If the mind is not pure, it is impossible to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. Even when those who have committed cardinal transgressions achieve rebirth through ten recitations, such rebirth is due to their reciting the Buddha’s name (NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU) with a pure mind, thus eliciting a response from Amitabha Buddha.
Ordinary people generally think that if the Pure Land is Mind-Only, then it does not exist. This is the understanding of demons and externalists. Such a deluded
view, which appears correct but is in reality wrong, affects more than half of all people and causes practitioners to forfeit true benefits.
It is precisely because of the Self-Nature Amitabha that the practitioner must recite the name of Buddha Amitabha of the West seeking rebirth in the Pure Land – so as to achieve the Self-Nature Amitabha through gradual cultivation.
If he merely grasps at the Buddha Amitabha of the West, he cannot achieve immediate escape from Birth and Death – not even if he is truly awakened, much less if (like
most people who ask this question) he is pretentious and just indulges in empty talk without engaging in practice.
Thus, the answer to your question [are the Mind-Only Pure Land and the Self-Nature Amitabha the same as or different from the Western Pure Land and Amitabha in the Pure Land?] is that they are one yet two before Buddhahood is
attained, two yet one after Buddhahood is attained.
It is necessary, as long as we are unenlightened beings, to approach Amida as if he were a Buddha outside ourselves. This language or perception of separateness is a upaya or skillful device, rather than the ultimate truth.
Before our enlightenment, Amida is a being external from ourselves. After our enlightenment, we realize the ultimate truth of Amida as our real nature. The ultimate truth is beyond the duality of Amida and ourselves.