Tea House

Daily Perspectives and Stories on Buddhist Trends, People, and Ideas

Category: Verses of Joy

Master Huijing’s Dharma Words about the Purpose of Life

If we step back and pause to reflect a little, we’ll realize just how many concerns dog us in our daily existence. As Buddhists we shouldn’t seek to ignore the conventional realities that can cause concern and vexation to arise in us. I’d be the first to confess that I have plenty of worries. But we should also put these worries into perspective. In our everyday lives, over the course of many years, we discern that some worries are trivial and deserve little thought while others, like marriage, family, and work are legitimately significant and can shape the direction and affect the wellbeing of our lives.

Let’s take the most significant of worldly worries, then, and contrast it with the great matter of birth and death. Even the biggest matters of our lives will fall into frivolity when compared to our concern about that which lies beyond. The true purpose of life is invoking Amitabha Buddha with faith, for when it comes to we who are unenlightened and lacking insight, the matter of transcending birth and death overrides all others.

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Good to See Our Own Misdeeds

Master Jingzong; English translation by Foyi, edited by Fojin

Some people get panicky when they become aware of their own wrongdoings. Others stay nonchalant, as though they don’t see any transgression.

As a matter of fact, those who can see their own misdeeds have reason to be quietly relieved. By contrast, those who are oblivious to their evil deeds should be scared.

Bad deeds are like dark shadows. If you cannot see your own evil deeds, that is either because you are the light itself, or you are entirely devoured by darkness or just blind. Unlike Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who are themselves light, ordinary beings who don’t perceive the shadows of their own wrongdoings can only be engulfed in complete darkness, unable to see anything. Isn’t that cause for panic? If we can detect dark shadows, it means we are in the light and have clear vision. Isn’t that reason to rejoice?

We should be pleased to able to see the shadows of transgression in our hearts. We should also know that for as long as we exist, while we are amid the light but before we have become light ourselves, we will always be followed by the shadows. If we want to escape the distressing stalking of the shadows, there is no need to run frantically in the light or get embroiled in a fight with them. We only need to turn around and face the light.

For this reason, Master Shandao explained to us the two kinds of deep faith: believing that we iniquitous ordinary beings are already immersed in the light and thus able to see the shadows of our own sins, and turning towards Amitabha Buddha. Thus Shandao urges us to “recite Amitabha Buddha’s name single-mindedly and exclusively,” like sunflowers facing the sun.

Master Huijing’s Dharma Words about Benefits in Amitabha-recitation

From Scientific American Blog

The Buddha’s Name contains Amitabha’s great compassion, great vow power, and great meritorious virtues. This Name is alive and active, as it has the Buddha’s eyes, ears, and conscience. So, when we recite his Name, Amitabha Buddha can hear it immediately and, in response, appears to protect us, to clear all our karmic obstructions, and to increase our merits and virtues.

Who’s Qualified to Teach the Children?

From Master Jingzong Facebook; English translation by Foying, edited by Jingnian

Are we qualified to educate a child, simply because we are adults? Are those who have teachers’ credentials competent enough to teach youngsters? Are more knowledgeable people capable of teaching kids?

Aren’t children more innocent, honest and joyful than we are? Are they not more capable of facing life with a smile?

So what is it we are supposed to impart to them? Knowledge is useful but is it more important than life itself? If there is know-how that degrades life instead of dignifying it, is it appropriate to instill it in our children’s minds?

My understanding of childhood education is that the young should be provided with good care and all the necessaries for living and developing fully. They must be safe and allowed to grow freely in accordance with their dispositions and characteristics.

While appropriately sharing knowledge, we should observe and appreciate our children who often become our teachers in life. By refining these truths with adult rationality, we can all grow in love together.

