Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby himalayanspirit » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:50 pm

Hello all!!

I am new to Buddhism and have certain doubts which I am sure my fellow brothers on path would be willing to clear. To make the history of my interest short, I have childhood attachment to Buddhism (may be I was a Buddhist in previous birth) even though I am born to Hindu parents. Initially I was drawn to Chan school but considering that it is immensely difficult and requires great merit in terms of concentration, mindfulness, significant control of desires etc, I have chosen the easier path - Pure Land Buddhism. To be frank, I am most concerned with clearing my mind of myriad useless thoughts and to fill it with more purer, lust-free, thoughts. That alone is my aim. Right now I am not planning to attain Buddhahood or Arhathood. I guess I can only think about them once I come back to the normal level of attentiveness and concentration that average people possess. So please answer some of my questions here:


1. Is Pure Land a part of Samsara or something beyond it?
2. Since the Earth is in constant rotation about its axis and revolution around Sun, there is no "West" as such. So what is the significance of regular emphasis given to the direction of this Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha?
3. Is Pure Land a planet like Earth or reference to some Solar System or Galaxy? Sorry, but I graduated in Physics and I am too "scientifically-inclined".
4. If Bodhisattvas vow to save all sentient beings before entering Nirvana, then, considering that time is cyclic in Buddhism, do they ever achieve Nirvana?
5. Chan masters say Pure Land is in the mind, where as Pure Land practitioners say that Pure Land is in the west. Which one of them is true and which one has wasted precious life practicing something wrong?
6. Why don't Mahayanists tend to give more respect to other Buddhas than our own Buddha Shakyamuni? Is it an indication that this may be later perversion of Early Buddhism by those who did not agree with the "Elders"?
7. Is "Saha world" a reference to Earth or Solar system or our Milky way galaxy or our complete universe (as opposed to other universes)?

Sorry for asking so many questions but I have more and perhaps will ask them, if you are willing to answer, later in future.


I have been reciting the Amitabha Buddha's name just to test if I am able to become more "aware" with lesser thoughts in mind. This indeed has been working for me despite my hectic schedule. But my explanation is that if I recited just about anything continuously, since my mind would be mindful of it, I would naturally become more alert and aware. Is this the real explanation why the recitation works or there are indeed some mystical elements at work?

Thank you all.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Astus » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:30 pm

1. Pure Land is beyond samsara as it is a realm created by a buddha and not by deluded sentient beings' karma.
2. Direction is understood in our normal everyday understanding. Even today when we say west we don't think about its cosmological relativity, how much less thousands of years ago.
3. We could say it is a planet, however, that would be mixing our current cosmology with a traditional one. Also, planets and such are modern human concepts and not the views of those outside of this paradigm.
4. Understanding Nirvana as total extinction is not the Mahayana understanding.
5. The Pure Land is only mind and it is as real as our realm which is also only mind. There is no disagreement between Chan and Pure Land on this, only people who can't see how these are not contradictory at all.
6. I assume your question was why Shakyamuni isn't as honoured as other Buddhas. That is not actually true, Shakyamuni's statues and paintings are found in many temples and there are Mahayana schools where he is the main buddha.
7. Saha world is a reference to this human world we now live in. If we happened to colonise the whole solar system then that'd be the Saha world.
+1 Recitation itself can have a positive effect on one's mind. That is not the criterion of being a Pure Land Buddhist. The definitive thing is the intention, i.e. having faith in Amita Buddha's vow and wishing to be born in his Pure Land. To reinforce that attitude and maintain the right view is what practices are for. Also, when recitation (and possibly visualisation) is used to purify the mind, it is the thought of Amita Buddha that takes over the thoughts of samsara, thus forming a connection between us, the Buddha and the Pure Land.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Sönam » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:22 pm

I do not fully agree with all your answers ... starting with pure land being beyond samsara. Pure land is in samsara ...

Sönam

(nb : but as I see that I'm in the sub-forum East Asian, I'm not sure my answer will be considered as valid ... if it's the case that East Asian Buddhism / Pure land consideres it as being beyond samsara, then forget my answer)
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Astus » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:50 pm

Sönam,

East Asian Buddhism uses the Ten Realms (十界) system. In brief:

The lowest six realms are known as the Six Paths or Six Realms. These six states of existence are subjected to birth and death, and then rebirth for many lives. One's state of existence depends on one's karmic activities. With evil karmic power, one will be born in the lowest three realms, known as Three Evil Path (of transmigration). With good and kind karma, one will be born in the upper three realms, known as Three Good Paths (of transmigration).
The upper four realms are known as the Four Holy Realms. These four states of existence are beyond birth and death and liberated from the Samara.

