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The Good Antidote

For me Buddhism is a good antidote for belief in superstition and the supernatural.

Such beliefs arise from ignorance, regardless of the volumes of knowledge associated with superstitions such as numerology.

All I need to do to counteract superstition and belief in the supernatural is to meditate until my mind is cleared of all doubt. It is easy to discern whether particular symbols are superstition.

Take for example the number 13. It's just a number to me. When I was a child, I used to believe that 13 might have some supernatural significance.

Today, it's an unlucky number to the superstitious but not to me. In fact, I think of it as a "lucky" number because 13 is a prime number, the second in the series starting with 11 and ending with 19.

However, there is no luck involved: for numbers only have use to do math.

As for belief in the supernatural, I have long practiced Buddhism and believe in it so strongly that my belief in the supernatural as a child is all gone.

Indeed, the supernatural may have emotional appeal to the spiritually ignorant, but to Buddhists, the Buddha has greater appeal.

To me, the supernatural has little appeal at all because my faith in the Buddha is stronger than the childlike world of make-believe.

For meditation has trained me to wield my imagination as a tool that helps me to see Buddhism as a toolkit designed to think critically, and to entertain skepticism about
other belief systems.

Furthermore, Buddhism helps me to enshrine most of the various aspects such as Buddhas and bodhisattvas as qualities of the mind. In a way, the Buddha world called Pure Land of Bliss could be considered a state of mind, once I suspend disbelief and use my imagination to envision it through meditation.

By doing so, I am not practicing a superstition or engaging the supernatural. Rather, I am maintaining the clear mind to see through superstitions as unneeded distractions.

With clarity of mind, I see that faith in the Buddhadharma as practiced through Buddha Remembrance helps me to see the folly of believing in the supernatural.

For the Nembutsu, being the Name-that-calls, may be considered as Amida Buddha calling through me. This shows how closely I treasure the Buddha.

Even so, I must stress that meditation is practiced by Buddhists to clear the mind so that the sutras can be understood and applied to one's life.

As for the Nembutsu, it help me to remember the Buddha, and to develop the Bodhi Mind that arises from meditation.

Through faith in the Buddha am I truly freed from ignorance which is perpetuated by superstition and belief in the supernatural.

For Buddhism is a good antidote for ignorance.

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