A Fox Spirit with A Stolen Sword of Virtue

We are all defiled beings, each and every one of us who are caught up in this world of birth and death, spare the odd reincarnated Bodhisattva, during the age of the Dharma’s Decline. If this were not the case, we would not be born into such a world of defilement nor would we have a strong attachment to these defilements. Thus we endure, in countless forms, following countless karmas, that lead to countless births and deaths that lead to countless sufferings. Rare is it for beings to encounter the Dharma, but rarer still, are beings who practice the Dharma, and successfully escape this world of suffering. For many beings, our heavy karmic weight makes encountering the True Dharma very difficult, this is even more the case when it comes to practicing the True Dharma. For us, defiled and ignorant beings so lucky to have encountered the True Dharma because of our karmic merit, no greater practice exists then the Nembutsu, which offers salvation to us deluded beings through the compassion of Amitabha which extends to all beings, pure or defiled, who earnestly chant the name of Amitabha and vow to be reborn into his Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Despite all this, generating faith in the Pure Land, here in the west especially, is increasingly difficult, for not only are we beings filled to the brim with the three poisons, anger, greed, and ignorance, Buddhism, and spirituality as a whole are alien to us, they are concepts which are foreign, which we do not necessarily understand or even wish to include in our daily idle lives of constant suffering. To make an ignorant being mindful of its own ignorance is a difficult task, harder still then, is to convince this ignorant being of their own inherent Buddha-Nature under the muck of defilement, and of a Pure Land which they can be born into, no matter their karma, which does not discriminate and is free of all defilement. Ignorant as I am, I have only this one wish, that all defiled beings living in this world of suffering, take up aspirations to be reborn into the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Defiled as I am, I offer the way to beings just as defiled, which is the Nembutsu and faith in the compassion of Amitabha. Like a fox spirit with a stolen sword of virtue, my wisdom exceeds me and comes from other sources, but it also makes me stronger. My faith alone, in the compassion of Amitabha, allows me to continue on my Dharma Path. I have no Sangha to fall back on, nor a teacher to follow and press my doubts upon, however knowing that Amitabha’s compassion extends to all beings without discrimination, is enough for me to take up the Pure Land Path, and urge beings everywhere to practice the Nembutsu and take up vows to be reborn into the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. A warning however, for I am neither monk nor layperson nor do I aspire for any typical titles that follow around dusty robes, I am a Kitsune with a stolen sword of virtue, who hides out by forest shrines and whose favorite food is fried tofu. Knowing this, take what I say with a grain of salt, it could be mere trickery or it could be some divine message.

Fill my belly up

With fried tofu and faith

That the compassion of Amitabha

Extends out to all defiled beings

Who earnestly chant his name

And take refuge in his Pure Land

Even me, some lowly fox spirit

With this here stolen Sword of Virtue

Taken from the graves of ancient Pure Land Sages

Now covered in fox slobber

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