Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Living practices for Buddhists

As the last post introduces Pure Land practices for Buddhists in the West it is a new idea. Practicing all your Buddhist life with the intent of when you pass, if you do not attain Buddhahood or develop Bodhicitta you can do so without obstacles in the Pure Land.  The Pure Land is a place for to live peacefully after you die and practice Buddhism and once you do, you gain almost immediately Bodhicitta and attain Buddhahood swiftly.

Amitabha Buddha the Sanskrit name which means Immortality Buddha created the Pure Land through his cultivation   This Buddha is one of the five dhyana Buddhas. They are under Vairocana or Primordial or Root Buddha.

Now as this post is entitled living practices I would like to emphasis the Pure Land tradition as practiced in China and elsewhere is not a funerary tradition, in Japan it is often criticized as such.  I have heard from various Japanese clergy there that this is part of a big trend in abandoning traditional Buddhism in Japan.  Part of this is due to high costs to live, lack of donations, and a failure to meet the needs of modern society.

However, since Pure Land offers a variety of studies from mantras, Buddha name recitation, sutra recitation, sutra study, community practice and social activities, including artistic image creation and calligraphy.

Sutra practice includes private study, recitation for 1, 3, 7, 49, 54, 108 times per day or more
Sutra practice always includes merit returns to yourself and for all sentient beings at the end of each study session, end of each recitation period every time.
Sutra practice is really wonderful when you join a larger community that is reciting the sutra you like to study.

The most important scriptures of the Pure Land school are the three texts as determined by Honen in Japan:
1) the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life (also known as the Larger Sutra on Amitāyus, abbreviated to Larger Sutra; the Sanskrit text is popularly known as the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sutra);
2) the Sutra on Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life (abbreviated to Contemplation Sutra); and
3) the Sutra on Amitāyus Buddha (also known as the Amida Sutra or the Smaller Sutra on Amitāyus, abbreviated to Smaller Sutra; the Sanskrit text is popularly known as the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha Sutra)

Pure Land Buddhism is part of the sudden teachings according to the ancient Elder Master Ou I of the Tian Tai school.  Pure Land Buddhism Dialogues with the ancient masters by Chih I and Tien Ru

for core teachings refer to this site in English click the English lotus on the right.
This is founded by Ven. Jing Gong
Amitabha Buddhist Society of the USA

Mahayana Sutras in English
Mahayana Sutras in English with several versions of same sutras

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