There is no Buddha apart from the mind…


The Buddha’s last words were to seek no external refuge. In reciting the Name, NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU, this is not a petitionary prayer to some external deity. It is instead the means to awakening the Buddha-nature within: 

Buddhist authors in late-medieval China and Vietnam frequently describe Pure Land Buddhism’s practice of reciting the Buddha’s name in terms of three levels:

Mundane, regular level: reciting the Buddha’s name to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land.
Middle-level: reciting the Buddha’s name to “bring out” the Buddha within the practitioner.
High-level: reciting the Buddha’s name with the understanding that there is no Buddha outside the mind.

The point is that the “ultimate” teaching of Pure Land Buddhism has nothing to do with an external refuge, but that the Pure Land is the mind itself.

Please compare the above passages to these words from Shinran Shonin:

67 The Commentary on the Treatise states:
To aspire to be born in the Pure Land of happiness is necessarily to awaken the mind aspiring for supreme enlightenment.

68 Further, it states:
This mind attains Buddhahood means that the mind becomes Buddha; this mind is itself Buddha means that there is no Buddha apart from the mind

69 The [Master of] Kuang-ming temple states:
This mind attains Buddhahood. This mind is itself Buddha. There is no Buddha apart from this mind.