When a Christian is going through a difficult time, he often turns to his religion, his faith in a higher being for comfort, guidance and strength. Since Buddhism does not profess a belief in God or a god or higher power, where can a Buddhist turn when life is hard for comfort and strength?
As Shin Buddhists, we turn to Amida Buddha for guidance and strength both in times when “life is hard” and when life is easy.
Amida is many things. Amida is a symbol of Wisdom and Compassion. Amida is an external example of the infinite. Amida is a personal friend who guides us. Amida is an inspiration to go beyond ourselves. Amida is an internal voice within our self. And Amida is so much more because Amida cannot be defined (not able to be measured).
So, when “life is hard,” we certainly can seek guidance and courage to struggle through the hard times by turning to Amida. We seek external inspiration to solve internal issues. We find the solutions from within ourselves; we find courage from within ourselves; we find the way out of times “when life is hard”.
Thus, Amida is a trigger or the point of inspiration to go beyond our selfish-Self (the ego). However, the answers and solutions were already within us.
This can be a time when we can understand interdependence, Karma, nonego, sincerity, Wisdom and Compassion. It can be a time when there is no separation from the heart and the mind, no separation from theory and practice, no separation between the infinite and the finite. Thus we can know Oneness.