Welcome to the English-language website of the Pure Land school.Our aim is to introduce to international audiences the teachings and practices of Pure Land Buddhism according to the lineage of Master Shandao (善導大師, 613-681) of Tang Dynasty China.
Master Shandao, long revered in East Asia as an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha, is universally acknowledged as the de facto founder of the Pure Land school of Buddhism. Grounding his teachings in the three Pure Land sutras preached by Shakyamuni Buddha, he urged practitioners to aspire to rebirth in the Land of Bliss by reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha exclusively.
After the Charter, it is necessary to be familiar with the school’s founder, for the former is based on the teachings of the latter.
The founder occupies a preeminent position in the school, unmatched by others. The founder of the Pure Land school was Master Shandao of the Tang Dynasty, widely accepted as an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha. He synthesized and completed the Pure Land teachings and wrote the Five Works in Nine Fascicles, which definitively laid down the thought and practices of the Pure Land tradition.
English translation by Householder Jingtu
A “charter” outlines the principles characteristic of a Dharma school and sets forth guidelines for practice by its adherents.
The Pure Land Charter was drafted by Dharma Master Huijing. It serves as a manifesto for the Pure Land school, summarizing its evolution over more than a millennium, up to the present day. The Charter consists of 18 clauses defining the essential elements of the school and clearly lays out its framework.The Pure Land Charter was drafted by Dharma Master Huijing. It serves as a manifesto for the Pure Land school, summarizing its evolution over more than a millennium, up to the present day. The Charter consists of 18 clauses defining the essential elements of the school and clearly lays out its framework.
Dharma Master HuijingSo we reciters of the Pure Land school should first understand that though we are reverently invoking Amitabha Buddha in the present life, he has in fact been mindful of us for ten kalpas. Moreover, he comes before us to assume our heavy burdens. They boil down to one: our immeasurable karmic offenses, which we cannot repay, ensnaring us in the cycle of rebirth. Amitabha Buddha comes to take them from us. That is the Buddha's mind.
Dharma Master JingzongReciting Amitabha's name is wonderful precisely because it is useless. It cannot be eaten, worn or spent as money. Ah, name-recitation has no material worldly function -- how wonderful!From a worldly perspective, we can not claim that name-recitation is of any practical use. It is completely useless. Doesn't that illustrate that name recitation surpasses every worldly thing?
A Child Saw the Land of BlissIn the summer of 1994, Qiu Yongchang and his wife took their grandson Xinzhang for Amitabha-recitation at the home of their neighbor, Xu Qinggui. Xinzhang recited loudly and earnestly. His childish voice impressed everyone there. After a while, Xinzhang suddenly told his grandmother, who was sitting next to him, "Grandma, I saw Amitabha Buddha teaching inside a golden house." His grandmother replied, "A child should never lie."
Approaching BuddhismBuddhism’s source is distant and its flow is long, wide-ranging and profound. Buddhism entered China more than two-thousand years ago, and has already melded with Chinese culture. And yet, we are completely ignorant of Buddhism—to the degree that we have all kinds of misunderstandings and prejudices.Do you know how Buddhism looks upon the world and life? Do you know why there are so many Buddhist believers in the world? Do you want to understand your own life and future?
Kate's AmitabhaBy Kathryn Farrall
What does AMITUOFO "mean? Today people say "AMITUOFO" as a way of saying "Hello", "goodbye," "Thank you," and "Sorry." When we say "AMITUOFO", our hearts will become gentle. The belief is that we can only solve problems when our hearts are gentle and our minds are at peace. Then we can spread goodness to other by using our loving kindness and begin to bring peace to our world.How do you reach the Pure Land? There are three rules to get there. They are faith, aspiration and practice. Faith is a strong belief in AMITUOFO's power to lead us to the pure land. Aspiration is working hard to reach the pure land, through good deeds. Practice is chanting "Namo Amituofo" to bring peace and learning. The pure land is a place with no suffering. It is a kind of heavenly country. This is a place where people can be reborn and live in joy!Who is Amitabha? Amitabha is the principal Buddha of the Pure Land.more