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The Pure Land

Amitabha’s Pure Land is depicted in a way designed to attract believers. In the Pure Land there is no sickness, old age, or death. The sufferings and difficulties of this world do not exist. Those born in the Pure Land come forth there from lotus flowers, not from a woman’s womb in a pain and blood, and once born they are received and welcome by Amitabha and hist assistants. They receive immortal, transformed bodies, and are beyond the danger of falling back into lesser incarnations. They are in the direct presence of Amitabha Buddha and the great bodhisattvas Kuan-yin (Avalokitesvara) and Shih-chih (Mahasthamaprapta), who aid in their ultimate enlightenment.

Those who go to the Pure Land live there among beings of the highest virtue. Beautiful clothing and fine food are provided to them ready-made. There are no extemes of heat and cold. Correct states of concentration are easy to achieve and maintian. There are no such things as greed, ignorance, anger, strife, or laziness.

The Pure Land is described, metaphorically, as resplendent with all manner of jewels and precious things, towers of agate, palaces of jade. There are huge trees made of various gems, covered with fruits and flowers. Giant lotuses spread their fragrance everywhere. There are pools, also made of seven jewels, and filled with the purest water, which adjust itself to the depth and temperature the bathers prefer. Underfoot, gold covers the ground. Flowers fall from the sky day and night, and the whole sky is covered with a net made of gold and silver and pearls. The Pure Land is perfumed with beautiful scents and filled with celestial music.

Most precious of all, in the Pure Land, we are told, not only the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, Amitabha and his assistants, but even the birds and the trees (as manifestations of Amitabha) are continuously expounding the Dharma, the Buddhist Teaching.

Quoted from Pure Land Pure Mind translated by J.C. Cleary

Are the Mind-only Pure Land and the Self-nature Amitabha the same as or different from the Western Pure Land and Amitabha in the Pure Land?

It is because the Mind-only Pure Land exists that we are reborn in the Pure Land of the West. If the mind is not pure, it is impossible to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. Even when those who have committed cardinal transgressions achieve rebirth through ten recitations, such rebirth is due to their reciting the Buddha’s name with a pure mind, thus eliciting a response from Amitabha Buddha. Ordinary people generally think that if the Pure Land is Mind-Only, then it does not exist. This is the understanding of demons and externalists. Such a deluded view, which appears correct but is in reality wrong, affects more than half of all people and causes practitioners to forfeit true benefits.

It is precisely because of the Self-Nature Amitabha that the practitioner must recite the name of Buddha Amitabha of the West seeking rebirth in the Pure Land – so as to achieve the Self-Nature Amitabha through gradual cultivation. If he merely grasps at the Self-Nature Amitabha but does not recite the name of Buddha Amitabha of the West, he cannot achieve immediate escape from Birth and death – not even if he is truly awakened, much less if (like most people who ask this question) he is pretentious and just indulges in empty talk without engaging in practice.

Thus the answer to your question [are the mind-Only Pure Land and the Self-Nature Amitabha the same as or different from the Western Pure Land and Amitabha in the Pure Land?] is that they are one yet two before Buddhahood is attained, two yet one after Buddhahood is attained.

Quoted from Pure-Land Zen ,Zen Pure-Land Letters from Patriarch Yin Kuang. Page 108 – 111

Shi Wuling said,

October 7, 2007 @ 7:40 pm


I’ve enjoyed going through your websites in the past few days and look forward to checking back for more material.


Vincent Lai said,

January 17, 2008 @ 9:52 am

Dear Venerable WuLing,

Thank you very much for your encouragement. I’ve learnt a lot from your talks and really enjoyed them, especially “Wisdom of the Buddhas”. Thank you.

Namo Amituofo

Huigang said,

January 17, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

Hi Vince,

Have not talked to you for so long. Hope all goes well for you. You still love your new job and the nice office right? lol

Your site is more and more being recognized by people, congrats! Even VENERABLE WULING is visiting. Great job. Currently a friend of mine hit you site and loves the English postings you have done on this site. Please keep up the good work. I will talk to you soon.

Take care.



Vincent Lai said,

January 17, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

Hi 慧剛,

It’s good to see you here and thanks for your encouragement, I really appreciate the resources on Buddhism online , it’s how I started learning. There are many great websites on Pure Land Buddhism, would like to share 2 here:

Great talks and chantings! Take care.


Bee Ho said,

February 16, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

Hi Vincent,

Thanks for your interesting web pages on Pure Land Buddhism and your various sites. I have enjoyed them very much.

Namo Amituofo.

rinchan said,

March 7, 2010 @ 8:03 am

i have been wondering what is western pure land and what kind of place it is… i have search and finally got myself in your website, now i got all the answer to my question… thank you a lot…

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