Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra – Excerpt Twenty-Eight

Their minds are clean like snow mountains. Their patience is like the earth: with impartiality, it bears everything. Their purity is like water: it cleanses all dirt. “Their minds are clean like snow mountains.” “Snow mountains” refers to the Himalaya Mountains, which are blanketed with snow all year round. Sakyamuni Buddha was born in today’s Read More …

Letter 23 – This Mind is the Buddha

There area, in general, four methods of Pure Land practice: oral recitation (Holding the Name), contemplation of a Buddha image, Visualization (contemplation by thought) and True Mark Recitation. Among the four methods, oral recitation has the broadest appeal. It is not only easy to practice, it does not lead to “demonic events.” If you wish Read More …

Letter 22 – Cultivate, Do Not Verbalize!

The tenets of the Pure Land method are Faith, Vows and Practice. Only with true Faith and earnest Vows can Practice be assiduous and pure. The common disease of sentient beings is to be diligent and earnest when catastrophe strikes but lax and remiss in normal times. However, living in this current period is no Read More …

Letter 21 – Buddhism and the Tao

The Taoist Master “Ocean Corpse” recently conveyed your letter to me. From reading it, I learned that you have  been practicing Taoism assiduously for a long time and that your achievements are profound. That you are now inquiring into the Pure Land method, which is the foremost practice in Buddhism, demonstrates that in previous lifetimes, Read More …

Letter 20 – Do Not Mistake a Thief for Your Son

I am delighted to learn from your letter that you are deeply devoted to the Way. However, because of numerous commitments, including the need to review a commentary, my answer to you has been somewhat delayed. Greed, anger and delusions are afflictions common to everyone. However, if you are aware that they are diseases, their Read More …

Letter 19 – Mind-Only Pure Land

The main tenets of the Pure Land method are Faith, Vows and Practice. Like a three-legged incense burner, if it lacks one leg, it cannot stand. You have diligently practiced Buddha Recitation and have no more doubts about the first criterion of Faith. However, you seem to be attached to the idea that there is Read More …

Letter 18 – Buddha Recitation and Mantras

The Pure Land practitioner may recite mantras as well as the Buddha’s name. However, he should make a clear distinction between the main and the subsidiary practice—in which case the subsidiary practice naturally points to the main practice. If, on the other hand, he is careless and considers the two practices to be equal, even Read More …

Letter 17 – The Five Skandas are All Empty

In Shanghi recently there were many gatherings where revelations and prophecies were proclaimed. Their messages about abandoning evil ways and practicing wholesome deeds, as well as their pronouncements on Birth and Death, Cause and Effect, while superficial and limited, are very useful for everyday morality and the minds of ordinary persons. However the points they Read More …