000 repetitions to shift my consciousness into bliss. Later on it took 100 repetitions. Now it takes only about 3 repetitions. After chanting for a few years, I remember that a fierce wolf in the dream leaped for my throat and the first words from my dreambody mouth were, "Namo Amida Buddha", and the wolf dissolved. I found in a Buddhist text that it is auspicious when your dreambody picks up the mantra and spontaneously uses it. This means the meaning and intent of the mantra has penetrated into your consciousness and become part of it.

Lately, the visualization of "Hreeh" in Tibetan magical script, in luminous red fire, has the convergence of this mantra. It is like a one syllable focusing of all the energy of all of those repetitions. I find it vibrates at the core of my dream body and moves energy through my physical body and can extend to others.

The "Hreeh" is the sacred sound of the Lotus family, the family of Dharmakara who merged with the primal genderless energy of Amida Buddha and carried with him his promise to liberate anyone who calls upon his name. The Lotus family includes White Tara, Mandarava, and all the beings of all the religions who become one with the energy of unconditional love. When the mantra is chanted long enough, you become a part of this energy also, one of the thousand arms of Avalochiteshvara, reaching out and helping sorrow to end everywhere.

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