Throughout the twelve hours and the four postures, continue the recollection constantly and reverentially without allowing it to become obscured. Then, every day and at all times, whether walking, standing, sitting, or reclining, the true essence of Amitabha Buddha will secretly appear before you. He will rub your head in prediction of your future Buddhahood. At the time of your death, he will personally welcome you to the land of ultimate bliss into a lotus flower on the ninth tier.
You will then dwell facing him on that highest of tiers. He was always attuned and sensitive to the various spiritual capabilities of his adepts. Your email address will not be published. Twenty Ten Dark by Seismic Themes. Buddhism has, in years, taken many different forms.
Spread over most of the Asian continent, it changed from a philosophy to a religion as it traveled from India, where it was born in roughly the fifth century, BCE. As it entered Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Burma, Thailand and other nations over many centuries, it developed in ways congruent with those cultures. The differences between the two branches are much less antagonistic than, say, the historic clashes between Shia and Sunni Islam or Catholic and Protestant Christianity, but there are differences.
When Mahayana Buddhism arrived in Japan in the sixth century CE, the archipelago already had a native religion, Shinto, and the relationship between the two has been alternatively harmonious and fraught ever since, depending on many things, especially politics. We do not know where we are going to be reborn, whether we will understand Buddhism, or even if we will be reborn as human beings. According to some of the scriptures, Amitabha Buddha has made forty-eight vows.
Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-hung
One of these vows - number nineteen - says that he will create this pure land where people can be reborn and practise Buddhism. Such a concept is possible in Buddhism, because of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas compassion, where they will do everything they can to help sentient beings like us achieve certain enlightenment so we can escape suffering. Through compassion, the deities will transform into any form or do anything to help us. There are no limits to what practice they will adopt.
They will try to do everything they can.
Buddhas will always want to help sentient beings to achieve awakening. It is just a matter of us tuning into the Buddha wavelength.
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In the same way that radio stations do not wait until we turn on our radio before they transmit radio waves, so too does the Buddha's compassion radiate outward. If we can tune into that wavelength, we can receive that kind of blessing. In terms of practice, Zen relies very much on self-discipline; one has to make the effort to continuously reflect on the mind. In Pure Land, self-effort is not what is emphasised. They say that the Buddha's compassion is like an external support. It is just a matter of turning around and longing for the pure land and the Buddha's compassion will be waiting for us.
Zen practice relies upon awareness, but this too can act like a kind of support, because through awareness one can increase one's understanding of even the most difficult texts, if we apply that awareness sincerely. Therefore, Zen masters say that awareness itself, mindfulness itself, is the external supporting condition.
That is the Zen argument. Pure Land is practised, first through establishing faith in the existence of Amitabha Buddha. That he does exist, that he does have compassion and that he has created a pure land. Practice is about wanting to be reborn in his pure land and making a vow to be reborn in his pure land.
Then we just practise by remembering the Buddha. How do we remember the Buddha?
Is Pure Land Practice Inferior to Zen Practice? | Purelanders
By visualizing the Buddha, reciting the Buddha's name and reading the Buddha's scriptures. Through just remembering the Buddha, we establish a certain karmic connection with Amitabha Buddha and can be reborn in his Pure Land. So, we can hear the name of the Buddha and we can think about the name of the Buddha. In this way, body, speech and mind are practised together.
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Or we can use our breathing and recite the Buddha's name while we observe our breath. Pure Land is about having total trust in Amitabha Buddha's bodhisattva vow - that he would create a pure land and take in people who have not yet become enlightened. They can be reborn in his pure land and practise Buddhism there.
Sometimes Zen says the pure land is in the mind. Remember I said there are four kinds of pure land: the pure land for Dharmakaya; the pure land for Samboghakaya; the pure land for arhats; and the Amitabha Buddha pure land.
Zen Buddhism v. Pure Land Buddhism
In the Amitabha Pure Land, bodhisattvas, arhats and other common people who have not become enlightened live together. So the Amitabha Pure Land is not as high as the pure land of our hearts, which is the pure land of Zen Buddhism. When we talk about the different traditions of Buddhism, we never say one tradition is better than another, because we think of the traditions as medicine. We cannot say which medicine is the best medicine.
The best medicine is the one that cures the illness. A tablet to cure stomach-ache could cost fifty dollars a bottle, while a Panadol that can cure a headache is only a few dollars.
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We cannot say that a stomach-ache tablet is better. It is only good for a stomach-ache. A tradition is good if it works for that person, if it can cure that person's 'illness'. While Pure Land Buddhism may look simple, it might be a good medicine, the best medicine, for a certain type of person.
This is so, because, despite our sincerity, if we are working hard and have a lot of commitments in our daily lives, it could be very difficult to achieve enlightenment in one lifetime. If we compare the number of hours we put into practice and the number of hours we lock ourselves in competition, we can see that the house has not been cleaned without someone bringing more dirt in.