B01 The Pristine Pure Land School
Due to a lack of ability and wisdom, I had made scant progress in understanding the profundities of the Dharma despite many years of effort. Though I practiced according to the Pure Land school, I was never confident about attaining rebirth in the Land of Bliss. My vexations and deluded thinking raged like storms, never stopping for a moment. When I tried to repress them by reciting Amitabha Buddha's name, they only became more intense. The result: I constantly felt anxious, without an anchor.
Later I had the good fortune to read the series of publications by the Shandao lineage of the Pure Land school. Suddenly, a refreshing coolness seemed to permeate my mind and heart. Ah, so for ten kalpas Amitabha Buddha has been calling out to homeless orphans like ourselves, fervently hoping we will quickly return home! Only then did I realize that for all the heavy negative karma we carry, we can still be reborn in the Land of Bliss – thanks entirely to the power of Amitabha Buddha's vows. So long as we single-mindedly recite his name, we will already have boarded the ship of Amitabha's Great Vows. It will convey us safely to our home in the Land of Bliss.
In the summer of 2009, our assembly invited Venerable Master Huijing to Shenyang to speak to us about the Pure Land school. He kindly and happily accepted. Listening to him speak, I was full of the joy of the Dharma and benefitted greatly. From start to finish, Master Huijing never dwelt on abstruse theoretical matters. His discourses were a completely natural manifestation of his authentic faith. He said, for example:
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings