Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

ItsRaining
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 7:45 am

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by ItsRaining » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:32 pm

Astus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:58 am
Dharma Flower wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:36 am
Master Chin Kung advocates the dual practice of Ch'an and Pure Land.
Dual practice means cultivating the mind in this life and vowing to be born in the Pure Land in the next life. The level of one's cultivation now defines the rank one can gain in the Pure Land. Here are the four possibilities of Zen-PL practice connection from Yongming with the explanation of Zongben:

  • "First: Zen without Pure Land. Nine out of ten people take the wrong road here. If objects appear before them [as they meditate], they immediately follow them off.

This choice means that people only [strive to] illuminate reality-nature, and do not make vows to be born in the Pure Land. But as long as they flow along in this world “Endurance,” there is the danger of falling back [into delusion] …
  • Second: Pure Land without Zen. Of ten thousand who practice [Pure Land Buddhism], ten thousand go [to the Pure Land]. They just get to see Amitabha Buddha: what worry is there that they won’t be enlightened?

This choice means that they have not yet illuminated reality-nature, but they just vow to be born in the Pure Land. Because they are riding upon the power of Buddha, they are sure to be free from doubt.
  • Third: Both Zen and Pure Land. This is like putting horns on a tiger [adding to its already formidable powers]. In this life these people will be teachers, and in lives to come they will be buddhas and patriarchs.

Since they profoundly comprehend the Buddha Dharma, they can be teachers to devas and humans. Moreover, they take vows to go to the Pure Land and ascend quickly to the stage from which there is no falling back …
  • Fourth: Neither Zen or Pure Land. This brings the torments of hell for ten thousand eons, with no one to rely on.

They do not understand the principles of Buddha, nor do they make vows to be born in the Pure Land. They sink down [into the sea of suffering] for eternal ages with no way to get out."

(Pure Land, Pure Mind, p 68-69)

As you quoted:

"These three factors are the cornerstones of Pure Land Buddhism. If they are present, rebirth in the Pure Land is achieved.
Faith means faith in Amitabha Buddha’s Vows to rescue all who recite His name, as well as faith in one’s own Self-Nature, which is intrinsically the same as His (to recite the Buddha’s name is to recite the Mind).
Vows are the determination to be reborn in the Pure Land – in one’s pure mind – so as to be in the position to save oneself and others.
Practice generally means reciting the Buddha’s name to the point where one’s Mind and that of Amitabha Buddha are in unison – i.e. to the point of singlemindness. Samadhi and wisdom are then achieved."


These three elements clarify the requirements of practice very well. Based on faith and vows one can gain birth, without them there is no birth in the Pure Land. The aim of practice, the way the mind is cultivated, is through developing one-pointed concentration, and that is called union. This type of buddha-remembrance samadhi is a high level of samatha/calming practice. Although it might be called a Zen practice, it is Zen only in the common sense of dhyana, not the Zen of Bodhidharma. The practice that matches the Zen of the patriarchs is the real mark buddha remembrance. You can read more about the four methods here.
Just a note, that poem is likely not written by Yongming Yanshou who in the rest of his works especially the Zong Jing Lu doesn't really mention Pureland but focuses mostly on Chan and his works on Pureland mostly focus on mind-only Pureland. It's also not listed in any collections of his works.

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:13 pm

Astus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:58 am
The level of one's cultivation now defines the rank one can gain in the Pure Land.
The dual practice of Ch'an and Pure Land also determines how close a practitioner reaches Buddhahood in the present life, even if one isn't able to fully attain it until the next.

Ricky
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Ricky » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:55 pm

Just curious, do some of you zen guys here practice pure land as well?

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:13 pm

Whether Amida Buddha is an external being or our own Buddha-nature, I hope we can all agree that Pure Land practice is a beautiful practice, especially for providing an easy Buddhist path for lay people.

