Q&A

How Is Mindfulness Of Buddha Practice Of The Six Perfections? 为何念佛即行六度?


Question: The Six Perfections are needed for perfecting spiritual practice, to become Buddhas. How can we practise the Six Perfections in Samsara now, via the practice of mindfulness of Amituofo’s name (Nianfo)? What about in Amituofo’s (Amitabha Buddha) Pure Land?

Answer: The answer is self-explanatory in below’s quote, followed by notes on it. Briefly, the proper sincere practice of Nianfo IS the practice of the Six Perfections, as we shall see…

[念念佛行六度]:

念念离行於施。
念念净行於戒。
念念寂行於忍。
念念续行於进。
念念一行於定。
念念佛行於智。

– 净土圣贤录
(袁宏道, 石头居士篇)

[Thought to thought of Buddha is practice of the Six Perfections]:

[1] Thought to thought with Renunciation is practice of Generosity.
[2] Thought to thought with Purity is practice of Morality (Precepts).
[3] Thought to thought with Stillness is practice of Patience.
[4] Thought to thought with Continuity is practice of Diligence.
[5] Thought to thought with Oneness is practice of Concentration.
[6] Thought to thought with Buddha is practice of Wisdom.

– Record Of Pure Land’s Noble Sages
(Section On Yuan Hongdao, Layman Stone)

Notes:

[1] As in the moment, there is letting go of all other thoughts and things.
[2] As in the moment, there is aligning with our pure Buddha-Nature.
[3] As in the moment, there is being unmovable by anything.
[4] As in the moment, there is sincere perseverance.
[5] As in the moment, there is wholehearted [single-minded] focus.
[6] As in the moment, there is awakening of wisdom with Amituofo’s blessings.

Further Notes:

There is no need to deliberately think of the above during Nianfo as the perfections are naturally within sincere practice. Although Nianfo in its simplest form of silent chanting is a mental practice, it thus encompasses all other practices in essence. For the old, sick, and those lacking time and resources for other tangible (physical) practices of the perfections, this is truly encouraging!

Nianfo is therefore the easiest yet still complete way to practise the Six Perfections. The more we practise Nianfo sincerely, due to further alignment with our Buddha-Nature, the more will we naturally practise the Six Perfections in everyday life beyond Nianfo sessions too. This tendency continues when Amituofo’s Pure Land is reached.

Due to its most excellent environment, companions and teachers, all in Pure Land will be automatically inspired to be mindful of the Triple Gem (including the Buddha) constantly. After training, when they leave Pure Land, be it temporarily or permanently, they will naturally be able to practise the Six Perfections to their fullest tangible extent, according to the perfect model ten great vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (as mentioned in the 22nd Vow of Amituofo)!

Related Articles:
Great Master Lianchi: How Buddha Mindfulness Completes The Six Perfections (1)
https://purelanders.com/2012/01/16/how-buddha-mindfulness-completes-the-six-perfections-1
Great Master Ouyi: How Buddha Mindfulness Completes The Six Perfections (2)
https://purelanders.com/2012/01/16/how-buddha-mindfulness-completes-the-six-perfections-2

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