Pure Land Study Group Thread

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Re: 31 Day Pure Land Study Group - Day 28

Post by Admin_PC » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:47 am

Day 28 - Welcome into the Pure Land

There exists the principle of naturalness. Flames rise skyward, water flows to the ground. Some fruits are sour, some are sweet. These truths are governed by the Universal Law of the Dharma.

The Essential Vow of Buddha Amitabha promises that His name is the means of emancipation for the most karmically evil person. It is therefore, obvious that if a person intently recites Nembutsu, Buddha Amitabha will certainly come to welcome that person into the Pure Land in accordance with the rationale of the Universal Law of the Dharma.

- This passage is based on quotations from the Honen-shonin Gyojo-ezu (An Illustrated Biography of Honen-shonin), Chapter 21
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
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Re: 31 Day Pure Land Study Group - Day 29

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:42 am

Day 29 - Avoid Conceit with Vigilance

Once a devotee assiduously observes Nembutsu and becomes a plausible Nembutsu practitioners, he might begin to look upon others thinking that their hearts are inferior to his, that their hearts are imperfect and wrong, and that as a peerless practitioner of nembutsu he is superior to everyone. You must therefore be vigilant not to immerse yourself in conceit.

The world is vast and its inhabitants numerous. There are countless people, unknown to you, deep in the mountains and forests, who are respectable and exemplary practitioners of Nembutsu. You are not aware of them simply because you have not heard of them and do not know them. Therefore, it is wrong to think that you are the most admirable Nembutsu practitioner in existence.

This kind of heart is consumed with great conceit and lacks the Three-fold Devotional Heart. If the conceited heart appears, unfavorable conditions will prevent birth in the Pure Land. Such a person believes that birth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss will be attained as a result of his own outstanding practice, which, he believes, will eliminate the effects of his evil karma.

The truth, however, is that the power of the Essential Vow will rid us of our unwholesome passions and undesirable karma and induce Buddha Amitabha to graciously extend His own hand of emancipation to welcome us into the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

If you think that Ojo is possible through your own efforts, you will be consumed with conceit that you are wise. When you possess this heart of conceit, the faith and practice of Nembutsu will be tainted immediately; you are not in accord with the Essential Vow, and you will lose the protection of Buddha Amitabha as well as that of other buddhas. Ultimately you will be haunted by evil karma. I here repeat, be vigilant indeed against conceit.

- This passage is based on quotations from the Honen-shonin Gyojo-ezu (An Illustrated Biography of Honen-shonin), Chapter 21
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

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Re: 31 Day Pure Land Study Group - Day 30

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:07 am

Day 30 - A Lifetime of Teaching

Horen-bo Shinku once asked, "All distinguished monks from ancient times have left memorial temples, but none such has yet been erected for you. Where shall we build your memorial temple after you are gone?"

Honen Shonin replied, "If you erect a memorial for me in one place, it would prevent the spread of my teaching. My memorial site should exist throughout the country. This is because the propagation of Nembutsu throughout the country has been the life-long purpose of this ignorant old man (Honen).

For this reason, wherever Nembutsu is recited, without distinction between the high or low status of the practitioner, may it even be in the hovel of a fisherman, there my memorial shall be."

- This passage is based on quotations from the Honen-shonin Gyojo-ezu (An Illustrated Biography of Honen-shonin), Chapter 37
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
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Re: 31 Day Pure Land Study Group - Day 31

Post by Admin_PC » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:40 am

Day 31 - Encourage the Nembutsu Devotee

Should you encounter a non-believer of the practice of Nembutsu, do not discuss the teaching of Nembutsu. Neither must you get into debate over the doctrine of Jodo Shu (the Pure Land School founded by Honen) with people belonging to other schools. You must not look down on, or criticize, people who have views and leanings other than your own. It would be lamentable to make the other a wrong person by criticism.

On the contrary, should there be a person hoping for birth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss and who is repeating Nembutsu in however remote a place, think of him with no less compassion than that of a father or mother. If such a person is suffering from a lack of worldly wealth, help him. Encourage anyone who shows the least bit of interest in the teaching of Nembutsu.

This is considered to be service to the Essential Vow of Buddha Amitabha.

- This passage is based on quotations from the Honen-shonin Gyojo-ezu (An Illustrated Biography of Honen-shonin), Chapter 25
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

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Re: 31 Day Pure Land Study Group - Day 31

Post by Admin_PC » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:47 am

re - Day 31:

I just realized yesterday that this is actually a 2-volume book, making it 2, 31-day months. This post concludes the first volume. I'll probably take the weekend off and starting next week I'd like to walk through the visualizations from the Contemplation Sutra (Amitayurdhyana Sutra). Once I've finished with the visualizations, I'll get a start on the second volume - February, maybe March timeframe, not quite sure.

May any merit generated by posting of these teachings be dedicated to all beings in the Dharma Realm.
May we all awaken Bodhicitta, see Amida Buddha, be reborn in Sukhavati, and save all as the Buddha does.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

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Re: 31 Day Pure Land Study Group

Post by shaunc » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:44 am

Thanks for your work
Namu Amida Butsu :buddha1:

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