Do Not Become Those With Neither Chán Nor Pure Land Practice 勿成无禅无净者

[Do] Not Become Those [With] Neither Chán Nor Pure Land


Now desiring [to] take refuge, and receive [the] Five Precepts, [there] must [be] clear recognising [of the] Pure Land Dharma Door’s objective, [so that] hopefully, [there] can [be, in this] present life, liberation [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, transcending [the] ordinary [to] enter [the] noble. [It] must [be] known [that the] Pure Land Dharma Door [is to], with Faith [and] Aspiration, [be] mindful [of the] Buddha, [for] seeking birth [in his] Western [Pure Land], as [its] objective.


[The] world’s people often regard this as ordinary [and] unremarkable, thereupon with [the] Chán Door’s method of contemplative investigation as excellent, then emphasizing [on] awakening, not emphasizing on [cultivating] Faith [and] Aspiration [to] seek birth [in Pure Land]. [Note: Chán can also more broadly refer to all Self-powered meditative practices.]


Calling this [with the] glorified name [of ‘with] Chán [and] Pure [Land] both cultivating’, [upon] examining them truthfully, [they] are thus completely ‘without Chán [and] without Pure Land’. Why [is it] with this said? [With] no reaching [of] great penetration [with] great awakening, [this is] not named [as] ‘having Chán’. Now, of those [with] Chán contemplation, who are [those who have] truly reached [the] position [of having] great penetration [with] great awakening?


Due [to] emphasizing on [Chán] contemplation, thereupon will [the] Western [Pure Land’s] circumstantial [and] direct adornments, entirely meet [with and] return [to] one’s mind, thus not [in the] least [with the] thought of [cultivating] Faith [and] Aspiration [to] seek birth [in Pure Land]. Although naming this [as] mindfulness [of] Buddha, truly thus, with [the] path of mindfulness [of] Buddha contradicting.


Perhaps also raising [and] publicising [with] their words, saying [they are practising] mindfulness [of] true form’s Buddha. [This] true form, although as [the] root of all dharmas, [with] ordinary beings’ karmic obstacles deep [and] heavy, who [is] able achieve [this]? Coming [to] return [to this] conclusion, [‘with’] Chán also not able [to] rely [on it, and ‘with’] Pure [Land] also not able [to] rely [on it].


Relying [on] Self-power, even if reaching [the] position [of] great penetration [with] great awakening, with confusions [and evil] karma yet [to be] severed, [they are] not able [to be] liberated [from the cycle of] birth [and] death. Yet [to be] those awakened [to] reach great penetration, [they] furthermore [do] not need [to be] discussed.


Relying [on the] Buddha’s [Other-]power, [it] must [be] complete [with] true Faith [and] sincere Aspiration, [to be] mindful [of] Buddha [for] seeking birth [in his] Western [Pure Land]. Then [is this] possible. With one direction for [the] Western Pure Land, [with its] immeasurable life [and] immeasurable light, each [and every] one [will] entirely meet [with and] return [to] one’s mind.


However, [with] one’s mind only upholding [the Buddha’s] name, [is] yet [to] realise it truly. [Of the] Buddha of [the] Western [Pure Land], without connection [to him, one is] not able [to] have response. [The] Buddha of one’s mind, on [the] causal [ground, does] not have [his] majestic virtues.


Of those [in the] world fond [of the] ‘higher’ [and] striving [for the] ‘superior’, [they] often all accomplish doing [of that] ‘clever’ [to] accomplish [the] clumsy, seeking [to] ascend, instead falling. Yet [these] friends, desiring [other] people [to be] with [them as those] ‘interpenetrating’ praised, [are] also absolutely not willing [to] practise thus said.


Causing [the] Thus Come [One], with [his] mind [of] great loving-kindness [and] compassion, [although] desiring [to] enable all sentient beings [to, in this] present life immediately [be] liberated [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, [they are] then as before, not able [to be] liberated.


[In] this life, since not able [to be] liberated, [in a] future [life] perhaps possible [to be] liberated, yet [in] dust [motes’ and] sands’ kalpas of dust [motes’ and] sands’ kalpas, still [as] those reborn within [the] six paths, becoming [the] majority [in] number.


If truly able [to] recognise these kinds [of] advantages [and] disadvantages, again extinguishing [distracting] thoughts [to] study each Pure Land sūtra [and] book, know then, [that of] this one method [of] mindfulness [of] Buddha [for] seeking birth [in his] Western [Pure Land], its greatness [is] without [that] external.


[The] ten directions’ three periods’ all Buddhas, [for] higher accomplishing [of the] Buddhas’ path, [and] lower transforming [of] sentient beings, [are] without [those] not using this, for accomplishing [these, from the] beginning [to the] end.

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng

(Reply Letter [To] Layperson Zhāng Chúnyī

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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