Ricky
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Ricky » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:56 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:13 pm
Whether Amida Buddha is an external being or our own Buddha-nature, I hope we can all agree that Pure Land practice is a beautiful practice, especially for providing an easy Buddhist path for lay people.
That it is.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27530
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:10 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:29 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:34 pm
There is no One Mind in the Lanka or any other sūtra.
This is from D. T. Suzuki's translation of the Lankavatara Sutra, which I am currently reading:
It is like an image reflected in a mirror, it is seen there
but it is not real; the one Mind is seen as a duality by the
ignorant when it is reflected in the mirror constructed by
their habit-energy.
From not knowing that all that is seen is of mind-only,
there takes place discrimination and hence duality; but when
it is known that it is nothing but Mind, no discrimination
evolves.
http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/Suzuki_Stud ... vatara.pdf
According to the above passage, there is not only the One Mind, but there is also nothing but Mind.
This passage says in fact:

Just as a reflection in a mirror
appears but does not exist,
the immature dualistically perceive
concepts in the mirror of the mind.

Not knowing the mind and perceptual objects,
dualistic concepts arise.
When the mind and objects are thoroughly known,
concepts cannot arise.

The mind becomes a diversity,
but when characteristics and the basis of characteristics are abandoned,
also the appearance of activity does not appear,
and are likewise just designations of the immature.

Since the three realms are mere concepts,
outer objects do not exist,
but are the appearance of diverse concepts:
this is not understood by the immature.


As such, the term "One mind" does not appear in the passage at all. The commentarial literature on states that citta here refers to the eighth consciousness, the ālyavijñāna. The ālyavijñāna however is personal, rather than transpersonal.

M
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:10 pm
As such, the term "One mind" does not appear in the passage at all. The commentarial literature on states that citta here refers to the eighth consciousness, the ālyavijñāna. The ālyavijñāna however is personal, rather than transpersonal.
I think we might need to politely agree to disagree. From the time of Bodhidharma to the present, Ch'an/Zen has used the term "One Mind," regardless of its scriptural basis or lack thereof.

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Meido » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:19 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:53 pm
While I do not have a formal Zen teacher and I have not undertaken Zen training, I try to follow the advice of Master Hakuin for lay people, to recite the Nembutsu for realizing Amida as our true nature, as exemplified in this story:

Reflections on “The Old Woman’s Enlightenment”
https://www.lionsroar.com/the-hidden-lamp/

The old woman, though without formal training, saw into her true nature from the mindful recitation of the Nembutsu.
How shocking it must have been to the old woman to hear Hakuin’s words, “Your mind is the Pure Land and your body is Amida Buddha.” How could it be that her own mind, filled with all its delusory thoughts, was the Pure Land? How could her wrinkled, decaying body be Amida Buddha? Still, Hakuin had said, “Look into your own heart,” and with the trusting nature developed by her faith in Amida Buddha, that is what she did...

As is frequently the case with a profound breakthrough, it was while the old woman was simply doing her daily tasks that she experienced the actuality of what until then seemed but a promise. We must take note, however: she was just washing a pot, but she was completely absorbed in Hakuin’s statement.
https://www.lionsroar.com/the-hidden-lamp/
The old woman most certainly had formal training. That is, she received guidance from Hakuin and put it into practice. "Formal training" simply means that one enters into relationship with a teacher, and does what one is directed to do...it is nothing more or less than this.

If you are trying to follow Hakuin's advice on how to use the nembutsu, that's great. I summed this advice up earlier when I said that in your place I would recite nembutsu day and night, casting aside all other concerns, as if my life depended on it. The article you provide says as much ("We must take note, however: she was just washing a pot, but she was completely absorbed in Hakuin’s statement.")

If you are holding the nembutsu constantly within all activities, unifying body, breath, and concentration within the three words "Namu Amida Butsu", then you are indeed following Hakuin's advice.

As he describes in numerous places, practicing in such a a way you will enter an all-encompassing samadhi, even to the point that eventually you cannot function and appear witless; you may experience that the world appears white, shining, and distant; there is a floor but no place one could step, there are people and things, but no way one could contact with them. Reaching that place, if you continue to just throw yourself constantly into "Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu" with your whole body, then conditions can arise for the so-called great death, and coming back to life from that one may have the recognition called kensho.

Of course ideally one has a teacher around who, observing one's state, can peck at the shell in a timely manner; dispensing with that is to accept a foolishly huge handicap, and also to neglect the necessities of having one's recognition confirmed afterward, of receiving appropriate advice on how to proceed forward from there, etc.

