Teaching Buddhism in America by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

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Teaching Buddhism in America

by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhiphoto credit: Brother Chou of Bodhi Monastery

Excerpted from Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s remarks to the Community Dharma Leaders program at BCBS, June 29, 2006.Insight Journal • WINTER 2006

I have been thinking about the discussion we had yesterday on the problems you’ve encountered in teaching Buddhism in America. I would like to off er a few of my own thoughts on this subject. As we go along, I will also share with you the general outlines of one scheme I’ve worked out for pulling the Buddha’s teachings together into a single, all-embracing whole. In my view one of the major errors that is being made in the teaching of Buddhism here in the U.S. (and more broadly in the West) is the fl at identifi cation of Buddhadhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) with meditation, especially with insight meditation. I see the Dhamma…

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Namo Earth Store Bodhisattva


Sutra of the Past Vows of EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA

with commentary on Sutra by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua < click for entire Sutra


Namo Earth Store Bodhisattva

The Buddha told Empty Space Store Bodhisattva, “Listen attentively, listen attentively, I shall enumerate and describe them to you. If there are good men and women in the future who see Earth Store’s image, or who hear this sutra or read or recite it; who use incense, flowers, food and drink, clothing, or gems as offerings; or if they praise, behold, and worship him, they shall attain twenty-eight kinds of advantages:

“If I do not go to the hell to help the suffering beings there, who else will go? … if the hells are not empty I will not become a Buddha. Only when all living beings have been saved, will I attain Bodhi.” -Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha

A request to my fellow Bloggers : Join me and Buddhist Global Relief in our 4th Annual Walk to Feed the Hungry


I am asking my blog followers, friends, fellow Buddhist and fellow bloggers on my blog roll, to join BGR and me in raising funds and awareness on the serious issues of hunger, worldwide. I am blessed with the most wonderful friends, new and old, all across this world, lets come together and work in harmony and solidarity to make an huge impact on world hunger. If not you, then who? We can do it!

With Metta,

Melissa Schaid / Changhui Upasika

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” -Mother Theresa 



What we do

We combat hunger

For close to a billion people around the world, hunger is a real, terrible, and ever-present fate that hounds their every step. According to the World Food Program, each year ten million people, many of them children, die of hunger and hunger-related diseases.  Each day over a hundred million people wonder where their next meal will come from.  Because it is so commonplace, chronic hunger seldom makes the headlines, seldom whips up massive waves of public sympathy.  Its victims suffer in silence, almost forgotten by those with assured livelihoods and comfortably filled stomachs.

The Buddha, however, clearly recognized the frightful toll that hunger takes on human life.  In the Dhammapada, he said “Hunger is the worst illness.” When people go hungry each day, for months and years on end, every aspect of their life is degraded.  The body loses mass and withers away; the pangs of hunger remain constant; one thinks only about food, dreams only about food.  And the ultimate prognosis for chronic hunger is grim: debilitating illness, perhaps an early death.

It is in response to the cries of those afflicted with chronic hunger that Buddhist Global Relief came into being, and it is to redress this condition that its programs are formulated.  Our primary purpose is to combat hunger.  We address our efforts both to assist victims of sudden disaster who need emergency food aid, and to enable those crippled by chronic food shortages to develop stable, long-term strategies of improved food security.  Our endeavor is to ensure that the world’s poorest people are provided with adequate nutrition, and provided with it long into the future.  Our hope is that, when their nutritional needs are met, they will be able to unfold and actualize their fullest potential for goodness and meaning in their lives.

“In giving food, one gives five things to the recipients: one gives life, beauty, happiness, strength, and mental clarity.  In giving these five things, one in turn partakes of life, beauty, happiness, strength, and mental clarity, whether in this world or in the heavenly realm.”

– Anguttara Nikaya 5:37

Our programs

  • BGR fights hunger and poverty in the developing world. BGR raises funds for food relief from both private donors and philanthropic organizations.  We provide grants to relief organizations, primarily local ones, working in third world communities to provide emergency food relief and to meet the need for clean water, education, and supporting infrastructure.
  • BGR seeks to develop local capacity. BGR works in partnership with agencies, temples, and relief organizations already operating on the ground to provide the needed relief to victims of natural disaster, violent conflict, and drought.  It also supports projects aimed at developing better long-term methods of food production and management in countries stricken by poverty and under-development.  In each instance, our goal is to enable local communities to develop long-term sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger.
  • BGR does not proselytize. Our guiding purpose is to provide aid, not to convert others to Buddhism.  Although our initial projects are being launched in countries with largely Buddhist populations, we do not restrict our aid to Buddhists or expect those who receive aid from us to embrace Buddhism.  BGR respects the religious beliefs and practices of the people whom it serves and seeks to work in harmony with those of all faiths to alleviate the plight of the poor.
  • BGR seeks to educate and involve fellow Buddhists and other Buddhist groups in the effort to eliminate hunger. BGR seeks to make the elimination of hunger an integral part of our contemporary Buddhist identity.  We bring Buddhist perspectives to bear on many dimensions of global poverty through teaching and publishing materials from our Buddhist tradition that are responsive to the unique challenges of the 21st century.

Where we work

As a newly established organization with limited means, we are focusing initially upon countries in Asia with predominantly Buddhist populations.  However, we fully understand that hunger knows no religion, nor does the universal ethic of the Buddha’s teaching permit us to limit our help to any one group of people.  As our resources and abilities grow, we will expand our work to include other people in other lands who suffer due to malnourishment and starvation.

BGR walk image left1
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Registration administered throughFirstGiving website
For further information, visit ourWalks and FAQ pages

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa 

Small ways you can help, that make a big difference: 

1.) Walk with us at our  many locations. http://www.firstgiving.com/BuddhistGlobalRelief

2.) Create your own walk with your Sangha, Church, Club, Community and please let me know you are creating a walk, We’d like to promote and share your posts and walks on our social media also.Contact me at NYCsocialmedia@buddhistglobalrelief.org

3.) Donate directly to Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi’s FirstGiving Page http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/bhikkhubodhi/new-york

4.) Walk in solidarity with us all, in a virtual walk which you can create online through FIrstGiving http://www.firstgiving.com/BuddhistGlobalRelief

5.) Join, post and repost BGR’s various social media formats and content.

An Invitation from Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi http://files.meetup.com/10146472/2013%20Walk%20Appeal%20Message-Open-rev.-2%20%281%29.pdf

BGR 2013 Walk to Feed the Hungry flier for your use at your event https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202048194472137&set=gm.662092343803629&type=1&theater  

Buddhist Global Relief website http://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org/index.html

Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi’s personal BGR blog http://buddhistglobalrelief.wordpress.com/

BGR Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buddhist-Global-Relief/140908022597845

BGR Twitter https://twitter.com/BuddhistGblRlf

BGR Compassionate Action Community NYC  Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BGR.NYC.CompassionateActionCommunity/

BGR Compassionate Action Community NYC Twitter https://twitter.com/BGR_CAC_NYC

BGR Compassionate Action Community NYC MeetUp     http://www.meetup.com/BGR-Compassionate-Action-Community-NYC/

BGR on YOUTUBE http://www.youtube.com/user/BGRelief#p/a

6.) Become a  BGR volunteer: please contact Deena Scherer deenascherer@verizon.net

7.) Simply share this entire blog post.


“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” -Mother Teresa



From the most recognizable Buddhist World Leaders Respond To Violence Against Muslims In Myanmar

From the most recognizable Buddhist World Leaders:

Myanmar Buddhists Muslim

To Our Brother and Sister Buddhists in Myanmar,

As world Buddhist leaders we send our loving kindess and concern for the difficulties the people of Myanmar are faced with at this time. While it is a time of great positive change in Myanmar we are concerned about the growing ethnic violence and the targeting of Muslims in Rakhine State and the violence against Muslims and others across the country. The Burmese are a noble people, and Burmese Buddhists carry a long and profound history of upholding the Dharma.

We wish to reaffirm to the world and to support you in practicing the most fundamental Buddhist principles of non-harming, mutual respect and compassion.

These fundamental principles taught by the Buddha are at the core of Buddhist practice:

Buddhist teaching is based on the precepts of refraining from killing and causing harm.
Buddhist teaching is based on compassion and mutual care.
Buddhist teaching offers respect to all, regardless of class, caste, race or creed.

We are with you for courageously standing up for these Buddhist principles even when others would demonize or harm Muslims or other ethnic groups. It is only through mutual respect, harmony and tolerance that Myanmar can become a modern great nation benefiting all her people and a shining example to the world.

Whether you are a Sayadaw or young monk or nun, or whether you are a lay Buddhist, please, speak out, stand up, reaffirm these Buddhist truths, and support all in Myanmar with the compassion, dignity and respect offered by the Buddha.

We stand with you in the Dharma,

Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
President Buddhist Global Relief
(world’s foremost translator of the Pali Canon)
Sri Lanka/USA

Dr. AT Ariyaratne
Founder Nationwide Sarvodaya Movement
Ghandi Peace Prize Laureate
Sri Lanka

Ven. Chao Khun Raja Sumedhajahn
Elder, Ajahn Chah Monasteries
Wat Ratanavan, Thailand

Ven. Phra Paisal Visalo
Chair Buddhika Network Buddhism and Society

Ven. Arjia Rinpoche VIII
Abbot Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center

Ven. Shodo Harada Roshi
Abbot Sogenji Rinzai Zen Monastery

Achariya Professor J Simmer Brown
Chairperson Buddhist Studies
Naropa Buddhist University

Ven. Ajahn Amaro Mahathera
Abbot Amaravati Vihara

Ven. Hozan A Senauke
International Network of Engaged Buddhists

Younge Khachab Rinpoche VIII
Abbot Younge Drodul Ling

Ven. Sr. Thich Nu Chan Kong
President Plum Village Zen temples

Dr. Jack Kornfield Vipassana Achariya
Convener Western Buddhist Teachers Council

Lama Surya Das
Dzogchen Foundation International
Vajrayana Tibet/USA

Ven. Zoketsu N. Fischer Soto Roshi
Fmr. Abbot largest Zen community in the West

Tulku Sherdor Rinpoche
Director BI. Wisdom Institute

Professor Robert Tenzin C. Thurman
Center for Buddhist Studies
Columbia University

HH the XIV Dalai Lama
Nobel Laureate
Though not able to be reached in time to sign this letter, HH the Dalai Lama has publicly and repeatedly stated his concern about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He urges everyone to continue to practice non-violence and retain the religious harmony that is central to our ancient and revered culture.

