Thoughts on Amida Buddha
I find the symbol of Amida (Amitabha) Buddha to be one of the most radical symbols of self-sacrificing love in the world. In fact, my own conception of Christ has been changed and deepened through my encounter with Amida Buddha. Amida Buddha symbolizes the universal embrace of compassion and in doing so, calls and inspires us to follow in the Buddha’s footsteps.
Buddhas, like the saints, are people like you and I who managed to break free from the shackles of illusion and self-centeredness to attain true awakening. But to be a Buddha is not merely to attain enlightenment for one's self--it is to strive to bring all people into the light and life of true enlightenment, freed from the suffering of illusion and self-deceit. To be enlightened is to touch and be assured of nirvana. Yet the Buddha delays nirvana in order to serve others out of deep compassion. One of the primary Buddhist prayers is to pray for “the salvation of all beings.”
Amida Buddha sacrificed everything...he vowed and aspired never to reach full enlightenment unless all beings would join him in enlightenment upon hearing and entrusting in his name. To me, this symbolizes the ultimate end of faith and life not only for Buddhists, but for all people on the spiritual journey. Like Amida, I desire to embrace this level of compassion, that I may touch and know what it means to truly love others.
And this is grace...to be drawn irresistably by the light and life of true compassion.
I find inspiration from Buddhism--with it's universal hope in humanity, its principles of karmic reality, its Eight Fold Path, Four Noble Truths, its path of humility, non-attachment, liberation, wisdom, and peace..but above all, its compassion and grace.
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