Easter weekend I developed what is either a chest cold or a mild case of flu. This has made me hallucinate at the edge of sleep and wakening. One of my visions was of the Amida Buddha. Considering that in Pure Land Buddhist tradition he only appears to the layperson at the time of death I was understandably freaked out. But here I am, writing this.
Amida Buddha is a very interesting character, a fact enhanced by my western Judaeo-Christian perspective. This is because the Japanese tradition in particular has many parallels to various Christian denominations with believing that they can enter his Pure Land by meditating on his name, often using a rosary (juzu). While Amidists believe he is not a creator god, they believe he is an all-pervading lifeforce much like the God of Abraham. I find it incredible that two religious traditions that developed separately from two different roots on opposite sides of the world can have such similar practices.
Small world, isn’t it?