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Order of Amida Buddha Newsletter
June, 2021 
Ah, hard to encounter, even in many lifetimes, is the decisive cause of birth, Amida's universal vow!...Wholly sincere, indeed, are the words of truth that one is grasped, never abandoned - the right dharma all-surpassing and wondrous! Hear and reflect, and let there be no wavering or apprehension.    ~ Shinran

 
 
Greetings
 
Spring is pregnant with possibilities. In the Northern Hemisphere forests are sprinkled with white and pink trillium, a ground cover so sweet and precious, that here in Ontario it is protected by law.

The Amida Buddha Order, too, is in bud. After a period of uprooting, and the eventual blossoming of two sister organizations -  The Global Sangha, and The Amitabha Fellowship, the Order is currently in a season of renewal and we are asking ourselves: What continues to thrive? What has died away?  and,  What is in need of revitalization?  

Personally, I find it is easier to garden on virgin land.  There is an enthusiasm inherent in the establishment of new grounds where everything is infused with the blossoming of fresh ideas. In contrast, our work is to trust in the goodness of what has been and to nurture and protect it. Our work is also to consciously accept and surrender that which has not been useful or is now recognized as harmful. Ours is a garden requiring rich compost, pruning, and the inclusion of unfamiliar plantings.  We must take the old and make it new again.

In our recent meetings we have been doing just that. We have talked about what is essential, with the words, “faith, fellowship and compassionate service”, emerging again and again. We have talked about the desire to let go of complexities and to establish simple structures. We all agree that our bonds of friendship are precious and require continual  tending. We have affirmed that we are not about getting “bigger and better”, but are content to be a small grassroots community, working to shine the light of Amida wherever and with whomever we encounter.  There is a desire, at some point in the future, to have a service of renewal. We acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers and that our unfolding is a mystery. Amida is the master gardener, the hands that work the earth and nurture the tender shoots of our becoming. 


Welcome to the spring!
 

Namo Amida Bu,           
Prajnatara
 


From Susthama

Soon, we will be holding our annual conclave for the ordained members of the Sangha. Conclave is made up of two words. ‘Con’ which means with and ‘clave’ which means key. It has connotations of being a secret and private meeting but I like to think of our conclave as a gathering to unlock the teachings in an intimate and closed setting. 

In the early days of the Buddha’s ministry, the sangha was small and the Buddha’s Dharma was new to many spiritual practitioners around at that time. As the Buddha and his community wandered and talked to people, more and more people became interested in his teachings. Shariputra and Moggalana were the leading disciples of another guru and were so impressed by the Buddha’s Dharma that they joined the Buddha and soon became his closest disciples. It is said that Shariputra asked the Buddha to create vows for the growing sangha and the Buddha’s good friend, King Bimbisara suggested that they hold quarter-monthly assemblies to discuss the teachings.

Our conclave follows this tradition of the Buddha and his monks gathering to talk about the teachings with the exception that our group is not a monastic one. We are a lay Order with two aspects, an ordained group that forms the priesthood, and the laity, whose relationship to the ordained group is invaluable. The Amida Order carries the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings, and it is during our conclave that the Ordained members can share and discuss how to carry out our deeds and actions compassionately and wholeheartedly. 


 
Gina Clayton. Buddhist name: Sundari 
Born on January 20, 1955 and died on May 31, 2021 at 8:30 p.m.
May she be released from all her pain and suffering and be together with Amida Buddha in the land of Utmost Bliss.
Order Memorial Service details to follow.
 

Order Member News

From Pundarika an Vimalashri

Dear friends,

We would like to share with you from a personal point of view, what has been going on in our life and in the life of others in Israel lately.

It is difficult to see and be aware of so much suffering on both sides of the conflict. 

We talked with many people, members of the family, neighbours, friends. Young people and old ones, women and men, Jews and Muslims. We encountered a whole range of feelings. Fear and anxiety, frustration and despair, regrets and hopes, but above all deep sorrow and sadness for what the young generation in this area has to go through. 

We arranged and led for our sangha an afternoon of prayer, meditation, chanting, sending merit and sutra reading. With the purpose of soothing the pain and being together.  