Buddhism in a Nutshell: Dharma Realm

More info: Ten spiritual realms, Dharma Realm, Buddhism’s Ten Spiritual Realms in Simple Terms, The Ten Dharma Realms Are Not Beyond A Single Thought
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:30 pm

Hear are my answers.
I too am an intellectual, scientifically inclined know-it-all, so most of my responses are pure crap.
Really sorry about that!

1. Is Pure Land a part of Samsara or something beyond it?

If the Pure Land is infinite, where would its borders be?
2. Since the Earth is in constant rotation about its axis and revolution around Sun, there is no "West" as such. So what is the significance of regular emphasis given to the direction of this Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha?

The Sun sets in the west. Amitabha practice is associated with death and rebirth. The direction "west" is associated with the end of life, just as the Sun going down in the west is associated with the end of a day.
3. Is Pure Land a planet like Earth or reference to some Solar System or Galaxy? Sorry, but I graduated in Physics and I am too "scientifically-inclined".

It is really good to be skeptical. And scientific inquiry is a useful but not very useful for poetry. If you read the Sutras that describe the Pure Land, they go into great detail. But this is sort of like a Zen Koan. If you only look at it literally, you will never understand it completely. But if you only see it as metaphor, you won't experience its reality. So the answer lies somewhere in the middle, and reflects non-duality. You might say that the Pure land is no more real than the realm where you are right now, and then ask youyrself what makes that real?
4. If Bodhisattvas vow to save all sentient beings before entering Nirvana, then, considering that time is cyclic in Buddhism, do they ever achieve Nirvana?

I think, out of compassion they go beyond the duality of nirvana/samsara.
5. Chan masters say Pure Land is in the mind, where as Pure Land practitioners say that Pure Land is in the west. Which one of them is true and which one has wasted precious life practicing something wrong?

If you put your mind in the west, then which one is right?
6. Why don't Mahayanists tend to give more respect to other Buddhas than our own Buddha Shakyamuni? Is it an indication that this may be later perversion of Early Buddhism by those who did not agree with the "Elders"?

Sakyamuni is the one who appeared only a few generations ago.
But, if you've seen one buddha, you've seen 'em all.
7. Is "Saha world" a reference to Earth or Solar system or our Milky way galaxy or our complete universe (as opposed to other universes)?

Saha world is this world of craziness and suffering and confusion. Samsara refers to the whole cycle of existence. "This Saha World" is a littler more specific. It is about where we are right now.
I have been reciting the Amitabha Buddha's name just to test if I am able to become more "aware" with lesser thoughts in mind. This indeed has been working for me ...


Something very profound happens when you recite Amitabha's name. I think it especially so if you are very academic and take a strong intellectual approach to things, because there is nothing intellectual about it. This causes all kinds of doubts to arise, and makes a person wonder how much one clings to logic and reasoning in order to prop up one's identity.

Intellectual comfort zones are also a kind of realm that we imagine, and letting all that go is hard.

Amitabha is posing as a Pure land Buddha, but whacks you on the head like a Zen roshi.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby dakini_boi » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:54 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:1. Is Pure Land a part of Samsara or something beyond it?


I asked this same question to one of my teachers. He is Vajrayana, not Pure Land, so it's possible that the explanation might differ, but I will pass on what he said. He said that a Pure Land is beyond samsara, but also not enlightenment itself. He said it's like if you take a plane from Los Angeles to New York, while you're in the plane, you are in neither city.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Sönam » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:25 am

dakini_boi wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:1. Is Pure Land a part of Samsara or something beyond it?


I asked this same question to one of my teachers. He is Vajrayana, not Pure Land, so it's possible that the explanation might differ, but I will pass on what he said. He said that a Pure Land is beyond samsara, but also not enlightenment itself. He said it's like if you take a plane from Los Angeles to New York, while you're in the plane, you are in neither city.