A Message from Amitabha Buddha to All Sentient Beings

From On Love
A Discourse by Dharma Master Huijing
Pure Land Buddhism Amitabha-Recitation Society, December 23 and 27, 2015

From phys.org

The Sutra of Infinite Life and Splendor says:

May sentient beings caught in the various realms of rebirth be reborn soon in my land, so they can enjoy peace and happiness. Exercising compassion constantly to save all beings, I will deliver them from Avici Hell. “May sentient beings caught in the various realms of rebirth be reborn soon in my land, so they can enjoy peace and happiness.” This is a message from Amitabha Buddha to all beings. He has been calling out to us for ten kalpas. The call has come from the Land of Bliss to this Saha world, passing through a hundred thousand koṭis of Buddha realms. Riding on the infinite compassion of Amitabha’s 18th Vow, the Buddhas of the ten directions have also been calling on beings of all the worlds to recite Namo Amitabha Buddha and return to the Land of Bliss, the home of their own true nature.

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Master Huijing’s Dharma Words about the Purpose of Life

The purpose of life, put in a simple way, is “to aspire to be reborn in Amitabha’s Pure Land.” This is also the purpose of studying Buddhism, or, generally speaking, looking for answers of each of these questions: From where does a human being come? To where does he go after death? Which direction should our life head towards and follow? The answer is simple: to be reborn in the Land of Bliss.

Namo Amitabha!

Is Pure Land Buddhism a “Mystic” Tradition?

The Cathedral of Ávila. From Buddhistdoor Global

A groundbreaking conference between Teresian sisters and priests and Buddhist scholars and monastics has just concluded at the University of Mysticism in Avila, Spain. During our time here among new friends and Carmelite masters, I had the chance to visit many churches in the Old City (the UNESCO-listed complex behind the grand walled fortifications) and those beyond the walls, each of which hold a piece of the life of Saint Teresa, Saint John of the Cross, or some other Christian figure associated with the Discalced Carmelite Order. Within each sublime structure we were reminded of the simultaneous grandeur and humility of the contemplative life, which demands a retreat from the lies and futility of the world and an inner turning that results in the elevation of the human being and a union with God.

So, we turn inwards single-mindedly. What of the single-minded determination to become a Buddha, which is the ultimate goal in Mahayana Buddhism? What of the path to achieving Buddhahood, the quickest and most effective of which is total reliance on Amitabha Buddha’s 18th Vow and one-minded invocation of his Name? Isn’t this Buddhist anthropology also one of the highest elevation, of an evolution through bodhi to Buddhahood that parallels the metamorfosis of the Carmelite mystic into something God-like, a true human of light and love unified with all of God?

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No Matter What

By Master Huijing; English translation by Jingtu

No matter what, Amitabha’s Fundamental Vow
Is like diamond, never changing.

No matter what, Amitabha thinks of me
Like a mother remembers her child, never abandoning it.

No matter what, Amitabha is with me
Every moment, never letting me go.

No matter what, sinful sentient beings
Need Amitabha and the deliverance of his Fundamental Vow.

No matter how contaminated and impure,
False and hypocritical are sentient beings,
Amitabha’s deliverance never changes.

No matter how sentient beings desire and detest,
Are deluded and vicious,
Amitabha’s deliverance never changes.

No matter how deep beings’ offenses and heavy their afflictions,
However intense their sufferings,
Amitabha’s deliverance never changes.

No matter how beings commit the Five Gravest Offenses,
Or slander the Dharma and lack self-cultivation,
Amitabha’s deliverance never changes.

Because the Fundamental Vow exists, our minds are at ease,
Hope arises and people turn virtuous.

Because no matter what, no matter what,
Amitabha Buddha’s deliverance is certain,
Amitabha Buddha’s deliverance is certain.

The Names of the Name

Ivan Latham

Homage to Amitabha,
Lord of Life and Lord of Light;
Before Whom all beings bow,
Whom all Buddhas adore and honour;

Amitabha, Breaker of  Chains,
Bestower of Merit,
Refuge of All Refuges
Liberator, Lord, and Friend.
Namo Amituofo!

Amitabha All Around Me

Massimo Claus

Amitabha is to me the air I breathe, the sounds I hear, the colors I see, the music of the sea, the chant of a child. I saw Amitabha among the flowers of a cherry-tree and in my stupidity feeding my fears.

Shandao is His hand approaching me, so I chant the Sacred Name in order to see and feel in a better way. One can see the colors of Pure Land by listening to the sounds hidden in the Name. They will show up just for a moment and you won’t be able to hold them.

Namo Amitabha!

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