We are participating in a project of Qi-gong healing sessions for the Middle East led by 11 Chinese Qi-gong teachers. The participants are from all over the world. 

We thank you all for your support and we pray with you for peace in the Middle East. 

Love and namo amida bu ~ Pundarika and Vimalashri 



Buddhas from Prajna and James garden
Calendar 

Please refer to the website for a complete list of gatherings, which are too numerous to list here. 
FYI -  many groups take a break during summer months.  Please check the webpage for detailed information.

Wednesday

2.30 – 4 pm Amida Benelux Sangha Gathering 
This is a meeting of the friends of the Amida Benelux Sangha with stone-passing (sharing from the heart), Nembutsu, reading of an Amida core text, and teachings. All are welcome.

Thursday

2.30 – 3.15 pm (UK time) Service of Dedication (attendees - Order members)
Members of the Order gather to chant and pray for the wellbeing of individuals who have died or are in need of healing. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this practice, please send the name of the individual to susthamakim@gmail.com  

4 – 5 pm (UK time) Study Group with Susthama 
Learn about the service book and about different liturgical texts. 

Zoom links can be found here.

Important Dates

Conclave - a meeting for Order members: Saturday June 12, 2021. 1-5pm (UK time) Please let Susthama know if you will NOT be joining us.  Looking forward to seeing everyone! 

Zoom link will be sent by email.


Upcoming 2021 Order meetings: alternating between Saturday and Sunday on,
July 11, August 14, September 12, October 9, and November 14. 
All meetings are held at 5p.m (UK time). Zoom link will be sent by email.

Bodhi Retreat: December 8 - 12, 2021. Stay tuned for more details.
 
Calendar Highlight


Every Thursday at 2:30pm (UK time) Order members gather for a Service of Dedication. This is a time to call to mind and speak the names of those who have died or who are struggling in some way. We also remember communities struggling, such as the people of Israel and Palestine. The format is simple - we name those we are dedicating our practice too and then we have the opportunity to rest in the practice of known and new prayers and chants. There are usually 4-7 Order members in attendance and we take turns speaking or chanting. It is very special to dedicate the merit in this way. 

About the service, Dayavati writes: "Sharing prayer and chanting in "community" while dedicating merit is qualitatively deepening my faith and practice".

Do join in, or send the name (s) of those you would like to be rememberd here


 
Order of Amida Buddha Website
 
Visit our website for a full list of weekly services and special events.
There you will find dates, times and links for joining via zoom. If you have any questions about what we offer please contact: 
Susthama Kim
 

 
We are currently fundrasing for Amida India and will continue to do so until the end of June. We have set a goal of 500 GBP, and are already more than half way there with 350 GBP collected.  Thanks to all who have already donated
 
Donations to Amida India
Recommendations
 
Do you have a book, movie, podcast, etc., you think we might enjoy?  Please let us know about them!
 
Books

Pure Land - History, Tradition and Practice, by Charles B. Jones.
Susthama writes: " It's very clear, readable and intelligent as well. A good resource for the sangha."

The Hidden Lamp - Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women - Edited by Florence Caplow and Susan Moon.  Dayavati 
 



Useful Links

Meetings and services that are provided by the Order: Meetings and Services 

Pastoral letters by Reverend Susthama Kim:  Pastoral Letters 

The hymns and texts used in the services: Nien Fo Service Book

Support for Amida India: Please Donate Here

 

About Us
 
The Order of Amida Buddha, is an international Devotional Pureland Buddhist Community dedicated to nurturing faith, offering fellowship, and inspiring compassionate care for our world.  We are ordained and lay, seeking individually and collectively to bring the Light of Amida into our world.

"Friends", are Amida-shu or Amida-Kai members and are affiliated through heart and practice with the Order of Amida Buddha. 


We welcome you to to learn more about us and to join in our weekly devotional services as well as other events as outlined on our website. www.amidashu.org

 

Copyright © 2021 Order of Amida Buddha, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Flat 6, Turin House, Venice Ave
Watford, WD18 7BW
Contact email:
susthamakim@gmail.com

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Amida Mosaic · 16 Ravenglass Cres. · London, ON N6G 4K1 · Canada

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