Buddha Mindfulness Methods

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SonamTashi
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Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by SonamTashi »

I thought it would be helpful for people new to Pure Land or who don't have a sangha nearby to explain different Buddha Mindfulness methods. I know Thich Thien Tam has written clearly about several different methods, and I was going to copy and paste some of those methods (from Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith) here. But I quickly realized that doing so would both be overly lengthy and may constitute copyright infringement. In addition, I think his explanations are better than any summary I can give. So here's a link to the explanations. In addition, here is an explanation of different samadhi methods connected to mindfulness of Amitabha.

There is also The Ten-Recitation Method:

"This simple, convenient, and effective way to practice Buddha Recitation is especially suitable for those who find that they have little time for cultivation.

It helps us to be mindful of Buddha Amitabha. It brings us quite joy.

We begin when we wake up. Sit up straight and clearly recite "Amitabha" ten times with a calm and focused mind, aloud or silently. We repeat this process eight more times, each time doing one round of ten recitations.

Recite nine times daily at these times:

1.Upon waking. 2. Before breakfast. 3. Before morning's work. 4. After morning's work. 5. Before lunch. 6. Before afternoon's work. 7. After afternoon's work. 8. Before dinner. 9. Upon retiring (before going to bed).


The key is regularity; disruption of this practice will reduce its effectiveness.

When we recite consistently without interruption, we will soon feel an increase in our purity of mind, wisdom, and serenity. Diligent practice of this method, together with unwavering belief and vows, can ensure fulfillment of our wish to be reborn in the Western Pure Land.

Namo Amitabha"

These are all Chinese/Vietnamese methods. So if anyone wants to reply and share Jodo Shinshu/Jodo Shu methods that would be great.

My personal favorite is the Decimal Recording Recitation. This one and the Breath-by-Breath recitation are great for training breathing/shamatha meditation, without setting aside time for it separately, for those who are interested in that. A mala takes probably between 10 and twenty minutes. You don't just have to do one either. In my opinion, starting with Decimal Recording Recitation, moving to Counting Rosary Beads Recitation (for maybe 1-3 malas) and then to Continuously Linked Recitation is a great way to practice, as it calms your mind very effectively, and as your mind calms you move to more and more subtle levels of practice, so that by the end you are exclusively focused on the name. Ending with Continuously Linked Recitation also helps you naturally transition to chanting off the cushion, in your daily life, while beginning with the others keeps you from getting lazy.

If you're interested in doing zazen or something similar, then doing so after this series of recitation practices is, imo, more effective than just doing zazen/shikantaza on its own. Insted of Zazen you could also practice the "who is it who now repeats the Buddha's name?" koan. Both zazen/shikantaza and koans require instructions from a teacher.

Bowing to the Buddha Recitation is also a great way to start your practice, and prostrations/bows are an important part of practice for every lineage I'm aware of, and this way incorporates Buddha Mindfulness into that practice as well.

If you recite one of the Pure Land Sutras and aspire for the rebirth in the Pure Land of yourself and others then you'll be able to incorporate Mindfulness of Amitabha and his Pure Land into every part of your practice.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:
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rory
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by rory »

I've been practicing Pure Land for approximately 20 years and the best method for me was to count nembutsu on beads: a classic Chinese mala or Japanese Ojuzu. One round is plenty and actually when I began it was rather like agony to finish. Seeing the beads reminds you to do it, and when you have chanted with them a while, they are a real reminder of faith and devotion.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/
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Aemilius
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by Aemilius »

A traditional method of practicing mindfulness of Buddha is remembering and enumerating his qualities. These can be divided into three (or more) sections: the qualities of body, speech and mind. There are for example the 18 special characteristics of the Dharmakaya, the four or ten fearlessnesses, the three or five knowledges (vidya or jnana), four means of unifying the Sangha (sangrahavastu), four analytical knowledges (pratisamvid), and so on...
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Aemilius
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by Aemilius »

If you are still keen on the practice of Buddha-anusmriti, there is a teaching of Recollection of the Enlightened One in Path of Purification of Buddhaghosha, starting on page 188 and through 209, https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... on2011.pdf
An excellent text for recollecting the Enlightend One is Lalitavistara sutra, https://www.amazon.com/Lalitavistara-Su ... 0913546879
Mindfulness of Buddha in the Mahayana http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.co ... dhanusmrti
In Prajna paramita shastra of Nagarjuna https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/buddhanusmriti
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Simon E.
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by Simon E. »

A method which has a long and ancient pedigree is to copy the sutras. If you are a calligrapher then so much the better but it is not necessary.
You simply take a good notebook and a pen that gives results you find pleasing. Sit upright, relaxed but alert as though for meditation then simply copy the text in the neatest hand writing you can. Set your self a target, a page per session for example. If you make a mistake start again. Over time copy the whole sutra. Then dedicate the merit.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Master Hua on the subject (two pages):

http://www.cttbusa.org/dharmatalks/mindfulness.htm
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Not exclusively an Amita Buddha method, but Nagarjuna devote seven chapters in his Treatise on the Ten Grounds to Buddha mediations.

This snip is from the new Bhikshu Dharmamitra translation of that Vibhasa:
It is in this [preceding] manner that one uses right
thought in the recollective mindfulness of all buddhas.
One abides in a peaceful and quiet place, rids oneself of
sensual desire, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, doubtfulness,
regret and agitation, and single-mindedly carries on focused
mindfulness in which one refrains from generating thoughts that
obstruct or cause one to lose meditative absorption. One employs this
sort of mind in one’s focused mindfulness of the Buddhas. If one’s
mind sinks, one should raise it up again. If one’s mind becomes scattered,
one should draw it back into a focused state. One then sees the
entire great assembly as if it were always right before one’s very eyes.
Page 351
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
AJP
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Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by AJP »

rory wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:40 am I've been practicing Pure Land for approximately 20 years and the best method for me was to count nembutsu on beads: a classic Chinese mala or Japanese Ojuzu. One round is plenty and actually when I began it was rather like agony to finish. Seeing the beads reminds you to do it, and when you have chanted with them a while, they are a real reminder of faith and devotion.
gassho
Rory
20 years not wasted!!!
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rory
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Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Buddha Mindfulness Methods

Post by rory »

AJP wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:19 am
rory wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:40 am I've been practicing Pure Land for approximately 20 years and the best method for me was to count nembutsu on beads: a classic Chinese mala or Japanese Ojuzu. One round is plenty and actually when I began it was rather like agony to finish. Seeing the beads reminds you to do it, and when you have chanted with them a while, they are a real reminder of faith and devotion.
gassho
Rory
20 years not wasted!!!
Absolutely, 20 years of nembutsu practice does have wonderful results!
gassho
ROry
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/
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