Author Topic: Pure Land Practices - Why?  (Read 5783 times)

Offline Shi Hong Yang

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Pure Land Practices - Why?
« on: January 19, 2010, 12:48:37 pm »
Why we do the practice is to calm our minds.  We need a calm mind to be able to focus our minds attaining peace being undisturbed by any obstacle in our life either mentally or physically particularly upon our dying day when our body strives conflicted with living and dying at the same time.

Who does this practice?  Buddhists in China, Tibet, Japan, Korea, Americas, Africa, Europe.  This is largely practised by Buddhists in the Mahayana tradition; mainly among the monastics and some Theravada monastics and ethnic Buddhists and to a lesser degree by new Buddhists from other religions or beliefs.

Buddha name recitation remains the most popular method (3, 7, 21, 49, 54, 108 times)
"Namo Amitabha Buddha!
Namo Amituofo! (Chinese pinyin)
and in English
"Namo Immortality Buddha! / Namo Infinite Life Buddha! / Namo Infinite Life Buddha!
Chinese Buddhism is the oldest form of Buddhism in the USA, in 2013 it is 161 years old.  The first Buddhist temples were built in California in 1952 & 1854. Second oldest is Korean in 1900 and Japanese in 1902 both in Hawaii.

Offline inkpeninmd

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 09:37:13 pm »
Can you explain the differences between Pure Land, Jodo Shinshu, and Shin Buddhism?

Thanks :anjali:

Offline Rory

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 10:38:28 pm »
Gassho inkpenmind;
  I practice in the Jodo Shu school, this is the Japanese Pure land school founded by Honen Shonin. I chant Nembutsu Amitabha's name so that upon death I will be born in Amitabha's Western Paradise, where without regressing I will practice and eventually become a Buddha.
    Jodo Shu encourages a lot of chanting, they trace their lineage to the Chinese Pure Land master Shan dao . It's a flexible school, Honen Shonin would advise his disciples according to their different personalities.
     here is a good link http://www.jsri.jp/English/Main.html

Naturally when you chant a lot, you get lots of clarity etc, but this isn't the reason for my practice. I hope this helps
              gassho Rory

 P.S.  Jodo Shinshu, is the Shin Buddhist school & I'm not really competant to discuss their doctrines.
Om varada padme hum

Cintamani Caktra Avalokitesvara mantra
with six arms, wish-fufilling jewel to attain the wisdom of the Buddhas

Offline inkpeninmd

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 11:29:28 pm »
Gassho Rory,
Thanks for the link.  If I understand you correctly, Jodo Shinshu and Jodo Shu are distinct schools?

gassho greg

Offline Rory

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 09:38:09 pm »
Yes Greg, they are separate schools, sects. Jodo Shu's head temple is Chion-in in Kyoto &  Jodo Shinshu's is Honpa Hongan-ji in Kyoto.
Jodo Shinshu's found Shinran Shonin was a disciple of Honen so maybe that's why it's confusing.

 Shinran married and his descendants are heads of the sect. Honen maintained his monastic vows throughout his life and today there are still monks and nuns, along with married clergy in Jodo Shu. Shinshu doesn't have celibate clergy, they were the first to marry, which is a big deal.  Honen left Mt. Hiei to spread Pure Land among all the people, so I really love this, to practice where you are.

I think Anders Honore in the Zen Forum can tell you all about Shinshu.
glad to have helped, just ask if you want to know something
                                        gassho Rory
Om varada padme hum

Cintamani Caktra Avalokitesvara mantra
with six arms, wish-fufilling jewel to attain the wisdom of the Buddhas

Offline ph0kin

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 09:38:36 pm »
Can you explain the differences between Pure Land, Jodo Shinshu, and Shin Buddhism?

Thanks :anjali:

Hello,

Jodo Shu and Jodo Shinshu are simply two independent schools within the larger Pure Land Buddhist tradition.  Unlike the mainland, the Japanese ones happen to be distinct schools, though other Buddhist sects in Japan have extensive Pure Land practices too.

Offline vincent

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 05:11:07 pm »
In the Jôdo Shinshû, Namo Amida Buddha is only an expression of gratitude to the buddha for saving us just like we are and to become buddha when we will go in pure Land at the end of this life.
The nembutsu come to our lips naturally, without effort of our part.

In A Record of lament of divergence, a book where Shinran's words were compiled by one of his disciple, there is this passage :
"The nembutsu, for its practicers, is not a practice or a good act. Since it is not preformed out of one's own designs, it is not a practice. Since it is not good done through one's own calculation, it is not a good act. Because it arises wholly from Other Power and is free of self-power, for the practicer, it is not a practice or a good act."

Shinran shônin never creates a school or a temple. His descendant and disciple did.
Shinshû it's a recent term for Jôdo shinshû it's a abreviation.
Shinran used this term but in his mouth the homonyme shû means "teaching" not "school" he call it the teaching of his master Honen : Jôdo shinshû: the true teaching of the Pure Land.

Concerning the Jôdo shû i know only there are several branch with some differences between them.
The chinzei branch and the Seizan are the Biggest.


vincent
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Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 06:55:24 pm »
I don't see why general Buddhism doesn't also involve mind training and brain exercise to work out the mental processes acquired in meditation

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 01:40:35 am »
I don't see why general Buddhism doesn't also involve mind training and brain exercise to work out the mental processes acquired in meditation

It does.

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 06:09:42 pm »
Mental Processes associated with Mind in Zen mind, Beginner's Mind  :dharma:

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 03:18:05 am »
  I practice in the Jodo Shu school, this is the Japanese Pure land school founded by Honen Shonin. I chant Nembutsu Amitabha's name so that upon death I will be born in Amitabha's Western Paradise, where without regressing I will practice and eventually become a Buddha.

So how are the various Purelands thought of by practitioners?  Are they like the different realms or planes of existence described in the suttas?

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 03:55:36 am »
So how are the various Purelands thought of by practitioners?  Are they like the different realms or planes of existence described in the suttas?

Spiny,

The Pure Lands were created by different Buddhas from their vows.  The most well known of them now are the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha and Medicine Master Buddha.  They are described in various Sutras like the Amitabha Sutra and the Medicine Master Sutra.  Other Mahayana Sutras also mention the Pure Lands in them.

These are like accelerated training grounds where you get to learn directly from these Buddhas.  In a similar way how when Gautama/Shakyamuni Buddha was around, people would open their enlightenment upon hearing a discourse in the Buddha's presence.

In Amitabha Buddha's Pureland, called Sukhavati, there is no regression - so it's not like on Earth where we cultivate a bit and then regress some and then after a while, pick it up again and try to get back what we've lost.  One of the reasons lands like this were created is because upon death, people would be reborn in the heavens (which is good, but still, when the heavenly blessings end, they can end up once again in hells, animal realms or hungry ghost realms) - so there is regression.  Further, there are no 3 evil destinies of the hells, hungry ghosts or animal realms in Sukhavati.

People are born in Sukhavati through 3 things:
1.  Faith - trust that there is a Pure Land and also confidence that their recitation will be able to get them there
2.  Vows - making a vow to be reborn there
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

If you meet families who have cultivated recitation of Amitabha Buddha's name, it is not uncommon for the families to tell you what has happened at the moment of death of the Pure Land practitioners.  You should ask their family members - what happened to that Pure Land practitioner upon death? - irrespective of whether these other family members believe or disbelieve in Pure Land - this way, you will get an idea of whether these Pure Land practices bear fruit or not.  Further, you will also get an idea of whether what happens at the moment of the Pure Land practitioners' deaths reflect what the Pure Land Sutras said.

Once reborn there in Sukhavati, people are born in various grades of lotuses depending on the severity of their bad karma that they brought along with them.  People with greater bad karma are born only after aeons.  People with good karma and not bad karma are born quicker and become Bodhisattvas very fast.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 04:12:11 am by Optimus Prime »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 06:05:54 am »
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

Interesting.  So is the chanting the main practice, like with Nichiren Buddhists?

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 06:10:40 am »
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

Interesting.  So is the chanting the main practice, like with Nichiren Buddhists?

For most.

However some practice a form of "kasina"
(one sutra actually has a meditation where you visualize the entire Pure Land and focus on it as one would in a kasina practice)

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 06:17:36 am »
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

Interesting.  So is the chanting the main practice, like with Nichiren Buddhists?

For most.

However some practice a form of "kasina"
(one sutra actually has a meditation where you visualize the entire Pure Land and focus on it as one would in a kasina practice)

That sounds similar to the visualisation practices done by Tibetan Buddhists?

 


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