Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

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Monlam Tharchin
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Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:15 am

I was reading through this and found it to be very inspiring and illuminating. It can be found for free here: http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/clubs/buddhi ... hung1.html

Some passages that touched me:
Universal Encouragement to Buddha-Remembrance

Studying Buddhism is not a matter of adornments and formalistic practices: the only thing that is important is genuine cultivation of practice. Buddhist laypeople who live at home do not need to dress like monks and nuns. People who keep their hair can make a constant practice of buddha-remembrance: they do not need to abide by the daily schedules of monks and nuns.
People who like quiet can practice buddha-remembrance [alone] in silence: they do not have to form groups and create associations [for the purpose].
People who fear untoward events can practice buddha-remembrance [at home] behind closed doors: they do not have to go to temples to hear the scriptures.
People who know how to read can practice buddha-remembrance according to the scriptural teachings.
Burning incense [in temples] far and wide is not as good as sitting peacefully in a hall at home practicing buddha-remembrance.
Serving misguided teachers is not as good as being obedient and filial to one's parents and practicing buddha-remembrance.
Making widespread connections with deluded friends is not as good as preserving one's purity alone and practicing buddha-remembrance.
Storing up merit for future lives is not as good as creating merit in the present by practicing buddha-remembrance.
Making vows and promising expiation [of wrongdoings] is not as good as repenting past faults, undergoing self-renewal and practicing buddha-remembrance.
Studying non-Buddhist books and texts is not as good as being totally illiterate and practicing buddha-remembrance.
Engaging in false talk about the principles of Zen without knowledge is not as good as genuinely main-taining discipline and practicing buddha-remembrance.
Seeking demonic spiritual powers is not as good as having correct faith in cause and effect and practicing buddha-remembrance.
To express the essential point, an upright mind annihilates evil. If you practice buddha-remembrance like this, you are called a good person. If you practice buddha-remembrance while reining in the mind and eliminating scattering, you are called a worthy person. If you practice buddha-remembrance while enlightening your mind and cutting off delusion, you are called a sage.
I urge people who are completely at leisure to practice buddha-remembrance. You have finished arranging marriages for your daughters. Your sons and grandsons are taking care of family business. You are secure and at leisure with no concerns. You should practice buddha-remembrance with your whole mind and your whole strength. Every day recite the buddha-name several thousand times, or even several tens of thousands of times.
I urge people who are half at leisure and half busy to practice buddha-remembrance. You are half through, half not through: sometimes you are busy, sometimes you are at leisure. Though you are not totally at leisure, when you are busy you should take care of business, and when you have free time, you should practice buddha-remembrance. Every day recite the buddha-name several hundred times, or several thousand times.
I urge people who are completely busy to practice buddha-remembrance. You are working on government affairs, or else running around taking care of family business. Though you have no free time, you still must steal a bit of free time amidst your busy life and practice buddha-remembrance. Every day recite the buddha-name ten times in the morning, and several hundred times during the day.
Gathering In The Mind

I see new students and young people who stick the word "Buddha" in their minds to block off worries and false thoughts -- which they then feel bubbling up even more -- and think that this is the work of buddha-remembrance. They cannot rein in their minds. They do not know that the root-source of birth and death over countless eons cannot be instantly cut off.
But the moment when myriad thoughts are flying around in confusion is precisely the time to do the work. The more you gather [your mind] in, the more it scatters. The more it scatters, the more you gather it in. After a long time the work becomes pure and ripe, and false thoughts naturally do not arise.
Still, [the very fact that] you are able to become aware that false thoughts are a serious matter, is due to this one word "Buddha." If you did not practice buddha-remembrance, false thoughts would surge on and on without stopping for an instant, but you would never manage to notice.
Question
As soon as I put the chains on the monkey [of my restless mind], I gradually sink into a torpor. When I wake up and set it going again, it immediately scatters in confusion. How can I subdue it?

Answer
Stillness will cure scattering in confusion. When the scattering goes away, this gives rise to torpor. Wakefulness will cure torpor. When the torpor goes away, this gives rise to scattering. By maintaining both "stopping" [of false thoughts] and "observing" [the workings of mind], torpor and scattering both recede.
Right now you simply must recite the buddha-name with purity and illumination. Purity means reciting the buddha-name without any other thoughts. Illumination means reflecting back as you recite the buddha-name. Purity is "stopping." Illumination is "observing." Unify your mindfulness of buddha through buddha-name recitation, and stopping and observing are both present.
:bow: :bow: :bow:
namuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabu

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

Free Pure Land Buddhism resources

Sentient Light
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Re: Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

Post by Sentient Light » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:51 pm

Thank you, these are wonderful.

