The Pure Land Tradition

The goal of all Buddhist practice is to achieve Enlightenment and transcend the cycle of Birth and Death — that is, to attain Buddhahood. In the Mahayana tradition, the precondition for Buddhahood is the Bodi Mind, the aspiration to achieve Enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, oneself included.

Since sentient beings are of different spiritual capacities and inclinations, many levels of teaching and numerous methods were devised in order to reach everyone. Traditionally, the sutras speak of 84,000, i.e., an infinite number , depending on he circumstances, the times and the target audience. All these methods are expedients — different medicines for different individuals with different illnesses at different times — but all are intrinsically perfect and complete. Within each method, the success or failure of an individual’s cultivation depends on his depth of practice and understanding, that is, his mind.