In the past the Buddha established expedients; one was called ‘rebirth in the Pure Land,’ another ‘seeing into one’s own Buddha-nature.’ How can these be two different things! Zen people who have not penetrated to this understanding look at a Pure Land practitioner and think that he is a stupid and evil common person who knows nothing about the Great Matter of seeing into one’s own Buddha-nature.
If enlightenment is the abolishment of craving, how can we attain it by craving it? If enlightenment is the realization of non-self, how do we attain it through self-effort alone?In reciting the name of Amida Buddha, we are safely and effortlessly reborn into the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana.
When the Buddha passed away into final Nirvana, he transcended the limitations of existence and non-existence. Shinran described rebirth into the Pure Land as the birth of non-birth, just as the Buddha described Nirvana as the unborn.
Any corporeal aspects [such as the marks of the Buddha] that are visible are magic-like products of Suchness [Ultimate Truth] manifested in accordance with the mentality of men in defilement. It is not, however, that these corporeal aspects which result from the suprarational functions of wisdom are of the nature of nonemptiness [i.e., substantial]; for wisdom has no aspects that can be perceived.
No matter the Southern (Theravada) or the Northern (Mahayana) Tradition, both share the common purpose of helping living beings bring forth the Bodhi-mind, to put an end to birth and death, and to leave suffering and attain bliss.