What do you think gingercatni?
I am going to play the devil's advocate here...with only your spiritual welfare in mind...
You have barely clocked in 'a little less than a year' with Theravada and now Pure Land is the latest interest?
The first posting was on Feb 12th and now its the Feb 28th, are all the links/resources given been read through thoroughly, well understood and comprehended to the point that you have no further questions and want to jump straight into practice?
If the answer was yes, then it would either really get me concerned or you are one of the rare gems in this present age who have the 'quickening' like Elder Sariputra who attained the first stage of Sainthood when he heard a short verse from the Elder Assaji or like the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng who heard a stanza from the Diamond Cutter Sutra and gained immediate Enlightenment.
Have you even made an effort to google/find out through the local directory where's the next best/nearest location of a centre/temple that you can get in touch with people of like minded practice?
Speaking barely, a Pure Lander's formal practice is centred on mindfulness of the Buddha and may include seeking rebirth in their Pure Land and in a broader sense, there are other Pure Lands of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas mentioned in various texts of the Mahayana. Of these, Amitabha Buddha and His Sukhavati seems to be the most popularly known and practiced and other popular choices are like that of the Medicine Buddha and His Eastern Lapis Lazuli Pure Land and the Future Buddha, Maitreya Bodhisattva and His Inner Court of Tusita Heaven.
Self reliance is also a core concept which the Mahayana shares with its Theravada cousin, although the context of it must be properly understood to avoid oversimplification and confusion. The Buddhas, including Amitabha Buddha, can merely show the way, we on the other hand, have our part to fulfill, that is to walk and realize the Path. There is nothing about 'dumping' it all on the Conquerors while we get to do slack time in the Pure Land Path as some are inclined to think, as you have put it well yourself '...please do not get me wrong or thing of me as lazy'.
Having said all of above, and having said in my initial post, there are 3 streams of Pure Land formal practice and they are within the Chinese Mahayana Tradition (which the Korean and Vietnamese Buddhist Traditions are following), the Japanese Pure Land Tradition and the Tibetan Vajrayana Tradition. Each of these have their own layouts of how practicing that mindfulness of Amitabha Buddha and rebirth in His Sukhavati can be attained. One difference is that the East Asian model of Pure Land does not share the Vajrayana model of seeking for a lifelong teacher(s) although having one or more may be beneficial alongside learned Dharma companions.
I can only share from has been learned and practiced in my own Tradition, the Chinese Mahayana, that too, it has myriad methodologies and formats.
Generally speaking, it is not really so vastly different from the Theravada lay practice: morality, concentration and wisdom through study, practice and realization or coined in Pure Land as faith, vows and practice. The lay person would be expected to have taken at the very least the Refuge and 5 Precepts/Ten Good Deeds and later aspire to take on higher practices/disciplines like the Bodhisattva Vows/Precepts and so on. In Mahayana practice, the highest motivation is the Bodhi Mind, for all sentient beings, which includes oneself. a. Daily Morning and Evening Practices
There are set liturgies (either using the common Chinese Mahayana liturgy or the specialised Pure Land liturgy) and in between those 2 formal periods, the rest of the day is spent in mindfulness of Amitabha Buddha practices.
Alternatively, one can choose a 'simpler method'.
For e.g one format is reciting 'The Amitabha Sutra' once, singing praises, reciting Pure Land verses of aspirations, doing bowing/prostrations, reciting the Refuge and ending with Transference of Merits in the morning and evening periods. Then, for the day long mindfulness practice, refer to the first link and other links given for details of how to's.
Another would be designating a formal Amitabha recitation using a set number of rosary/mala counts (108 times each) whilst either seated, standing, walking bowing, silent or verbal recitation in the morning and evening ending with Refuge and Transference of Merits chants.
Sample of how bowing, incense offering and other decorums are done in Chinese Mahayana in my Youtube page:http://www.youtube.com/user/plwk#g/c/607CC4F300ED3538
A sample of Contemplation verse while bowing: (One can also replace 'Sakyamuni' with 'Amitabha' or whichever Buddha/Bodhisattva that one bows to)
The worshipped and worshipper are empty and still in nature,b. Monthly and Annual Practices
The Response and the Way are intertwined inconceivably,
This Way Place of mine is like a wish fulfilling pearl,
Sakyamuni Buddha manifests in it,
I manifest before Sakyamuni Buddha,
Bowing down, I return my life in worship.
i. The Chinese Lunar Monthly Calendar Observances of Upavasatha (or Uposatha in Pali) where the New & Full Moon Days are observed (and also other days in between) or also known as the 'Ten Days of Observance' or 'Fasting Days' where the 8 Precepts, other contemplative/charitable practices and vegetarianism are observed: 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 23rd and last three days of the Chinese lunar month.
ii. Liturgical Annual Celebrations of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Dharma Protectors in Chinese Mahayana.
E.g The Solemnity of Amitabha Buddha Day is on the 17th Day of the 11th Lunar Month.c. Practices at the Altar/Temple/Centre
Standard offerings of vegetarian food/beverages, flowers, incense, candles, Sutra text and even robes & requisites (if offered to a temple).
There are no hard and fast rules, one can choose any desired image(s) of the Buddha, of course if you can get an image of Amitabha Buddha, it would be great. Some who can afford more, would pair up Amitabha Buddha with Avalokitesvara & Mahastamaprapta Bodhisattvas where together they make up the 'Three Sages of the Western Pure Land'.
i did read the links but as with all things connected to Buddhism I found them very speculative. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed Theravada, but in they end I have to know where I'm going with it, with neither a Theravada centre or pureland centre I'm on my own. I doubt my ability to reach nirvana on my own, which is why pureland or shin-shu as it were appealed to me.
I'm very willing to make the effort as I've done so far but blindly practicing sometimes gets me down, as I'm always alone with no guidance or inspiration as to stop samsara.