Amitabha Name-Recitation Illuminates the Vibrancy and Brilliance of One’s Heart
If a person believes in the terrifying nature of the six realms of existence and the law of causality, recognizes the infinite beauty and splendor of the Land of Ultimate Bliss, and truly understands the compassionate salvation offered by Amitabha Buddha, his life will undeniably differ from that of the average person.
Deep down, he will certainly find peace and tranquility. Even if he still experiences various worries and distractions, these would only skim the surface of his consciousness. The overarching theme of his life will have been transformed: from a backdrop of despair and darkness to one filled with diverse colors and light. While there may still be remnants of defilements here and there, the peace and joy at his core remain unaffected. The more he recites the name of Amitabha Buddha and immerses himself in the teachings of the Dharma, the more he can appreciate the vibrancy and brilliance of his Amitabha-reciting heart.
The Pure Land teachings are the easiest to integrate into our daily lives, for “life means faith, and faith means Amitabha-recitation.”
These are the words of Master Huijing. Even if our mundane world is terrible, there is no need to worry; our situation is just like the filthy and foul muddy water in which lotus flowers grow - without the muddy water, the flowers would lack their source of nourishment. Similarly, our commitment to reciting Amitabha's name sometimes requires the afflictions of greed and hatred; if life were smooth sailing, then our dedication to recitation and rebirth might not be so strong. Therefore, we Amitabha-reciters should bear gratitude for these sufferings.
In life, we should often contemplate the following thought:
'Stay true to your spiritual path acknowledging your own unique circumstances and conditions.’
This is because everyone carries different karmic seeds from past lives, resulting in distinct living environments, personal cultivation, and personalities in this life.
What is the benefit of following the teachings of the Pure Land school? It's that you can just live according to whatever aptitude or capability you have and simply adhere to the path of reciting Amitabha's name. The saying, "Come straight ahead, single-mindedly and with right mindfulness. I can protect you” is of profound significance to us. Any other school would require a complete transformation of our minds, which most of us cannot achieve. Hence, it is called the “difficult path.”
Recitation of Amitabha's name becomes a part of our daily life, and our daily life becomes integrated with recitation. In this process, although what we do has many inadequacies and faults, as far as rebirth is concerned, we need not feel burdened. Instead, we may feel ashamed.
Master Shandao said: “Frequently harbor a sense of shame and appreciate the Buddha’s kindness.” He never said: “Frequently harbor a sense of burden...”
If you know where you're going, the whole world will make way for you. That's because Amitabha Buddha is paving the way ahead of you. Just like a fire truck that doesn't stop for red lights, or an ambulance overtakes other vehicles, Amitabha leads us out of the burning house and rescues us who are on the brink of death. His name that we recite is like the siren of a fire engine or ambulance, clearing our path. No one can stop it.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Eddie Cao)
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