Introducing a book of spiritual poetry: The Flame in the Lotus

Beginning today, I will be posting daily selections from an experiment I conducted to write about the trials and tribulations (such as they are) of being a Shin Buddhist priest. I called it: The Flame in the Lotus: Poetic Musings on Amida, Light and Living the Nembutsu Life by a Shin Priest. While my inner life is larger than any one set of religious metaphors can possibly capture, and while I remain just as inspired by other names and approaches to the Ineffable, this represents an aspect of me I do not shy away from, though I find it difficult to articulate so publicly. I hope it brings some joy.

I.
Before I knew the name, “Amida”,
I swam in an ocean of Light, filled with Life.
After I was introduced to the name “Amida”
I ran because it sounded too trite, too familiar, like a mother.
When I became a priest of “Amida”, I wondered daily-
Where is my mother?
And now, more than 10 years later I realize,
She has never left me
And is always calling,
Namo-Amida-Butsu.

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