Pure Land location

Pure Land location

Postby zamotcr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Can we locate Pure Land on a map or can’t we locate it geographically on the map, since it is too far from or beyond this world of ours, in this physical plane?
Or is outside this physical universe, like another plane, realm or dimension, a land that we cannot perceive or conceive through our conventional eyes or minds? Is this what beyond the Triple Realm, outside six realms and samsara means?

I know that for you all of these can sound like stupids questions, but I do really like Pure Land, but I can't get out of my head these questions :(
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:44 pm

Your questions are perfectly valid, no need to worry about that. The first problem is that Buddhism hasn't had the modern cosmology with what people understand the universe today. It is said that Sukhavati is 10,000 buddha-lands away to the West. It basically means: far away. One buddha-land covers a great trichiliocosm (trisāhasra-mahāsāhasra-lokadhātu), which is based on the single unit of a world system with mount Meru, the continents and the six realms. This does not convert to planets, solar systems or even galaxies. But if you want to, you may think that it's 10,000 galaxies away. Or you can also say that it's a separate dimension. And while we cannot reach another buddha-land by any known vehicle, in meditation it is possible.
"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: Pure Land location

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:51 pm

I've always thought of it as a spiritual not material realm.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:57 pm

Astus wrote:Your questions are perfectly valid, no need to worry about that. The first problem is that Buddhism hasn't had the modern cosmology with what people understand the universe today. It is said that Sukhavati is 10,000 buddha-lands away to the West. It basically means: far away. One buddha-land covers a great trichiliocosm (trisāhasra-mahāsāhasra-lokadhātu), which is based on the single unit of a world system with mount Meru, the continents and the six realms. This does not convert to planets, solar systems or even galaxies. But if you want to, you may think that it's 10,000 galaxies away. Or you can also say that it's a separate dimension. And while we cannot reach another buddha-land by any known vehicle, in meditation it is possible.

What's your opinion about it? Do you see it as 10,000 galaxies away or as something in a separate dimension?
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:36 pm

Nighthawk wrote:What's your opinion about it? Do you see it as 10,000 galaxies away or as something in a separate dimension?


If I want to use today's cosmology I say it's galaxies. Another dimension is also fine, although then the meaning of distance and direction is lost. However, direction on galactic level is also problematic. And that's why classic Buddhist cosmology doesn't translate well to modern terms.
"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: Pure Land location

Postby oldbob » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:36 pm

:namaste:

:good: :good: :good:

So ultimately, I think the pure land is located in your heart, and has always been there. :smile:

The Sutra references are useful for historical purposes, but looking in your heart through meditation is practical and doable, today.

Anyone who sincerely looks for it can find it. The meditation instructions are the map.

Best,

ob
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Nosta » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:35 pm

In my opinion, when Buddha says that Pure Land is thousands of Buddha Lands from here, means that Pure Land is a real place and is really far away from us. What He doesnt say is if "far away" belongs to our dimension or even another one. We must understand that Buddha wouldnt speak about dimensions to people that could not understand such scientific concepts.

But we must also see that probably Pure Land do not belong to our dimension or Universe. I bet that Pure Land is in a different dimension. In the other hand, Pure Land is also very near from us. Such dimension is dar away physically, but very near from you heart, as oldbob said.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby zamotcr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:10 am

For me it's dificult to accept it as located in this physical universe, you know, if that is the case, someday we could go on a spaceship, or maybe Captain Kirk could visit them with the Enterprise :tongue:
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:40 am

Astus wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:What's your opinion about it? Do you see it as 10,000 galaxies away or as something in a separate dimension?


If I want to use today's cosmology I say it's galaxies. Another dimension is also fine, although then the meaning of distance and direction is lost. However, direction on galactic level is also problematic. And that's why classic Buddhist cosmology doesn't translate well to modern terms.

Another problem is that there actually is no east, west, north, or south. Therefore we can only conclude that it is in a different dimension.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby lobster » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:46 am

Check my blog for trans-dimensional warp drive, not currently available . . .
http://tmxxine.tumblr.com/post/11439943286/alcubierre-warp-drive
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby zamotcr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:49 am

I hate all of my doubts :( Since I started with Pure Land, I don't have a time without a doubt.
Maybe I don't have self confidence, but I hate or dislike when I have to reinterpret a teaching to conform with "my mind" or the present scientific fact.
This kind of decision like if it is galaxy or dimension, white or black, etc make me loose faith :S
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Astus » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:19 am

If there is analysis to be applied to the Pure Land teaching, it has to follow the teachings of the Buddha to make sense. First of all, whatever realm is experienced by a sentient being is because of its karma, its mental habits. It is not that there is some independent external world that people just fall in or go to. The external is a result and reflection of internal factors. Buddha-lands are the results of each buddhas merit accumulated and vows made through their bodhisattva path over many kalpas. Being born in a land where there is a living buddha is also a matter of karma for beings, that is, their mental status. Different lands have their own conditions for beings to get there, and that's how going to the Western Land of Amita Buddha is relatively easy compared to many other buddha-lands.
"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: Pure Land location

