The True and Absolute “Three Acts of Goodness”
People often choose auspicious days to do important things, such as getting married, moving to a new house, ground-breaking, starting or completing construction, etc. They pay special attention to geographical location and feng shui, which is about the spatial arrangement and orientation that would affect their success or failure, misfortune, and blessing. But of all the points of feng shui, what is the first aspect of feng shui? The person. What is the first aspect of a person’s feng shui? The mind. What is the second aspect of the person’s feng shui? The mouth. What is the third aspect? The act. Generally speaking, the root of the “Three Acts of Goodness” is to keep good intentions, say good words, and do good deeds; the most important is the “mind''. Therefore, the principle of feng shui is contained in four words: “The mind creates everything.”
If you can keep good intentions, say good things, and do good deeds, all kinds of negative and unlucky things caused by feng shui or various other aspects will naturally be resolved.
However, these three acts of goodness are not absolute because our three poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion have not been eliminated, and thus we are still creating evil karma and still in the six realms of birth and death and will still fall into the three wretched realms. Therefore, the true and absolute three acts of goodness are “having faith in the Buddha, reciting his name, and performing Budhha’s work. That is, to believe in Amitabha’s deliverance, to recite his name, and to be his hands and feet. These acts are the best of the best.”
Why? Because not only do we liberate ourselves from the cycle of birth and death, but we also help others to do the same. We ourselves “have faith in, and acceptance of, Amituofo’s deliverance, persistently recite his name, and aspire to rebirth in his land” so that we can be reborn in that land to be Buddhas. At the same time, we help propagate the teachings of Amituofo to deliver sentient beings so that they also have faith in the deliverance of the Buddha, recite Namo Amituofo exclusively, and wish to be reborn in the Pure Land to become a Buddha. That is the so-called “having established faith ourselves, and we help plant faith in sentient beings.” In short, it is to believe in the Buddha, recite his name, act as Amitabha’s agent, and perform acts that build faith in them. These are the true and absolute “Three Acts of Goodness.” This is the purpose of Buddhist cultivation and the spirit of Mahayana Buddhism, to become a Buddha and save sentient beings. Such people are, “the best, the most superior, and the rarest among all humans,” according to Master Shandao.
(Translated and edited by the Pure Land School Translation Team)
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