The Pure Land Within Ourselves

From the time of Sakyamuni Buddha it was said that Buddhahood cannot be created by practice. This was especially emphasized by the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-Neng. However, practice will help you to discover the innate Buddha nature.

Generally, people think of vexations as something inside that have to be destroyed. They think of the Buddha mind as something outside, beyond their reach, that has to be grasped. The constant effort to destroy vexations and grasp the Buddha mind is very burdensome.

Chinese Buddhists have an expression: “In life you don’t practice yet on your death bed you would seize the Buddha’s foot.“ In other words, at the last minute, such people are afraid they may drop down into the hells and thus implore the Buddha to take them up to the Pure Land. Their attitude shows that they consider the hells and the Pure Land to be external realms. In reality, all realms lie within ourselves. 

But it is precisely the greed of someone who wants the Buddha to save him that prevents him from being reborn in the Pure Land. This is because whatever you grasp is false. If you were to succeed in grabbing the Buddha’s foot and being transported to the Pure Land, it would turn out to be illusory. 

The true Pure Land is not located in any particular place and the true Buddha is formless. A Buddha with a form is just a single manifestation of Buddha, a transformation body. Thus you should not be greedy and seek enlightenment without, or be disgusted with vexations within. If you neither desire nor reject anything, you will feel at ease and joyful.