No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Nosta » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:01 am

I know that Pureland is not the limit, but the meanings to an end (Nirvana).
I also know that signals (you know, visions, strange smells, etc during sucessful rebirths) are even much less important.

The thing is what i alread explained: with reports, one faith would be greater.

But i should say, that despite my quest on reports of sucessful reports, i am reading ebooks on Pure Land (with little reports as explained on other posts i wrote), about the practice and theory itself. I am also doing recitations, more or less daily. So, as you can see, the doubts are one thing, practice is other. My intuition says that Pure Land is real, my scientific mind says not. And thats the hell of a fight! :-D
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:23 am

Best if you can find a group of dedicated Pureland practitioners. If you can associate yourself with a well established group, then you'll learn a lot from them. There will always be lots of stuff to inspire your practice - stories of others' success, and their own behavior, too. If it is a group that does what we may call "dead-bed recital" on a fairly regular basis, then there will doubtless be lots of interesting anecdotal incidents, as well. If you have a local Chinese samgha or lay community nearby, that would be my first place to start looking.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Luke » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:29 pm

Nosta,

Other Buddhist deities besides Amitabha have their own pure lands as well (Avalokitesvara, Varjrayogini, Medicine Buddha, etc.) You might enjoy reading about these other deities' pure lands also.

I hope you succeed in your quest to be reborn in a pure land.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Nosta » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:15 pm

In Portugal there is almost anything like buddhist centers, even less in my town. I am too far away from any kind of buddhist association, even less one about Pure Land.

About other deities Luke, i tought that Avalokitsvara was "living" in Amithaba Pure Land. Didnt knew that she has a Pure Land of her own. Interesting.

If you people have some interesting storys to tell about pure land recitation (like a vision you may had, maybe an auspicious dream, a sound, a smell, etc), you could post here in this thread. :-) It would be nice.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:58 am

Nosta wrote:About other deities Luke, i tought that Avalokitsvara was "living" in Amithaba Pure Land. Didnt knew that she has a Pure Land of her own. Interesting.


I'm not about Avalokitesvara. I've heard some sources say that he lives in Amitabha's pure land, and I've seen others that say he has his own. However, I'm sure that Medicine Buddha, Vajrayogini, and other deities have their own pure lands.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:58 am

Luke wrote:
Nosta wrote:About other deities Luke, i tought that Avalokitsvara was "living" in Amithaba Pure Land. Didnt knew that she has a Pure Land of her own. Interesting.


I'm not about Avalokitesvara. I've heard some sources say that he lives in Amitabha's pure land, and I've seen others that say he has his own. However, I'm sure that Medicine Buddha, Vajrayogini, and other deities have their own pure lands.


I think it is more like "living there, while creating a new one for his own later buddhahood". Ava being "second in command" at Sukhavati, and all that.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Sonrisa » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:04 am

I remember E-sangha used to have such a HUGE collection on these type of things. Once, there was even a poster there who was telling us of the accounts that were occurring when she went to a NDE Pure land recitation.

Nosta, I too have gone through the same exact thing you are going through. It's not easy. You have to keep looking and asking. It is best if you found some online buddies who practice similar things so they can help you. This has worked for me. I still have my doubts to be honest but I think of the Great Masters and lay people and say "If they can do it, why cant I"? These friends have been involved in the dharma waaaay longer than I have been.

Dont worry, you are not alone. Stay strong and hang in there. Time will also heal.

Somewhere in this page, someone posted a link to a certain master that was from China and moved to Taiwan. Did you know that this particular master was illiterate? If I remember his story correctly (and please take it with a grain of salt) his parents were poor and left him. The Amitabha sutra says that anyone, whether intelligent or simple minded will be able to take rebirth in his Pure land.

I know it is difficult, but PLEASE try to remain strong. Like I said, I have been through a similar situation. I am now here, happy with the Mahayana/Pure land path. If you look at things with a good intention, you will find that the sutras contain profound wisdom.

Namo Guan Shr Yin Pu Sa

I believe in this Bodhisattva as well and feel that she has helped me. If you can, try reciting her name.
Last edited by Sonrisa on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Namo Amitabha
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Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

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Hatred is like throwing cow dung at someone else. You get dirty first before throwing it to someone else.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby kirtu » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:24 am

Huifeng wrote:There are huge numbers of "Pureland Rebirth" stories in Chinese. It even amounts to it's own type of literary genre, there is so much of it. However, due to Western predilections of things Buddhistic, very little of it is even known of in English, let alone translated.


When I was a teenager I did come across some accounts of rebirth in the Pure Lands in English. Probably these were little tract-like publications from the local Jodo Shinshu mission in Wahiawa or downtown Honolulu. Maybe some of these do exist.

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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby kirtu » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:35 am

Luke wrote:Other Buddhist deities besides Amitabha have their own pure lands as well (Avalokitesvara, Varjrayogini, Medicine Buddha, etc.) You might enjoy reading about these other deities' pure lands also.