It may seem hypocritical of me to say "well, why don't you go do it, instead of wallowing in conceptual stuff here." But again, if you are indeed at the stage of practice you say, and aspire to use the practice you say, then you have to understand that in the method Hakuin describes there's no time for anything else. It's the same if someone says, "My koan is Mu...let's talk about it, and debate various approaches to it." That's nonsense. If your koan is Mu, you are either throwing yourself into it completely day and night - in which case there's nothing to talk about - or you are not. If you are not, the most we can say is that you have failed to understand something about the method, are lazy, or are avoiding it.

From this you may gather why I have answered your posts in this manner, despite not knowing you or your state at all. Though I appreciate the Pure Land path, I don't have much experience of it. But since you have brought up Hakuin's approach numerous times in the past as a model, you should be clear what he is advising. If one were to truly - with all one's might - take up the practice he advises even for a few days or a week, I think most of the worries and distinctions brought up in this topic would be resolved.

Honestly, I think you should drop this idea of "dual practice of Chan/Zen and Pure Land." I understand what is meant by it. But if one enters the gate of Zen, any practice can be used, from any tradition, to refine and embody realization; why limit yourself? Failing to enter the gate, no practice can be used in that manner; in that case, fixating on methods and schools is just wasting one's time. Actually, to my mind, Zen is not so usefully thought of as a sect or school, but rather a way to approach Buddhist practice in general.

~ Meido
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm

Meido wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:19 pm
The old woman most certainly had formal training. That is, she received guidance from Hakuin and put it into practice. "Formal training" simply means that one enters into relationship with a teacher, and does what one is directed to do...it is nothing more or less than this.
Thank you for your response. The only sect of Buddhism I have experience in is Jodo Shinshu, in the local temple of the Buddhist Churches of America.

Our Sensei recently moved back to Japan to inherit his family's temple, which has been passed down from father to son for 500 years.

Before his family was Shinshu, they were a long time ago a Zen family. Because of this, he saw equality between Zen and Pure Land, and he taught both the Nembutsu and zazen.

One time, he pointed to the statue of Amida Buddha on the altar, and said it is a mirror into our true self.

User avatar
rory
Posts: 1445
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by rory » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:55 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:40 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:10 pm
As such, the term "One mind" does not appear in the passage at all. The commentarial literature on states that citta here refers to the eighth consciousness, the ālyavijñāna. The ālyavijñāna however is personal, rather than transpersonal.
I think we might need to politely agree to disagree. From the time of Bodhidharma to the present, Ch'an/Zen has used the term "One Mind," regardless of its scriptural basis or lack thereof.
One Mind is explicitly Avatamsaka (Huayan, Kegon) philosophy:
Hua-yen thought sees all phenomena as expressions of an originally pure and undifferentiated one mind
J. Stone "Original Enlightenment" p. 7.

Avatamsaka and Tiantai philosophy are the twin pillars of East Asian Buddhism
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/

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6878
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:03 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:40 pm
I think we might need to politely agree to disagree.
What is there to disagree with? The term "one mind" does not appear in that passage in any of the translations in Chinese, nor even in Suzuki's English translation.
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"

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:19 pm

rory wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:55 pm
One Mind is explicitly Avatamsaka (Huayan, Kegon) philosophy
It's also part of Yogacara philosophy which, along with the Huayan, influenced the development of Ch'an. An important sutra for the Yogacara school was the Lankavatara:
When the Lankavatara is studied apart from its connection
with the philosophy of Zen Buddhism, it is usually as
one of the text-books of the Yogacara school. As was already
stated in the first part of the present work (p. 53) > this was
done very early in the history of the sutra when the Chinese
Buddhist scholars belonging to the school of the Mahdydnaparisarhgraha-sdstra
attempted to interpret the sutra according
to Asanga's teaching. Whether this view is correct or
not is another question, but the fact is that the sutra contains
the theories relating to the so-called psychological explanation
of existence such as the doctrine of Cittamatra (mindonly)1
and the system of eight Vijnanas, which also make up
the contents of the Yogacara philosophy.
https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Suzuki ... vatara.pdf

