Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:32 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:16 am
As long as the nature is obscured, it cannot be expressed.
I agree, which is why it's important that we engage in the practice:
It is precisely because of the Self-Nature Amitabha that the practitioner must recite the name of Buddha Amitabha of the West seeking rebirth in the Pure Land - so as to achieve the Self-Nature Amitabha through gradual cultivation.
http://www.amtbweb.org/tchet262.htm
The point is not to purify the mind, but instead to uncover the innately pure mind, through gradual cultivation.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:32 am
The point is not to purify the mind, but instead to uncover the innately pure mind, through gradual cultivation.
What's the difference between purifying and uncovering? Both stands for removing all elements of obscuration. But how can recitation remove them?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:23 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 pm
Dharma Flower wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:32 am
The point is not to purify the mind, but instead to uncover the innately pure mind, through gradual cultivation.
What's the difference between purifying and uncovering? Both stands for removing all elements of obscuration. But how can recitation remove them?
These questions have been debated for over two thousand years, and the right answer is whichever answer works best for your own personal practice.

Please let me explain why I practice Pure Land practice. I start with the premise that Pure Land practice is a true and reliable form of practice, since it's the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in the world, and has been endorsed by trustworthy teachers and masters throughout Buddhist history.

Since I begin with the premise that Pure Land practice is a good form of practice, I then find my own personal motivation for engaging in Pure Land practice. Masters and teachers from various schools and sects throughout history, including Ch'an/Zen, have taught that Amitabha is our own Buddha-nature, and that the Pure Land is the innately pure mind.

Others have their own motivation for reciting the Nembutsu, and that's perfectly good for whatever works for their own personal practice. Whatever motivates you to practice a good Buddhist practice is the right motivation.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:52 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:23 am
has been endorsed by trustworthy teachers and masters throughout Buddhist history.
By those who aimed for birth in Sukhavati, not as a method for liberation in this life.
Amitabha is our own Buddha-nature, and that the Pure Land is the innately pure mind.
That doesn't validate recitation as the appropriate practice to realise it.
Whatever motivates you to practice a good Buddhist practice is the right motivation.
Not really. Motivation itself is a defining factor of what one's practice is good for.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:41 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:52 am
By those who aimed for birth in Sukhavati, not as a method for liberation in this life.
Numerous books are freely available on Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an/Zen perspective, particularly through the YMBA. I suggest reading them. Reciting the name of Amida Buddha to awaken the Buddha within need not deny the possibility of rebirth in the Pure Land after death. It's a matter one's personal emphasis in one's personal practice:
To illustrate this point, Buddhist authors in late-medieval China and Vietnam frequently describe Pure Land Buddhism’s practice of reciting the Buddha’s name in terms of three levels:

Mundane, regular level: reciting the Buddha’s name to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land.
Middle-level: reciting the Buddha’s name to “bring out” the Buddha within the practitioner.
High-level: reciting the Buddha’s name with the understanding that there is no Buddha outside the mind.
Examples of these teachings include Tue Trung (Tuệ Trung Thượng Sĩ) in Vietnam and Ou-I in China.
https://klingonbuddhist.wordpress.com/2 ... -buddhism/
For a general overview of this history and doctrine, I recommend Finding Our True Home: Living in the Pure Land Here and Now by Thich Nhat Hanh.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:33 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:41 pm
Numerous books are freely available on Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an/Zen perspective, particularly through the YMBA.
Could you quote a few sentences from those works that clearly state one can attain liberation in this life through the exclusive practice of recitation?

For instance, in Zhixu's preface to the Shorter Sutra it's explicitly stated that recitation is the way to attain birth:

"Reciting the Buddha-name with faith and vows is a true causal basis for the Supreme Vehicle. The four kinds of Pure Land [the Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together, the Land of Expedient Liberation, the Land of Real Reward, and the Land of Eternally Quiescent Light] are the wondrous fruits of the One Vehicle. If you have the causal basis, then the result is sure to follow.
...
The powerful function of this sutra is to enable us to he reborn in the Pure Land and never fall back. Rebirth in the Pure Land can be categorized in terms of the Four Pure Lands, and also into nine grades in each land. Here I will give a brief explanation of the characteristics of the Four Lands.
If you recite the Buddha-name without cutting off your delusions of views and thoughts, depending on how scattered or how concentrated you are, you are reborn in the level of the Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Live Together.
If you recite the Buddha-name to the point of singlemindedness (phenomenal level), your delusions of views and thoughts are cut off and you are born in the land that is the fruit of practicing expedient means: the Land of Expedient Liberation [where Arhats live].
If you recite the Buddha-name to the point of singlemindedness (noumenon or inner truth level), and you smash from one to forty-one levels of delusion and ignorance, then you are born in the Pure Land of Real Reward [where Bodhisattvas live].
If you recite the Buddha-name to the point that ignorance and delusion are totally cut off, this is the highest reward and you will be reborn in the Land of Eternally Quiescent Light [where the Buddhas dwell]."
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:28 am