Source:Huffington Post : Buddhist Leaders Respond To Violence Against Muslims In Myanmar


Militant Monks, Buddhist Nationalism, and Genocide

excerpt from blogger  of 40 Oz. of Bad Karma  ” This guy does not teach the Dhamma – but paranoia and fear, complete with racist stereotypes and conspiracy theories. He claims that the former political prisoner and current parliamentarian and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is under influence of some Muslim conspiracy.

“He sides a little towards hate,” said Abbot Arriya Wuttha Bewuntha of Mandalay’s Myawaddy Sayadaw monastery. “This is not the way Buddha taught. What the Buddha taught is that hatred is not good, because Buddha sees everyone as an equal being. The Buddha doesn’t see people through religion.”

Please find entire blog post at  Militant Monks, Buddhist Nationalism, and Genocide.

Friend and Follow DAILY DHARMA on FB and Twitter

ImageDear Dharma Friends,

Please follow my dear friend at Daily Dharma at….

Daily Dharma fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/DailyDharma

 Daily Dharma FB Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/DailyDharma/

 Daily Dharma Twitter: https://twitter.com/DailyDharma1


Welcoming all to bilingual daily Dharma sharing from Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana which includes Tibetan Buddhism. 欢迎大家来到双语每日法语分享于南传,北传和藏传佛教。

America, Help Fight Hunger May 11th

♥ America, this Saturday, May 11th, donate a bag of groceries ♥

It’s EASY to Help :

1. Collect and bag non-perishable food items

2.Place by mailbox for letter carrier to deliver to a local food bank or pantry 

On May 11, 2013 we’ll celebrate our 21st year of Stamp Out Hunger! Help the NALC fight hunger in America by getting involved. Thanks for your support!
Company Overview
On Saturday, May 11, Campbell Soup Company will join forces with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to Stamp Out Hunger across America in order to provide assistance to the rapidly increasing number of Americans who are struggling with hunger.

Now in its 21th year, the Stamp Out Hunger effort is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. In 2012, 70.5 million pounds of food was donated, which brought the grand total of donations to more than 1.2 billion pounds of food collected over the history of the drive.

Unfortunately, despite the generosity of millions of Americans who have supported the letter carriers’ food drive in previous years, the need for food assistance has never been greater. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, nearly 50 million Americans are living in food insecure homes.

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger effort in your community, ask your letter carrier, contact your local post office, visit eitherwww.helpstampouthunger.com or www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, or follow the drive at www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.

“Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of compassion and charity a disciple should be detached. That is to say, he should practice compassion and charity without regard to appearances, without regard to form, without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind. Subhuti, this is how the disciple should practice compassion and charity. Why? Because practicing compassion and charity without attachment is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom, it is the way to becoming a living Buddha”

-The Diamond Sutra

PETA Kills Animals

PETA KILLS animals ! This is just horrible, I hope PETA goes broke and their name is trash now ! Please read and pass on . 
“While claiming to be an animal rights organization, PETA does not believe animals have a right to live. Instead, it believes that people have a right to kill them, as long as the killing is done “humanely,” which PETA interprets to mean poisoning them with an overdose of barbiturates, even if the animals are not suffering. In 2012, 733 dogs entered this building. They killed 602 of them. Only 12 were adopted. Also in 2012, they impounded 1,110 cats. 1,045 were put to death. Seven of them were adopted. They also took in 34 other companion animals, such as rabbits, of which 28 were put to death. Only four were adopted.”

“90% [of the animals] were euthanized within the first 24 hours of custody,” according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture inspector. “
Please follow Hufffington Post for full article. 

Food is Needed..


Bhante makes it easy to donate ❤ Please share, donate, post on your blogs and pass this on.
Please see his blog here at WHAT BUDDHA SAID

One can advantageously donate funds for food, which is needed every month here.Whoever gives food later gains bodily strength, vitality, vigor and health.

FROM BHIKKHU SAMAHITA’S WEBSITE : Register a new account on Main City: kandy – 2 Suburb: Peradeniya 

When U have ordered then click “save cart”. Then U can easily order the same again.

Chose: Pickup delivery option at checkout and write in the notes: 

To: Bhikkhu Samahita. (Lay name: Jan Erik Hansen, Passport#: 203419711)

Pickup by: Venerable Bhikkhu Samahita.

They accept Sri Lankan bank transfers and credit cards and also international credit cards.

Then I can pick it up with the receipt U will get emailed from Keels if U forward it to me 

by email to: bhante.samahita@gmail.com



Mail Address:
Venerable Bhikkhu Samahita
Cypress Hermitage, Bambarella
20838 Tawalantenna
Kandy, Central Province.
Phone: (+94) 081 562 0553



Read more on his blog… follow link


Having created
the demon mind yourself
When it torments you mercilessly
You’re to blame and no one else

When you do wrong
our mind’s the demon
There’s no hell
To be found outside

Abominating hell
Longing for heaven
You make yourself suffer
In a joyful world

You think that good
Means hating what is bad
What’s bad is
The hating mind itself


– Ryokan

Buddha preached in the twelve divisions,485349_611817428835363_42599402_n

each division full of purest truth.

East wind — rain comes in the night,

making all the forest fresh and new.

No sutra that does not save the living,


no branch in the forest not visited by spring.


Learn to understand the meaning in them,


don’t try to decide which is “valid,” which is not.

– Ryokan

Pratyutpanna Sutra

Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Pratyutpanna Buddha Sammukhāvasthita Samādhi

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Eastern Han Dynasty
The Tripiṭaka Master Lokakṣema from the Yuezhi Land

Chapter 1
The Questions

Thus I have heard:
At one time the Bhagavān was in the Karaṇḍa Bamboo Garden of the city of Rājagṛha, together with an innumerable multitude of great Bodhisattvasbhikṣusbhikṣuṇīs,upāsakas, and upāsikās, as well as godsdragonsasurasyakṣasgaruḍaskiṁnaras, and mahoragas. All were seated in the huge assembly.
    At that time Bhadrapāla Bodhisattva1 rose from his seat, arranged his attire, and fell on his knees. He joined his palms and asked the Buddha, “I would like to ask some questions. May I have Your permission to ask them now?”
The Buddha replied, “Very good! Ask any questions as you wish. I will answer them to you.”
Bhadrapāla Bodhisattva asked the Buddha, “What dharmas should Bodhisattvas do in order to develop wisdom, like the immense ocean accepting myriad streams? What should they do in order to acquire broad knowledge and understand what they have heard without doubts? What should they do in order to know their past lives and whence they have come to reborn? What should they do in order to live a long life? What should they do in order to be reborn into a family with a great name and to be loved and respected by their parents, siblings, relatives, and friends? What should they do in order to be endowed with even, comely features? What should they do in order to acquire excellent talents, to be outstanding in the multitudes, and to develop superb, all-encompassing wisdom? What should they do in order to acquire the merit and wisdom required for Buddhahood, to achieve immeasurable awesome power, and to adorn their magnificent Buddha Lands? What should they do in order to subjugate hostile māras? What should they do in order to achieve command so that their vows will never fail? What should they do in order to enter the Door of Total Retention? What should they do in order to acquire the transcendental powers to travel to Buddha Lands everywhere? What should they do in order to acquire the bold valor of a lion, with nothing to fear, unmovable by māras? What should they do in order to realize their holy Buddha nature and to accept and uphold the Dharma in the sūtras with understanding, not forgetting anything? What should they do in order to achieve self-fulfillment, free from sycophancy and flattery and unattached to the Three Realms of Existence? What should they do in order to be free from hindrances and to acquire the overall wisdom-knowledge, never deviating from the Buddha’s intention? What should they do in order to win people’s trust? What should they do in order to acquire the eight tones [of a Buddha] and sound 10,000 koṭi tones? What should they do in order to acquire the sublime appearance [of a Buddha]? What should they do in order to acquire the power of all-hearing? What should they do in order to acquire the bodhi-eye to see into the future? What should they do in order to acquire the Ten Powers and true wisdom? What should they do in order to see, in a single thought, Buddhas from worlds in the ten directions all standing before them? What should they do in order to know that the four appearances of every dharma have no reality? What should they do in order to see in this world innumerable Buddha Lands in the ten directions and to know the good and evil life-journeys of the people, gods, dragons, spirits, and wriggly insects in those lands? These are my questions. I pray that the Buddha will explain to me and resolve all my doubts.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Very good! Your questions are so comprehensive that they are beyond measure. You can ask these questions because you have acquired merit in your past lives under past Buddhas; because you have made offerings to Buddhas, delighted in the Dharma in the sūtras, observed your precepts, and lived in purity; because you have always begged for food, not accepting meal invitations, convened assemblies of Bodhisattvas, taught people to stop doing evil, and seen the equality of all; and because you have always had great lovingkindness and great compassion. Your merit is beyond measure.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “There is a samādhi called Buddhas from Worlds in the Ten Directions All Standing before One. If you can do this dharma, you will have the answers to all your questions.”
Bhadrapāla said to the Buddha, “I pray that You will pronounce it. What the Buddha will now pronounce is all-encompassing. It will give peace to [sentient beings in worlds in] the ten directions and provide great illumination to Bodhisattvas.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “There is a samādhi called Concentrated Mind. Bodhisattvas should constantly guard, learn, and uphold it, never to follow other ways. Of all virtuous ways, this is the foremost one.”