Therefore your are still in nirvana (from vajrayana pov) ... if you take the plane in samsara airport, you get into a samsara plane, you fly to nirvana ... when you are not yet in nirvana, you are still in samsara's plane.
If you go to Pureland it's to learn the Dharma, because you have not the capacity to be freed in that live, once you are ready you get back to samsara to finish the adventure.
But this is my vajrayana pov ...
Sönam
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Astus » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:36 am

In the Pure Land there is no suffering, no compulsory birth and death (生死 "birth-death" is a synonym of samsara), guaranteed enlightenment, created by a buddha. That's why it is not considered samsara. Also, as mentioned, the four holy realms are above samsara.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Sönam » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:40 am

Astus wrote:In the Pure Land there is no suffering, no compulsory birth and death (生死 "birth-death" is a synonym of samsara), guaranteed enlightenment, created by a buddha. That's why it is not considered samsara. Also, as mentioned, the four holy realms are above samsara.


This is not vajrayana pov ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Astus » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:08 am

Sönam wrote:This is not vajrayana pov ...


I meant it as an explanation not as a representation of Vajrayana. Pure Land is not a Vajrayana school anyway.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Sönam » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:26 am

Astus wrote:
Sönam wrote:This is not vajrayana pov ...

Pure Land is not a Vajrayana school anyway.


a school not ... but a mean yes. there is many prayer to rebirth in Pureland.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby rory » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:50 pm

Let's remember that Pure Land Buddhism is older than Ch'an and Vajrayana schools. It originated in Afghanistan, yes the West! Amitabha has blue eyes & I think it's important to realize that Buddhism isn't just 'Asian' but cross-cultural and always has been from the earliest times.

The Western Pure Land is Nirvana, of course those of us not fully enlightened can't appreciate it & that's the point, we will be in a place ideally suited to learn & develop. It's as if you went to MIT, can you appreciate and understand all the scientific knowledge there before you take classes? Impossible unless you are a genius and I for sure am no genius. Just smart enough to know I'm not getting enlightened on my own; I need help.

The Pure Land Sutras were brought from Gandhara & the oldest translated into Chinese in 179 C.E. So it was one of the first sutras translated into Chinese. Amitabha and his Pure Land are mentioned in the Pratyappana Sutra, Flower Garland Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, and many more.

I would also respectfully disagree that the Pure Land is only Mind, as that's a theory of Yogacarya, Mind Only School, I don't subscribe to that school, rather I prefer Huayan philosophy & the ultimate truth of suchness. But that's really secondary as chanting and faith are Number 1.

I agree with Astus that Pure Land is a great school for intellectuals as it just makes you stop your monkey mind & start working. I also have no problem discussing Pure Land from a scientific point of view, right now with the theories of the multi-verse why shouldn't there be a Pure Land?
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Astus » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:07 am

Rory,

Nice to see you add new perspectives here. :)

A few things. The teaching of "mind only" is very much in line with Huayan as well as Chan, Tiantai and Chinese Pure Land. Yogacara, i.e. Faxiang is understood as the "consciousness-only" (vijnaptimatra, 唯識) school while the others are "mind-only" (cittamatra, 唯心). More on this: The meaning of "mind-only" (wei-hsin): An analysis of a sinitic Mahaayaana phenomenon, The Defeat of Vij~naaptimatrataa In China: Fa-Tsang On Fa-Hsing And Fa-Hsiang.

It is useful to see how in China there has never been any separate Pure Land School, that was something Honen created/started for the first time in history. In China (+ Korea and Vietnam) Pure Land and Chan are not separate schools but only different practices that are used together most of the time. More on this: On Pure Land Buddhism and Ch'an/Pure Land Syncretism in Medieval China (PDF).

It was PadmaVonSamba who brought up intellectuals and recitation as a remedy.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby rory » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:57 pm

Gassho Astus; thanks for those nice words. I love having these discussions.
I remember very well from e-sangha that there was never rancor on the Pure Land boards only sharing, learning, all very stimulating.

But now I need help as I'm confused. Have you seen "Living Yogacarya: an introduction to Consciousness-Only Buddhism " by Tagawa Shun'ei the head of the Hosso school in Japan? So Hosso, Yogacarya in Japan is not Mind-Only?

Funny I just looked for an article Yogacarya and Huayan by Imre Hamar, from Budapest, I was just visiting friends in October, small world:) Any pure landers near you? or would it be Ekoji in Germany?
gassho
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ps found the link to Hamar's talk! you can hear it
http://www.cbs.columbia.edu/weblog/chinese_buddhism/
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Astus » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:21 pm

It is a matter of making difference between consciousness (識) and mind (心). In the Faxiang/Hosso school of Xuanzang there is no buddha-nature but only the eight consciousnesses and everything arises from the defiled alayavijnana. In other schools (like Huayan) they accept universal buddha-nature and ultimately everything arises from the pure dharmadhatu, i.e. buddha-mind. So there are consciousness-only and mind-only.

