The weather last night was amazing. After picking up Shanti and Bill, our two volunteers, from the train station the sky was lit up with lightning bolts. Driving on the road from Bessais (a couple of miles from La Ville Au Roi) to our centre was like sitting in the front row of a live laser show awaiting for the main show to come on stage, if you know what I mean.
I was pretty lucky earlier in the evening I was able to capture a flash of Lightning on my camera.
The sense of having been here forever and a day has suddenly become more than a feeling but a real issue.
We are having trouble keeping track of time and knowing what day of the week it is here at Amida France. Everyday is rich and timeless, everyday we notice something different, everyday we see Amida emerging and growing, and everyday our steps take us closer and closer to the Pure Land. Everyday we see something that we saw before, everyday we recognize something that we had already known, everyday we stumble across the same thing as before, and everyday our steps take us closer and closer to the Pure Land.
We are living so close to nature that it's impossible to not see some raw, basic, simple acts of nature - competition, conflict, struggle, assistance, companionship, sex, eggs, babies, and death. In the face of our delusion, confusion and illusion Amida's lightening power and infinite love breaks through to us and gently teaches us how to live in raw, basic and simple harmony.
The place is humming with the sound of love. In the kitchen, along the meditation path, in the barn tiny transformations are taking place.
Amida's presence is tasted in the walnuts in the cake that was baked this morning. The walnuts were collected last Autumn and lovingly processed and placed in the freezer. Amida's love is seen in the snails, spiders, and slugs going about their business as we walk slowly and calmly around them along the meditation path in the middle of glorious nature. Amida's warmth is felt in the barn as we cut and stack tiny logs to be used in our woodstoves when the weather is bitter and cold outside.
We need food to give us energy to collect the firewood and to keep us healthy while living on this beautiful earth. We need firewood to heat the house when the weather outside is cold and wet. We need so many things to live comfortably and healthily.
Thank goodness Amida's presence is felt for without Amida's nourishing love and pervasive warmth we would surely perish.