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Belated hello

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  • hpl_fan
    Hello all, I ve actually been lurking here for a long time now and finally feel I should take a more visible role - greetings and intro at least. I came upon
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2003
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      Hello all,

      I've actually been lurking here for a long time now and finally feel
      I should take a more visible role - greetings and intro at least. I
      came upon this group about a year ago in looking for information on
      Shin Buddhism and 0-nenju.

      I came to Buddhism gradually, at first out of an intellectual
      interest. I was always sort in intrigued by the philosophy but at
      the time I equated my atheism with a rejection of religion. It
      wasn't until I visited my local temple (I put a link to their
      website on the links page) for the Bon Odori celebration, just out
      of an interest in Japanese culture and a summer event to share with
      my family, that I realized I could no longer deny that Name that
      Calls. A week or two after that I was at the Chinatown festival and
      was invited to pray to the Buddha by some monks who had a booth
      there. That experience, the first time I prayed to the Buddha, was
      an epiphany for me and I've considered myself a Buddhist ever
      since.

      I soon after searched for information, and more importantly
      contemplated on what I found. Due to family and scheduling
      circumstances I just am not able to attend regular services at the
      temple. I did once and it was just to difficult for my family. So,
      I looked for other practices to help maintain mindfulness. While I
      do have a small shrine in my room to which I pray when the White
      Path takes me there, there are two practices I've found very helpful
      in my daily routine. The first is not only to recite the Nembutsu
      when praying, but before all meals and whenever I find myself
      hearing the Amida's light in some thought or circumstance. Constant
      recitation, but only when spontaneous and sincere, have helped me
      free my mind. My other daily practice is wearing o-nenju. I have
      one traditional o-nenju from a temple, but I save that one in
      reverence for special prayers. I have a number of home-made o-nenju
      I wear throughout the day, choosing one each morning from their bowl
      before the Buddha depending on the different associations I've found
      in them to particular aspects of the Dharma. Each is a bit
      different in materials or bead counts (hence I call them o-
      nenju, 'beads used for mindful practice', and not o-juzu, 'counting
      beads'). Each reminds me of a different teaching of the Dharma and
      I thank the Amida for having helped me piece together enough
      information to have found this practice.

      I really suggest others take a look at the audio downloads section
      of the Seattle Betsuin's site. They have posted almost three years
      of weekly Dharma Messages from their services and it has been a
      tremendous resource for me since I can't get there to hear them
      myself.

      Thank you, and a belated hello.

      Humbly,
      Todd A.
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