Generally, [for] Pure Land cultivators, [that] most dreaded is [to have] mixed [practices].
[Note 1: For Pure Land practitioners, having proper Buddhist mixed practices as Supportive Practices (助行) is alright — only if there already is adequate focused practice of mindfulness of Āmítuófó’s name, as the Main Practice (正行) for reaching Pure Land.]
What [is] so-called mixed? That is [to] also recite sūtras, also uphold mantras, also hold assemblies, also [being] fond [of] speaking [on] some unimportant meditation, also wanting [to] discuss [on] some auspicious [and] inauspicious [matters], disasters [and] blessings, talking [of] seeing gods [and] seeing ghosts. [This] actually is [being] mixed.
[Note 2: Other than the first three practices listed, the rest are not even proper practices.]
Since mixed, thus [is the] mind not focused single-minded. [With the] mind not focused single-minded, thus [is] seeing [the] Buddha [for] rebirth difficult. How can [this does] not emptily waste [efforts for this] one lifetime’s [great] matter?
[Note 3: With many mixed practices, both proper and improper, while not having adequate wholehearted focus on mindfulness of Buddha, the right cause for connecting to the Buddha will be amiss, thus missing birth in Pure Land.]
You, if now, without exception not doing [the above], only closely upholding [the] one line [of] ‘Āmítuófó’, [with] hope [for] birth [in the Pure Land Of] Ultimate Bliss, [with the] days passing [by, will there be] skill accomplished, then [with Pure Land] not missed.
[Note 4: The direct solution for addressing the problem above, especially when time is already running out, is to immediately and sincerely focus only on mindfulness of Buddha.]
Juémíng Miàoxíng Bodhisattva
Definite Pointers [To The] West[ern Pure Land]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an