Category: philosophy

To cultivate the good, To abandon evil,  To pu…

To cultivate the good,
To abandon evil, 
To purify one’s heart, 
This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

It is deplorable that you have told people to …

It is deplorable that you have told people to abandon themselves to their hearts’ desires and to do anything they want. One must seek to cast off the evil of this world and to cease doing wretched deeds; this is what it means to reject the world and to live the Nembutsu.

Nirvana: The Ultimate Goal of Buddhism

Nirvana is described in many ways throughout the Buddhist sutras and commentaries, and one of the most common ways is through describing what nirvana is not. The Treatise on Abhidharma-skandha-padadescribes nirvana by saying it is “non-action, non-abiding, non-doing, without boundaries, without outflow, without arising, without expiring, without beginning, without defilements…” The Treatise on the Four Noble Truths describes nirvana by saying that it is “without destroying, without loss, without equal, without hindrance, without desire, without anything above it, without limit, without attachment…”

In terms of positive descriptions, the Treatise on Abhidharma-skandha-pada describes nirvana as “truth, the other shore, marvelous, tranquil, eternal, secure, supreme, the most wholesome, and unique.” TheTreatise on the Four Noble Truths describes nirvana positively as “liberation, transcendent, the one and only, complete, pure, supreme, truth, suchness…” These are affirming descriptions that give nirvana broader interpretations.

In addition to these descriptions, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra says that nirvana is Buddha nature. The Flower Adornment Sutra says that nirvana is the intrinsic nature of all phenomena. The Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra says that nirvana is “Prajna that is beyond common knowledge and knows everything.” The Surangama Sutra says that nirvana is “the truth in which activity and stillness cease.” TheVimalakirti Sutra says that nirvana is the “the ten grounds of Dharma method of non-duality.” The Lion’s Roar of Queen Srimala Sutra tells us that nirvana is the “storehouse of the Tathagata” and “the inherently pure mind.” Nirvana is intrinsic nature that does not arise or cease.” (Zen master Hsing Yun, The Core Teachings).
https://zennist.typepad.com/zenfiles/2017/05/different-ways-nirvana-is-used.html

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There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, U…

There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unconditioned. If that Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unconditioned were not, there could be no escape from that which is born, originated, created, conditioned. But because there is That which is Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unconditioned, an escape from that which is born, originated, created, conditioned can be proclaimed.

By oneself is evil done; by oneself is one de…

By oneself is evil done;
by oneself is one defiled.
By oneself is evil left undone;
by oneself is one made pure.
Purity and impurity depend on oneself;
no one can purify another.

The Pure Land is the Pure Mind

At the advanced level, i.e., for cultivators of high spiritual capacity, the Pure Land method, like other methods, reverts the ordinary, deluded mind to the Self-Nature (Buddha-nature).In the process, wisdom and Buddhahood are eventually attained.

This is exemplified by the following advice of the eminent Zen master Chu Hung (Jap. Shuko), one of the three “Dragon-Elephants” of 16th-17th century China:

Right now you simply must recite the buddha-name (Namu-Amida-Butsu) with purity and illumination.
Purity means reciting the buddha-name without any other thoughts. Illumination means reflecting back as you recite the buddha-name. Purity is sammata, “stopping.” Illumination is vipasyana, “observing.” Unify your
mindfulness of buddha through buddha-name recitation, and stopping and observing are both present.

(J.C. Cleary, Pure Land, Pure Mind.)

As stated in Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith (Section 18)

If we have the roots and the temperament of Mahayana followers, we should naturally understand that the goal of Buddha Recitation is to achieve Buddhahood…
Why is it that the goal of Buddha Recitation is to become a Buddha? It is because, as we begin reciting, the past, present and future have lost their distinction, marks exist but they have been left behind, form is emptiness, thought is the same as No-Thought, the realm of the Original Nature “apart from thought” of the Tathagata has been penetrated. This state is Buddhahood; what else could it be?

This high-level form of Pure Land is practiced by those of deep spiritual capacities: “when the mind is pure, the Buddha land is pure … to recite the Buddha’s name is to recite the Mind.” Thus, at the advanced level, Pure Land is
Zen, Zen is Pure Land.10

In its totality, Pure Land reflects the highest teaching of Buddhism as expressed in the Avatamsaka Sutra: mutual identity and interpenetration, the simplest method contains the ultimate and the ultimate is found in the simplest.11
https://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/yin_kuang.pdf

Day 2,149

There’s still no god.

Day 2,148

There’s still no god.

Nagarjuna: The First Patriarch of Pure Land Bu…

matthewsatori:

Nagarjuna is venerated by all sects and schools of Mahayana Buddhism for his ancient commentaries on the Buddha’s teachings, so such so that he’s often referred to as the Second Buddha.

Nagarjuna is perhaps most well-known for his distinction between relative truth and Ultimate Truth, which he likened to a finger pointing at the moon:

The highest truth (paramarthasatya) is beyond words or description, i.e. beyond the reach of conceptual understanding and yet it was presented by the Buddha Shakyamuni as his teaching so that our conceptual understanding could grasp it. It is in this sense that the teaching is regarded as an ‘expedient means’ (upaya), often likened to a finger pointing to the moon. What is crucial about this metaphor is that the finger and the moon are mutually reflexive. Without the finger, the moon would not be known. Without the moon, there would be no need for the finger pointing to it. 
http://www.nembutsu.info/tokusuny.htm

Nagarjuna was also the first patriarch of Pure Land Buddhism, the first commentator to endorse Pure Land practice as the easy path to Buddhahood: 

The bodhisattva Nagarjuna emphasizes this core teaching of Pure Land Buddhism, saying in Chapter on the Easy Path, “Amitabha’s Fundamental Vow is as follows: If anyone invokes me, recites my name (Namu-Amida-Butsu), and takes Refuge in me, he will instantly enter the state of assurance (of future Buddhahood), and subsequently attain the highest perfect enlightenment. For that reason, you should always be mindful of him.”
https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/the-lifeline-of-pure-land-buddhism

From the perspective of two-truths doctrine, the stories of Amida in the Pure Land scriptures and even the recitation of his name are a relative truth, a symbolic expression for enabling us to realize the Ultimate Truth of Dharma-body:

Buddha exists in many forms, but all share the same “body of reality,” the same Dharmakaya, which is formless, omnipresent, all-pervading, indescribable, infinite–the everywhere-equal essence of all things, the one reality within-and-beyond all appearances.

Dharmakaya Buddha is utterly abstract and in fact inconceivable, so buddha takes on particular forms to communicate with living beings by coming within their range of perception. For most people, this is the only way that buddha can become comprehensible and of practical use. The particular embodiments of buddha, known as Nirmanakaya, are supreme examples of compassionate skill-in-means (upaya).
http://amtb.co.uk/pure-land-buddhism/

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From the perspective of two-truths doctrine, the stories of Amida in the Pure Land scriptures and even the recitation of his name are a relative truth, a symbolic expression for enabling us to realize the Ultimate Truth of Dharma-body…

Day 2,147

There’s still no god.