Postby sinweiy » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:26 pm

Buddha spoked that Sukhavati is 10,000 buddha-lands away to the West is from the perspective of ordinary beings who grasp time, space and physical world/material substances. to an Enlightened one who has no grasping, there's no time, space, let alone 10,000 buddha-lands away to the West. In a split second, mahasattvas can come and go what ever they like by using their mind power. check out Amitabha's Vow on "space travelling". :smile:

#9.If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the supernatural power of travelling anywhere in one instant, even beyond a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.


without time/space, what's location about?
_/\_
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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Re: Pure Land location

Postby Matt J » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:37 pm

I have heard it said that the Pure Land appears to the Pure Mind.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby ram peswani » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:53 pm

Ours is a multi diamensional universe.
Imagine on a TV screen you see only one channel to which you are tuned. And when the channel is changed, same screen shows some other programme.
Same thing happens in space. Here around you and me there are some 31 universes living at different frequencies.
And each of these frequency space is three dimensioned.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby SGR_A » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:28 am

It is located in another universe one that is timeless. The entrance is the super massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Before rebirth into the pure land one will become aware of a new type of consciousness that is more than yourself and it would be part of ones oath to always work at helping others realize the same liberation. One will also sense and become aware of the great motherly consciousness of the galaxy as well as feeling the mind of every living being throughout the galaxy. One will give up everything they know, titles and so forth for what is unknown and then one enters the great black void and becomes reborn as light neither male nor female, just light which is also a means of communication far superior to any form of communication one has ever known before. Ones very consciousness is composed of this light. There are many realms in this megaverse western pure land being one. Others will come to greet you and guide you but initially there will be a period of pondering mindfulness within the light and its capabilities which will be new like an infant yet a new step in one’s evolution. For this universe is like an embryo where one is eventually born into this megaverse of light which is timeless, as well as infinite growth and evolution, everything is connected and this infinite light, infinite life, is greater than any joy one can imagine. There will be one being which will guide you into what first appears like a void of light that reminds one of a mirror where one sees all their past lives and problems as if they are insignificant specs that are nothing compared to the sense of belonging to a purpose. This great white being will lead you inside where it is like a universe within touching all points of time space and knowledge where one can receive teachings no words only pure consciousness to consciousness where everything is connected. There are four gates to this realm and to the south east one can become a part of the mind of Amitabha where all realms within this universe are able to converge and communicate. When one returns to this Universe and the world, you will remember this place as well as the birth process, no one will understand but one may later find a helper whose experiences may be different but will give one a sense of wonder as to how everything fits together when looked at in the hindsight of one’s life experience.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby steveb1 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:36 am

To me, Pure Land has no location in any meaningful physical sense. As with Buddhas and their Buddha Lands, the Pure Land is a transcendent, or transcendental, "realm". Calling it a place or a land in the first place is probably some kind of compassionate "expedient means" utilized by Buddhas to convey in samsaric terms, to samsaric beings, That Which cannot adequately be expressed in those terms.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby SGR_A » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:31 pm

I am just speaking from personal experience or I should say memory, and not having been brought up Buddhist and not hearing about pure land till 2006. I may just be referencing pure land from my preconceived memory in opposition to my LDS trip in the 60s, and that which I could not express has always been gold to me but meaningless to others. Words are funny things since you can come up with so many things to say, layered within strings of words yet there remains that hidden intention, cloaked in meaningless jargon. :broke:
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby gordtheseeker » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:52 pm

I imagine it is located in our unconscious. It becomes easier to find as you do the nembutsu and other meditation. I don't think it's a physical place.
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Re: Pure Land location

Postby zamotcr » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:56 pm

Well, I was thinking around this. Yeah, this doubt still bother me some times :shrug:

But, I found my error. Taking sutras literally is a wrong way to go. I read the sutras and the commentaries and you will find a lot of differences and contradictions. Some Masters will tell you that Pure Land is a far far away planet, others will tell you that is a symbol to Nirvana, other say both. And if you read the sutras, you get a different impression too.

Who is wrong? Nobody.

Also, the cosmology used back then was very different and is not fully compatible with our current vision of the universe.

So, at the end, if we want an harmonic practice and belief (Buddhism and science) we have to draw at the middle and follow our own logic.

In reality, Pure Land sutras only describe us that there is a land far away. But who said that these land is in our same human level of perception? Why it should be a planet? Supposing that it's too egocentric (human-centric lol), if we remember correctly there are other and far better dimensions that ours, like heavens, so why Pure Land has to be in our human realm but in a far apart planet? Makes no sense lol. Also, the infinite life span in Pure Land is not compatible with our current physical dimension or plane, in which all things has a beginning and a death, it's a law. Our physical dimension, everything including planets, stars, galaxies, everything dies. Everything, even the physical universe will collapse some day. So, placing Pure Land in a planet makes no sense (because then, Pure Land will collapse lol). Makes no sense, not for me, and in the sutra is not stated that these Land is in the same plane or dimension as our physical universe.

The only logical explanation is in the middle between metaphor and literacy: is in another plane where there is form, but not this dimension.

The whole cosmos is filled with worlds, galaxies, solar systems and full also of other dimensional worlds: vertical and horizontal.

Mahayana is not a static religion. So new interpretations are always valid :)
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