Pure Land is known by many names according to the countries culture and beliefs but it is globally known by the name Amidism.
Early on, some of these buddhas and their pure lands were singled out as the objects of particular scriptural and liturgical distinction. They too were expected to assiduously follow that path, rigorously engaging in the requisite spiritual disciplines and austerities, all the while attending to the welfare of all sentient beings.
The requirement for an evenhanded historical view in Pure Land also necessitates avoiding the facile distinction between monastic and lay practice that associates members of the monastic community with the rigors of the bodhisattva path and lay adherents with an easier course.
Indeed, the very argument for easier practice came from members of the monastic community, while, conversely, we find laics in history emulating liturgical and meditative practices that had monastic origins. This meditative discipline most simply refers to the practice of calling to mind and concentrating on the qualities of a buddha, but in reality it embraces a wide range of contemplative objects and techniques.
Furthermore, the practitioner could engage in the process through a variety of postures including sitting, standing, walking, or lying down. Despite this seeming contrast, it must be kept in mind that the recitation of the name, whether voiced or silent, chanted or spoken, was originally but one method of several in the mindful recollection of the Buddha.
This recitation conventionally expressed as Namo Amituo Fo Japanese, Namu Amida Butsua formula that was drawn from Pure land buddhism and buddha Guan Wuliangshoujing, therefore came to eclipse all other practices within the sectarian Pure Land traditions.
Western scholarship until recently has focused largely upon these traditions and therefore has tended to overlook the ongoing importance of the meditative tradition in East Asia, as well as in Tibet. Since the centrality of the vocal invocation as a distinct practice within the sectarian traditions is treated in other entries, the discussion below will avoid the bifurcation of the two practices and assume that the invocatory practice constituted one method of several within the practice of mindful recollection.
In China the practice of recollecting the Buddha was present from the outset of Pure Land belief. The scholar-monk Huiyuan —whom the Chinese Buddhist tradition came to regard as the initiator of the Pure Land movement and therefore its first patriarch, founded a society of monks and elite gentry in c.
These performances often included preparation of the ritual site, personal purification, offerings of flowers and incense, invitation and invocation of the deities, physical obeisance, confession of sins, and application of merit.
Around this cultic focal point were arranged a series of cells for retreatants dedicated to extended periods of ritual and contemplative practice. The Tiantai school was not alone in promoting the practice of recollecting the Buddha as a Pure Land discipline. Members of the Huayan and Chan traditions also contributed to the understanding of the practice.
Common to all these traditions, however, was a hierarchical ranking of the various practices signified by the term nianfo. This identity constituted part of a comprehensive idealistic philosophical system embraced by some members of the Tiantai, Huayan, and Chan traditions.
These philosophers saw all reality as ultimately reducible to mind, and in some cases applied this idealistic approach to Pure Land. One of the most famous of such articulations of mind-only Pure Land was that produced by the Chan scholar Yanshou — Members of the Chan school sometimes adopted this view as the basis of a polemic that argued for the superiority of the goals and practices of Chan over the aspiration to rebirth and its attendant practices found within Pure Land.
Yet another type of Pure Land contemplation is found in a "sleep exercise" nyal bsgommade popular by the Sa skya Sakya order. Other practices The various meditative disciplines described above have occupied a significant but by no means exclusive position in the tradition of Pure Land practice.
Sometimes, general Buddhist merit-gaining activities, such as the strict observance of precepts, the chanting or copying of scriptures, the commissioning of carved images, and other forms of donative activity, have been imbued with Pure Land significance.
In Pure Land accounts, we find devotees taking the bodhisattva precepts and engaging in bodhisattva acts, such as the building of bridges and the digging of wells, the releasing of living creatures destined for slaughter, the conversion of people from taking of life, the eating of meat, the providing of hostels for travelers, and the burial of the dead.
Beyond these acts of self-immolation, religious suicide within Pure Land found expression in Kamakura Japan when devotees drowned themselves in expectation of rebirth.
This resulted in the creation of deathbed and funerary practices that aided the dying and the newly deceased in the attainment of Pure Land.
In Japan, this belief inspired the creation of artistic and ritual representations of this crucial event signifying the attainment of rebirth.
The narration of these auspicious signs became a central element in collections of Pure Land biographies that proliferated in China and Japan with the development of Pure Land belief. These compendia offer windows through time on Pure Land adherents from a wide range of religious and social positions.
The biographical collections include hagiographies of monks and laity, men and women, elite and poor. Besides their edificatory role, the collections were historically instrumental in creating a sense of Pure Land as a unified tradition, a perception that was reinforced by the Chinese Pure Land biographical collections of the Song period, which constructed a patriarchal lineage for the tradition.
Pure Land societies Although the meditative practices enumerated above could be understood as suited for solitary cultivation, it is equally important to emphasize the communal settings in which Pure Land came to flourish. Chinese Buddhists traditionally traced the origins of Pure Land in China back to the aforementioned Huiyuan, who in c.
This association, which was later named the White Lotus Society Bailian shebecame a paradigm in the formation of societies jieshe that proliferated particularly during the Song dynasty. Their membership was drawn not from the elite alone but from a wider societal spectrum, including women and people of the lower classes.
Lastly, some of these societies were founded and led by lay people rather than monks. This is notably the case of the White Lotus movement founded by Mao Ziyuan d. This period in which Pure Land associations multiplied in China also witnessed a proliferation of similar associations in Korea and Japan.
In Heian Japan, the scholar Yoshishige Yasutane d. In contrast to these associations with elite membership, groups with members from all social strata were enlisted by the itinerant holy men hijiri who spread Pure Land practice among the masses. Princeton University Press, The Pure Land Tradition: Gregory and Daniel A.
University of Hawaii Press, Following the Buddha's Footsteps Instilling Goodness School City of Ten Thousand Buddhas Talmage, CA INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM. As a child, Siddhartha the Buddha, was troubled by some of the same thoughts that children today have. Buddhism, religion and philosophy that developed from the teachings of the Buddha (Sanskrit: “Awakened One”), a teacher who lived in northern India between the mid-6th and mid-4th centuries bce (before the Common Era).
Spreading from India to Central and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan, Buddhism has played a central role in the spiritual, cultural, and social life of Asia, and.
Pure Land Buddhism is believed to be the early branch of Mahayana Buddhism and in Pure Land tradition, most of the Buddha teachings are mostly based on Amitabha Buddha or Amida Buddha.
Pure Land Buddhism (Chinese: Pure Land is a tradition of Buddhist teachings that are focused on the Buddha Amitābha. The three primary texts of the tradition, known as the "Three Pure Land Sutras", are the Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra (Infinite Life Sutra). Buddhism began in India 2, years ago and remains the dominant world religion in the East.
There are over million followers of Buddhism worldwide and over a million American Buddhists today. What is a Mantra. A mantra is a sequence of words or syllables that are chanted, usually repetitively, as part of Buddhist practice.
An example of a mantra is om mani padme hum, which is associated with Tibetan Buddhism.