Is My Pure Land ‘Karma’ Not Ready?

Question: Some only learn and practise the Pure Land teachings for a short while. Is this because their karma is not yet ready, and will they be more diligent when their karma ripen? 

Answer: The only skilfully productive way to look at this is that they either lack motivation in learning or lack instruction by a good teacher. Motivation should be increased by seeking instruction via a good teacher. Often, it is simply laziness at play. We should not excuse ourselves vaguely with karma, by thinking, ‘Well, my karma is not ready for this.’ Karma is what we actively create in the present too; not just what happens to us according to what done in the past. Challenges that obstruct Dharma learning and practice should be overcome, by reflecting, ‘I will create pure karma by diligent learning and practice!’

Life is short and unpredictable. Without learning and practising to reach Pure Land, one will be stuck in Samsara for indefinite time to suffer due to the repetitive problem of three lifetimes: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/08/are-you-recycling-yourself-every-three-lifetimes The article in the link, and the quote below from the ‘Immeasurable Life Sutra’ (无量寿经) on the importance and preciousness of the Pure Land teachings should also be shared with those who are becoming, or have become less diligent in their learning and practice. This will offer motivation to be more diligent.


[Sakyamuni] Buddha told Maitreya [Bodhisattva], ‘[If] those who attain hearing of that [Amitabha] Buddha’s name [“Amituofo”], with joyful enthusiasm, even if for one [mindful] thought, it should be known that these persons, will attain great benefits, which thus are complete with unsurpassable meritorious virtues [as they will progress to Buddhahood].  


Therefore, Maitreya! If there is a great fire, that fully fills the three-thousand great-thousand world, [one should and] must cross it, to hear this sutra’s Dharma, and with joyful faith and understanding, receive, uphold, read and recite it, to cultivate the practices as said.


Why is this so? There are many Bodhisattvas, who desire to hear this sutra, yet not able to attain it. If there are sentient beings, who hear this sutra, of the unsurpassable path [to Buddhahood], they will to the end never retrogress. Therefore, [all] should, with focused minds, faithfully receive it, upholding and reciting the said practices. I now for many sentient beings, speak this sutra’s Dharma, to enable seeing of Immeasurable Life Buddha [Amituofo], and all in his land. For that which should be done, all should seek [birth there], and not after I enter parinirvana, again give rise to doubts and confusions [on this].


In the world of the future, when the paths of the sutras [to enlightenment] are destroyed and ended, I, with loving-kindness, compassion and empathy, will specially retain this sutra, to dwell for one hundred years [longer]. If there are such beings, who encounter this sutra, they can, as they wish, according to their aspirations, all attain deliverance.


The Buddha told Maitreya, ‘Tathagatas’ arising in the world are difficult to meet and difficult to see; all Buddhas’ paths of sutras, are difficult to attain and difficult to hear; of Bodhisattvas’ supreme Dharma, all Paramitas, to attain hearing of them is also difficult; meeting good-knowing friends, to hear the Dharma, to be able to practise it, this is also a difficulty. If having heard this sutra, with joyful faith receiving and upholding it, this is the difficulty within difficulties, [with none] surpassing this difficulty. Therefore, my Dharma is thus accomplished, thus said, thus taught. [All] should faithfully accord with them, and according to the Dharma cultivate practices.’

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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