All the other Pure Lands are difficult to get to. They are basically for advanced bodhisattvas. Amitabha's Pure Land is the easiest to get to because of Amitabha's vows and because of our faith and practice. However once we are reborn in Amitabha's Pure Land we can go visit all the other Pure Lands.

However I've seen a paper about Pure Lands theological development I think on the Journal of Buddhist Ethics site (an academic site) discussing other Pure Lands as having been the primary focus of practitioners in the past (like Medicine Buddha's Pure Land and I think Akṣobhya's Pure Land). Unfortunately I can't access the site right now to find the paper.

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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby kirtu » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:45 am

Nosta wrote:In Portugal there is almost anything like buddhist centers, even less in my town. I am too far away from any kind of buddhist association, even less one about Pure Land.


In Portugal there is the Orgen Kunzang Choling which has a center in Lisbon and somehwee in the south. I'm sure there are some other centers around although probably most of them are centered around Lisbon.

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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby kirtu » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:51 am

Nosta wrote:In Portugal there is almost anything like buddhist centers, even less in my town. I am too far away from any kind of buddhist association, even less one about Pure Land.


BuddhaNet has a list of 14 Buddhist centers in Portugal : http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/country.php?country_id=77

including Ven Huifeng's Fo Guan Shan lineage near Lisbon although the link doesn't appear to be working.

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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Bodhi » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:07 pm

Nosta wrote:I know that Pureland is not the limit, but the meanings to an end (Nirvana).
I also know that signals (you know, visions, strange smells, etc during sucessful rebirths) are even much less important.

The thing is what i alread explained: with reports, one faith would be greater.

But i should say, that despite my quest on reports of sucessful reports, i am reading ebooks on Pure Land (with little reports as explained on other posts i wrote), about the practice and theory itself. I am also doing recitations, more or less daily. So, as you can see, the doubts are one thing, practice is other. My intuition says that Pure Land is real, my scientific mind says not. And thats the hell of a fight! :-D


Nosta :]

I had post a reply to your question in the meditation Forum, I hope it helped.

Sorry it took me awhile to get to your question.

Peace in Chan
Wherever you are, that is where the mind should be. Always be mindful, and be your own master. This is true freedom. - Grand Master Wei Chueh
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Nosta » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:24 pm

I already read your answer. Thank you a lot!

I am thankful too to the last answers of other members too :-)
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Bodhi » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:54 pm

Nosta,

here are some small cut-out from the book called "Pure Land,Pure Mind" from Questions and Answers by Master Chu-Kung.

Master chu-kung was a master during the 16th century of the Ming period. He study both in Zen and Pure Land.


One Cannot Deny that the Pure Land Exists
Some people say that the Pure Land is nothing but mind, that there is no Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss beyond the trillions of worlds of the cosmos. This talk of mind-only has its source in the words of the sutras, and is true, not false. But those who quite it in this sense are misunderstanding its meaning.

Mind equals objects: there are no objects beyond mind. Objects equal mind" there is no mind beyond objects? Those who dismiss objects when they talk of mind not have comprehended mind.

Some people also say that Pure Land which is seen at the moment of death is entirely in the dying person's own mind, so there is no Pure Land.

[People with this opinion] fail to consider this. It would be right to say this is the dying person's own mind if he alone saw that which is seen at the moment of death by those who recite the Buddha-name and are born in Pure Land" the Pure Land, along with the congregation of saints coming to greet him, the heavenly music, unearthly perfume, the banners and towers and the rest of it. But everyone there at the time [of the death] sees it: they hear the heavenly music fading away toward the West, and the room fills with unearthly perfume which does not dissipate for several days. Sine the heavenly music does not proceed toward any other direction, but toward the west, and after the person is dead, the perfume remains, can it be said that there is no Pure Land? ...

Let me ask [the person who thinks Pure Land is mind-only], "when hell appears to you at the moment of death, is this not mind? "it is mind." Does the person fall into hell?" "yes, he falls into hell." [I would say] "Then it is obvious that since the person falls into hell, hell exists. Is it then only the Pure Land that does not exist? When the mind manifest hell, the person falls into a hell that really exists. When the mind manifests the Pure Land, isn't the person born in a Pure Land that really exist? [As the saying goes]:
Better you should speak of existence on the scale of the polar mountain, than speak of nonexistence to the extend of a mustard seed.

Don't do it!


Why Don't we read of people who were enlightened through reciting the Buddha-name
Someone asked, "In the books we see many who attained enlightenment from studying Zen. Why are those who attain enlightenment from reciting the Buddha name so rare that we never hear of them?"

Alas! There are indeed such people, but you have never read of them.
ow those people who study Zen and find the inner truth never make noise and promote themselves. Only after the devas and Nagas[dragons] push them forward do they become famous in their own time and thereafter.