Chapter 2
The Training

The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “If Bodhisattvas aspire to attain this samādhi quickly, they should stand in great faith. Those who train themselves in accordance with the Dharma can attain this samādhi. Do not raise any doubts, even as slight as a hair. This Dharma of Concentrated Mind is also called the Bodhisattva Way Surpassing All Other Ways.”
[Then the Buddha spoke in verse:]

With a single thought, believe in this Dharma.
Following the teachings heard, think only of one object.
Keep only one thought, ceasing all other thoughts.
Stand firm in your faith, without any doubts.
Progress energetically, never negligent or indolent.

Think of neither existence nor nonexistence, neither progress nor regress.
Think of neither front nor back, neither left nor right.
Think of neither nonexistence nor existence, neither far nor near.
Think of neither pain nor itch, neither hunger nor thirst.
Think of neither cold nor hot, neither pain nor pleasure.
Think of neither birth nor old age, neither illness nor death.
Think of neither body nor life, nor longevity.
Think of neither wealth nor poverty, neither nobility nor lowliness.
Think of neither sense objects nor desires.
Think of neither large nor small, neither long nor short.
Think of neither beauty nor ugliness.
Think of neither evil nor good, neither anger nor delight.
Think of neither rising nor sitting, neither proceeding nor stopping.
Think of neither the sūtras nor the Dharma.
Think of neither right nor wrong, neither grasping nor abandoning.
Think of neither perception nor consciousness.
Think of neither cessation nor continuation.
Think of neither emptiness nor true reality.
Think of neither heavy nor light, neither hard nor easy.
Think of neither deep nor shallow, neither broad nor narrow.
Think of neither father nor mother, neither wife nor children.
Think of neither friends nor acquaintances, neither love nor hatred.
Think of neither gain nor loss, neither success nor failure.
Think of neither clarity nor turbidity.

Cease all thoughts and be vigilant for a given period of time, never distracted.
Progress energetically, never negligent or indolent.
Do not count the years, nor feel tired in a single day.
Hold one thought, never losing it.
Avoid sleep and keep the mind alert.
Always live alone and avoid gatherings.
Shun evil ones but stay near beneficent friends.
Serve illuminated teachers, regarding them as Buddhas.
Hold firm your resolve, but always be gentle.
Meditate on the equality of all things.
Avoid your hometown and keep away from relatives.
Abandon love and desire and live in purity.
Meditate on that which is asaṁskṛta and cease desires.
Drop distracting thoughts and learn the way of concentration.
Gain wisdom from words in accord with dhyāna.
Remove the three afflictions and purify the six faculties.
Cease lustful pursuits and leave sensory pleasures behind.
Do not be greedy for wealth or accumulate things.
Know contentment in eating and do not covet flavors.
Take care never to eat any sentient being [dead or alive].
Dress in accordance with the Dharma, and do not be ornately adorned.
Do not tease others, nor be proud or arrogant.
Do not be conceited, nor elevate yourself.
Expound sūtras in accordance with the Dharma.
Understand that the body has always been like an illusion.
Do not be engrossed by the [five] aggregates, nor revel in the [twelve] sensory fields.
The five aggregates are like thieves, and the four domains are like snakes.
All are impermanent and all are unstable.
Recognize that there has never been an everlasting ruler in one,
Only convergence and divergence of causes and conditions.
Understand and know that nothing in existence is real.
Bestow lovingkindness and sympathy on all.
Give alms to the poor and relief to the unfortunate.

This is meditative concentration in the Bodhisattva Way, which
Will unfold the fundamental wisdom and elicit myriads of wisdom-knowledge.

The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “One who trains in this way will attain the samādhi in which present Buddhas all stand before one. If, among bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās, there are those who want to train according to this Dharma, they should fully observe their precepts and live alone in a place to think of Amitābha Buddha, who now is in the west. According to the teachings heard, one should also think of His land called Sukhāvatī, which is ten million koṭi Buddha Lands away from here. One should single-mindedly contemplate for one day and one night, or even seven days and seven nights. After the seventh day, one will see Him. By analogy, one sees things in a dream, not knowing whether it is day or night, indoors or outdoors, and one’s sight is impervious to darkness or obstructions.
“Bhadrapāla, Bodhisattvas should do this contemplation. Then huge mountains, Sumeru Mountains, and dark places in the intervening Buddha Lands will all fall away, not posing any obstruction. These Bodhisattvas will see across without having the God-eye, hear across without having the God-ear, and travel to that Buddha Land without possessing transcendental powers. It is not that they have died here and been reborn there, but that they can sit here and see everything there.
“As an analogy, a man hears that in the kingdom of Vaiśālī lives a prostitute named Sumanā; a second man hears of a prostitute called Āmrapālī; and a third man hears that Utpalavarṇā has become a prostitute. These three men have never seen those three women, but they have heard of them and their lust is ignited. They all live in Rājagṛha, and they have lustful thoughts concurrently. Each of them goes, in a dream, to the woman he thinks of and spends the night with her. When they wake up, they all remember their own dreams.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “The three women I have mentioned serve as an analogy. You may use this story to expound the sūtras, enabling others to unfold their wisdom so that they will arrive at the Ground of No Regress on the unsurpassed true Way. When they eventually attain Buddhahood, they all will be called Superb Enlightenment.”
The Buddha said, “Bodhisattvas in this land can see Amitābha Buddha by thinking intently only of Him. When they see Him, they can ask, ‘What Dharma should I uphold in order to be reborn in Your land?’ Amitābha Buddha will reply, ‘Those who wish to be reborn in my land should think of my name. If they can continue without rest, they will succeed in being reborn here.’”
The Buddha said, “Because of intent thinking, one will be reborn there. One should always think of Amitābha Buddha’s body with the thirty-two physical marks and the eighty excellent characteristics, unequaled in its majesty, radiating vast bright light to illuminate everywhere. He teaches, in the assembly of Bodhisattvas and bhikṣus, that dharmas [in true reality] are empty and, therefore, indestructible. Why? Because indestructible are all dharmas, such as form, pain, itch, thinking, perception, birth, death, consciousness, spirit, earth, water, fire, wind, the human world, and the heaven world, including Great Brahma Heaven. By thinking of a Buddha, one attains the Samādhi of Emptiness.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Who have attained this Bodhisattva samādhi? My disciple Mahākāśyapa, Indraguṇa Bodhisattva, the god-son Good Virtue, and those who already know this samādhi, have attained it through training. Hence, Bhadrapāla, those who wish to see present Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions should think of their lands single-mindedly, without other thoughts. Then they will be able to see them. As an analogy, one travels to a distant land and thinks of family and kin in one’s hometown. In a dream, one returns home, sees one’s family and relatives, and enjoys talking to them. After waking, one tells one’s dream to friends.”
The Buddha said, “If Bodhisattvas hear of a Buddha’s name and wish to see Him, they will be able to see Him by constantly thinking of Him and His land. For example, a bhikṣu visualizes before him the bones of a corpse, turning blue, white, red, or black. The colors are not brought by anyone, but are imagined by his mind. Likewise, by virtue of Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, Bodhisattvas who skillfully abide in this samādhi can see, as they wish, a Buddha of any land. Why? Because they are able to see Him by virtue of three powers: the power of Buddhas, the power of the samādhi, and the power of their own merit.
“As an analogy, a handsome young man dressed in fine clothes wants to see his own face. He can see his reflection by looking into a hand mirror, pure oil, clear water, or a crystal. Does his reflection come from the outside into the mirror, oil, water, or crystal?”
Bhadrapāla replied, “No, it does not. God of Gods, it is because of the clarity of the mirror, oil, water, or crystal, that the man can see his reflection. His reflection comes from neither the inside [of the medium] nor the outside.”
The Buddha said, “Very good, Bhadrapāla. Because the medium is clear, the reflection is clear. Likewise, if one wishes to see a Buddha, one with a pure mind will be able to see. When one sees Him, one can ask questions, and He will give a reply. Having heard the teachings, one will be exultant and think: ‘Where does this Buddha come from and where am I going? As I think of this Buddha, He comes from nowhere and I am going nowhere. As I think of the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm, thesethree realms are formed by my mind. I can see what I think of. The mind forms a Buddha for itself to see; the mind is the Buddha mind. As my mind forms a Buddha, my mind is the Buddha; my mind is the Tathāgata; my mind is my body.’
“Although the mind sees a Buddha, the mind neither knows itself nor sees itself. The mind with perceptions is saṁsāra; the mind without perceptions is nirvāṇa. Dharmas as perceived are not something pleasurable. They are empty thoughts, nothing real. This is what Bodhisattvas see as they abide in this samādhi.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

The mind does not know itself; the mind does not see itself.
The mind that fabricates perceptions is false; the mind without perceptions is nirvāṇa.
Dharmas are not firm, only founded upon thinking.
Those who see emptiness with this understanding are free from perceptions and expectations.

Chapter 3
Four Things to Do

The Buddha continued, “There are four things through which Bodhisattvas can quickly attain this samādhi. First, have faith that no one can destroy. Second, make energetic progress that nothing can deter. Third, have wisdom-knowledge with which no one else’s can compare. Fourth, always work under a beneficent teacher. These are the four things.
There are another four things which will enable one to attain this samādhi quickly. First, do not engage in worldly thinking for three months, not even during a finger snap. Second, do not sleep for three months, not even during a finger snap. Third, do walking meditation for three months without any rest, except when eating and so forth. Fourth, expound sūtras to others, not expecting their offerings. These are the four things.
There are another four things which will enable one to attain this samādhi quickly. First, take people to the Buddha. Second, gather people to have them hear the teachings. Third, have no jealousy. Fourth, have people learn the Buddha Way. These are the four things.
There are another four things which will enable one to attain this samādhi quickly. First, construct Buddhas’ images. Second, copy this sūtra on fine fabric. Third, teach the conceited ones to enter the Buddha Way. Fourth, always protect and uphold the Buddha Dharma. These are the four things.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

Always believe and delight in the Buddha Dharma.
Progress energetically to unfold profound wisdom.
Disseminate and pronounce the Dharma to others.
Guard against greed for offerings.
Discard desires with good understanding.
Always think of Buddhas, who have awesome virtue,
And see and know dharmas in limitless diversity.
Past Buddhas, future Buddhas,
And present Buddhas, revered among men,
With no more afflictions to discharge,
Are golden in color and have superb physical marks.
They give firm teachings with wisdom beyond the ultimate.
Listen to this Dharma with an undistracted mind.
Forever discard the way of negligence and indolence.
Never bear malice toward others.
Respect teachers as you do Buddhas.
Take care not to have doubts about this sūtra,
Which is praised by all Buddhas.
Always construct and enshrine Buddhas’ images.
Always persuade others to learn this Dharma
And practice it to attain this samādhi.

