How to Perfect the Bodhi Mind

Having developed the Bodhi Mind and considering our own capacities and circumstances, what expedients should we adopt to perfect that Mind If we want both the self-centered and the altruistic aspects of the Bodhi Vow to be complete, there is no better way than to seek rebirth in the Pure Land. This is the third cardinal point that the practitioner should keep in mind. A high-ranking monk of old, having expressed his determination to cultivate, penned the following verses I have pondered this...

Meaning of the Bodhi Mind Bodhicitta

Exchanging the virtues of Buddha Recitation for the petty merits and blessings of this world is certainly not consonant with the intentions of the Buddhas. Therefore, practitioners should recite the name of Amitabha Buddha for the purpose of escaping the cycle of Birth and Death. However, if we were to practice Buddha Recitation for the sake of our own salvation alone, we would only fulfill a small part of the Buddhas' intentions. What, then, is the ultimate intention of the Buddhas The...

Buddha Recitation While Otherwise Occupied

In the midst of a busy life , if you can recite the Buddha's name once, recite it once if you can recite it ten times, recite it ten times. In the midst of endless activities, if you have but one moment of leisure, you need only let go of everything and recite the Buddha's name clearly and distinctly. The famous Chinese poet Su Tung-p'o wrote the following verse Recite the Buddha's name while walking Recite the Buddha's name while seated. Even when busy as an arrow, Always recite the Buddha's...

Reciting Aloud

When your mind is in a state of torpor or when delusive thoughts arise unchecked, compose yourself and recite the Buddha's name aloud a few hundred times. You will then naturally experience a pure, peaceful state. This is because the faculty of hearing is very keen and therefore people are easily influenced by external factors which disturb the mind and lead to errant, delusive thoughts. Thus, you need to recite aloud to control the faculty of hearing and enlighten the mind. When the mind hears...

Pure Land Buddhism within the Buddhist Spectrum

What was the relationship between Pure Land and the other forms of Buddhism in East Asia Pure Land teaching incorporated many of the standards and perspectives that were basic in popular Buddhism as a whole, deriving from the Buddhist scriptures. Pure Land teachers urged their listeners to observe the basic Buddhist moral code, to refrain from killing, stealing, lying, sexual excess, and intoxication. Strict vegetarianism was encouraged, as a corollary to the precept against taking life. Pure...

Teachings on the Bodhi Mind

The sutras have expounded at length on the Bodhi Mind, as exemplified in the following excerpts from the Avatamsaka Sutra In such people arises the Bodhi Mind - the mind of great compassion, for the salvation of all beings the mind of great kindness, for unity with all beings the mind of happiness, to stop the mass misery of all beings the altruistic mind, to repulse all that is not good the mind of mercy, to protect from all fears the unobstructed mind, to get rid of all obstacles the broad...

Buddha Recitation in Dreams

If you have unshakeable vows and engage in deep, pure cultivation, holding fast to the Buddha's name in the daytime, holding fast to it at night, then you will naturally recite the Buddha's name even in your dreams. This presages that you will soon achieve the goal of rebirth in the Pure Land. Therefore, you should continue to recite evenly, redouble your efforts, never scaling them down, never allowing your mind to become scattered. Commentary. To recite the Buddha's name in the above manner...

Buddha Recitation and Offerings

In everyday life, on the occasion of a seasonal festival or the festival of a Buddha or Bodhisattva, it is customary to make offerings, according to one's means, of incense, lights, flowers and fruits. However, these are merely material offerings - not offerings of the Dharma. Dharma offerings relate to the mind and are on a much higher plane than any material offering. In recent times, because of the popularity of nonBuddhist beliefs, we can witness all kinds of deluded practices, such as...

Self Nature Recitation Self Nature Listening

The mind begins to think, which moves the tongue the tongue in turn moves, producing sound, and that sound returns to the Self-Mind. This is the method of mind reciting, mind listening. If the mind recites and listens, the eyes cannot see wrongly, the nose cannot smell wrongly, the body cannot move wrongly because the master (the mind) has been kidnapped by the words Amitabha Buddha. Commentary. To recite the Buddha's name is to recite the Buddha of the Self-Mind the ears hearing the Buddha's...

Organizing a Buddha Recitation Retreat

A Buddha Recitation retreat usually lasts seven days. If you are in retreat alone you should see to it that all the basic necessities of life are available. During the retreat, you should discourage others from moving about in the general area, so as to reserve the entire time for Buddha Recitation. If there are five or six persons who wish to go into retreat together, you should plan to have a retreat attendant, as well as to establish strict rules and affix them to the door. All comings and...

Pure Land Associations

For many Pure Land Buddhists, an important means of strengthening their faith has been membership in a group of fellow believers. The faithful join to form Pure Land associations, where they can meet regularly with like-minded people to recite the buddha-name and, if they are fortunate, listen to genuine teachers expound Pure Land texts. Though buddha-name recitation can of course be done alone in private, many people have found group recitation very powerful in helping them to focus their...

Pure Land in a Nutshell

Of the various forms of Buddhism that developed after the demise of the historical Buddha in 480 B. C., Maha-yana (the Great Vehicle) became the dominant tradition in East and parts of Southeast Asia. This broad area encompasses China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan, among other countries. In time, a number of schools arose within Mahayana Buddhism in accordance with the capacities and circumstances of the people, the main ones being the Zen, Pure Land and Esoteric schools. Among these schools, Pure...

Recitation in the Nature of the Self Mind

As the sound of the Self-Mind surrounds you and the light of the Self-Mind shines upon you, the Mind-Nature naturally reveals itself. This True Mind is like a huge, round, bright mirror that nothing can obstruct. The Ten Directions, the Three Periods of Time, ourselves, the Buddhas and sentient beings, the cycle of suffering in the impure world, the lotus seat in the Pure Land - all are but images in the mirror. Thus, to recite aloud is to recite in the light, to recite in the mirror it is...

Recitation within Recitation

Once recitation of the Buddha's name is perfected, of the Six Dusts only the dust of hearing remains. All six faculties are entirely concentrated in the faculty of hearing. The body no longer feels any coming or going, the tongue no longer knows how to move, the mind how to discriminate, the nose how to breathe, the eyes how to open and close. The two supreme methods of cultivation, of the Bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and Mahas- thama, are but one nothing is not round and perfect. This is...

How to Develop the Bodhi Mind

Awakening the Bodhi Mind, as indicated earlier, can be summarized in the four Bodhisattva vows Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to save them all Afflictions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them all Dharma doors are boundless, I vow to master them all Buddhahood is unsurpassable, I vow to attain it. However, it is not enough simply to say I have developed the Bodhi Mind, or to recite the above verses every day. To really develop the Bodhi Mind, the practitioner should, in his cultivation,...

Reciting the Buddhas Name in Isolation

When cultivating, a Bhiksu Bhiksuni does not require the presence of fellow-cultivators. The more isolated his place of practice the better He may recite in either a loud or a low voice, as he pleases, slowly and deliberately, or with utterances following one another in rapid succession. The only important condition is to achieve singlemindedness. He should tell himself my body is alone but my mind is not, because the Mind of Amitabha Buddha and of all the Buddhas has never left me, even...

Vows Repentance and Buddha Recitation

Alas There are countless people who are unaware of Buddha Recitation. There are those who think Buddha recitation is akin to superstition and refuse to recite. There are monks and nuns who recite the Buddha's name as a matter of routine without knowing the true reason why. There are persons with deluded wisdom who believe in the Buddha yet refuse to recite. There are ignorant persons who do not know about the Buddha and therefore do not recite. These are but a few examples. In addition, there...