No Pure Land dedicated community in Hungary except for Chinese groups where it is a major part of their Buddhism. The closest one is Adrian Cirlea's Shinshu temple in Bucharest that I know of.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Belincia » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:56 pm

himalayanspirit wrote:1. Is Pure Land a part of Samsara or something beyond it?
2. Since the Earth is in constant rotation about its axis and revolution around Sun, there is no "West" as such. So what is the significance of regular emphasis given to the direction of this Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha?
3. Is Pure Land a planet like Earth or reference to some Solar System or Galaxy? Sorry, but I graduated in Physics and I am too "scientifically-inclined".
4. If Bodhisattvas vow to save all sentient beings before entering Nirvana, then, considering that time is cyclic in Buddhism, do they ever achieve Nirvana?
5. Chan masters say Pure Land is in the mind, where as Pure Land practitioners say that Pure Land is in the west. Which one of them is true and which one has wasted precious life practicing something wrong?
6. Why don't Mahayanists tend to give more respect to other Buddhas than our own Buddha Shakyamuni? Is it an indication that this may be later perversion of Early Buddhism by those who did not agree with the "Elders"?
7. Is "Saha world" a reference to Earth or Solar system or our Milky way galaxy or our complete universe (as opposed to other universes)?

1. Beyond, in the sense that, once there we won't fall into the wheel of births and deaths. We won't fall back, but inevitably go toward enlightenment.
2. PadmaVonSamba answered this very well.
3. Good question. I think it's another dimension, sort of, not physically related to ours and not quite similar...
4. I think they internally achieves liberation from all suffering and defilements, but their manifestations will forever stay helping other sentient beings.
5. PadmaVonSamba answered this in great way too. Those two views aren't contradictory if understood correctly.
6. I've never heard of something like that... Mahayanists in general has great respect for the Buddha Shakyamuni, in my understanding. To do the practise of Amitabha, for example, doesn't mean "I respect you less, Shakyamuni!"... Without Shakyamuni, we wouldn't know anything about dharma. The pureland path is also taught for us by Buddha Shakyamuni. He is the root of the teachings on our world. Also, as Buddha's qualities are inconcievable, one Buddha can't be better than the other Buddha, really, since they aren't limited. Just, we can have different sort of karmic connections etc which can make certain practises work better for us. This is how I understand it.
7. --- don't know this one.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby sinweiy » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:33 am

himalayanspirit wrote:1. Is Pure Land a part of Samsara or something beyond it?

4. If Bodhisattvas vow to save all sentient beings before entering Nirvana, then, considering that time is cyclic in Buddhism, do they ever achieve Nirvana?

Thank you all.


hmm Nirvana, samsara and pureland. in Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni ever displayed His Pureland to the audience while everyone are still in Samsara, by using His toe to touch the ground. in the perspective mind of Buddhas and mahasattvas(depending on their cultivation), everywhere is Pureland/nirvanic bliss, including samsara. only to ordinary people who had yet to get rid of attachment, dualism, and wandering thoughts, they always see samsara in their mind. so u can say it's all in the mind.

same goes with Amitabah Pureland, it's a rewarding land报土 manifested from Amitabha's rewarding body, that let ordinary beings take advantage of His great merit/virtue.


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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby AilurusFulgens » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:37 pm

I know that my question may sound rather silly, but is any particular initiation necessary to chant "Namo Amitabha"?

Or can anyone do it simply by picking it up from a book? Providing of course he lives as a good Buddhist and has full faith in Amitabha.

I really like the stories of all the devoted practitioners, who were re-born in Pure Land. Very inspiring.

Are there any reports of people who saw Pure Land in visions or dreams while still living?

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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:09 pm

AilurusFulgens wrote:I know that my question may sound rather silly, but is any particular initiation necessary to chant "Namo Amitabha"?

Or can anyone do it simply by picking it up from a book? Providing of course he lives as a good Buddhist and has full faith in Amitabha.

I really like the stories of all the devoted practitioners, who were re-born in Pure Land. Very inspiring.

Are there any reports of people who saw Pure Land in visions or dreams while still living?

A. Fulgens


Yes, Honen had many visions of the Pure Land through Nembutsu-samadhi.
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Re: Is Pure Land beyond Samsara?

Postby sinweiy » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:49 am

AilurusFulgens wrote:I know that my question may sound rather silly, but is any particular initiation necessary to chant "Namo Amitabha"?