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by fuki » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:25 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:55 am
I am wondering what books or articles on Pure Land practice you might recommend from a Zen perspective. I've read several books along these lines, but not one that an actual Zen Buddhist recommended for me to read. I really appreciate any help or guidance that you're able to provide, as this is a type of Buddhist literature that I find very interesting.
Sheng Yen touches on this in section 13 "accepting all realms"

FAITH IN MIND
With a Guide to Ch'an Practice
by Master Sheng-Yen
https://terebess.hu/english/hsin3.html#13

Hope you will find it helpful.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:21 am
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by aflatun » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:48 pm

Meido wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:19 pm

The old woman most certainly had formal training. That is, she received guidance from Hakuin and put it into practice. "Formal training" simply means that one enters into relationship with a teacher, and does what one is directed to do...it is nothing more or less than this.

If you are trying to follow Hakuin's advice on how to use the nembutsu, that's great. I summed this advice up earlier when I said that in your place I would recite nembutsu day and night, casting aside all other concerns, as if my life depended on it. The article you provide says as much ("We must take note, however: she was just washing a pot, but she was completely absorbed in Hakuin’s statement.")

If you are holding the nembutsu constantly within all activities, unifying body, breath, and concentration within the three words "Namu Amida Butsu", then you are indeed following Hakuin's advice.

As he describes in numerous places, practicing in such a a way you will enter an all-encompassing samadhi, even to the point that eventually you cannot function and appear witless; you may experience that the world appears white, shining, and distant; there is a floor but no place one could step, there are people and things, but no way one could contact with them. Reaching that place, if you continue to just throw yourself constantly into "Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu" with your whole body, then conditions can arise for the so-called great death, and coming back to life from that one may have the recognition called kensho.

Of course ideally one has a teacher around who, observing one's state, can peck at the shell in a timely manner; dispensing with that is to accept a foolishly huge handicap, and also to neglect the necessities of having one's recognition confirmed afterward, of receiving appropriate advice on how to proceed forward from there, etc.

It may seem hypocritical of me to say "well, why don't you go do it, instead of wallowing in conceptual stuff here." But again, if you are indeed at the stage of practice you say, and aspire to use the practice you say, then you have to understand that in the method Hakuin describes there's no time for anything else. It's the same if someone says, "My koan is Mu...let's talk about it, and debate various approaches to it." That's nonsense. If your koan is Mu, you are either throwing yourself into it completely day and night - in which case there's nothing to talk about - or you are not. If you are not, the most we can say is that you have failed to understand something about the method, are lazy, or are avoiding it.

From this you may gather why I have answered your posts in this manner, despite not knowing you or your state at all. Though I appreciate the Pure Land path, I don't have much experience of it. But since you have brought up Hakuin's approach numerous times in the past as a model, you should be clear what he is advising. If one were to truly - with all one's might - take up the practice he advises even for a few days or a week, I think most of the worries and distinctions brought up in this topic would be resolved.

Honestly, I think you should drop this idea of "dual practice of Chan/Zen and Pure Land." I understand what is meant by it. But if one enters the gate of Zen, any practice can be used, from any tradition, to refine and embody realization; why limit yourself? Failing to enter the gate, no practice can be used in that manner; in that case, fixating on methods and schools is just wasting one's time. Actually, to my mind, Zen is not so usefully thought of as a sect or school, but rather a way to approach Buddhist practice in general.

~ Meido
:bow: :bow: :bow:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

User avatar
Monlam Tharchin
Posts: 1668
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:27 am

DF, you have disagreed with nearly every person who has replied: Zen practitioners, Pure Land practitioners, two dual cultivators, and Malcolm who knows Mahayana sutras better than most here.

What is your objective?

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:47 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:27 am
DF, you have disagreed with nearly every person who has replied: Zen practitioners, Pure Land practitioners, two dual cultivators, and Malcolm who knows Mahayana sutras better than most here.

