Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:46 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Hello,

I would like to know different interpretations to Pure Lands in Zen Buddhism. For me, the literal interpretation of Pure Land is like a stumbling block to continue in Mahayana Buddhism. I don't know the different interpretations about the Pure Land, so, I'm open minded about them.

:namaste:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:07 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
Here is one for you: Seosan's Argument for Pure Land Practice

_________________
"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)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:21 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Posts: 5771
Some of this will depend on what is meant by "literal."

Either way, I think Thich Nhat Hanh's book on this subject is of interest in this context.

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Our-True- ... 1888375345

_________________
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Posts: 888
You could try reading a book explicitly on this topic from the Pure Land resources thread: Pure Land Zen, Zen Pure Land. Also, Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith is another particularly helpful book for clearing up misconceptions by those who have trouble taking the Pure Lands too literally.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Jikan wrote:
Some of this will depend on what is meant by "literal."

Either way, I think Thich Nhat Hanh's book on this subject is of interest in this context.

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Our-True- ... 1888375345


My problem with literal interpretation is that It's hard for me to explain, maybe "scientifically" the existence of a galaxy or planets with the description of Pure Land, because it is said that the Pure Land is another galaxy or buddhaland, interpreted as in the same physical existance. So, with this meaning, maybe in a long future, someone with a very good telescope can watch Amitabha in his galaxy, this is the hard aspect to accept. Also, what happen to Pure Land before Big Bang? It did not exists?

I know know this is zen section, I asked here, because I want to know how they accept this.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:15 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Posts: 5771
If it is a completely different world-system from ours, then it seems implausible to expect it to be visible from our world-system, no? :shrug:

I dunno. I think that *this* world is, literally, a pure land.

_________________
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:20 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Jikan wrote:
If it is a completely different world-system from ours, then it seems implausible to expect it to be visible from our world-system, no? :shrug:

I dunno. I think that *this* world is, literally, a pure land.


But world-system can be seen as another galaxy or similar, a buddhaland. Unless Saha World means this complete universe observable by science with its visible and invisible beings, but I think this is not the general accepted definition of Saha.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:32 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
In order to be able to accept buddha-lands, buddhas, deities and rebirth, one has to switch from objectivist-materialist to a subjectivist-phenomenologist view where appearances are experiential data. Then see how mental phenomena are definitive regarding all experience. Then it makes perfect sense that one can be born in the Pure Land just as one is born here because of karma.

_________________
"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)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Posts: 888
zamotcr wrote:
My problem with literal interpretation is that It's hard for me to explain, maybe "scientifically" the existence of a galaxy or planets with the description of Pure Land, because it is said that the Pure Land is another galaxy or buddhaland, interpreted as in the same physical existance. So, with this meaning, maybe in a long future, someone with a very good telescope can watch Amitabha in his galaxy, this is the hard aspect to accept. Also, what happen to Pure Land before Big Bang? It did not exists?

I know know this is zen section, I asked here, because I want to know how they accept this.


Sheng Yen's got a nice video answering this very question on youtube; I'll try to find it tonight when I have access to my home computer.
Here goes with my own pitiful attempt to help answer...
The Ch'an & Pure Land syncretism that occurred in China long ago was based around the concept of a "Mind-Only Pure Land".
In Ch'an they have a saying "a pure mind is a Pure Land".
In other words, our reality is a picture painted by our minds, we have no direct interaction with phenomena that is not shaped by mind.
When our minds are pure, our reality becomes pure.
Long story short, I don't think you're ever going to find the Pure Land with a telescope (and this is coming from a Pure Land practitioner).
Also, if we are to believe the Buddhist view point that our mindstreams have no beginning and no ending, then no, we would not have to worry about the Pure Land disappearing due to the big bang (in fact, this is explicitly described of the Pure Abodes in the Pali Suttas which are very similar to Mahayana Pure Lands).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Astus wrote:
In order to be able to accept buddha-lands, buddhas, deities and rebirth, one has to switch from objectivist-materialist to a subjectivist-phenomenologist view where appearances are experiential data. Then see how mental phenomena are definitive regarding all experience. Then it makes perfect sense that one can be born in the Pure Land just as one is born here because of karma.


Then, would it be correct to say that maybe science will never find a Pure Land, because the observer perception, senses or mind is not pure, or something like this? So if someone is on a spaceship would not see the Pure Land because of his perception?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:51 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
zamotcr wrote:
Then, would it be correct to say that maybe science will never find a Pure Land, because the observer perception, senses or mind is not pure, or something like this? So if someone is on a spaceship would not see the Pure Land because of his perception?


Correct. Not to mention that it's said Sukhavati is 10,000 buddha-lands away, i.e. farther than Captain Picard ever managed to go.

_________________
"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)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Astus wrote:
zamotcr wrote:
Then, would it be correct to say that maybe science will never find a Pure Land, because the observer perception, senses or mind is not pure, or something like this? So if someone is on a spaceship would not see the Pure Land because of his perception?


Correct. Not to mention that it's said Sukhavati is 10,000 buddha-lands away, i.e. farther than Captain Picard ever managed to go.


In Vimalakirti, when Buddha said that he was in Pure Land, but nobody was able to saw it, was because of this, a matter of perception, then? So, if somebody find the Pure Land, maybe he will only see a normal planet or galaxy, like us who only see this Saha World and not Shakyamuni Pure Land?

And yes, Pure Land would be outside the Galactic Barrier :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am
Posts: 1355
zamotcr wrote:
But world-system can be seen as another galaxy or similar, a buddhaland. Unless Saha World means this complete universe observable by science with its visible and invisible beings, but I think this is not the general accepted definition of Saha.
It could. There are multiverse theories. Another universe wouldn't have the same laws of physics as this one. So people being born from flowers would be reasonable.