Or can anyone do it simply by picking it up from a book? Providing of course he lives as a good Buddhist and has full faith in Amitabha.

I really like the stories of all the devoted practitioners, who were re-born in Pure Land. Very inspiring.

Are there any reports of people who saw Pure Land in visions or dreams while still living?

A. Fulgens


sure, not necessary need a initiation from a monk. though it may help in one's encouragement. but it's more important that one practice sincerely. a person who had an initiation may not practice sincerely.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Even if a monk, taking hold of my outer cloak, were to follow right behind me, placing his feet in my footsteps, yet if he were to be greedy for sensual pleasures, strong in his passions, malevolent in mind, corrupt in his resolves, his mindfulness muddled, unalert, uncentered, his mind scattered, & his faculties uncontrolled, then he would be far from me, and I from him. Why is that? Because he does not see the Dhamma. Not seeing the Dhamma, he does not see me.

"But even if a monk were to live one hundred leagues away, yet if he were to have no greed for sensual objects, were not strong in his passions, not malevolent in mind, uncorrupt in his resolves, his mindfulness established, alert, centered, his mind at singleness, & his faculties well-restrained, then he would be near to me, and I to him. Why is that? Because he sees the Dhamma. Seeing the Dhamma, he sees me."

Though following right behind,
full of desire, vexation:
see how far he is! —
the perturbed
from the unperturbed,
the bound
from the Unbound,
the greedy one
from the one with no greed.

But the wise person who, through
direct knowledge of Dhamma,
gnosis of Dhamma,
grows still & unperturbed
like a lake unruffled by wind:
see how close he is! —
the unperturbed to the unperturbed,
the Unbound to the Unbound,
the greedless one
to the one with no greed.

Itivuttaka's Sanghaṭikaṇṇa Sutta. Scroll down to Sutta 92
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



lated Master Shen Kai ever been there by mean of meditation and here's the account:
Disciple: Master, how do we witness Sukhavathi?
Master Shen Kai: That's easy. But Sukhavathi is very far away. How far? It's passing through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands. In between this hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands are not Buddhalands but Hui Tu(impure land 秽土). Buddhalands are pure where Buddhas dwell. Sukhavathi is hence very very far away. Far does not mean we don't believe. In the sutras, Buddha used to explain that it's very very near. So near that nobody believe it's true. There's no choice, as sentient beings are too attachment, hence Buddha say it's very very far away and not easy to go or reach. So He expound the Amitabha Sutra, where Buddha spoke without people asking. If a person is not attached, then Dharmakaya is very near as it encompass everything. Since it's entire existence, it's so near to reach like space everywhere exist Dharmakaya. Without Dharmakaya, Earth cannot be in the air. Cars cannot works. Every thing is benefited by Dharmakaya. When people do business, they need a initial funding, now Buddha say you don't need that initial funding, you believe in Amitabha and recite His name. Then seeing people wear a gold necklace, but it's just a piece of metal chain like the one you see in jail to chain prisioners. Then Buddha told sentient beings not to be obsess with gold, you just need to recite Amitabha and don't need any initial funding and you can reborn in a place where gold is use for building constructions. So does Sukhavathi really exist? Yes. Don't think Master is lying. You can go now and witness yourself and come back to tell people. Master tell you I been there before, you all might disbelieve. So I will describe it to you.
Sentient beings on Earth are very small, Bodhisattvas of Sukhavathi are really Big and tall. A person standing next to Amitabha only reach the height of Amitabha's toe! but Amitabha is able to change the size, so that they both can talk. When I reached Sukhavathi, only wish to pay homage to Amitabha, adore Amitabha.
Amitabha Buddha reply: What do you seek here in Sukhavathi?
Shen Kai: Honored One, i came to seek Dharma.
Amitabha Buddha ask: What kind of Dharma?
Shen Kai: i'm not sure. Seeing Amitabha's forehead is adorned with a curled hair白毫. i wish to seek that Dharma. Amitabha said okay.
(Back to reality.) That's how I cultivated my curled hair 白毫, but this Dharma method cannot be expound to anybody. It's is because you people have doubt in Sukhavathi. Thinking it doesn't exist. Hence I tell you my experience. Due to the busy schedule, the white hair is curled. When grew longer to 3 inch, it will extend when i'm washing the face. That's the proof.


/\
_/\_
Amituofo!

"Enlightenment is to turn around and see MY own mistake, Other's mistake is also my mistake. Others are right even if they are wrong. i'm wrong even if i'm right. " - Master Chin Kung
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