What is your objective?
Thank you for your question. Is the objective of an internet forum for everyone to agree with each other on everything? Buddhism, of all religions, is about testing things for yourself and finding the path which works for you.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an/Zen perspective. My favorite books on this subject are Buddha of Infinite Light by D. T. Suzuki and Finding Our True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:47 am

fuki wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:25 pm
Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:55 am
I am wondering what books or articles on Pure Land practice you might recommend from a Zen perspective. I've read several books along these lines, but not one that an actual Zen Buddhist recommended for me to read. I really appreciate any help or guidance that you're able to provide, as this is a type of Buddhist literature that I find very interesting.
Sheng Yen touches on this in section 13 "accepting all realms"

FAITH IN MIND
With a Guide to Ch'an Practice
by Master Sheng-Yen
https://terebess.hu/english/hsin3.html#13

Hope you will find it helpful.
Thank you for sharing this. I love Master Sheng-Yen.

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:03 am

Ch'an Master Yin Kuang is a modern patriarch of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism. In terms of providing a concise explanation of Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an perspective, this might be the best I've come across:
It is because the Mind-only Pure Land exists that we are reborn in the Pure Land of the West. If the mind is not pure, it is impossible to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. Even when those who have committed cardinal transgressions achieve rebirth through ten recitations, such rebirth is due to their reciting the Buddha's name with a pure mind, thus eliciting a response from Amitabha Buddha.

Ordinary people generally think that if the Pure Land is Mind-Only, then it does not exist. This is the understanding of demons and externalists. Such a deluded view, which appears correct but is in reality wrong, affects more than half of all people and causes practitioners to forfeit true benefits.

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. If he merely grasps at the Self-Nature Amitabha but does not recite the name of Buddha Amitabha of the West, he cannot achieve immediate escape from Birth and death - not even if he is truly awakened, much less if (like most people who ask this question) he is pretentious and just indulges in empty talk without engaging in practice.

Thus the answer to your question [are the mind-Only Pure Land and the Self-Nature Amitabha the same as or different from the Western Pure Land and Amitabha in the Pure Land?] is that they are one yet two before Buddhahood is attained, two yet one after Buddhahood is attained.
http://www.amtbweb.org/tchet262.htm
Before Buddhahood is attained, we perceive Amida Buddha as a being external to ourselves. After Buddhahood is attained, we come to the full realization that there is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Until that non-dual realization is attained, we must continue our practice of reciting the Buddha-name. If we neglect our practice of reciting the Buddha-name, then we're just engaging in empty talk. It's up to us whether we cultivate this practice or not, depending on whether it's right for us.

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9253
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by DGA » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:10 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:03 am
Ch'an Master Yin Kuang is a modern patriarch of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism. In terms of providing a concise explanation of Pure Land teachings from a Ch'an perspective, this might be the best I've come across:
It is because the Mind-only Pure Land exists that we are reborn in the Pure Land of the West. If the mind is not pure, it is impossible to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. Even when those who have committed cardinal transgressions achieve rebirth through ten recitations, such rebirth is due to their reciting the Buddha's name with a pure mind, thus eliciting a response from Amitabha Buddha.

Ordinary people generally think that if the Pure Land is Mind-Only, then it does not exist. This is the understanding of demons and externalists. Such a deluded view, which appears correct but is in reality wrong, affects more than half of all people and causes practitioners to forfeit true benefits.

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. If he merely grasps at the Self-Nature Amitabha but does not recite the name of Buddha Amitabha of the West, he cannot achieve immediate escape from Birth and death - not even if he is truly awakened, much less if (like most people who ask this question) he is pretentious and just indulges in empty talk without engaging in practice.

Thus the answer to your question [are the mind-Only Pure Land and the Self-Nature Amitabha the same as or different from the Western Pure Land and Amitabha in the Pure Land?] is that they are one yet two before Buddhahood is attained, two yet one after Buddhahood is attained.
http://www.amtbweb.org/tchet262.htm
Before Buddhahood is attained, we perceive Amida Buddha as a being external to ourselves. After Buddhahood is attained, we come to the full realization that there is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Until that non-dual realization is attained, we must continue our practice of reciting the Buddha-name. If we neglect our practice of reciting the Buddha-name, then we're just engaging in empty talk. It's up to us whether we cultivate this practice or not, depending on whether it's right for us.
Start here:

viewtopic.php?f=69&p=435762#p435581

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:09 am

DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:10 am
Start here:

viewtopic.php?f=69&p=435762#p435581
Like the layperson Vimalakirti, it is my turn to respond in silence, and to hopefully allow my practice to speak for itself.

Post Reply

Return to “Zen”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests