Pure Land and meditation.

Pure Land and meditation.

Postby LastLegend » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:33 am

I met a guy when I was in Vietnam. I asked him if he follows Pure Land. He said "yes." I asked him if he recites Amitabha. He said, "no." He said he practices meditation. I asked how can that be Pure Land? He said, he is ready to leave his body any time and take rebirth in Pure Land.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby plwk » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:04 am

If I can get around the story...my guesses...

a. What kind of 'meditation' does he do? Did he specify on that? I have met those who think that by the strength of one's own dhyana practice, total self power, that they can take rebirth in any pure land without making a necessary connection first with the host Buddha like the samsaric heavens.

b. There are many versions of 'Pure Land' going around, even amongst non Buddhists, did he specify which type of 'Pure Land' he meant?

c. I have heard and read of this practice, purportedly popular amongst the Vietnamese and some Chinese circles...
This from a Vietnamese Dharma Master Thich Thien Tam
http://www.ymba.org/books/buddhism-wisd ... response-2
For example, certain externalist deities urge vegetarianism and Buddha Recitation, but teach that the sacred words should be visualized as circulating throughout the body -- this, they say, is "turning the Dharma wheel," to release blockages in the energy system. This is the preaching of externalist demons

d. Even those who practice the 13 Visualizations/Contemplations or the exclusive contemplation of the Amitabha image would normally use this method to complement Buddha Recitation.
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby LastLegend » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:14 am

plwk wrote:
a. What kind of 'meditation' does he do? Did he specify on that? I have met those who think that by the strength of one's own dhyana practice, total self power, that they can take rebirth in any pure land without making a necessary connection first with the host Buddha like the samsaric heavens.



I believe he said focusing on his breathing.

Making a necessary connection (i.e., recitation) is the common teaching and that's what I have been taught also...but I am seeking a slight different understanding here. Suppose that someone who practices meditation without recitation of Amitabha, but he has secured his faith in Amitabha and always wishes to take rebirth there. What do you make of that?
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Nosta » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:31 am

Sometimes I do that. I am doing meditation, without recitation, but I am thinking of Amitabha, trying to feel aware of him.
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby plwk » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:33 am

Suppose that someone who practices meditation without recitation of Amitabha, but he has secured his faith in Amitabha and always wishes to take rebirth there. What do you make of that?
Securing the faith and wishing rebirth is already the part of making connection. Oral recitation is just the most dominant and popular form but not the only way. I have no problems understanding that such people who practice dhyana but as you said, having that practice combined with the faith in Amitabha & resolution for Sukhavati, they too can take birth there, that's what those who belong to the combination of Ch'an and Pure Land do. But of course, it's uncommon for those who adopt Ch'an & Pure Land not to include oral recitation. Those who are in Jodo Shinshu (with a unique definition of nembutsu and practice) as another example comes to mind.

There are people who are diligent in Buddha Recitation but have no wish for rebirth in Sukhavati. To such, the motivation for the nian fo practice was just for mundane blessings or as just another concentration method, like the breathing exercise during a sitting. Can you see the twist to it? But as said earlier, in situations where the factor of faith and resolution is missing, relying only on self power, that could prove to be a very sticky situation.

So, as one can see, it's not just confined to the above.
In many other Sutras outside of the standard Threefold texts, it mentions on devotion and practice with the other Two Sages or other Great Bodhisattvas, certain mantra practices which includes the benefit of rebirth in whichever pure land they wish which includes Sukhavati and so forth, the key thing is it must have the factor of what you said earlier, faith in Amitabha and reaching Sukhavati, then it's possible. These are what I call it the 'side/back door/window' methods, where nian fo/nembutsu is the main gate entrance. Not everyone has a direct line or affinity with Amitabha but thanks to these wonderful Sages or Dharma Doors which have connection with Him, they too are taken into the fold of Sukhavati's lotus grades. As one example, I know of one who is very devoted to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and asked me if he can take birth in the Sukhavati. I told him why not? Ksitigarbha practice has a clause benefit which speaks of the certainty of fulfilment of one's aspirations and another on higher rebirth in the heavens but instead of aspiring for a heavenly birth, he must be resolute in his faith, vows and practice commitment towards Amitabha and Sukhavati via the Ksitigarbha practice.

Again, another variant: in the link I appended earlier from that Vietnamese Master, there is a chapter on the alternative to exclusive practice, that is having Buddha recitation as the primary practice with a secondary practice: complementing nian fo with any other kind of Dharma based practice.
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby not1not2 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:50 am

Nosta wrote:Sometimes I do that. I am doing meditation, without recitation, but I am thinking of Amitabha, trying to feel aware of him.

That is essentially what I do as I find consciously formulating words to be too "effortful" and a bit mentally agitating. Earl
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Astus » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:44 am

The basic requirement is the faith and vow. What practice one uses to maintain that may vary. Honen made a distinction between different forms of nenbutsu and other practices. He propagated the recitation of the name because that's the easiest and simplest. That's not the same as negating or denying the validity of other ways. And outside of the teachings of Honen and his followers the Pure Land way encompasses virtually all forms of Buddhist techniques.
"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 and meditation.

Postby janpeterotto » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:06 pm

not1not2 wrote:
Nosta wrote:Sometimes I do that. I am doing meditation, without recitation, but I am thinking of Amitabha, trying to feel aware of him.

That is essentially what I do as I find consciously formulating words to be too "effortful" and a bit mentally agitating. Earl


Same here. Sometimes I let the Other Power sing or recitate Namo Amitabha in my heart and I am just listening. Especially now when I am retired and can enjoy all day I shift from my own audible recitation to that of hearing. Also I am walking sometimes, not sitting still. Doing it among family members always makes the ambiance happy in the room.
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:05 pm

LastLegend wrote:I met a guy when I was in Vietnam. I asked him if he follows Pure Land. He said "yes." I asked him if he recites Amitabha. He said, "no." He said he practices meditation. I asked how can that be Pure Land? He said, he is ready to leave his body any time and take rebirth in Pure Land.


http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/kgss-g.htm

This is Shinrans commentary/take on the issue
Essentially he seperated methods of meditive and non meditive into seperate catogories such as

Correct practice with axilory practice to back it up
And sundry practice (which still worked but was considered not as effective)

Look under 36 in the link.

With regard to the right and auxiliary acts, exclusive performance and mixed performance are distinguished. Within mixed performances, there are exclusive mind and mixed minds. Exclusive performance is further distinguished into two: recitation of the Buddha's Name only and five exclusive performances. With regard to these performances, exclusive mind and mixed minds are distinguished.
The five exclusive performances are: 1) exclusive worshiping, 2) exclusive chanting [of the Pure Land sutras],
3) exclusive contemplation [of Amida and the Pure Land],
4) exclusive recitation [of the Name] and
5) exclusive praising [of Amida].
These are called the five exclusive performances.
Although the same word 'exclusive performance' is used, it implies different meanings, i.e., meditative exclusive performance and non-meditative exclusive performance.

essentially meditation is considered the "proper practice" as long as it entails constant mindfullness of Buddha Amitabha.
If its not based on Amitabha then its considered sundry practice.
(note sundry practice is not a bad thing its just considered secondary,in that link(shinrans writings) he states those who do sundry practices can still go to Pure Land although the number is smaller(i guess they didnt aquire Shinjin)
I asume the rest with little faith who did sundry practices ended up going to the boarder lands.
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:59 pm

I just do both.

This hairsplitting about "superior methods" that happens in Buddhism sometimes, either meditation or visualization or tantrayana or paramitayana or buddhānusmṛti or yidam yoga or whatever is quite annoying, just do whatever fits. There are so many tools in the toolbox.

I usually meditate ten minutes per day.
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby LastLegend » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:35 am

Pure Land is good; stick with it, and so is asking Buddha and Bodhisattva for guidance. It works for me. But I can't recite Amitabha or sit in one place. Must confess. However, listening and reading Chan texts also work for me. I found out that reading and listening without thinking too much about it helps too. Take it for what it is. :twothumbsup:
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NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby thunderbumble » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:30 pm

Two Paths
http://newlotus.buddhistdoor.com/en/news/d/35608

A proper meditation for a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist
Is the cultivation of Metta kindness.
Naikan reflection can done anytime and works best with a smile.
It's the cultivation of understanding.
Understanding and kindness. Wisdom and Compassion.

http://origin.tvwiki.tv/wiki/Metta

Next time see how your mean" boss is really under pressure and is frustrated, lost and full of worry.
His or her heart beats just like yours.
In your mind thank them for taking the stress instead of you.
Be grateful for them. Send love to them.

This type of practice is transforming yet not self striving because it's not self serving but in service to others.
Be a finger pointing to the moon.
Go, go Little Bodhisattvas!!!
Namo Amitabha
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:21 am

Here is the Thervadan version of the Nembutsu,and also a description of how the Nembutsu fits into the catagory of meditation.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... plyso.html
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby thunderbumble » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:57 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Here is the Thervadan version of the Nembutsu,and also a description of how the Nembutsu fits into the catagory of meditation.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... plyso.html

This part fits a bit: "When the mind converges right here it becomes spacious, cool and easeful, it is established in Dhamma practice. Sitting there is meditation in the sitting posture, standing there is meditation in the standing posture, walking there is meditation while walking and lying down there is meditation until one falls asleep. As soon as we wake we continue the inner recitation of "Buddho," making "Buddho" our constant concern".

I find, "I love you", mentally to be more direct.
However, the next part:
"When you have spare time, rush to meditate. Hurry, it's urgent. If you don't wish to do it urgently you won't do it at all. You will believe the thought-demon or believe people not interested in meditation, and they will discourage you. The Buddha said "turitturitam singhasingham" — Rush, hurry, it's urgent! Meditate on every inhalation and exhalation. Determine to practice right at this moment. If we don't, then the demons of thought and defilement will lead us away into old age and death. Even on the day of death we still won't have the time. The people who have no time to practice are the people who believe in the thought-demon".
..I strongly believe this "rush, hurry" attitude grasping for every moment to achieve "enlightenment", is in it self the "thought demon".
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:15 am

Yea I wasnt to big on the " rush,rush" thing either,it seems kinda forced.I like the idea of practicing cause I want to,i like it and it benifits me,the whole do it or you might be sorry doesnt intice me.