Ts'ao-ch'i[Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch of Zen] had the mind-seal of [the fifth Patriarch] Huang-mei, but if he had not commented about the wind and the flag [telling two arguing monks, "it is not the wind that is moving, or the flag that is moving, but your minds that are moving"] he would have [remain unknown] as a netminder for a hunter, and that's all.

Ch'ing-su received the secret prediction [of enlightenment] from Tx'u-ming, but if he had not unexpectedly met him at a lichee tree [and exchanged words that let Tz'u-ming discern this attainments], he would have been an old man at ease in the Zen Community, and that's all. How would you have known of him?

The same is true for those who recite the Buddha-name with a genuine mind. Their will goes beyond this world as they seek the Pure Land with pure refinement, reciting the Buddha-name every moment as if saving themselves when their heads are on fire. Thus they awaken to the Amitabha of inherent nature and comprehend the Pure Land of mind-only. If they hide themselves away their whole lives and do not come forward, you would have no way to know of them.

Anyone who is in the top class born in the Pure Land is a person who has attained enlightenment. [If you want examples of enlightenment through Buddha-name recitation], you should read the biographies of those who have gone to the Pure Land.


Only one person in a million accumulates evil his whole life and then achieves correct mindfulness on the bring of death. Without the roots of goodness from past lives, on his deathbed he will be harried by pain and suffering and plunged into darkness and confusion: how would he be able to generate correct mindfulness? again among the good people, only one in a million regresses on the bring of death. If there is such a person, it must be that his lifelong Buddha-name recitation was done casually and in vain: it was not pure and earnest. "Pure" means that his mind was not chaotic and mixed [with other concerns as he recite the buddha-name]. "Earnest" means that there were no mental interruptions or breaks [to his recitation]. So [if his recitation was pure and earnest], how could any regression occur?


Amitabha _/|\_
Wherever you are, that is where the mind should be. Always be mindful, and be your own master. This is true freedom. - Grand Master Wei Chueh
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Nosta » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:23 pm

I believe on Amitabha, but i need to make such questions in order to increase my Faith. The kind of discussion we are having here and the wise teachings that members of the forum are posting are the stuff that helps people like me to get more Faith.

Thanks for the texts you posted here Bodhi, on your last message. They were very useful for me, and i am happy for reading them.

Unfortunatly i think that there almost anything to read about Pure Land on english. The ebooks i found are always the same ebooks on different websites lol (but they are great ebooks from great masters!).

In fact i am reading (and study) one of these ebooks: Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith. Very nice and probably one of the best ebooks about Pure Land.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Bodhi » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:24 am

Nosta wrote:I believe on Amitabha, but i need to make such questions in order to increase my Faith. The kind of discussion we are having here and the wise teachings that members of the forum are posting are the stuff that helps people like me to get more Faith.

Thanks for the texts you posted here Bodhi, on your last message. They were very useful for me, and i am happy for reading them.

Unfortunatly i think that there almost anything to read about Pure Land on english. The ebooks i found are always the same ebooks on different websites lol (but they are great ebooks from great masters!).

In fact i am reading (and study) one of these ebooks: Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith. Very nice and probably one of the best ebooks about Pure Land.


Nosta,

There is this website:
http://www.budaedu.org/en/book/II-02main.php3

they distribute free sutras if you request it, there are several on Pure Land School, see if you would like any :]

Peace in Chan
Wherever you are, that is where the mind should be. Always be mindful, and be your own master. This is true freedom. - Grand Master Wei Chueh
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Nosta » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:17 pm

Nice! Thanks!
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Jikan » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:14 pm

This is a bit to the side of the main question of successful rebirths, but it does speak to the broader issue of Pure Land practice and its effectiveness.

On Mt Hiei in Japan, there are a series of very intensive meditation practices that are available for students who are prepared to take them on. One of them is walking Amida practice: you practice nembutsu (repeating the name), visualization, and circumambulation for many days nonstop. No breaks for food or sleep. It's unbelievable but people do it. It's been said to me that this the practice is complete when someone looks into your eyes and sees Amida there looking back.
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Nosta » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:16 am

Wow!

Where can i found more information about that?

I just do a very small number of recitations! I feel bad, like if my practice is not enough, but i cant abandon my life and doing recitations all the time :-(
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Re: No Proofs of Sucessful Rebirths?&Are Pure Land sutras real?

Postby Bodhi » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:39 am

Nosta wrote:Wow!

Where can i found more information about that?

I just do a very small number of recitations! I feel bad, like if my practice is not enough, but i cant abandon my life and doing recitations all the time :-(


Many Pure Land retreats have very strict practices such as those. I think it would be best if you find a teacher or a Pure Land center to attend, You will find that even such intense practice is not necessary, but beneficial if you do. However that does not mean your practice is not enough, like many ancient Pure Land Masters had said, just recite Buddha Name with complete sincerity and concentration, that will lead to best result.

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Wherever you are, that is where the mind should be. Always be mindful, and be your own master. This is true freedom. - Grand Master Wei Chueh
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