[As the] fundamental nature of [our] minds, with [the] Buddhas’ [are] not two, thus [do] Buddhas enable people [to be] mindful [of] Buddha.
With [Amitābha] Buddha’s wisdom fire of majestically virtuous spiritual power, smelt [the] Buddha minds of ordinary beings mixed [with] afflictions, confusions [and negative] karma, [using mindfulness of his name: ‘Āmítuófó’].
Causing their afflictions, confusions [and negative] karma, [to] all [in the] four directions scatter [and] wither [away].
Only retaining [the] mind of purity, unmixed [and] true, then can [this be] called ‘[the] mind is the same as [the] Buddha, [the] Buddha is the same as [the] mind.’
Yet [to] reach this status saying [so, is] no more than [to] reveal that essential nature only.
若论相 （事相） 与用 （力用） ，则完全不是矣。
If [with] regard [to] form [i.e. phenomenon] and use [i.e. power and function], thus are [they] completely not [yet that of the essential nature].
[The] minds of Buddhas, [are] like gold outside of [gold] ore, [already fully smelted].
[The] minds of us, [are] like gold inside of [gold] ore, [not yet fully smelted].
Although having essential nature of gold, [yet] completely without [the] function[ality] of gold.
Therefore, [as] one’s mind is Buddha, [yet to be be smelted, we] must further earnestly [be] mindful [of Amitābha] Buddha[‘s name, to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss, where it is most swiftly completely smelted].
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Reply letter to layperson Zhōu-Chén Huìjìng)
Note: Just as gold ore occurs with pure gold mixed with impurities in nature, our minds are likewise naturally mingled with Buddha-nature and defilements. This makes sense as if our minds are by default totally defiled, there would be no need to better ourselves, as it would not even be possible. And if our minds are by default totally pure, there should be no suffering or evil at all.
As long as yet to be refined, our Buddha-nature’s pure potential remains dormant, and to the extent that it is refined, its spiritual potential is unleashed. Spiritual cultivation is to refine our minds, to work towards fully unleashing this potential, to become Buddhas. The easiest and most direct way is to be mindful of Buddha, to connect to a Buddha’s fully refined mind, here and in his Pure Land, for constant connection, with its complete benefits.
How Nianfo Aligns To Buddha-Nature To Awaken Wisdom
Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an