The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Those who want to learn this samādhi should respect their teachers, serve them, and make offerings to them, regarding them as Buddhas. Those who see their teachers as less than Buddhas will have difficulty attaining this samādhi. Bodhisattvas who respect beneficent teachers from whom they have learned this samādhi can advance. By virtue of Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, when they face the east, they will see a billion koṭi Buddhas. In the same way, they will see Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions. By analogy, one observes the night sky and sees myriads of stars. Bodhisattvas who wish to see present Buddhas all standing before them should respect beneficent teachers, not looking for their faults. Never negligent or indolent, they should fully train in giving alms, observing precepts, enduring adversity, and making energetic progress single-mindedly.”

Chapter 4
The Analogies

The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Bodhisattvas who have attained this samādhi but do not progress energetically are like those who are shipwrecked midway while crossing an immense ocean on a ship fully loaded with treasures. People in Jambudvīpa will all be in tremendous anguish, concerned about the loss of their treasures. If Bodhisattvas have heard this samādhi but do not learn it, gods will all sadly say, ‘Our sūtra treasure is lost.’”
The Buddha said, “This samādhi is taught and praised by all Buddhas. Those who have heard this profound samādhi sūtra but do not copy, study, recite, or uphold it in accordance with the Dharma, are foolish. As an analogy, someone gives sandalwood incense to a fool, but he refuses to accept it, saying that the incense is impure. The giver says, ‘This is sandalwood incense. Do not say that it is impure. If you smell it, you will know that it is fragrant. If you look at it, you will know that it is pure.’ That fool closes his eyes, refusing to see or smell it.”
The Buddha said, “Those who have heard this samādhi sūtra but refuse to accept it are as ignorant as that fool. They defiantly argue that everything in the world exists. Not having realized emptiness, they do not know nonexistence. Alleging that their views accord with the Dharma, they say in mockery, ‘Does the Buddha have profound sūtras, as well as awesome spiritual powers?’ They say these contradictory words: ‘Are there bhikṣus in the world who are like Ānanda?’”
The Buddha said, “Those people walk away from the ones who uphold this samādhi sūtra. In twos and threes, they say to one another, ‘What do these words mean? Where did they get these words? They must have gathered together to forge this sūtra. It is not pronounced by the Buddha.’”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “As an analogy, a merchant shows a precious gem to a foolish farm boy. The boy asks, ‘How much is it worth?’ The merchant replies, ‘If you place this gem in the dark, its light shines on the treasures that fill up that area.’”
The Buddha said, “The foolish boy still does not know that this gem is precious. He asks, ‘Can its value be compared with that of a cow? I would rather trade it for a cow. If you agree, it is fine. If you disagree, forget it.’ Bhadrapāla, Bodhisattvas who, having heard this samādhi, do not believe it and make contradictory remarks are like that foolish boy.”
The Buddha said, “Bodhisattvas who, having heard this samādhi sūtra, believe, accept, and uphold it, and train accordingly, are supported by those around them, and have nothing to fear. Fully observing their precepts, they are brilliant, and their wisdom is profound. They disseminate the Dharma and tell people to teach others, who in turn teach others, enabling this samādhi sūtra to remain in the world for a long time.”
The Buddha said, “Those fools have not made offerings or acquired merits in their past lives. They have instead elevated themselves, carrying on their slanderous and jealous ways. Greedy for wealth and benefits, they seek fame and reputation. They only want to make noisy remarks because they do not believe in profound sūtras. Having heard this samādhi sūtra, they neither believe nor appreciate it, nor learn it. Instead, they malign this sūtra, alleging that it is not pronounced by the Buddha.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Now I tell you this. If good men and good women give, as alms, treasures that fill up the Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World, their merit is less than that of those who hear this samādhi sūtra and believe and delight in it. Their merit surpasses that of the almsgivers.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “I now say these words, which will never change. Setting aside those who in future lives will follow evil teachers, if there are those who now have doubts about this samādhi I have pronounced, their merit is not worth mentioning even if in future lives they follow good teachers. These people will nevertheless defect [from good teachers] to work under evil teachers. Why is that they, having heard this samādhi, neither believe nor appreciate it, and choose not to learn it? They disbelieve because they have seen few Buddhas in the past and have little wisdom.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “I have the foresight and foreknowledge of those who, having heard this samādhi sūtra, will not laugh in contempt, malign, doubt, or suddenly believe and suddenly disbelieve, but will delight in copying, learning, reciting, and upholding it. They not only have accumulated merit under one or two Buddhas, but have heard this samādhi sūtra from one hundred Buddhas. When they hear this samādhi sūtra in their future lives, if they copy, learn, recite, and uphold it even for only one day and one night, their merit will be beyond calculation. They will arrive at the spiritual level of avinivartanīya on their own as they wish.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Hear this analogy. Suppose someone crushes a Buddha Land into dust, then further pulverizes each dust particle into more particles. Is the number of dust particles produced from a Buddha Land very huge?”
Bhadrapāla replied, “Very huge, God of Gods.”
The Buddha said, “Suppose a Bodhisattva takes all these dust particles and places each in a Buddha Land. He then takes treasures that fill up all these Buddha Lands to make an offering to Buddhas. His merit is very little in comparison with that of those who have heard this samādhi sūtra and have learned, copied, recited, and upheld it. Even if they explain this sūtra to others only for a short while, this merit is beyond calculation. Even greater is the merit of those who have fully attained this samādhi.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

If there are Bodhisattvas who seek merit,
They should pronounce and train in this samādhi.
Those who believe, delight in, and recite [this sūtra] without doubts
Have immeasurable merit.
Crushing one Buddha Land
Into dust particles,
One can give, as alms, treasures filling Buddha Lands that are
As numerous as dust particles.
Those who have heard this samādhi
Have merit greater than that of the almsgiver.
Their merit is beyond analogy.

I entrust you all to teach others
To progress energetically without negligence or indolence.
Those who recite and uphold this samādhi sūtra
Have already beheld 100,000 Buddhas.
As for the huge dread at the final moment of life,
Those abiding in this samādhi will have no fear.
Bhikṣus who train in this way have already seen me.
They will always follow the Buddha, never far from Him.
As the Buddha’s words never change,
Bodhisattvas should always follow His teachings
To attain quickly samyak-saṁbodhi, the ocean of wisdom.

Chapter 5
The Four Groups of Disciples

Bhadrapāla asked the Buddha, “Unrivaled God of Gods, if there are those who, after abandoning loves and desires to become bhikṣus, have heard of this samādhi, how should they learn, uphold, and practice it?”
The Buddha replied, “Those who, having abandoned loves and desires and become bhikṣus, aspire to learn this samādhi should observe their precepts with purity, without any flaw even as slight as a hair. To remain pure, they should dread the suffering of hell and refrain from sycophancy.”
“What is a flaw in observing the precepts?”
The Buddha replied, “Seeking form.”
“What is meant by seeking form?”
The Buddha replied, “If a person’s motive of observing the precepts for self-restraint is to be reborn in the next life as a god or a Wheel-Turning King, such a wish for pleasures, loves, and desires is called a flaw in observing the precepts.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Those who protect their purity, fully observe their precepts, and do not adulate others, are always praised by the wise. They should give alms and progress energetically in accordance with the sūtras. Their resolve should be strong, and they should have great faith and sympathetic joy. Those who serve their teachers as they do Buddhas will attain this samādhi quickly. Those who are disrespectful and readily deceitful to their teachers will quickly lose this samādhi, though they have been training for a long time.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Bodhisattvas who have heard this samādhi from bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, or upāsikās should regard them as Buddhas and respect them without intending sycophancy. Bodhisattvas should never be sycophantic but always be earnest. They should always delight in living alone. Though not begrudging even their lives, they should not hope for others to make requests of them. They should always beg for food, not accepting meal invitations. They should guard their moral integrity and be content with what they have. They should do walking meditation, not lying down to relax. Those who are learning this samādhi should abide by the teachings in the sūtras.”
Bhadrapāla said to the Buddha, “Unrivaled God of Gods, it cannot be helped that, in future times, there will be negligent and indolent Bodhisattvas who, after hearing this samādhi, will not learn it diligently. However, there will be Bodhisattvas who aspire to learn this samādhi and progress energetically, and we will teach them to follow the Dharma in this sūtra.”
    The Buddha said, “Very good, Bhadrapāla, as I express my sympathetic joy,2 so too Buddhas of the past, future, and present all express their sympathetic joy.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

Accept and uphold all that I say.
Always live alone and accumulate merit.
Guarding your moral integrity, do not join crowds.
Always beg for food, not accepting meal invitations.
Respect Dharma masters and regard them as Buddhas.
Avoid sleep and strengthen willpower.
Always progress energetically, without negligence or indolence.
Those who train in this way will attain this samādhi.

