Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Thirty-Two

Steadfast and unmoving are their vows. . . . They [bodhisattvas] seek the Way in a gentle and correct manner. . . . They are pure, firm, calm, and joyous.

“Steadfast and unmoving are their vows.” “Steadfast” refers to a calm mind. “Unmoving” means that they are set on one direction and one goal. Great Master Shandao said that if one seeks understanding, then one can learn any sutra. But if one wants to achieve attainment in cultivation, one can only succeed by delving deeply into one method. Therefore, cultivation is different from seeking understanding.

In today’s society, we should focus our energy on practice. This is the way to success. When the mind is focused on one method, one will realize the truth and be at peace.

“They seek the Way in a gentle and correct manner.” “The Way” signifies an impartial, upright mind. In the sutra title, the words “purity, impartiality, and enlightenment” convey the meaning of“gentle and correct.” “Gentle” signifies the Middle Way—not too fast and not too slow. “Correct” means according definitively with the Buddha’s teachings.

For example, we mindfully chant the Buddhaname and seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land. We have deep belief and we sincerely vow. This is “steadfast and unmoving are their vows.” In daily life, we learn and practice based on the principles and methods taught in the sutras. This is “correct.” Our learning and practice will not go wrong.

“They are pure, firm, calm, and joyous.” When we learn and practice according to the principles and the methods, we will naturally have a pure and calm mind, and be filled with Dharma bliss. We will have a happy and perfect life. These are the wondrous benefits that we will get now.