[With The] True Mind Mindful [Of] Buddha, [The] Mind [And] Buddha [Will] Agree [With] Each Other
[On] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [if] desiring [to] attain wholeheartedness, [there] must [be] giving rise [to the] true mind, [to be] for liberation [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, not for getting [the] world’s people [to] call me [with the] name of [having] true cultivation [of] practice.
[Note 1: The true mind (真实心) is the sincere mind (至心), to practise for reaching Pure Land (净土) for liberation. In mindfulness of Buddha, wholeheartedness (一心), which is the same as the sincere mind, leads to single-mindedness (一心), which is the same as the concentrated mind.
Although wholeheartedness and single-mindedness are from the same Chinese words (一心), there are subtle differences between the two terms in English. Wholeheartedness, which is more emotive in the sense of sincerity, should be emphasized before single-mindedness, which is more rational in the sense of concentration.
This is so as having wholeheartedness first will definitely lead to single-mindedness later (upon connection with the Buddha), while having single-mindedness first might not lead to wholeheartedness later (for connection with the Buddha) if there is no sincerity.]
When mindful, [there] must [be with] word [to] word [and] line [to] line [of the Buddha’s name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛)], from [the sincere] mind then emitting, from [the] mouth then exiting, from [the] ears then entering.
[Note 2: Each character of the Buddha’s name should be sincerely and clearly recited (verbally or mentally), and just as sincerely and clearly heard. If the name is not clearly recited, it will not be clearly heard. This is how proper practice can be self-checked and ensured.]
[With] one line thus, [one] hundred, [one] thousand [and] ten thousand lines also thus.
[Note 3: This is to have pure mindfulness in continuous succession (净念相继) by fastening upon the Buddha’s name, from moment to moment, from thought to thought.]
[If] able [to do] thus, then [will] false [i.e. stray] thoughts [be] without cause [to] then arise, [while the] mind [and the] Buddha naturally can agree [with] each other [to correspond].
[Note 4: With continual pure mindfulness, as it is seamless in nature, no other (defiled) thoughts will be able to arise in between to cause interruption, thus deepening the connection between one’s Buddha-nature (佛性) and the Buddha.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Zhōu Qúnzhēng;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (94th Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Third, Clear Remedies [For] Habitual Tendencies (1st Short Section)
[Ref: #94 / 3.3.1]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence