Welcome to Amida Newsletter #33:
Amida Bodhi Events

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Whispers from the Bamboo Grove

Amida Newsletter Number 33

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News of Amida Events to celebrate Bodhi Day

Amazingly, it'll soon be December, during which many spiritual communities hold their Celebrations of Light. Here, in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are shortening and, as our ancient ancestors have done for thousands of years, we all long for the return of light. For Pureland Buddhists, Amida is the Buddha of Infinite Light and, however gloomy and dark it may seem, Amida's Light is always shining. It's good to join in person or in spirit with our fellows as we bring this to mind.

Bodhi Day, which marks the Enlightenment of the Buddha, is celebrated on December 8th each year. It is traditional to hold a retreat at this time. Always the most important event in the Amida calendar, the Bodhi Retreat has grown in significance as the Amida-shu and the Amida Order have developed.

Every two years, we hold an international retreat, which will include periods of continuous chanting of the nembutsu, which we know, from past experience, has a wonderful effect upon participants. The retreat may  also include teachings, seminars, silent periods, Amidist ceremonial, and opportunities for personal sharing.

During this time the Order holds ordinations, commitment ceremonies and renewals of refuge, membership and precepts.

Amida Mandala, Malvern, UK

International Bodhi Retreat 2015
with Dharmavidya David Brazier

Monday 7th – Sunday 13th December

Dharmavidya:"The Essential Meaning of Nembutsu: Nothing to Hide
I take refuge in the unimpeded light. The “I” that seeks refuge and the light that illuminates mutually interpenetrate. There is no part of oneself that is not illuminated, therefore there is nothing to hide. The light is unimpeded, therefore there is nothing to be ashamed of. The light is present in all worlds, therefore there is nowhere to go. Being present in all worlds, liberation is freely available. Caught up in nonsense, life passes in vain, yet on the very pathway to disaster, the Buddha awaits, catching us as we fall. In this retreat we shall reflect upon the essential, secret meaning of nembutsu faith and practice: the purity of heart that is like a lost diamond that Buddha retrieves from the bottom of a muddy pool."

It's possible to attend all or part of the retreat -
:: here
:: details here

To give you a taste of what continuous nembutsu chanting is like, and to get an inkling of how joyful it feels, look ::here

This year's chanting and dharma talks will be streamed live - more details nearer the time.

Here are details of other Bodhi celebrations that the Amida Order are holding this December:

Amida Hawaiʻi Bodhi Day Service & Celebration

Saturday 12th December
2:00 - 4:00pm - Bodhi Buds Youth Service Group
4:00 - 5:30pm - Sangha Gathering, Practice, and Advancements
6:00 - 8:00pm Sanga Potluck Year-End Celebration
Advancements will include some members taking/re-taking the Fivefold Pureland Refuges and some members joining Amida-shu!
Aloha & Namo Amida Bu
:: for more details contact Shantikara

Amida Mosaic, London, Ontario, Canada

The Amida Mosaic sangha will celebrate Bodhi Day on
12th December 

9am - 7pm. at the home of Prajna and James. 
We will chant and meditate  9am-4pm.
conduct a Vow ceremony at 4:30pm and
host a festive potluck at 5:30pm.
Vows will include Lay Order (Mitra) membership, Amida-shu admission, and the 5 Refuges.

:: website
:: registration

Amida Northeast, Durham, UK

Saturday 5th December
10am - 4pm

Kuvalaya: "The 5th of December will be our northern Bodhi Day. I'm delighted to say that Sujatin will travel down from Perth and join us for the day! There will be chanting, Pureland practice and teaching, and a ceremony."
For further details, if you are in the Durham or NE England area,

:: contact Kuvalaya

Amida Scotland Bodhi Day in Perth

Tuesday 8th December
7 pm - 9 pm

Delighted that we will be celebrating Bodhi Day in 'The Fair City' of Perth, for the first time. During the evening there will be Pureland Sutra reading, a period of extended nembutsu chanting, renewal of vows, warm community and, of course, seasonal refreshments.

:: for more details
:: website


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