Pure Land is Zen, Zen is Pure Land

The Pure Land school teaches Buddha Recitation – the repetition of Amitabha Buddha’s name. However, it does not teach merely to recite by mouth, like a parrot mindlessly squawking out words. Buddha Recitation centered on the mind is real Buddha Recitation. 

This is because Mind is Buddha, Buddha is Mind. As the sutras state: “The Mind, Buddhas and Sentient Beings are undifferentiated and equal.” Outside of Mind, there is no Buddha, outside of Buddha, there is no Mind. Buddha is Mind, Mind is Buddha. 

If a practitioner recites the Buddha’s name in this manner, he will gradually arrive at the stage where there is neither Mind as subject nor Buddha as object. And there is neither a subject reciting nor an object of recitation. 

This is the stage before the arising of a single thought. This is the hua-t’ou and this is one’s own Original Face. If the practitioner can really understand the Dharma as transcending subject and object, what difference is there between Zen and Pure Land?…

In summary, Pure Land is Zen, Zen is Pure Land.


In the words of Shinran’s Kyogyoshinsho, “There is no Buddha apart from the mind.”