Reflections on Reality
The problem is that when people talk about what is 'real' or 'literal', they do so within the framework of conceptual ideas of reality and literalism. If I say, 'Amida is real', it will be surmised that this means a reality according to our conditioned realm, so that any other definition will be seen as contradicting my original claim. This is because we have an idea of reality that is wholly subjective and experiential. It is an idea that is merely the conclusion of the deluded ego-mind. But when I say that Amida is real, we need to broaden the definition and understand it in terms of what is ultimately true. It is no contradiction to hold to the reality of Amida and further insist that Amida is one and the same as our own Buddha-self. It is no contradiction to say that the Pure Land is real, yet hold to the teaching that Bliss is inseparable from our minds. The reality is not lessened, it is merely qualified in the light of our awareness of the emptiness and impermanence of our conditioned realm, and the Suchness or Oneness of All. Were Bliss conventionally real, then it would be an impermanent realm, subject to conventional laws and degradation. It is not. It is an eternal state, unchanging, a state achieved by that mind that has been fully awakened to its true identity as Amida, the One Universal Consciousness. And this is a reality that our conventional minds cannot grasp, but which is more real than they can ever imagine.
Namu Amida Butsu!
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