Cultivate Body, Speech [And] Mind, [For] Wisdom [To] Sever Afflictions [And] Passions
Not cultivating [the] body, yet mindful [of the] Buddha, also has benefits.
[Note 1: Body, speech and mind (身口意) should all be cultivated by avoiding evil and doing good for purification. All these three karmas (三业) can be cultivated at the same time, with the Threefold Learning (三学) by observing precepts (戒), increasing concentration (定) and realising wisdom (慧) (via Dharma learning and practice).]
[Note 2: The practice of mindfulness of Buddha encompasses the Threefold Learning as while being sincerely mindful of his name, all precepts are naturally observed, concentration is naturally increased and wisdom naturally increases, by connecting one’s Buddha-nature to the Buddha’s blessings, (which awakens innate wisdom and bestows timely wisdom).]
Of [those (above)] definitely reborn [in his Pure Land], then within [a] thousand million, [it is] difficult [to] attain one. [The] valiant [and] outstanding, only [with] reverence, [are] thus those fortunate.
[Note 3: With deeper practice of verbal and silent mindfulness of Buddha, beyond cultivating of the mind and speech only, the body will also be cultivated, beyond practice sessions. For example, it is impossible for one who practises much mindfulness of Buddha, to still habitually have much killing, stealing and sexual misconduct (which break the first three precepts). However, to expedite cultivation of the body, there should be more conscientious mindfulness to abstain from breaking any precepts when not practising mindfulness of Buddha too.]
[Note 4: If not cultivating all three karmas together more conscientiously beyond practice sessions, thus possibly breaking many precepts often, this creating of much self-sabotaging evil karma makes it more challenging to reach Pure Land. Yet, if repenting in time with much sincere mindfulness of Buddha, even on the deathbed, reaching of Pure Land is still possible. However, as this is risky, there should not be attempting to do such last minute practice, which might be too late. For those who encounter Pure Land practice only on the deathbed, sincere repentance and mindfulness of Buddha should still be practised, to prevent falling into a lower realm.]
[Your] those composed two lines, [are] right, yet [not] precise. [They] should say, ‘[With] wisdom severing [the] bothersome [and] passionate, surpass suffering’s ocean. Establishing firm Faith [and] Aspiration, enter [a] lotus pond.’ ([The] “bothersome”, [are] then afflictions, thus [are those] common pointed [out. The] “passionate”, then focus [on] pointing [out] sexual desires.) Then [is this] precise. On putting [in] efforts’ rules, all [are] pointed out.
[Note 5: All afflictions, which include passions, arise from the three poisons (三毒) of greed, hatred and delusion (贪嗔痴). To be sincerely mindful of the Buddha is to transform greed to joyful seeking of his Land Of Ultimate Bliss (欣求极乐), transform hatred to revulsed renunciation of the Sahā World (厌离娑婆), and transform delusion to the wisdom of the Three Provisions (三资粮) of Faith, Aspiration and Practice (信愿行), for reaching his Pure Land. Thus, mindfulness of Buddha is able to sever afflictions and passions arisen and arising in the moment.]
[Note 6: To reach Pure Land, unless aspiring for a higher grade of birth, abstinence from sexual conduct is not needed in everyday life, while there should be abstinence from sexual misconduct. However, during practice sessions of mindfulness of Buddha, and especially on the deathbed, there should be no more thoughts of wanting any sexual conduct; only having sincere mindfulness of the Buddha with the Three Provisions.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Third Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Zhuō Zhìlì;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (165th Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Fifth, Reviews [On] Practices’ Each Method (28th Short Section)
[Ref: #165 / 3.5.28]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence