Mind Only Pure Land- Master Chu-hung

Post Reply
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Mind Only Pure Land- Master Chu-hung

Post by Illuminaughty » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:59 pm

In some of the books I've been reading I came across the fact that certain people were attacking Shin Buddhism based on the theory of the pure land being mind-only. Shinran rejected what they were saying but I always thought the basic idea of the Pure Land being mind-only itself wasn’t in error and that it was more the conclusions they were drawing from it that were problematic. Finally I came across something in the writings of the 16th century Chinese Pure Land master Chu-Hung that really helped me understand the problem. His teaching of mind not being apart from objects was really eye opening for me and I wanted to share it because it might help others too.

Some people say that the Pure Land is nothing but mind, that there is no Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss beyond the trillions of worlds of the cosmos. This talk of mind-only has it source in the words of the sutras, and is true, not false. But those who quote it in this sense are misunderstanding its meaning.

Mind equals objects: there are no objects beyond mind. Objects equal mind: there is no mind beyond objects. Since objects are wholly mind, why must we cling to mind and dismiss objects? Those who dismiss objects when they talk of mind have not comprehended mind.
Some people also say that the Pure Land which is seen at the moment of death is entirely in they dying person’s own mind, so there is no Pure Land.

People with this opinion fail to consider this. It would be right to say this is the dying persons own mind if he alone saw that which is seen at the moment of death by those who recite the Buddha Name and are born in the Pure Land along with the congregation of saints coming to greet him, the heavenly music, unearthly perfumes... [etc.] But everyone there at the time of death sees it…

Let me ask [the person who thinks Pure Land is mind-only], “When hell appears to you at the moment of death, is this not mind? “ “It is mind.” “Does the person fall into hell?” “Yes, he falls into hell.” “Then it is obvious that since the person falls into hell, hell exists. Is it then only the Pure Land that does not exist? When the mind manifests hell, the person falls into a hell that really exists. When the mind manifests the Pure Land, isn’t the person born in a Pure Land that really exists?” As the saying goes:

Better you should speak of existence on the scale of the polar mountain, than to speak of nonexistence to the extent of a mustard seed.

Don’t do it!


Posts: 2933
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Mind Only Pure Land- Master Chu-hung

Post by plwk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:05 am

Image So the pizza I ate yesterday was real after all... :mrgreen:

Consider the below passage...
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf72.htm#recite" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There are two aspects to Buddha Recitation -- essence and practice. According to Elder Master Ou-I:
"Buddha Recitation-practice" means believing that there is a Western Pure Land and a Lord Buddha named Amitabha, but not yet realizing that "this Mind makes Buddha, this Mind is Buddha." It consists of resolutely seeking rebirth in the Pure Land and reciting as earnestly as a lost child longing for his mother, never forgetting her for a single moment.

"Buddha Recitation-essence," on the other hand, means believing and understanding that Lord Amitabha Buddha of the West inherently exists in full within our mind, is created by our mind, and making this sacred name -- inherently existing in full within our mind and created by our mind -- the focus of our recitation, without a moment of neglect."

In other words, "Buddha Recitation-practice" is the method of those who do not understand anything about meaning or essence, who just believe that there is a Land of Ultimate Bliss and a Buddha named Amitabha, and who fervently and earnestly recite the Buddha's name seeking rebirth there.

"Buddha Recitation-essence" is the method of those who practice in an identical manner, but who also deeply realize that the Pure Land and Lord Amitabha Buddha are all in the True Mind, manifested by the pure virtues of the True Mind.

This being so, is there a difference between Buddha Recitation-practice and Buddha Recitation-essence? Of course there is.

Those who follow Buddha Recitation-practice see Amitabha Buddha as outside the Mind; therefore, opposing marks of subject-object still exist. Thus, such practice is not yet all-encompassing and complete.

Those who practice Buddha Recitation-essence thoroughly understand the True Mind and therefore sever all marks of subject-object -- to recite is Buddha, to recite is Mind, reconciling Mind and Realm.

Let me relate an anecdote. One night, a Master who is a friend of this author dreamed that a yellow-robed monk came to ask him,
"You practice Buddha Recitation, but what is Buddha?" Answer "Buddha is Mind."

The monk continued, "How about explaining to me what you mean by Buddha is Mind?" In his dream, the author's friend improvised the following stanzas:
Each utterance of the Buddha's name following the rosary is Mind,
Buddha is clearly Mind, why waste time searching for Him?
The Buddha's sea of wisdom reconciles Mind and Realm!
Mind and Buddha are born equal.

To abandon Mind and follow the Buddha is to be still in a dream,
To be attached to the Buddha as Mind is not yet perfect comprehension;
Mind and Buddha are both originally illusory and dreamlike,
To transcend both Buddha and Mind is to arrive at the perfect City of Lights.

The Master understood the essence of Buddha Recitation, reconciling the Buddha's name with the realm of the Mind.
There is one erroneous idea, prevalent among those who lean toward the subtle and the mysterious, which requires clarification.
Many of them, emphasizing theory over practice, tend to be attached to the concept of "Amitabha as the Self-Nature, Pure Land as Mind-Only," and reject the existence of the Western Pure Land or rebirth there. These individuals explain the Sutra teachings on Pure Land from the viewpoint of principle or essence, saying "Amitabha is our Buddha Nature, the Pure Land is the pure realm of the Mind, why seek it on the outside?" This is the great mistake of those who emphasize mundane, conventional reasoning.

They cling to theory (essence) while neglecting practice, prefer essence to marks, and rely on Ultimate Truth to reject the manifestations of mundane truth -- failing to realize that the two are inseparable
अमिताभ 阿彌陀佛 阿弥陀仏 아미타불 ᠴᠠᠭᠯᠠᠰᠢ ᠦᠭᠡᠢ ᠭᠡᠷᠡᠯᠲᠦ འོད་དཔག་མེད་ A-di-đà Phật

Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Mind Only Pure Land- Master Chu-hung

Post by Illuminaughty » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:06 pm

They cling to theory (essence) while neglecting practice, prefer essence to marks, and rely on Ultimate Truth to reject the manifestations of mundane truth -- failing to realize that the two are inseparable
:good: I see I have a lot of reading to do on the website you linked too. They have some free books :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests