RikudouSennin wrote: I had it stuck in my head to reach perfect enlightenment in one lifetime...
Don't have to give up on enlightenment in this lifetime.
According to the Shurangama Sutra, Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva Mahasattva achieved enlightenment through Pure Land practice.
It's a valid Dharma door, it's not giving up.
A Pure Mind is a Pure Land.
RikudouSennin wrote:I remember way back when i was a teenager a member on the esangha forum had alot of notes/insight on the sutras.
One of my main questions is on the emphasis of this being a teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha that he gave because no one had the capacity to ask questions about it.
I have a view on this that is probably not standard or correct.
I tend to try to read the metaphors.
So for me, the question becomes "what's the type of teaching that you provide someone without asking?" and the answer to that one tends to be the example I set by simply living my life.
In other words, Amitabha being a metaphor for Shakyamuni himself; certainly the lives of Shakyamuni and pre-enlightenment Amitabha are very similar.
The Lotus sutra makes a case for the concept of emanation Buddhas stemming from an Original/Eternal Buddha. Lotus sutra schools assert that Shakyamuni is the Eternal Buddha, as he is our example of a Samyaksam Buddha in this time period of this Saha world, and in one of the chapters states that he actually achieved enlightenment countless of eons ago.
On the other hand, I know in the Tibetan tradition, in the lineage of the Panchen Lamas - Subhuti (Rabjor) and Padmasambhava are both considered emanations of Amitabha (among others).
Of course, it's also said that Amitabha achieved enlightenment 14 great kalpas ago.
As to who's the "real" Original/Eternal Buddha or who Amitabha may have been historically is anyone's guess.
In the end, it doesn't really matter so much, in the Dharmakaya/Thusness there are no differences.