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Today on the Women’s Convention we have been with the Buddha of Infinite Light, Amitabha. This morning we celebrated Bhante’s birthday, and passed on gifts and cards to Suvajra, singing Happy Birthday in three languages - Dutch, English and Hindi! Then Satyajyoti and Padmabodhini invoked Amitabha’s presence with two very personal, and tender talks about their bonds with him and Maitrimala led us in the Amitabha Sadhana. We heard a reading of Bhante’s vision of Amitabha holding up a lotus flower, and somehow it felt very appropriate to be celebrating his birthday on this day of the convention, with the rupa made by Chintamani of Bhante’s Amitabha sitting on our shrine…
“One night I found myself, as it were, out of the body and in the presence of Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, who presides over the western quarter of the universe. The colour of the Buddha was a deep, rich luminous red, like that of rubies, though at the same time soft and glowing, like the light of the setting sun. While his left hand rested on his lap, the fingers of his right hand held up by the stalk a single red lotus in full bloom and he sat, in the usual cross-legged posture, on an enormous red lotus that floated on the surface of the sea. To the left, immediately beneath the raised right arm of the Buddha, was the red hemisphere of the setting sun, its reflection glittering golden across the waters. How long this experience lasted I do not know, for I seemed to be out of time as well as out of the body, but I saw the Buddha as clearly as I had ever seen anything under the ordinary circumstances of my life. Indeed, far more clearly and vividly. The rich red colour of Amitabha himself, as well as of the two lotuses and the setting sun, made a particularly deep impression on me. It was more wonderful, more appealing, than any earthly red. It was like red light, but so soft, and at the time so vivid, as to be altogether without parallel.” - from the Thousand Petalled Lotus