No meditation for the past week or so. I was in a very dark place. Severe insomnia. No sleep after 3 or 2 or 1 AM. Sometimes after midnight. Each night. Horror. Very little control over my thoughts. A lot of suffering. Tons of stress in work, even more at home. And amidst all that I somehow managed to give up smoking. I am over two weeks nicotine free.
During that time Amitabha and Nembutsu would appear in my mind without any reason at all bringing me a temporary relief. So I naturally started to recite nembutsu again. I came across this quote – in a book Pure Land Buddhism. Dialogs with Ancient Masters. – which seems to explain this:
The Buddha taught 84,000 Dharma Doors. Each of them is a medicine for a given sickness at a given time, and each, as a first signpost of success, provides the practicioner with a sense of well-being and joy.
Another one from the same book:
A person asleep and dreaming finds the scenes in his dreams very real; these scenes exist for him. Likewise, the Pure Land, saints, sinners, everything “exists” at the mundane level, albeit in an illusory, dream-like way. At the absolute level, however, everything, incluidng the Pure Land and Amitabha Buddha, is Mind-Only, a product of our Mind.
A thought struck me this morning. Up to this point, I have seen faith in a bad light, I considered it as a readiness to accept truths that are not supported by facts. Delusion.
But isn’t faith simply a result of being suspicious that the reality we are living in is not the absolute and ultimate reality? And is that really such a bad thing?