About the Pure Land Teachings:
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If one is only mindful of Amita[bha Buddha; Amituofo],
this is named as the unsurpassable,
profound and subtle [wonderful] meditation. ~ Mahasamnipata Sutra
To be mindful only of Amituofo means to practise single-minded mindfulness of him. As the quote shows, mindfulness of Amituofo, be it via verbal or silent chanting, of his name or form, is also a form of meditation, as it trains the mind towards compassion, calmness and clarity.
In fact, it is the supreme form of meditation, because it leads to birth in Pure Land, to be able to meet and learn from a Buddha directly, and to always be with the best of spiritual friends in the best environment for spiritual training. Spiritual progress is thus swift and without backsliding, until supreme enlightenment is attained – for guiding more beings to the same supreme enlightenment.
Mindfulness of Buddha is also repeatedly taught by the Buddha in some 300 assemblies, as recorded in more than 280 sutras, as it is the safest and easiest path of practice, that leads to the most fruitful attainment, especially in our times. As stated in the Amitabha and Infinite Life Sutra, it is also a teaching endorsed by all Buddhas, that all Buddhas will teach.
Originally posted by realization:
Thumbs up :)
representation of the Buddhas in the 7
directions in Amitabha Sutra.
Buddhas of the Eastern World represent an Aim, an attitude to go
about, the fundamental of beings wish to attain True happiness.
Buddhas of the Southern World represent wisdom, being the first step
to our Aim. i think i can add com-passion/bodhicitta here as wisdom
and compassion reside in the same side of the coin.
Buddhas of the Western World represent good fortune or
affinity/merits/virtue. As even with very good wisdom, without good
affinity, no one will listen to our teachings. It's said a
Buddha/bodhisattva need 100 mahakalpas to cultivate affinities!
Buddhas of the Northern World represent liberation, delivering
sentient beings. having achieve wisdom and good fortune, it's time to
do some work of delivering beings.
Buddhas of the World Below represent Propagation, spreading the
BuddhaDharma such as Lion Buddha, Dharma Buddha, Dharma-Curtain
Buddha, Upholding Dharma Buddha etcs.
Lastly the Buddhas of the World Above represent Full Completion of
Shariputra, in the World Above, Pure Sound Buddha, Constellation King
Buddha, Superior Fragrance Buddha, Fragrant Light Buddha, Great
Radiant Shoulders Buddha, Varicolored Jewels-Adorned Body Buddha,
Sala Tree King Buddha, Jewelled Flower of Virtue Buddha, Discerning
All Meanings Buddha, Like Sumeru Mountain Buddha, all Buddhas such as
Pure Sound Buddha represent expounding Dharma with a puremind,
Constellation King Buddha represent Mahayana, Great vehicle/teachings.
Superior Fragrance Buddha represent Ch'an/zen, the sudden/fast gate
Fragrant Light Buddha represent Pureland, the fast of the fast/sudden
gate of Mahayana.
Great Radiant Shoulders Buddha represent To Expound the Highest gate.
Varicolored Jewels-Adorned Body Buddha represent Attainment in One
Life, Hua Yen/Avatamsaka, Flower Garland/Garden.
Sala Tree King Buddha represent Complete King of Dharma, Pureland and
the Secret gate/Vajrayana are One. The name Namo Amitabha or Amitabha
is One Utmost Secret mantra!
Jewelled Flower of Virtue Buddha represent Bliss Body/Sambhogakaya.
Discerning All Meanings Buddha represent Manifestation/Embodiment
Body (Bodies) / Nirmanakaya. (notice Bliss come first before
Like Sumeru Mountain Buddha represent Truth Body/Dharmakaya.
Normally one see this as other Buddhas' praise to Amitabha, but it
was also Buddha's profound hint/hiden message of how "Namo Amitabha"
can achieve from a beginning aim to the last attainment of the
Now to be able to believe and have no doubts in PL is also not easy
as said in Amitabha Sutra. Did we too have greats merits? One can
read the Infinite Life sutra, and you'll know. A Prince Ah Se Wang
who met and adored 400 billion Buddhas in the past but he did not say
he wanted to take rebirth in PL, nor did 500 great elders. This mean
their merits are still not enough. If we had vowed to take rebirth in
PL that would mean that our merits exceeded Prince Ah Se Wang and the
500 elders. We have actually met and adored countless Buddhas, not
400 billion Buddhas, as 400 billion Buddhas are still countable. For
countless time and rebirth, we have been taking rebirths and do not
know why PL. The problem is they doubted PL.
Here's Ven. Yinshun's view of the pure lands of Amitabha and Bhaisajyaguru. He says basically that the western land is for those with renunciation, and the eastern land is for those with a more worldly attitude.
Those who are timid and inferior,
Wish to have an easy path to practice.
The Buddha has special skillful means
To embrace and protect these beginners.
Of these, one of the most special
Is to be reborn in the Most Blissful Land.
Blessed by the Power of Amitabha Buddha,
They will not retreat from attaining enlightenment.
For those who cannot renounce worldly pleasures
But wish to attain enlightenment,
The Medicine Buddha vowed compassionately
To provide a Pure Land in the east.
(Yinshun: The Way to Buddhahood, Taking the Easy Path, v. 139-142)