Author Topic: Amida is a real Buddha?  (Read 6927 times)

Offline paracelsus

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #75 on: December 07, 2018, 08:42:10 pm »
This makes Buddhism different from Western religions like Christianity and Islam.

Some versions of Buddhism are closer to Christianity and Islam than others.

This similarity might be true if Christianity and Islam dropped their insistence that salvation was a reward dished out by God. Since they can't quite give up this power to their followers, I suggest that there is a vast and irresolvable gap between them and the Buddhist. The fact that the Christian or the Islamic mystic might achieve satori and attribute the experience to their God doesn't mean that is what happened. It is a cultural overlay. HOWEVER, just because a Buddhist might insist that they did it all by their own efforts, it doesn't mean that a god didn't spot their valiant (god denying) efforts and secretly reward them, but it doesn't ring true to me.

There can be a simplistic and effective belief that Amida will save you if you chant his name (as if he were an external being), but the deeper understanding and basic tenet of Buddhism is that you and you alone must attain the realisation that will gain you liberation. All the teachers can do is offer assistance. All Amida can do is exist as a fundamental principle which, once realised will admit the realiser to the "Pure Land" of union with that principle.

It is interesting that portrayals of heaven always have God remaining separate from the angels and happy souls. This suggests no union with the absolute. (He can always chuck you out again....)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2019, 08:29:24 pm »
According to the famous Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:

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Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
and emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form.
https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/

Asking, then, if Amida is a real Buddha might the wrong question, since nothing is ultimately real in and of itself.

Amida, whether "real" or not, points us to the ultimate truth of Dharma-body, the one unconditioned reality.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 08:37:00 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline Chaz

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #77 on: January 10, 2019, 07:29:41 am »
According to the famous Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:

Quote
Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
and emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form.
https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/

Asking, then, if Amida is a real Buddha might the wrong question, since nothing is ultimately real in and of itself.

I think the answer lies in defining what the word "real" means in the context of your question.

Does it mean is Amida substantially real?

Does it mean is Amida is a Buddha as opposed to a Bodhisattva?

Do you know?


Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2019, 02:44:40 am »
According to the famous Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:
Amida, whether "real" or not, points us to the ultimate truth of Dharma-body, the one unconditioned reality.

The Heart Sutra doesn't describe an "unconditioned reality".  It says that all phenomena are conditional and empty = sunyata.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2019, 09:52:08 pm »
This is one of my favorite Zen stories, perhaps because I’m still twelve years old at heart:

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A monk asked the Chinese Zen master Yunmen, “What is Buddha?” To this he replied, “A sh*t-covered stick.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shit_stick

If Dharma-body is in all things, that includes fecal matter as well. Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

In the image of Amida Buddha on the altar, and the recitation of his name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we awaken to the outworking of Dharma-body in our daily lives, leading us to the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #80 on: January 12, 2019, 02:07:58 am »
Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

Who are you trying to convince?
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2019, 07:53:38 am »
In his book Buddhism of the Heart, Rev. Jeff Wilson relates Yunmen's story of the shit-stick to the ultimate truth about Amida Buddha:

https://books.google.com/books?id=4ocQM7Amr7IC&pg=PA93&dq=buddhism+of+the+heart+feces&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfh8ymv-jfAhWJGXwKHVuCA08Q6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=feces&f=false

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2019, 01:23:06 pm »
Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

Who are you trying to convince?

For some who might otherwise feel attracted to Pure Land Buddhism, it might seem too similar to Christianity or the literal existence of Amida Buddha as a historical person might be too hard to believe. I am hoping to relieve this apprehension.

Offline Zen44

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #83 on: January 12, 2019, 09:26:21 pm »
I think he means Jesus Christ appearing to you.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #84 on: January 13, 2019, 07:17:02 am »
Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

Who are you trying to convince?

For some who might otherwise feel attracted to Pure Land Buddhism, it might seem too similar to Christianity or the literal existence of Amida Buddha as a historical person might be too hard to believe. I am hoping to relieve this apprehension.

It can seem like proselytising though.  It would be more interesting to hear about your personal approach to practice, the practical side.  What you actually do, the purpose of it, and the effect that it has.   
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Reply #85 on: Today at 02:48:17 am »
Whether Amida is a literal Buddha or is instead a upaya-symbol for the Dharmakaya, millions of people have passed away with his name on their lips, and many have reported deathbed experiences of Amida or the Pure Land.
« Last Edit: Today at 02:59:52 am by Dharma Flower »

 


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