Bhadrapāla asked the Buddha, “If bhikṣuṇīs who seek the Bodhisattva Way aspire to learn this samādhi, what should they do?”
The Buddha replied, “Bhikṣuṇīs who seek this samādhi should not elevate themselves. They should be humble, neither self-dignifying nor self-aggrandizing. They should harbor neither jealousy nor anger, nor greed for wealth, benefits, or sense objects. They should protect their purity, even at the cost of their lives. They should always delight in the Dharma in the sūtras and learn as much as possible. They should discard greed, anger, and delusion, and they should not be greedy for fine clothing or adornments, such as necklaces of gems. Then they will be praised by the wise. They should respect beneficent teachers and regard them as Buddhas, without intending sycophancy.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

If bhikṣuṇīs seek this samādhi,
They should progress energetically, never negligent or indolent.
Do not follow the mind of greed.
Remove anger and self-glorification.
Do not be arrogant, deceitful, or playful.
Always act in earnest, standing firm in the one faith.
Respect beneficent teachers and regard them as Buddhas.
Those who train in this way will attain this samādhi.

Bhadrapāla asked the Buddha, “If upāsakas who are training for bodhi have heard of this samādhi and aspire to learn it, what should they do?”
The Buddha replied, “Upāsakas who aspire to learn this samādhi should faithfully observe the five precepts. They should neither drink alcohol nor have others drink alcohol. They should not be intimate with women or advise others to be intimate with women. They should not be attached to their wives, nor to men or other women. They should not have greed for wealth. They should constantly think of renouncing family life to become śramaṇas. They should regularly observe the eight precepts in a Buddhist temple. They should always remember to give alms. Because alms are given to benefit others, after giving alms, they should not think: ‘I have gained merit.’ They should have great lovingkindness and respect for their beneficent teachers. When they see bhikṣus who observe their precepts, they should not readily talk about their faults. Having carried out these actions, they should learn to abide in this samādhi.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

Upāsakas who aspire to learn this samādhi
Should observe the five precepts without breach or flaw.
They should always think of becoming śramaṇas,
Not greedy for wives, riches, or sense objects.
They should regularly observe the eight precepts in a Buddhist temple.
Neither conceited nor contemptuous of others,
Their minds do not expect glory, nor think of wants.
They should carry out the Dharma in the sūtras, without a sycophantic mind.
Abandoning stinginess and greed, they should give generous alms.
They should always respect bhikṣus and make offerings to them.
They should resolve to take the one training without being negligent or indolent.
Those who are learning this samādhi should act in this way.

Bhadrapāla asked the Buddha, “If upāsikās who have heard of this samādhi aspire to learn it, what should they do?”
The Buddha replied, “If upāsikās aspire to learn this samādhi, they should observe the five precepts and willingly take refuge in the Three Jewels. What are these three? They should take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha, never to follow other paths. They should not make obeisance to gods, nor worship spirits. They should not select auspicious dates. They should not be playful or indulgent, or think of sensory pleasures. Subjugating the mind of greed, they should remember to give alms. Delighting in hearing the sūtras, they should remember to study hard and respect beneficent teachers. Their minds should be vigilant, never negligent or indolent. They should offer a sitting-down meal to bhikṣus or bhikṣuṇīs who pass by.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

Upāsikās who aspire to learn this samādhi
Should observe the five precepts without breach or flaw.
They should serve beneficent teachers and regard them as Buddhas.
They should not worship gods, nor idolize spirits.
They should stop killing, stealing, and feeling jealous.
They should never say divisive words to incite conflict among people.
They should be neither stingy nor greedy, but always remember to give alms.
They should not publicize the evil, but always praise the good.
They should refrain from sycophancy and sexual misconduct.
They should be humble, not self-aggrandizing.
They should respectfully serve bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs.
Those who train in this way will attain this samādhi.

Chapter 6
Support and Protection

The eight Bodhisattvas—Bhadrapāla, Ralinnāga, Gaujata, Naradatta, Suṣama, Mahāsusaha, Indrada, and Harandha—having heard the Buddha’s words, greatly rejoiced. They offered the Buddha 500 fine cotton garments and precious gems, and joyfully served the Buddha.
The Buddha told Ānanda, “Bhadrapāla and seven others are teachers to the 500 people who are with them. They will uphold the true Dharma, and teach and transform these people accordingly. Then these people will all be joyful, and their minds will be free from desires.”
At that time these 500 people joined their palms, standing before the Buddha. Bhadrapāla asked the Buddha, “How many things should Bodhisattvas do in order to attain this samādhi quickly?”
The Buddha replied, “There are four things. First, do not believe in other paths. Second, cease love and desire. Third, carry out the pure ways. Fourth, have no greed. These are the four. Those who do them will acquire 500 benefits in their present lives. For example, bhikṣus with the mind of lovingkindness will never be killed or harmed by poison, knives or other weapons, fire, or water. Even when a kalpa is ending with the world in flames, if they fall into that fire, it will extinguish, just like a small fire put out by a massive amount of water. Whether kings, thieves, water, or fire, whether dragons, yakṣas, serpents, lions, tigers, or wolves, whether forest phantoms, hungry ghosts, orkumbhāṇḍas, those who, targeting Bodhisattvas abiding in this samādhi, desire to bewitch them, kill them, rob them of their robes and bowls, or destroy their meditation and mindfulness, will never succeed. Unless such misfortune is brought about by their past karmas, things will be as I say, not different.”
The Buddha said, “Those who uphold this samādhi will not have ailments of the eye, ear, nose, mouth, or body, nor will they have anxiety in their minds, except for misfortune in response to karmas in their past lives.”
The Buddha said, “All gods, dragons, asuras, yakṣas, garuḍas, kiṁnaras, and mahoragas, as well as humans and nonhumans, will acclaim these Bodhisattvas. They all will support, protect, and serve these Bodhisattvas, and make offering to them. As they regard these Bodhisattvas with respect and wish to see them, so too will Buddha-Bhagavāns. If there are sūtras that these Bodhisattvas did not hear or uphold before, they will obtain them because of the awesome power of this samādhi. If they do not obtain them during the day, they will receive them in a night dream.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “I can describe, for one kalpa after another, the merit of those who abide in this samādhi, but still cannot cover them all. I have only briefly mentioned a few essential ones.”

Chapter 7
Sympathetic Joy

The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Bodhisattvas can think four thoughts to kindle their sympathetic joy in order to attain this samādhi. First, past Buddhas [when they were Bodhisattvas] attained this samādhi because of their sympathetic joy, who then attained, through self-realization, anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, with full wisdom-knowledge. Second, innumerable present Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions [when they were Bodhisattvas] have attained this samādhi because of their sympathetic joy kindled by thinking these four thoughts. Third, future Buddhas [as present Bodhisattvas] will attain this samādhi because they also think these four thoughts to kindle their sympathetic joy. Fourth, I too have sympathetic joy.3
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “In regard to the four thoughts to kindle one’s sympathetic joy, I will use a few analogies. A person walks during his 100-year lifespan without rest, and he walks faster than the wind. Can you figure out the area he has covered?”
Bhadrapāla replied, “No one can calculate this. Only the Buddha’s disciple Śāriputra and Bodhisattvas at the spiritual level of avinivartanīya can figure this out.”
The Buddha said, “Therefore, as I say to Bodhisattvas, if there are good men and good women who give away, as alms, treasures that fill up the area traversed by that person, their merit is less than that from hearing this samādhi and thinking the four thoughts to kindle sympathetic joy. This merit is a billion koṭi times more than that from giving alms. Know that the merit acquired from having sympathetic joy is great.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Far back, incalculable asaṁkhyeya kalpas ago, in a remote place lived a Buddha called Siṁhamati, the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Men, Buddha the World-Honored One. At that time the continent of Jambudvīpa was 180,000 koṭi lis in length and width. There were 6,400,000 kingdoms, prosperous and densely populated. There was a great kingdom called Bhadrakara, ruled by a Wheel-Turning King named Vaiścin. He went to that Buddha, made obeisance, and stepped back to sit on one side. That Buddha knew his intention and pronounced this samādhi sūtra to him. Having heard it, the king, with sympathetic joy, showered jewels upon that Buddha as he thought to himself: ‘I should transfer this merit to people [in worlds] in the ten directions to give them peace.’
“After Siṁhamati Buddha entered parinirvāṇa, the king Vaiścin died. He was reborn in his own family and became the crown prince called Brahmada. At that time there was a bhikṣu called Jewel, who was pronouncing this samādhi sūtra to his four groups of disciples. Brahmada heard of it, and sympathetic joy arose in him. Exuberantly he took jewels worth hundreds of koṭis of great price and showered them upon that bhikṣu, and also offered him fine clothing. Resolved to seek the Buddha Way, together with 1,000 people, Brahmada became a śramaṇa under that bhikṣu. To hear this samādhi sūtra, he and the 1,000 people served their teacher tirelessly for 8,000 years. Because of hearing this samādhi sūtra, though only once, and thinking the four thoughts that kindled his sympathetic joy, he acquired excellent knowledge. For this reason, he subsequently saw 68,000 Buddhas. From each of these Buddhas, he heard this samādhi sūtra again. Through self-realization, he has become a Buddha called Tilavida, the Samyak-Saṁbuddha, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Humans, Buddha the World-Honored One. Those 1,000 bhikṣus have also attained samyak-saṁbodhi, and all of them are called Tilajuṣa. They have taught innumerable people to seek Buddha bodhi.”
The Buddha asked Bhadrapāla, “After hearing this samādhi sūtra, who would not have sympathetic joy? Who would rather not learn, uphold, and recite it, and explain it to others?”
The Buddha said, “Those who abide in this samādhi will quickly attain Buddhahood. The merit acquired from only hearing it is incalculable. Much greater is the merit acquired from learning and upholding it. One should seek this samādhi teaching even if it is 100 or 1,000 lis away. How can one not seek to learn it when it is close by? Those who, having heard of this samādhi, aspire to learn and uphold it, should serve their teachers for ten years, paying visits and making offerings, which they dare not use for themselves. They should follow their teachers’ teachings and always remember their kindness.”
The Buddha said, “Therefore, I tell you this. If one travels 4,000 lis to hear this samādhi sūtra, one’s merit is incalculable even if one fails to hear it. Why? Because, with such motivation to make energetic progress, one will attain Buddhahood through self-realization.”

Chapter 8
Utmost Sincerity

The Buddha said, “In the distant past, there was a Buddha called Sacanama, the Samyak-Saṁbuddha, Unsurpassed One, Teacher to Gods and Men, Buddha the World-Honored One. At that time there lived a bhikṣu named Halan. After that Buddha entered parinirvāṇa, that bhikṣu upheld this samādhi sūtra. At that time I was a king, in the kṣatriyacaste, and I heard of this samādhi sūtra in a dream. Upon waking, I immediately went to that bhikṣu and became a śramaṇa under him. For the sake of hearing this samādhi sūtra, I served that teacher for 36,000 years. However, I was unable to hear it because time and again māra matters arose.”
The Buddha told the bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās: “Hence I tell you all to learn this samādhi as soon as possible, never to lose it. You should properly serve your teacher and uphold this samādhi sūtra for one kalpa, 100 kalpas, or even 100,000 kalpas, never negligent or indolent. You should stay with a beneficent teacher and never leave him. Do not begrudge food, drink, life-supporting goods, clothing, bedding, beds, or precious jewels. If you do not have any, you should beg for food and offer it to your teacher. Work tirelessly to attain this samādhi. You should even cut off your own flesh to offer to your beneficent teacher, not to mention giving precious things. Serve your beneficent teacher, like a slave serving a great family. Those who seek this samādhi should act in this way.
“Having attained this samādhi, one should abide in it and always remember the kindness of one’s teacher. This samādhi sūtra is hard to encounter. There are those who seek for 100,000 kalpas but cannot even hear the name of this samādhi. How could anyone who has learned it not progress diligently? If there are those who give, as alms, treasures filling Buddha Lands as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, they cannot be compared with one who is learning this samādhi or one who has attained it, is progressing energetically, and is teaching it to others.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “If there are those who aspire to learn this samādhi, they need to have sympathetic joy in order to succeed. Students are enabled to learn it by virtue of Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power. They should copy this samādhi sūtra on fine fabric, consecrate the copies with the Buddha Seal, and make offerings. What is the Buddha Seal? It refers to freedom from deluded states—no greed, no quest, no perception, no attachment, no wish for rebirth, no intended life form for rebirth, no grasping, no concern, no abiding, no obstruction, no bondage, no existence, no desire, no birth, no death, no destruction, and no decay. This seal is the essence and the root of bodhi. It is beyond Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas, not to mention fools. This seal is the Buddha Seal.”
The Buddha said, “As I now pronounce this samādhi, 1,800 koṭi gods, asuras, spirits, dragons, and their retinues have entered the holy stream, becoming Srotāpannas, and 800 bhikṣus and 500 bhikṣuṇīs have become Arhats. Ten thousand Bodhisattvas have attained this samādhi, realizing that dharmas have no birth. Twelve thousand Bodhisattvas have attained the spiritual level of no regress.”
The Buddha told the bhikṣus Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana, as well as Bhadrapāla Bodhisattva and others: “I sought bodhi for uncountable kalpas, and I now have attained Buddhahood. I uphold this sūtra and entrust it to you all. Study and recite it, uphold and guard it, and do not forget or lose it. If there are those who aspire to learn it, you should teach them completely in accordance with the Dharma. You should pronounce it fully to those who wish to hear it.”
After the Buddha pronounced this sūtra, Bhadrapāla Bodhisattva and the bhikṣus Śāriputra, Maudgalyāyana, and Ānanda, as well as gods, asuras, dragons, spirits, and their retinues, greatly rejoiced. They made obeisance to the Buddha and departed.

Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Pratyutpanna Buddha Sammukhāvasthita Samādhi
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T13n0417)


    1. Bhadrapāla Bodhisattva, the interlocutor in this sūtra, is the first of the sixteen Upright Ones in Sūtra 25. He also appears in Sūtras 18 and 19, in which his Sanskrit name is translated by meaning as Worthy Protector. (Return to text)
    2. Here, the Chinese phrase is actually “zhuqi huanxi” (助其歡喜), which means “aid them to rejoice.” This phrase is found in another version of this sūtra (T13n0418), also translated by Lokakṣema (支婁迦讖, or 支讖, 147–?). However, in the later version of this sūtra (T13n0416), translated by Jñānagupta (闍那崛多, 523–600), used instead is the phrase “suixi” (隨喜), which means “express sympathetic joy.” This is the fifth of the ten great actions taught by Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Sūtra 21), and it appears in many other sūtras. For consistency, all cases of “aid them to rejoice” are translated as “express sympathetic joy.” (Return to text)
    3. The corresponding passage in text 416, fascicle 5, chapter 15, better explains the fourth thought: “I now share the merit acquired from my sympathetic joy with all sentient beings so that we all have sympathetic joy and will acquire this samādhi, hear much of the Dharma, and attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi” (T13n0416, 0894b22–24). (Return to text)



BEQUEATHED BY THE BUDDHA(just before His Parinibbana)

Translated into Chinese by the Indian Acarya Kumarajiva sometime prior to the year 956 Buddhist Era.[1]


WHEN LORD BUDDHA, Sage of the Sakyas, first turned the Wheel of the Dhamma, Venerable Annakondanna crossed over (the ocean of birth and death); while as a result of his last Discourse Venerable Subhadda crossed over likewise. All those who were (ready) to cross over, them he (helped) to cross over. When about to attain Final Nibbana, he was lying between the twin sala trees in the middle watch of the night. No sound disturbed the calm and silence; then, for the sake of the disciples (savaka), he spoke briefly on the essentials of Dhamma:

1. Exhortation on keeping the Precepts

O bhikkhus, after my Parinibbana you should reverence and honor the Precepts of the Patimokkha. Treat them as a light which you have discovered in the dark, or as a poor man would treat a treasure found by him. You should know that they are your chief guide and there should be no difference (in your observance of them) from when I yet remained in the world. If you would maintain in purity the Precepts, you should not give yourselves over to buying, selling or barter. You should not covet fields or buildings, nor accumulate servants, attendants or animals. You should flee from all sorts of property and wealth as you would avoid a fire or a pit. You should not cut down grass or trees, neither break new soil nor plough the earth. Nor may you compound medicines, practice divination or sorcery according to the position of the stars, cast horoscopes by the waxing and waning of the moon, nor reckon days of good fortune. All these are things which are improper (for a bhikkhu).

Conduct yourselves in purity, eating only at the proper times and living your lives in purity and solitude. You should not concern yourselves with worldly affairs, nor yet circulate rumors. You should not mumble incantations, mix magic potions, nor bind yourselves in friendship to powerful persons, showing to them and the rich (special) friend-liness while treating with contempt those lacking (in worldly wealth, power and so forth). All such things are not to be done!

You should seek, with a steadfast mind, and with Right Mindfulness (samma sati), for Enlightenment. Neither conceal your faults (within), nor work wonders (without), thereby leading (yourself and) other people astray. As to the four offerings, be content with them, knowing what is sufficient. Receive them when offered but do not hoard them. This, briefly, is what is meant by observing the Precepts. These Precepts are fundamental (to a life based on Dhamma-Vinaya) and accord exactly with freedom (mokkha), and so are called the Patimokkha. By relying on them you may attain all levels of collectedness (samadhi) and likewise the knowledge of the extinction of dukkha (unsatisfactoriness). It is for this reason, bhikkhus, that you should always maintain the Precepts in purity and never break them. If you can keep these Precepts pure you possess an excellent (method for the attainment of Enlightenment), but if you do not do so, no merit of any kind will accrue to you. You ought to know for this reason that the Precepts are the chief dwelling-place of the merit which results in both body and mind (citta) being at rest.

2. Exhortation on the control of Mind and Body.

O bhikkus, if you are able already to keep within the Precepts, you must next control the five senses, not permitting the entry of the five sense desires by your unrestraint, just as a cowherd by taking and showing his stick prevents cows from entering another’s field, ripe for the harvest. In an evil-doer indulging the five senses, his five desires will not only exceed all bounds but will become uncontrollable, just as a wild horse unchecked by the bridle must soon drag the man leading it into a pit. If a man be robbed, his sorrow does not extend beyond the period of his life but the evil of that robber (sense-desires) and the depredations caused by him bring calamities extending over many lives, creating very great dukkha. You should control yourselves!

Hence, wise men control themselves and do not indulge their senses but guard them like robbers who must not be allowed freedom from restraint. If you do allow them freedom from restraint, before long you will be destroyed by Mara. The mind is the lord of the five senses and for this reason you should well control the mind. Indeed, you ought to fear indulgence of the mind’s (desires) more than poisonous snakes, savage beasts, dangerous robbers or fierce conflagrations. No simile is strong enough to illustrate (this danger). But think of a man carrying a jar of honey who, as he goes, heeds only the honey and is unaware of a deep pit (in his path)! Or think of a mad elephant unrestrained by shackles! Again, consider a monkey who after climbing into a tree, cannot, except with difficulty, be controlled! Such as these would be difficult to check; therefore hasten to control your desires and do not let them go unrestrained! Indulge the mind (with its desires) and you lose the benefit of being born a man; check it completely and there is nothing you will be unable to accomplish. That is the reason, O bhikkhus, why should strive hard to subdue your minds.

3. Exhortation on the moderate use of food.

O bhikkhus, in receiving all sorts of food and drinks, you should regard them as if taking medicine. Whether they be good or bad, do not accept or reject according to your likes and dislikes; just use them to support your bodies, thereby staying hunger and thirst. As bees while foraging among the flowers extract only the nectar, without harming their color and scent, just so, O bhikkhus, should you do (when collecting alms-food). Accept just enough of what people offer to you for the avoidance of distress. But do not ask for much and thereby spoil the goodness of their hearts, just as the wise man, having estimated the strength of his ox, does not wear out its strength by overloading.

