From A Bad Dream Reaching A Good Dream, Then Awakening From All Dreams 从恶梦至好梦而醒诸梦 Guidance To Xiè Zàizhī 示谢在之

Guidance [To] Xiè Zàizhī


Our presently manifested one thought’s mind-nature, [in the] past [is] beginningless, [in the] future [is] without end, [and in the] present [is] without limit. Seeking it completely, [it] cannot [be] attained, yet [we] cannot [be] said [to be] without [it. With] responses [and] functions [having a] thousand changes [and] ten thousand transformations, yet [they] cannot [be] said [to be] existing [permanently and substantially].


[The] three periods’ all Buddhas, [and] all sentient beings, [are] from non-duality’s essence. [The] ten directions’ empty space, [with its] dust [motes of] lands [with] differences, [are] all [from] our minds, that appear [with] those forms [and] divisions only.


Therefore, [the] four kinds [of] Pure Lands, [are] all not outside [our] minds, thus named [as] mind-only. Speaking [of the Land Of] Ultimate Bliss, not then [being] mind-only, thus [in the] western direction, how can [it] be outside [our] minds? And [of] our minds, how can [they be] constrained [in the] eastern direction [here]?

[Note 1: The Pure Land(s) and everything else tangible (i.e. physical), seemingly outside our minds, are thus truly connected to our minds inside, just as our minds inside are truly connected to the Pure Land(s) and everything else tangible, seemingly outside our minds. However, Āmítuófó’s physical Pure Land can only be reached via connection to his blessings in our minds, with the most skilful means for doing so being utmost sincere mindfulness of his name.]

[Note 2: For a brief introduction to Āmítuófó’s Pure Land’s four kinds of lands, see]


People call all conditioned dharmas, [to] all [be] like dreams [and] illusions, not knowing [that] mind’s nature, cannot [be] called as [the] conditioned, [and] cannot [be] called as [the] unconditioned, because [of] confusion thus, then [with the] unconditioned becoming [the] conditioned. Having [the] three realms’ rebirths [with] causes [and] effects, for example, like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows, dew [and] lightning.


If replacing confusion, [to] return [to] awakening, thus also then, [with the] conditioned becoming [the] unconditioned, like [from a] dream attaining awakening, like the] illusory returning [to the] original, [like a] bubble returning [to] water, [like a] shadow returning [to the] material, [like] dew not different [from] moisture’s nature, [and like] lightning not different [from] constant light.


Now [with] mindfulness [of] Buddha seeking birth [in his] Pure Land, [this] is precisely [to] replace confusion, [to] return [to] awakening, [that is] utmost complete [and] utmost sudden. [With this] totally as [a] dream [and] illusion, sweeping it [away], how [can this be done]?


Now, people, of [their] dream[-like and] illusory wives’ [and] children’s family conditions, [they are] not able [to] immediately cut [and] give [them] up, [of their] dream[-like and] illusory reputation, wealth [and] honour, [are] not able [to] immediately far depart [from them, of their] dream[-like and] illusory suffering [and] happiness, winter [and] summer, [are] not able [to] immediately see through [them], and even [with] dream[-like and] illusory poetry [and] literature, [opportune] cutting [words and] transformational expressions, [are] not able [to] immediately cast [them] aside.


Only comparing [the] dream]-like and] illusory [with the] Western [Pure Land], then not seeking birth [there, this] likewise [is] great confusion.


[On] that relying [on the] relative then discussing, [in this] Sahā [World] making [a] living, [is to] add [on to a] dream, [which is impermanent and unsubstantial, thus restless and with suffering. As to] seek birth [in the] Pure Land, [is to] awake [from this] dream, [we] must NOT not seek birth [there, to realise peace and bliss that is permanent and substantial].


Relying [on the] absolute then discussing, [with our] confusions [and evil] karma [having] incurred [these] three realms [of desire, form and formlessness, this] is [like a] bad dream [i.e. nightmare. As] mindfulness [of Amitābha] Buddha[‘s name: ‘Āmítuófó’ (阿弥陀佛), to be] born in [his] Pure Land, is [like a] good ‘dream’, [which leads to full awakening, we] likewise must NOT not seek birth [there].


Those confused also say, ‘[As] immediately [here] is the same as [the] Pure Land, why must [there be birth in the] West[ern Pure Land]?’


Asking [in reply, ‘As] immediately [here] is the same as [being] full [and] warm, why must [there be] eating [of] rice [and] wearing [of] clothes? [As] immediately [here] is the same as [having] wealth [and] honour, why must [there be] trading [of] goods [and taking of] imperial examinations? [As] immediately [here] is the same as [having] knowledge, why must [there be] studying [of] books? [As] immediately [here] is [the] imperial capital, why must [there be the] north above? Since [of] worldly Dharma, [even a] little [of it] cannot [be] abandoned, why only, of [this] world-transcending Dharma, then abandon it?’


If [to] deeply contemplate these principles, [of our Aspiration for] Pure Land’s birth, [even] ten thousand bulls [will] not [be able to] pull [us] away [from it].


Great Patriarch Master Tiānrú said, ‘[If] after awakening, not aspiring [to be] reborn [in the Western Pure Land, I] dare [to] guarantee [that these] brothers [have] yet [to be] awakened.’ Śākya[muni Buddha thus] repeatedly [gave] rise [to the Pure Land teachings], not changing thus said.


Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
(Spirit Peak Tradition’s Treatise)

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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