After reading all comments, makes me to question this: After all, pure lands like Amitabha, Medicine Buddha, etc, are physical realms like our Earth? Or are Reward Lands created by the Reward Body of the Buddha, hence invisible to our human senses?
[仏国土] (Skt buddha-kshetra; Jpn bukkoku-do )
Mahayana Buddhism developed the concept of the three bodies of a Buddha: the Dharma body, the reward body, and the manifested body.
It was taught that each Buddha possessed one of these three bodies— hence the Buddha of the Dharma body, the Buddha of the reward body, and the Buddha of the manifested body—and that each Buddha had his own Buddha land. The Pure Land teachings regard the Land of Perfect Bliss as the land where Amida, the Buddha of the reward body, was reborn as a reward for his many kalpas of Buddhist practice. Because of the Buddhist view that the land or environment is an element of one's entire being, however, the term Buddha land also refers to the enlightened state or absolute happiness that Buddhas enjoy, and does not necessarily indicate a paradise or pure land removed from the real world.
http://web.archive.org/web/201106140655 ... /bwf32.htmQuestion I:
The Diamond Sutra states:
'All mundane (conditioned) dharmas are like dreams, illusions' shadows and bubbles.' Therefore, the Saha World being illusory, so is the Land of Ultimate Bliss.
Why not enter directly into the True Original Mind instead of seeking rebirth in an illusory world? Answer:
In truth, all the pure and impure lands in the ten directions are like dreams and illusions; however, only when we have attained the "Illusion-like Samadhi" can we see them as illusory and false. If we have not yet reached that stage, we still see them as real, we are still subject to their sway, we still know sorrow and happiness, we still feel uncomfortable during the summer heat and are even bothered by such small things as mosquito bites. Thus, how can we speak about things being illusory?
We should realize that the Pure Land method is a wonderful expedient of the Buddhas -- borrowing an illusory realm of happiness to help sentient beings escape from an illusory realm of great suffering, full of obstructing conditions and dangers. Then, in that happy, peaceful, illusory realm, cultivation progresses easily, and the ever-silent realm of the True Mind is swiftly attained.
To take an example, in this Saha World of ours, the scenes of stifling family life and noisy downtown business districts are illusory, and so are the scenes of temples and pagodas or mountain wildernesses. However, why is it that cultivators leave the noisy environment of the cities to seek the quiet, sparsely populated landscapes of temples and pagodas hidden in the mountains? Is it not because family life creates many binding ties and bustling urban intersections are not conducive to concentration, while temples, pagodas and mountain wildernesses facilitate cultivation? For this reason, the circumstances of ordinary people are different from those of the saints. For common mortals to put themselves in the place of the saints is far-fetched and unrealistic. We who are still common mortals should follow the path of ordinary people, and cultivate gradually. We should not look with the eyes of saints and comment too far above our level, to avoid the transgression of false speech.
There was once a Zen Master who thought that the Pure Land was illusory and that reciting the Buddha's name seeking rebirth there was useless.
Upon hearing this, Elder Master Ch'e Wu said immediately: This is a mistake. Bodhisattvas of the Seventh Stage and below are all cultivating in a dream. Even those Bodhisattvas who have reached the level of Equal Enlightenment are still fast asleep within the great dream of delusion. Only the Buddhas can be honored with the designation Great Enlightened, i.e., those who have completely awakened. When our own body is in a dream, happiness and suffering are to be expected; we still experience happiness and still know suffering. How can we consider ourselves awakened from a dream and our environment dreamlike?
This being the case, how can remaining in the suffering dream of the Saha World compare with returning to the blissful dream of the Pure Land?
Moreover, the Saha World dream goes from dream to dream, subject to the laws of karma, eternally revolving in the cycle of Birth and Death. The Pure Land dream on the other hand, is from dream to Enlightenment and gradual awakening to the ultimate stage of Buddhahood. Although the illusory dreams are the same, the conditions of the dreaming state in the two instances are really different. Thus, it is truly necessary to recite the Buddha's name seeking rebirth in the Pure Land!
These explanations have clearly demonstrated the need to seek rebirth in the Pure Land. However, the stanza from the Diamond Sutra quoted above is still an expedient explanation to help sentient beings abandon the common mortal's concept of attachment. Going one step further, as stated in the Great Prajna Paramita Sutra:
Buddha Sakyamuni explained to those of dull capacities that all dharmas are dreamlike, silent, and still, lest they develop view-attachment. To those of sharp capacities He spoke of the embellishments of the Buddhas, because they are like lotus blossoms, untouched by worldly dusts.
For this reason, Subhuti, who of all the Arhat disciples of Buddha Sakyamuni was foremost in the realization of the Truth of Emptiness (devoid of all names and marks), characteristically received a prediction that he would attain Buddhahood in the future under the title of "Name and Mark Buddha."
Thus, the sublime truth of no name or mark is inseparable from name and mark -- all illusory dharmas are the Buddhas' dharmas, true and unchanging.
Going still deeper, to the ultimate and perfect stage, as the Sixth Patriarch has said: 'Sentient beings are originally Buddhas, afflictions are Bodhi (Enlightenment), all delusions are the perfect and illuminating state, truly enlightened, of the womb of the Tathagatas.'