4. Exhortation on sleeping.

O bhikkhus, by day you should practice good Dhamma and not allow yourselves to waste time. In the early evening and late at night do not cease to make an effort, while in the middle of the night you should chant the Suttas to make yourselves better informed. Do not allow yourselves to pass your lives vainly and fruitlessly on account of sleep. You should envisage the world as being consumed by a great fire and quickly determine to save yourselves from it. Do not (spend much time in) sleep! The robbers of the three afflictions forever lie in wait to kill men so that (your danger) is even greater than in a household rent by hatred. So, fearful, how can you sleep and not arouse yourselves? These afflictions are a poisonous snake asleep in your own hearts. They are like a black cobra sleeping in your room. Destroy the snake quickly with the sharp spear of keeping to Precepts! Only when that dormant snake has been driven away will you be able to rest peacefully. If you sleep, not having driven it away, you are men without shame (hiri). The clothing of shame (hiri) among all ornaments, is the very best. Shame can also be compared to an iron goad that can control all human wrong-doing; for which reason, O bhikkhus, you should always feel ashamed of unskillful actions (akusalakamma). You should not be without it even for a moment, for if you are parted from shame, all merits will be lost to you. He who has fear of blame (ottappa) has that which is good, while he who has no fear of blame (anottappa) is not different from the birds and beasts.

5. Exhortation on refraining from anger and ill will.

O bhikkhus, if there were one who came and dismembered you joint by joint, you should not hate him but rather include him in your heart (of friendliness — metta). Besides, you should guard your speech and refrain from reviling him. If you succumb to thoughts of hatred you block your own (progress in) Dhamma and lose the benefits of (accumulated) merits. Patience (khanti) is a virtue which cannot be equaled even by keeping the Precepts and (undertaking) the Austere Practices. Whosoever is able to practice patience can be truly called a great and strong man, but he who is unable to endure abuse as happily as though he were drinking ambrosia, cannot be called one attained to knowledge of Dhamma. Why is this? The harm caused by anger and resentment shatters all your goodness and so (greatly) spoils your good name that neither present nor future generations of men will wish to hear it. You should know that angry thoughts are more terrible than a great fire, so continually guard yourselves against them and do not let them gain entrance. Among the three robbers (the afflictions), none steals merit more than anger and resentment: Those householders dressed in white who have desires and practice little Dhamma, in them, having no way to control themselves, anger may still be excusable; but among those become homeless (pabbajjita) because they wish to practice Dhamma and to abandon desire, the harboring of anger and resentment is scarcely to be expected, just as one does not look for thunder or lightning from a translucent, filmy cloud.

6. Exhortation on refraining from arrogance and contempt.

O bhikkhus, rubbing your heads you should deeply consider yourselves in this way: ‘It is good that I have discarded personal adornment. I wear the russet robe of patches and carry a bowl with which to sustain life.’ When thoughts of arrogance or contempt arise, you must quickly destroy them by regarding yourselves in this way. The growth of arrogance and contempt is not proper among those wearing white and living the household life: how much less so for you, gone forth to homelessness! You should subdue your bodies, collecting food (in your bowls) for the sake of Dhamma-practice to realize Enlightenment.

7. Exhortation on flattery.

O bhikkhus, a mind inclined to flattery is incompatible with Dhamma, therefore it is right to examine and correct such a mind. You should know that flattery is nothing but deception, so that those who have entered the way of Dhamma-practice have no use for it. For this reason, be certain to examine and correct the errors of the mind, for to do so is fundamental.

1. The virtue of few wishes.

O bhikkhus, you should know that those having many desires, by reason of their desire for selfish profit, experience much dukkha. Those with few desires, neither desiring nor seeking anything, do not therefore experience such dukkha. Straight-away lessen your desires! Further, in order to obtain all kinds of merit you should practice the fewness of desires. Those who desire little do not indulge in flattery so as to away another’s mind, nor are they led by their desires. Those who practice the diminishing of desires thus achieve a mind of contentment having no cause for either grief or fear and, finding the things they receive are sufficient, never suffer from want. From this cause indeed, (comes) Nibbana. Such is the meaning of ‘having few wishes.’

2. The virtue of contentment.

O bhikkhus, if you wish to escape from all kinds of dukkha, you must see that you are contented. The virtue of contentment is the basis of abundance, happiness, peace and seclusion. Those who are contented are happy even though they have to sleep on the ground. Those who are not contented would not be so though they lived in celestial mansions. Such people feel poor even though they are rich, while those who are contented are rich even in poverty. The former are constantly led by their five desires and are greatly pitied by the contented Such is the meaning of ‘contentment’.

3. The virtue of seclusion.

O bhikkhus, seek the joy of quietness and passivity. Avoid confusion and noise and dwell alone in secluded places. Those who dwell in solitude are worshipped with reverence by Sakka and all celestials. This is why you should leave your own and other clans to live alone in quiet places, reflecting (to devdop insight) upon dukkha, its arising and its cessation. Those who rejoice in the pleasures of company must bear as well the pains of company, as when many birds flock to a great tree it may wither and collapse. Attachment to worldly things immerses one in the dukkha experienced by all men, like an old elephant bogged down in a swamp from which he cannot extricate himself. Such is the meaning of ‘secluding oneself.’

4. The virtue of energetic striving.

O bhikkhus, if you strive diligently, nothing will be difficult for you. As a little water constantly trickling can bore a hole through a rock, so must you always strive energetically. If the mind of a disciple (savaka) becomes idle and inattentive, he will resemble one who tries to make fire by friction but rests before the heat is sufficient. However much he desires fire, he cannot (make even a spark). Such is the meaning of ‘energetic striving’.

5. The virtue of attentiveness.

O bhikkhus, seek for a Noble Friend (kalyanamitta). Seek him who will best (be able to) aid you (in developing) the unexcelled and unbroken attention. If you are attentive, none of the (three) robbers, the afflictions, can enter your mind. That is why you must keep your mind in a state of constant attention, for by loss of attention you lose all merits. If your power of attention is very great, though you fall among (conditions favoring) the five robbers of sense-desire, you will not be harmed by them, just as a warrior entering a battle well covered by armor has nothing to fear. Such is the meaning of ‘unbroken attention.’

6. The virtue of collectedness (samadhi).

O bhikkhus, if you guard your mind, so guarded the mind will remain in a state of steady collectedness. If your minds are in a state of collectedness, you will be able to understand the arising and passing away of the impermanent world. For this reason you should strive constantly to practice the various stages of absorption (jhana). When one of these states of collectedness is reached, the mind no longer wanders. A disciple who practices (to attain collectedness) is just like an irrigator who properly regulates his dykes. As he guards water, even a small amount, so should you guard the water of wisdom, thereby preventing it from leaking away. Such is the meaning of ‘collectedness’.

7. The virtue of wisdom. (PRAJNA)

O bhikkhus, if you have wisdom, then do not hunger to make a display of it. Ever look within yourselves so that you do not fall into any fault. In this way you will be able to attain freedom from (the tangle of) the interior and exterior (spheres of senses and sense-objects–ayatana). If you do not accomplish this you cannot be called Dhamma practicers, nor yet are you common persons clad in white, so there will be no name to fit you! Wisdom is a firmly -bound raft which will ferry you across the ocean of birth, old age, sickness and death. Again, it is a brilliant light with which to dispel the black obscurity of ignorance. It is a good medicine for all who are ill. It is a sharp axe for cutting down the strangling fig–tree of the afflictions. That is why you should, by the hearing-, thinking- and development-wisdoms increase your benefits (from Dhamma). If you have Insight (vipassana) stemming from (development-wisdom), though your eyes are but fleshly organs you will be able to see clearly (into your own citta.) Such is the meaning of ‘wisdom’.

8. The virtue of restraint from idle talk.

O bhikkhus, if you indulge in all sorts of idle discussions then your mind will be full of chaotic thoughts, and though you have gone forth to homelessness you will be unable to attain Freedom. That is why, O bhikkhus, you should immediately cease from chaotic thoughts and idle discussions. If you want to attain the Happiness of Nibbana, you must eliminate completely the illness of idle discussion.

O bhikkhus, as regards all kinds of virtue, you should ever rid yourselves of laxity, as you would flee from a hateful robber. That Dhamma which the greatly-compassionate Lord has taught for your benefit is now concluded, but it is for you to strive diligently to practice this teaching. Whether you live in the mountains or on the great plains, whether you sojourn beneath a tree or in your own secluded dwellings, bear in mind the Dhamma you have received and let none of it be lost. You should always exert yourselves in practicing it diligently, lest you die after wasting a whole lifetime and come to regret it afterwards. I am like a good doctor who, having diagnosed the complaint, prescribes some medicine; but whether it is taken or not, does not depend on the doctor. Again, I am like a good guide who points out the best road; but if, having heard of it, (the enquirer) does not take it, the fault is not with the guide.

O bhikkhus, if you have any doubts regarding the Four Noble Truths: of unsatis-factoriness (dukkha) and the rest, (its arising. its cessation and the Practice-path going to its cessation), you should ask about them at once. Do not harbor such doubts without seeking to resolve them.

On that occasion the Lord spoke thus three times, yet there were none who question-ed him. And why was that? Because there were none in that assembly (of bhikkhus) who harbored any doubts.

Then the venerable Anuruddha, seeing what was in the minds of those assembled, respectfully  addressed the Buddha thus: ‘Lord, the moon may grow hot and the sun may become cold, but the Four Noble Truths proclaimed by the Lord cannot be otherwise. The Truth of Dukkha taught by the Lord describes real dukkha which cannot become happiness. The accumulation of desires truly is the cause of the Arising of Dukkha; there can never be a different cause. If dukkha is destroyed (the Cessation of Dukkha), it is because the cause of dukkha has been destroyed, for if the cause is destroyed the result must also be destroyed. The Practice path going to the Cessation of Dukkha is the true path, nor can there be another. Lord, all these bhikkhus are certain and have no doubts about the Four Noble Truths.

