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    Dharma Glimpse by Frankie Carboni

    Very early morning, before the sun rises, and before anything or anybody is awake, has always felt special to me. It has an intimacy, a quietness, a kind of privacy. I feel completely immersed in the solitude that I love.

    This particular morning, it must have been around 5.00am, I got quietly out of bed, went to the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea in my oversize teacup, more of a bowl with a handle really. A teabag squeezed, no milk, sugar or lemon, then back to bed. I didn’t want to wake anyone so I switched on the torch on my phone and turned it face down on my small turquoise diary – that way the light diffuses softly just enough for me to see by.

    I cupped the tea bowl in my hands, enjoying its warmth. I could hear my husband’s deep sleep breathing beside me and feel the warmth of our little dog curled against my thigh under the duvet. There were no other thoughts arising. I wasn’t thinking about the day ahead or the books I’m reading or this morning’s Wordle. I was simply appreciating the warmth of the cup, of the bed, the presence of my two companions. I wasn’t thinking gratitude in either words or images.

    And quite suddenly, as I sipped my tea, I felt the Nembutsu; I heard, but not as a voice and not with my ears the words Namo Amida Bu. I hadn’t summoned them, they spontaneously arose from – where?

    Some time previously I had been reading about the Name that Calls. I had wondered what that even meant and how it could ever be experienced. I had tried, as I recited the Nembutsu, to imagine it calling back. I had faith that it was a possibility but felt equally that I may never experience it.

    And yet….there it was, clear as a bell, sweet and warm and strong.

    I know I should be careful not to cling to this experience or try to replicate it; it wouldn’t matter if it never happened again (although it has). Because that’s not the point. A glimpse of Other Power, of the Dharma gently manifesting, was enough to inspire a feeling of such rightness and oneness, of Faith.

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