The name Amida means “boundless light.” Archetypally, Amida is the originally pure or luminous nature of the mind, before it became tainted by the Three Poisons of passion, aversion, and delusion:
https://www.thoughtco.com/the-three-poisons-449603

This luminous mind is also referred to as Buddha-nature, which is every being’s innate potential for enlightenment. In reciting the name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we are calling forth the primally radiant nature of our mind:
“Luminous, monks, is the mind.[1] And it is defiled by incoming defilements.” {I,v,9}

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements.” {I,v,10}

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn’t discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind.” {I,vi,1}

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind.”
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In the Zen understanding of Pure Land practice, one recites the Buddha-name to awaken the Buddha-mind within.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:47 am

Astus wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:33 pm
Could you quote a few sentences from those works that clearly state one can attain liberation in this life through the exclusive practice of recitation?
My particular favorite are these words from the Tientai and Ch'an master Ou-i:
The next passage gives two explanations of the name “Amitabha” – as “infinite light” and as “infinite life”. The literal translation of “Amitabha” is “infinite”, and infinity is actually unexplainable…

Infinite light extends through space in all directions; infinite life extends through time and reaches through past, present, and future. The dimensions of space and time interpenetrating are the body of the universe. This body as a whole is the body and land of Amitabha, and this body as a whole is the name of Amitabha.

Thus, the name of Amitabha is the inherently enlightened true nature of sentient beings, and reciting the name of Amitabha (Namu-Amida-Butsu) reveals this enlightenment. Inherent enlightenment and the enlightenment as it is revealed [through cultivation and realization] are fundamentally not two different things, just as sentient beings and Buddhas are not two different things.

Thus if we are in accord [with our inherently enlightened true nature] for a moment, we are Buddhas for a moment, and if we are in accord [with our inherently enlightened true nature] moment after moment, we are Buddhas moment after moment…

There are two levels of practice in reciting the Buddha-name: reciting the Buddha-name at the phenomenal (conventional) level and reciting the Buddha-name at the level of inner truth (noumenon).

1. Reciting the Buddha-name at the phenomenal level means believing that Amitabha exists in his Pure Land in the West, but not yet comprehending that he is a Buddha created by the Mind, and that this Mind is Buddha…
2. Reciting the Buddha-name at the level of inner truth (noumenon) means believing that Amitabha and his Pure Land in the West are inherent features of our own [pure] Minds, the creation of our own [pure] Minds…

This Pure Land teaching is all a matter of comprehending that Amitabha Buddha is precisely our own Buddha Nature, our Mind. If we mistakenly refer to the Buddha as “other”, we would fall into one form of delusive view. If we were to overemphasize our own inherent Buddha, this would be another form of delusive view. Both are wrong.

Through our invoking the Buddha-name both at the phenomenal (conventional) level and at the level of inner truth (noumenon), Amitabha and his retinue of saints appears before us: this is our inherent True Nature becoming manifest. Also, we are born in the Pure Land and see Amitabha and hear his teaching: this is perfecting the body of wisdom of our True Nature…

If our Mind accords with the Mind of Buddha Amitabha for one moment, we are born in the Pure Land for one moment. If we reach accord moment after moment, we are born in the Pure Land moment after moment.

Wondrous cause and wondrous effect are not apart from the One Mind. They are like the two ends of a balance, going down and up and sometimes being level. Why do we have to wait until our life in the mundane world is over before we can be born in the Pure Land’s jewel ponds?

All we have to do is develop faith and vows and recite the Buddha-name right now, and the lotus bud in which we will be born in the Pure Land is already in bloom, and the image of the Pure Land’s golden thrones appear before us – at that moment we are no longer inhabitants of this mundane world.
https://www.ymba.org/books/mind-seal-buddhas
Since the Buddha taught 84,000 paths to enlightenment, I'm not here to "prove" one path as more valid than another. The Buddha himself advised against doctrinal debates:
Whereas some brahmans and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these — ‘You understand this doctrine and discipline? I’m the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. I’m being consistent. You’re not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!’ — he abstains from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue."
- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In terms of my personal practice, I am interested in learning about Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an/Zen perspective. In the very least, it's interesting from a historical perspective to learn about the relationship between these two schools:

History of Meditative Pure Land Practice
http://www.cloudwater.org/index.php/pur ... d-practice

CH’AN AND THE PURE LAND
http://www.cloudwater.org/uploads/text% ... e_Land.pdf

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:04 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:47 am
My particular favorite are these words from the Tientai and Ch'an master Ou-i
That quote does not say that simply reciting the name is equal to the realisation of buddha-nature. In fact, Ouyi writes about the practice, just before explaining its two levels:

"If you hear [the Buddha-name] and believe in it, if you believe in it and make vows, then you are fit to recite the Buddha-name. If you do not have faith and do not make vows, it is as if you never heard [the Buddha-name] at all. Merely hearing the name of Amitabha [without faith and vows] may become a long-term causal basis [for your enlightenment], but it cannot be called the "wisdom that comes from hearing"."
In terms of my personal practice, I am interested in learning about Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an/Zen perspective.
Then you might also consider those who did not view name recitation as equal to Zen practice. Such teachers were Bodhidharma, Huineng, Linji, Dogen, and Hakuin, just to mention the most well known ones.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by ItsRaining » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:25 am

Astus wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:04 am
Dharma Flower wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:47 am
My particular favorite are these words from the Tientai and Ch'an master Ou-i
That quote does not say that simply reciting the name is equal to the realisation of buddha-nature. In fact, Ouyi writes about the practice, just before explaining its two levels:

"If you hear [the Buddha-name] and believe in it, if you believe in it and make vows, then you are fit to recite the Buddha-name. If you do not have faith and do not make vows, it is as if you never heard [the Buddha-name] at all. Merely hearing the name of Amitabha [without faith and vows] may become a long-term causal basis [for your enlightenment], but it cannot be called the "wisdom that comes from hearing"."
In terms of my personal practice, I am interested in learning about Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an/Zen perspective.
Then you might also consider those who did not view name recitation as equal to Zen practice. Such teachers were Bodhidharma, Huineng, Linji, Dogen, and Hakuin, just to mention the most well known ones.
A lot of teachers do use recitation as a Chan practice though, I think Chinul and Hanshan Deqing both wrote a short text on recitation from a Chan perspective.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:21 am

ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:25 am
A lot of teachers do use recitation as a Chan practice though, I think Chinul and Hanshan Deqing both wrote a short text on recitation from a Chan perspective.
Of course, recitation can be used for meditation. But for what purpose is the important question. There are two goals one can reach with it: calming the mind, and attaining birth in Sukhavati. Insight, or in Zen terms: seeing the nature of mind, is not within the practice's scope. One common difference between the interpretations of Pure Land and Zen teachers is that those who advocate recitation (and other forms of recollection) of Amitabha within Zen emphasise the need to have not only pure morality but also a calm mind in order to attain birth, while Pure Land teachers emphasise vow and faith as the essential conditions of birth, and recitation as a support for them. What nobody seems to claim is that with recitation alone one could actually attain enlightenment in this life.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by ItsRaining » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:42 am

Astus wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:21 am
ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:25 am
A lot of teachers do use recitation as a Chan practice though, I think Chinul and Hanshan Deqing both wrote a short text on recitation from a Chan perspective.
Of course, recitation can be used for meditation. But for what purpose is the important question. There are two goals one can reach with it: calming the mind, and attaining birth in Sukhavati. Insight, or in Zen terms: seeing the nature of mind, is not within the practice's scope. One common difference between the interpretations of Pure Land and Zen teachers is that those who advocate recitation (and other forms of recollection) of Amitabha within Zen emphasise the need to have not only pure morality but also a calm mind in order to attain birth, while Pure Land teachers emphasise vow and faith as the essential conditions of birth, and recitation as a support for them. What nobody seems to claim is that with recitation alone one could actually attain enlightenment in this life.
Ah okay, yeah I get what you mean. But I think some Chan teachers reinterpreted the teachings completely so recitation is made into a meditative technique to see the nature. Though by the end it is no longer just a verbal recitation. Chinnul lists a gradual practice of ten ways of reciting the name which culminates into realising the Dharmadatu.
Seventh is maintaining the recollection of the Buddha while remaining silent. Once the verbal recollection reaches its climax, you will conform in silence to the thought of thoughtlessness .. Whether dreaming or awake, there will be no obscuration. Whether active or quiet, you should constantly remember the recollection. Single-mindedly and silently recollect Praise to AmiUibha Buddha. Repeat this recollection innumerable times without breaking the continuity. Finally you will forget that you are silent and, without consciously continuing it, the recollection will be raised of itself. This is called maintaining the recollection of the Buddha while remaining silent.
Tenth is recollection of the Buddha in suchness. Once the thought of recollection of the Buddha reaches its climax, the understanding which is free of understanding is naturally understood. The three minds are suddenly voided and the one nature becomes unmoving. 4 The great wisdom of complete enlightenment becomes perfectly bright and it alone is the holiest of all things. The one true dharmadhlitu is completely understood. 5 This is the recollection of the Buddha in suchness.
Essentials of Pureland Practice from "The Korean Approach to Zen"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:26 pm

ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:42 am
Though by the end it is no longer just a verbal recitation.
That's the thing, it changes into a different sort of practice than repeating the name, hence it is no longer recitation. Such a practice of buddha-remembrance was already taught by Daoxin (see this excerpt), and in the Pure Land tradition it is called the real mark buddha-remembrance.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by ItsRaining » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:21 am

Astus wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:26 pm
ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:42 am
Though by the end it is no longer just a verbal recitation.
That's the thing, it changes into a different sort of practice than repeating the name, hence it is no longer recitation. Such a practice of buddha-remembrance was already taught by Daoxin (see this excerpt), and in the Pure Land tradition it is called the real mark buddha-remembrance.
Cool, I get what you are saying now.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:32 pm

ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:42 am
But I think some Chan teachers reinterpreted the teachings completely so recitation is made into a meditative technique to see the nature.
Thank you for pointing this out. My goal in practice is not to attain anything that we don't already have within. It's instead to outwardly express, through daily practice, what Zen calls the "true self."
In the Zen teaching, no matter how confused, anxious or perplexed we might be, we already are Amida Buddha as we are. This is the teaching of Buddha and the Zen Patriarchs.

It is because we have come to think of the symbolic self as “me” that we do not realize that essentially we are Amida Buddha.

So, in the Zen sect, we teach that when a person chants Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu…that this is not done toward some Buddha which is separate from you, but rather you yourself are Amida Buddha…

If you practice in this way, then certainly you will come to realize that you, yourself are the Truth, the natural principles of things."
https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/HaradaSekkei.html
Reciting the Nembutsu is only part of my daily practice. In the Six Paramitas, the Nembutsu would fall under dhyana. I seek to express, through the Six Paramitas, the Buddha-nature within.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:12 am

From Master Han-Shan, this is my favorite quote today on Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective:
When one recites the Buddha's name, Buddha Amitabha is one's Self-Nature, the Pure Land is the blissful land of one's own mind. Anyone who can singlemindedly recite the Buddha's name in thought after thought and concentrate deeper and deeper will always find Amitabha Buddha appearing in his own mind. It is not necessary to seek the Pure Land far away, ten billion Buddha lands beyond. (7) Therefore, if the mind is pure, the land is pure. If the mind is defiled, the land is defiled. If an evil thought comes to mind, then many obstacles appear. If a good thought arises, peace is everywhere. Thus, heaven and hell are all in one's own mind.
https://www.ymba.org/books/pure-land-pa ... patriarchs

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:40 am

The Infinite Life Sutra says, ‘He indeed looks upon sentient beings as his own self.’ Through the Nembutsu, we all awaken to the universal True Self of Amida Buddha, beyond the deluded ego.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:47 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:04 am
Then you might also consider those who did not view name recitation as equal to Zen practice. Such teachers were Bodhidharma, Huineng, Linji, Dogen, and Hakuin, just to mention the most well known ones.
I'm sorry for being unclear regarding the distinction Zen makes between kensho and full Buddhahood. I do not believe that, in this lifetime, I can attain full Buddhood through recitation of the Nembutsu alone.

Zen Buddhism traditionally recognizes two kinds of enlightenment, small enlightenment and big enlightenment. Small enlightenment is called kensho, the sudden flash of insight which allows us to see into our own Buddha-nature.

Big enlightenment is the full perfection of a Buddha, which must be cultivated after the experience of kensho. It is extremely rare for even a Zen monk to attain the perfection of a Buddha after the initial experience of kensho.

According to Zen master Hakuin, a Nembutsu practitioner can experience kensho or small enlightenment through reciting the Nembutsu, with the understanding that the Buddha-nature within is ultimately the same as Amida Buddha's:
https://www.lionsroar.com/the-hidden-lamp/

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:34 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:47 pm
distinction Zen makes between kensho and full Buddhahood
That's not a generally accepted distinction.
According to Zen master Hakuin, a Nembutsu practitioner can experience kensho or small enlightenment through reciting the Nembutsu, with the understanding that the Buddha-nature within is ultimately the same as Amida Buddha's: https://www.lionsroar.com/the-hidden-lamp/
That is a story - not a statement by Hakuin on nenbutsu - but even there, the realisation does not come about because of nenbutsu.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:06 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:34 am
Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:47 pm
distinction Zen makes between kensho and full Buddhahood
That's not a generally accepted distinction.
According to Zen master Hakuin, a Nembutsu practitioner can experience kensho or small enlightenment through reciting the Nembutsu, with the understanding that the Buddha-nature within is ultimately the same as Amida Buddha's: https://www.lionsroar.com/the-hidden-lamp/
That is a story - not a statement by Hakuin on nenbutsu - but even there, the realisation does not come about because of nenbutsu.
Please see this post from Meido Moore Roshi, I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted it:
viewtopic.php?p=441660#p399918

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