Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Nine

May I attain the pure sound of a Buddha and may my Dharma voice spread everywhere limitlessly, propagating the teachings of precept observation, meditative concentration, and diligence. May I thoroughly understand the profound, wonderful Dharma. May my wisdom be as vast and as deep as the sea. May my mind be pure, void of dust […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Eight

The Thus Come One commiserates with the beings in the Three Realms with infinite great compassion. This is why he appears in the world: to expound Buddhist teachings and spread them everywhere, like light; to help all beings; and to bring true benefit to them. “Light” has the meaning of reaching places far and wide. […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Seven

Great compassion arose from these bodhisattvas. They empathized with all sentient beings. With a heart of compassion, they lectured on the teachings, taught by example, and also imparted the Dharma Eyes. They blocked all evil paths and opened the door of virtuousness. They regarded all beings as themselves. They rescued and helped living beings and […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Six

To all living beings they were friends, [who would help] without being asked. When teaching all beings, the bodhisattvas have this vow of compassion: on their own accord, they become good friends to all beings. When we emulate the bodhisattvas, we should learn to perceive the suitable way and the right time to teach a […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Five

Their minds constantly and truly dwell on the Way to enlighten all beings. The first of the Four Great Vows is “Sentient beings are innumerable; I vow to help them all.” Always having this thought is “the Way to enlighten all beings.” This excerpt is about generating the bodhi mind—a mind that constantly abides by […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Four

[They] . . . cleansed dirt and pollution, and revealed cleanliness. This excerpt is a metaphor. The purpose of our chanting the sutras and the Buddha-name is to cleanse the contamination in our character, thoughts, and views so as to “reveal cleanliness”—to restore a pure mind. The full title of the Infinite Life Sutra is […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Three

Constantly, they used the Dharma sound to awaken all the worlds. “Dharma” refers to methods and principles. The teaching in the previous two excerpts is for self-cultivation and self-benefit. The teaching in this excerpt is for benefiting others. When we benefit from our learning and practice, we should use the experience, through words and our […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Two

With the power of meditative concentration and wisdom, they subdued Mara’s enmities. “Mara” does not refer to demons but to various afflictions that torture and torment us. The sufferings in this world are so painful that they are even more terrifying than encountering demons. “Enmities” refers to enemy. The sutras talk about “ten evils the […]

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Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt One

All followed and cultivated the virtues of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, were replete with infinite vows and practices, andsteadfastly dwelt in the virtues and merits of all dharmas. This first excerpt points out the objective of the Pure Land school. A well-accomplished practitioner added “The Chapter of the Vows and Practices of amantab-hadra Bodhisattva” to the three Pure Land sutras and […]

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Letter 25 – Self-Power/Other-power

I see from your letter that you have developed faith and wish to take refuge in the Buddhas and their teachings. When taking refuge in the Triple Jewel, however, you should cease all evil actions, perform wholesome deeds, fulfill your moral obligations, develop Faith and Vows, and practice Buddha Recitation, seeking rebirth in the Pure […]

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