_________________
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:43 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
Here is a Zen way of showing the Pure Land (teaching of Huineng from the Platform Sutra):

Quote:
“I will move the Western [Paradise] for you in an instant, so you will be able to see it right in front of you. Do you all want to see it or not?”
Those in the assembly all bowed their heads to the ground and said, “If we could see it here, how could we then want to be reborn there? We ask that in Your Reverence’s compassion you manifest the Western [Paradise] for us all to see!”
The master said, “[All of you in this] great assembly, [understand that] the very form-bodies of people in this world are the city walls [of the Pure Land]. Your eyes, ears, nose, and tongue are the gates [of the Pure Land]. Externally, you have five gates, and within is the gate of the sensory mind. The mind is the ground, and the nature is the king. The king resides on the mind-ground, and the nature exists just as a king exists. When the nature goes, the king is absent.When the nature is present, the body and mind continue. When the nature departs, the body disintegrates. ‘Buddha’ acts within the nature—don’t look for it outside your bodies! When one is deluded as to the self-nature, one is a sentient being, but when one realizes the self-nature, one is a buddha.
“Compassion is Avalokiteśvara, joy and equanimity are Mahāsthamaprāpta, the ability to purify is Śākyamuni, and universal directness is Amitābha. The self is Sumeru, desire is the ocean’s water, and the afflictions are the waves. The poisons are the evil dragons, the falsenesses are the ghosts and spirits, the enervating defilements are the fishes, lust and anger are the hells, and stupidity is the animals.


In the Pure Land school, however, the method is visualisation (teaching from the Visualisation Sutra):

Quote:
I, the Tathāgata, shall now teach you, Vaidehī, and all sentient beings of the future how to visualize the Western Land of Utmost Bliss. By the power of the Buddha all will be able to see the Pure Land as clearly as if one were looking at one’s own reflection in a bright mirror. Seeing the utmost beauty and bliss of that land, they will rejoice and immediately attain insight into the non-arising of all dharmas.


Also, by using only the recitation of the name of Amitabha one may have visions of the Pure Land as did Honen, founder of the Japanese Pure Land school.

_________________
"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)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Astus wrote:
Here is a Zen way of showing the Pure Land (teaching of Huineng from the Platform Sutra):

Quote:
“I will move the Western [Paradise] for you in an instant, so you will be able to see it right in front of you. Do you all want to see it or not?”
Those in the assembly all bowed their heads to the ground and said, “If we could see it here, how could we then want to be reborn there? We ask that in Your Reverence’s compassion you manifest the Western [Paradise] for us all to see!”
The master said, “[All of you in this] great assembly, [understand that] the very form-bodies of people in this world are the city walls [of the Pure Land]. Your eyes, ears, nose, and tongue are the gates [of the Pure Land]. Externally, you have five gates, and within is the gate of the sensory mind. The mind is the ground, and the nature is the king. The king resides on the mind-ground, and the nature exists just as a king exists. When the nature goes, the king is absent.When the nature is present, the body and mind continue. When the nature departs, the body disintegrates. ‘Buddha’ acts within the nature—don’t look for it outside your bodies! When one is deluded as to the self-nature, one is a sentient being, but when one realizes the self-nature, one is a buddha.
“Compassion is Avalokiteśvara, joy and equanimity are Mahāsthamaprāpta, the ability to purify is Śākyamuni, and universal directness is Amitābha. The self is Sumeru, desire is the ocean’s water, and the afflictions are the waves. The poisons are the evil dragons, the falsenesses are the ghosts and spirits, the enervating defilements are the fishes, lust and anger are the hells, and stupidity is the animals.




So, according to the point of view, Pure Land can be seen as own Buddha's Nature, and also as a place, visible to "pure sentient beings", right?

:namaste:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:00 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
zamotcr wrote:
So, according to the point of view, Pure Land can be seen as own Buddha's Nature, and also as a place, visible to "pure sentient beings", right?


It depends on what one wants to teach. Both are true, as it is explained by Seosan (see my first post here).

_________________
"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)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Posts: 168
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Astus wrote:
zamotcr wrote:
So, according to the point of view, Pure Land can be seen as own Buddha's Nature, and also as a place, visible to "pure sentient beings", right?


It depends on what one wants to teach. Both are true, as it is explained by Seosan (see my first post here).


Yeah, got it. Thanks Astus! Still wondering what happens to a Pure Land before the Big Bang or after a disolution of the universe, it still existing or dissolves too. I know, maybe I will never have answer for this lazy questions :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm
Posts: 963
zamotcr wrote:
Hello,

I would like to know different interpretations to Pure Lands in Zen Buddhism. For me, the literal interpretation of Pure Land is like a stumbling block to continue in Mahayana Buddhism. I don't know the different interpretations about the Pure Land, so, I'm open minded about them.

:namaste:


I always viewed pureland as being outside this realm of preception,kinda like an existance that belongs to an alternate reality,much like a universes existing in everysingle atom.
One story from the Buddhist sutras mentions a conversation between a preta(ghost) a man and the Buddha,
The ghosts says he cannot go in to the ganges cause he is seeing the river as a river of fire,the man says I do not see fire I see the dirty river of the ganges,then they as the Buddha what he sees and the Buddha tells them he sees the river of amtra(water of immoratality)
So it would seem different layers of existance exist interminglesed but seperated by thin veils.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:05 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Posts: 2445
Location: Washington DC
The problem is grasping on to what beyond the shore might be when we have not yet crossed the river yet, and also forget that Pure Land is a boat.

_________________
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:10 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Posts: 2445
Location: Washington DC
Only those who produce hell karmic actions will see hells. All dharma is created by the mind.

_________________
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group