Among the many moments that spoke to me:
Mind is basically unborn: it is born when causal conditions come together. Mind basically does not die: it dies when causal conditions disperse. There seems to be birth and death, but fundamentally there is no going or coming.
If you can understand this, then you will be at peace through birth and death -- ever still, ever aware.
If you cannot yet [understand this], then you must wholly abandon your personal existence, and continuously recite the phrase "Amitabha Buddha," and seek birth in the Pure Land.
Even if the causal conditions [for your existence] have not yet ended, and your life is not yet over, reciting the buddha-name over and over is very beneficial. An ancient said:

The method of reciting the buddha-name is the eternal life of the golden immortals [Taoist deities].
Recently, I was meditating after having some pu'errh tea, and practicing a mindfulness exercise with the tea. I noted that it was evocative of wood, and then I noticed that the qualities that arose from the flavor were also the same qualities associated with wood in the Wu Xing. So when I sat down to meditate, I had a little bit of Taoism in my mind, and this idea that enlightenment is 'the Way,' not a stable ground to abide on, but a flow of causal processes that result in complete immersion into the practice.. and rather than my usual recitation, the mind was fixated and focused upon this sequence of words that arose:
There is no awakening,
There is only the Tao,
The Tao is "A di đà Phật"
While I don't think there's anything particularly significant here, it was a profound moment for me and it's pleasant to see the association made by another as well.

Strong argument here:
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 its 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 the 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 person's 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: the Pure Land, along with the congregation of saints coming to greet him, the heavenly music, unearthly perfume, the banners and towers and the rest of it. But everyone there at the time [of the death] sees it: they hear the heavenly music fading away toward the West, and the room fills with unearthly perfume which does not dissipate for several days. Since the heavenly music does not proceed toward any other direction, but toward the west, and after the person is dead, the perfume remains, can it be said that there is no Pure Land? ...
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?"


Nam mô A di đà Phật
:bow: :bow: :bow:
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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Nosta
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Re: Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

Post by Nosta » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:02 pm

Great posts!! Very inspiring!

Monlan, and others, about the Questions & Answer (first post from Monlan on this topic):
Question
As soon as I put the chains on the monkey [of my restless mind], I gradually sink into a torpor. When I wake up and set it going again, it immediately scatters in confusion. How can I subdue it?

Answer
Stillness will cure scattering in confusion. When the scattering goes away, this gives rise to torpor. Wakefulness will cure torpor. When the torpor goes away, this gives rise to scattering. By maintaining both "stopping" [of false thoughts] and "observing" [the workings of mind], torpor and scattering both recede.
Right now you simply must recite the buddha-name with purity and illumination. Purity means reciting the buddha-name without any other thoughts. Illumination means reflecting back as you recite the buddha-name. Purity is "stopping." Illumination is "observing." Unify your mindfulness of buddha through buddha-name recitation, and stopping and observing are both present.

The words were highlighted by me. Now the question: what exactly means "reflecing back" and how should I do that [specially while doing recitations pf Buddha name]?

Thanks

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:47 pm

My interpretation is that "illumination" is the awareness of each syllable as clear and distinct, similar to how a light illuminating objects makes them clear and distinct.

From the section "General Advice" we also have:
Do Not Concern Yourself
To Wu Ta-chun

Do not concern yourself with whether or not you will become enlightened.
Do not concern yourself with existence and non-existence, with inside and outside and in-between.
Do not concern yourself with "stopping" [shammata/samatha]and "observing" [vipashyana/vipasyana].
Do not concern yourself with whether [this method of reciting the buddha-name] is the same or not the same as other Buddhist methods.
If the feeling of doubt does not arise, do not concern yourself with who it is or who it is not [who is reciting the buddha-name]. Simply go on reciting the buddha-name with unified mind and unified intent without a break, pure and unmixed.
Careful advice not to then make thoughts of "is my recitation illuminated, is this just shamatha or..." become our interest instead of merely keeping up the recitation.
namuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabu

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

Free Pure Land Buddhism resources

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Nosta
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Re: Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

Post by Nosta » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:25 am

Thanks :)

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