Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:19 am

gingercatni wrote:I always thought meditation wasn't a requirement in pureland but someone told me otherwise, so I do my best with it.


Not to go off-topic, but meditation isn't a requirement in Pure Land.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: your daily routine

Postby plwk » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:34 am

I always thought meditation wasn't a requirement in pureland but someone told me otherwise...

Just a thought...

Firstly, Pure Land practice is oft known as 'buddhanusmrti' or 'mindfulness of the Buddha', is that not a 'contemplative/meditative' practice?

Secondly, depends on what one means by 'meditation'? There are many types/forms, formal/informal, short/lengthy ones isn't it?
What some Pure Landers may not be practicing are those prescribed in Zen/Ch'an or Theravada for e.g where their aims and purposes may differ from Pure Land practice
but when their methods are practiced in conjunction with or as a combination, the Pure Land motivation is taken as the primary goal and everything else secondary...

Thirdly, the variances...
Some who practice a combined method of Ch'an and Pure Land do formal sitting sessions...
Some who practice mindfulness of the Buddha concentrate on contemplating/reciting His Name/Dharani either standing, walking, sitting, bowing prostrations and etc...
Some who practice visualization/contemplation of the Pure Land and the Three Sages of the West as taught in the Sutra...
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby sinweiy » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:26 pm

yea, Nianfo, Mindful of Amitabha is also a form of meditation.
as Noble Eightfold Path, #8. Right Meditation

Meditation means the gradual process of training the mind to focus on a single object and to remain fixed upon the object without wavering. The constant practice of meditation helps one to develop a clam and concentrated mind and help to prepare one for the attainment of Wisdom and Enlightenment ultimately.
http://web.singnet.com.sg/~alankhoo/Eight.htm#Right Mindfulness


Nianfo also involve samatha/concentration止 & vipassana/insight/visualisation 观, where one observe the mind.
_/\_
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: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:56 pm

The OP made it seem like she was doing a session of recitation, and a separate session of meditation not related to recitation. The recitation itself is "meditation".
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    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:50 pm

Meditation is an auxiliary practice, but is not a requirement at all.
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Re: your daily routine

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:20 am

Your chanting of Amitabha Buddha is actually another form of meditation called mantra meditation.

You can find more about mantra meditation and the Benefit of it through many literatures.
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I am not right nor wrong.
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I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:47 am

Depends what you mean by a requirement. Don't you think it would be difficult to progress without any meditation at all?
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:16 am

catmoon wrote:Depends what you mean by a requirement. Don't you think it would be difficult to progress without any meditation at all?


Progress what? Salvation is strictly given by Amitabha Buddha and by establishing a connection with him through Nembutsu practice.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:39 am

Ryoto wrote:
catmoon wrote:Depends what you mean by a requirement. Don't you think it would be difficult to progress without any meditation at all?


Progress what? Salvation is strictly given by Amitabha Buddha and by establishing a connection with him through Nembutsu practice.


Hmmm... salvation by grace and faith in a personal Saviour? Sounds familiar somehow. Ah well, I'm pursuing the Gelug path, so I spoze there are going to be significant differences.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby sinweiy » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:55 am

'buddhanusmrti' or 'mindfulness of the Buddha' (念仏 nembutsu)


yea, the chinese character nian 念, doesn't have to mean recite. on top of the word is 今 which mean NOW, and the character below is 心, which mean Mind/heart. in all it mean mindful now (of Amitabha). for that we fixed our mind on Amitabha, singlemindedly, faithfully.
_/\_
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Re: your daily routine

Postby Mr. G » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:10 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:Your chanting of Amitabha Buddha is actually another form of meditation called mantra meditation.

You can find more about mantra meditation and the Benefit of it through many literatures.


Nienfo/Nembutsu is not mantra recitation.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:33 pm

The Pure Land School has gone through certain development, I have been reading The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine: Ching-ying Hui-yuan's Commentary on the Visualization Sutra by Kenneth K. Tanaka, it teaches visualization practices. These visualizations have been taught by chinese masters Venerable Hsuan Hua and Yogi Chen, in modern times.

In Japan Pureland school developed into a different direction, there is an excellent book by Esben Andreasen, Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion and Culture, "Shin" is japanese for Pureland buddhism, the book describes Pureland buddhism of an ordinary japanese believer, its ceremonies, pilgrimages and practices like temple cleaning etc.. It is down to earth and illuminating.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby steveb1 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:28 pm

Meditation, if it means "practices", is not required in Jodo Shinshu. They may be performed, but with no idea that they will grant Enlightenment or confer salvation. Amida does all of that for us. No meditation or practice can confer Buddhahood. Amida does that. Therefore, meditation may be performed as a means of attaining mindfulness, clarity, detachment, etc., but not with any imagining that meditation will turn us toward salvation or Enlightenment.

As far as I know, Jodo Shinshu has perhaps three practices. Again, these are not performed to obtain salvation or Buddhahood. They are not "self-power" practices.

1. Reciting the nembutsu/Namu Amida Butsu, mentally or orally. This is strictly an expression of thanksgiving and has no salvational merit.
2. Deep listening, i.e., profound development of "hearing" the scriptures and Amida's words; contemplation of Amida's Vows and compassionate "Working".
3. Applying one's thankfulness to Amida by compassionate engagement with self and others.

Some Jodo Shinshu temples do incorporate meditation in their services, especially in the US, where "Buddhism" is seen as being meditative and is identified by its meditative practices. Therefore, some sanghas do offer meditation, but of course with the provisos that meditation as a means to Buddhahood is merely a self-power effort, and that in Shin meditation is done only for spiritual health, not to attain Buddhahood or salvation.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:44 am

I'd like to add meditation and good works are a requirement if you plan on achieving a higher birth in the Pure Land.

http://www.buddhistdoor.com/oldweb/bdoo ... each90.htm
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Adumbra » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:06 am

It depends on what you mean by Pureland.

In China Buddha name recitation was usually an auxilary practice accompanied by visualization and other types of meditation. This trend carried over into Japanese Buddhism until Honen broke with tradition and advocated Buddha recitation as the SOLE means of salvation, though he tolerated Pureland visualization as an auxilary practice. Finally, Honen's disciple Shinran dispensed even with Pureland visualization and exorted his followers to reply soley on the Buddha's name for salvation. Anything more than this betrayed a dangerous lack of faith in Amida (and a dangerous amount of faith in oneself).

Personally, I don't think it matters if you choose to meditate in addition to reciting the nembutsu. Even if you've given up on attaining nirvnana in this lifetime there are still plenty of good reasons to meditate anyways.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:12 am

Chinese Buddhist saint Shandao was actually the first one to advocate salvation through recitation of the name.
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Re: Meditation in Pure Land Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:40 am

In chinese Pureland buddhist books that have been printed In Taiwan in recent years they teach some 40 or 50 different ways of reciting the nientofo, this includes visualizations to accompany the nientofo, visualisations to dispel drowsiness and agitation while reciting.
You still have your own mind and your own volitions because you are a human being. How could you avoid selfhelp?
-without becoming mindless?
When traveling in your car you automatically visualize arriving at your destination, etc.. At work you may visualize being at home or you visualize being on a summer vacation. Visualization is part of everyday life, it should not be feared or seen abnormal.
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