I like the idea that Nembutsu also fits in the meditation catagory because of mindfulness and concentration.(part of 8fold path).

Also the Nembutsu is rewarding to you even though you are not actually seeking a reward or attainment.

I think you will like this and find it in line with Shinshu thought.

IV. The Recitation Samadhi The Nembutsu taught by Honen is the vocal practice of Nembutsu. However, according to the Daigo Version of the Biography of Honen Shonin, it is known that Honen himself attained the state of samadhi through the recitation of Nembutsu. In the section, A Record of the Awakening of Samadhi (Sanmai Hottokuki), it states:13 メDuring his lifetime, Honen Shonin attained the Recitation Samadhi, always visualized both Amida Buddha and the majestic adornments of His Pure Land, and left a record of this attainment. Seishibo has transmitted this fact." Honen, who espoused the recitation of Nembutsu in the absence of meditation, had attained the Recitation Samadhi. To have attained the Recitation Samadhi means that Honen did not personally and aggressively pursue this goal, but that the continual recitation of Nembutsu resulted in the natural realization of samadhi without conscious intent. Through the attainment of the Recitation Samadhi, Honen saw both Amida Buddha and the adornments of the Pure Land, as taught in the section of the Meditation Sutra describing the thirteen types of meditation with the Focused Mind. The Sutra describes the visualization of Amida Buddha and the adornments of the Pure Land. It is crucial that Honen was able to attain visualization of these objects, deepening the meaning of Nembutsu recitation in the absence of meditation M
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby thunderbumble » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:35 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Yea I wasnt to big on the " rush,rush" thing either,it seems kinda forced.I like the idea of practicing cause I want to,i like it and it benifits me,the whole do it or you might be sorry doesnt intice me.

I like the idea that Nembutsu also fits in the meditation catagory because of mindfulness and concentration.(part of 8fold path).

Also the Nembutsu is rewarding to you even though you are not actually seeking a reward or attainment.

I think you will like this and find it in line with Shinshu thought.

IV. The Recitation Samadhi The Nembutsu taught by Honen is the vocal practice of Nembutsu. However, according to the Daigo Version of the Biography of Honen Shonin, it is known that Honen himself attained the state of samadhi through the recitation of Nembutsu. In the section, A Record of the Awakening of Samadhi (Sanmai Hottokuki), it states:13 メDuring his lifetime, Honen Shonin attained the Recitation Samadhi, always visualized both Amida Buddha and the majestic adornments of His Pure Land, and left a record of this attainment. Seishibo has transmitted this fact." Honen, who espoused the recitation of Nembutsu in the absence of meditation, had attained the Recitation Samadhi. To have attained the Recitation Samadhi means that Honen did not personally and aggressively pursue this goal, but that the continual recitation of Nembutsu resulted in the natural realization of samadhi without conscious intent. Through the attainment of the Recitation Samadhi, Honen saw both Amida Buddha and the adornments of the Pure Land, as taught in the section of the Meditation Sutra describing the thirteen types of meditation with the Focused Mind. The Sutra describes the visualization of Amida Buddha and the adornments of the Pure Land. It is crucial that Honen was able to attain visualization of these objects, deepening the meaning of Nembutsu recitation in the absence of meditation M

I like Honen. It's said he'd say the Nembutsu up to seven thousand times a day. It's like doing the 100 Thousand Prostrations.
I often say Nembutsu softly or when I drive; When I have to let go of going to the gym because I have to work another 13 hour day. (...rush to meditate! Oh no! Next life :twothumbsup: )
I like Shinran more. Sometimes it's like the Nembutsu is me. I completely "open" to people. I'm myself wholly with them; moments of connectedness and Joy.
I don't know if it's ShinJin but it's got Amitabha all through it.
NAMU_/l\_AMIDA BUTSU
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:50 am

You might like this Nembutsu chant style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEdL64enlZY

(dont belong to know or support their Sangha,just love their chanting style)
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby thunderbumble » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:05 am

Son of Buddha wrote:You might like this Nembutsu chant style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEdL64enlZY

(dont belong to know or support their Sangha,just love their chanting style)

_/l Amida High Five
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:21 am

Do you know any Shinshu groups that do exclusive contemplation of Amida practices?
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Re: Pure Land and meditation.

Postby thunderbumble » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:33 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Do you know any Shinshu groups that do exclusive contemplation of Amida practices?

I'm sorry. I don't. The Jodo Shinshu Temple where I go
Is traditional American style. However we do have a 9 AM Zen Nembutsu service before the main service.
We chant Juseige and sit.
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
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