In this assembly, those who have not yet done what should be done (i. e., attained to Enlightenment), will, on seeing the Lord attain Final Nibbana, certainly feel sorrowful. (Among them) those who have newly entered upon the Dhamma-way and who have heard what the Lord has (just said), they will all reach Enlightenment (in due course) seeing Dhamma as clearly as a flash of lightning in the dark of the night. But is there anyone who has done what should be done (being an Arahant), already having crossed over the ocean of dukkha who will think thus: “The Lord has attained Final Nibbana; why was this done so quickly?”

Although the Venerable Anuruddha had thus spoken these words, and the whole assembly had penetrated the meaning of the Four Noble Truths, still the Lord wished to strengthen all in that great assembly. With a mind of infinite compassion he spoke (again) for their benefit.

“O bhikkhus, do not feel grieved. If I were to live in the world for a whole aeon (kappa), my association with you would still come to an end, since a meeting with no parting is an impossibility. The Dhamma is now complete for each and every one, so even if I were to live longer it would be of no benefit at all. Those who were (ready) to cross over, both among the celestials and men, have all without exception attained Enlightenment, while those who have not yet completed their crossing (of the ocean of Samsara to the Further Shore or Nibbana) have already produced the necessary causes (to enable them to do so in course of time).

From now on, all my disciples must continue to practice (in this way) without ceasing, whereby the body of the Tathagata’s Dhamma will be ever lasting and indestructi-ble. But as to the world, nothing there is eternal, so that all meeting must be followed by partings. Hence, do not harbor grief, for such (impermanence) is the nature of worldly things. But do strive diligently and quickly seek for Freedom. With the light of Perfect Wisdom destroy the darkness of ignorance, for in this world is nothing strong or enduring.

Now that I am about to attain Final Nibbana, it is like being rid of a terrible sickness. This body is a thing of which we are indeed well rid, an evil thing falsely going by the name of self and sunk in the ocean of birth, disease, old age and death. Can a wise man do aught but rejoice when he is able to rid himself of it, as others might (be glad) when slaying a hateful robber?

O bhikkhus, you should always exert the mind, seeking the Way out (of the Wandering-on, or samsara). All forms in the world, without exception, whether moving or non-moving, are subject to decay and followed by destruction. All of you should stop. It is needless to speak again. Time is passing away. I wish to cross over to Freedom (from existence in this world). These are my very last instructions.”
Notes from the editor of the web edition
[1] Around 344-413 AD.

Print version published by The Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS)


Buddhism Study and Practice Group (http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/)

idealshanghai | Fresco aficionado envisions grottoes

PAINTER Wang Zheng has devoted half his life, around 20 years, to studying and reproducing the spectacular frescoes in the earliest major Buddhist cave complex in China, in the far west Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Wang sometimes bows and murmurs before grotto figures dating back more than 1,500 years. It has become Wang’s mission to research and spread appreciation of early religious art from Silk Road centers of civilization.

Though his work is acclaimed and he could earn large sums for both his reproductions and original art, which are considered treasures, he seldom sells his work, saying the profit motive violates Buddhist principles.  

 READ MORE at  idealshanghai | Fresco aficionado envisions grottoes.

A gift for 1 of 84,000 Dharma Doors friends and subscribers _/\_

I developed this app mainly for my 108 bows buddhist practice and meditation.
“I developed this app mainly for my 108 bows buddhist practice and meditation.”


Dharma Timer Counter Lite is a very simple (yet), small (just 200KB, compared to several MB of other similar apps) and intuitive timer/counter app that is suitable for measuring time in timed activities. It rings a beautiful bell at every specified interval for the specified number of times.  I developed this app mainly for my 108 bows buddhist practice and meditation.  Currently only one bell and limited UI/features that will be definitely upgraded gradually. Practice your mind with this app and get closer to attaining more enlightened mind! One can also increase/decrease the number so it can be used as a manual counter app as well.
Developers webpage http://www.melcornsoft.com/

With Metta,

Changhui Upasika

1 of 84,000 Dharma Doors blog

They are to be called The Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra

“They are to be called The Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra. Protect and transmit them in order to take humankind across. If you speak according to them, you will be speaking the Orthodox Dharma. I will explain the Dharma to you, but I will not transmit the robe, because your roots of faith are pure and ripe. You certainly have no doubts and are worthy of the great Work. According to the meaning of the transmission verse of the First Patriarch Bodhidharma, the robe should not be transmitted.”

Avalokiteshvara’s Methods and Vows//from Surangama Sutra // Meditation on the organ of hearing// Avalokiteshvara’s Methods

“As the Buddha now asks about the best means of perfection,
my method which consists in regulating the organ of
hearing so as to quiet the mind for its entry into the stream of
meditation leading to the state of Samàdhi and attainment of
Enlightenment is the best.
.World Honoured One, that Buddha praised my excellent
method of perfection and gave me, in the presence of
the assembly, the-name of Avalokiteshvara. Because of my
all-embracing (absolute function of) hearing, my name is
known everywhere…..”

Avalokiteshvara’s Methods and Vows//from Surangama Sutra // 
Meditation on the organ of hearing// Avalokiteshvara’s Methods

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva
and Vows//from Surangama Sutra
Thereupon Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva rose from his seat,
prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha
and declared: .I still remember that long before numbers of
aeons countless as the sand grains in the Ganges, a Buddha
called Avalokiteshvara appeared in the world. When I was
with Him, I developed the Bodhi Mind and, for my entry into
Samàdhi, I was instructed by Him to practise meditation by
means of the organ of hearing.
.At first by directing the organ of hearing into the
stream of meditation, this organ was detached from its object,
and by wiping out (the concept of) both sound and
stream-entry, both disturbance and stillness became clearly
non-existent. Thus advancing step by step both hearing and
its object ceased completely, but I did not stop where they
ended. When the awareness of this state and this state itself
were realized as non-existent, both subject and object
merged into the void, the awareness of which became all embracing.
With further elimination of the void and its object
both creation and annihilation vanished giving way to the
state of Nirvàna which then manifested.
.Suddenly I leaped over both the mundane and
supramundane, thereby realizing an all-embracing brightness
pervading the ten directions, and acquired two unsurpassed
(merits). The first was in accord with the fundamental
Profound Enlightened Mind of all the Buddhas high up
in the ten directions and possessed the same merciful
power as the Tathàgata. The second was in sympathy with
all living beings in the six realms of existence here below in
the ten directions and shared with them the same plea for
.World Honoured One, as I (followed and) made offerings
to the Tathàgata Avalokiteshvara, He taught me to use
my illusory hearing and sublimate it to realize the Diamond
(Vajra) Samàdhi which gave me the same power of mercy of
all Buddhas and enabled me to transform myself into thirtytwo
bodily forms for the. purpose of visiting all countries in
saüsàra (to convert and liberate living beings).
.World Honoured One, if there are Bodhisattvas who
practise Samàdhi to attain the transcendental (Mean), when
there is a chance for them to realize absolute Wisdom, I will
appear as a Buddha to teach them the Dharma to liberate
.If there are solitary students seeking (only) self enlightenment,
who practise the stillness of Nirvana, when
there is a chance for them to realize it, I will appear as a
teacher of self-enlightenment to teach them the Dharma to
liberate them.
.If there are students of the Four Noble Truths who,
after realizing the unreality of suffering and its accumulation,
tread the Path leading to the extinction of passions, when
there is a chance for them to achieve this, I will appear as a
hearer (sràvaka) to teach them the Dharma to liberate them.
.If there are living beings who realize (the harmfulness
of) desire in the mind and abstain from all worldly cravings to
achieve purity of body, I will appear as Brahmà to teach
them the Dharma to liberate them.
.If there are living beings who desire to be lords of
devas to rule over the realms of the gods, I will appear as
Sakra to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
.If there are living beings who wish to roam freely in the
ten directions, I will appear as Isvaradeva to teach them the
Dharma to that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to fly freely in empty
space, I will appear as Mahesvara to teach them the Dharma
so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be lords of ghosts
and spirits to protect their countries, I will appear as a great
warrior to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
.If there are living beings who wish to rule over the
world to protect all its inhabitants, I will appear as a deva king
of the four quarters to teach them the Dharma so that they
reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be reborn in the
palace of devas to command ghosts and spirits, I will appear
as a son of the deva king of the four quarters to teach them
the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be kings of
human beings, I will appear as a king to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals..
.If there are living beings who wish to be heads of clans
to enjoy the respects of their clansmen, I will appear as a respectable
elder (gçhapati) to teach them the Dharma so that
they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who enjoy discussing wellknown
sayings and practise pure living, I will appear as a respectable
scholar to teach them the Dharma so that they
reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to govern cities and
towns, I will appear as a magistrate to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who delight in practising mysticism
for self-welfare, I will appear as a Brahmin to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are men who are keen on study and learning
and leave home to practise the rules of morality and discipline,
I will appear as a bhikùu to teach them the Dharma so
that they reach their goals.
.If there are women who are eager to study and learn
and leave home to observe the precepts, I will appear as a
bhikùuõã to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
.If there are men who observe the five precepts, I will
appear as a upàsaka to teach them the Dharma so that they
reach their goals.
.If there are women who observe the five precepts, I
will appear as a upàsikà to teach them the Dharma so that
they reach their goals.
.If there are women who are keen to fulfil their home
duties thereby setting a good example to other families and
the whole country, I will appear as a queen, a princess or a
noble lady to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
.If there are young men who are chaste, I will appear as
a celibate youth to teach them the Dharma so that they reach
their goals.
.If there are young women who are keen to avoid carnality
in order to preserve their virginity, I will appear as a
maiden to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
.If there are gods who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a deva to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are dragons (nàgas) who wish to be freed from
bondage in their realms, I will appear, as a nàga to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are yakùas who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a yakùa to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are gandharvas who wish to be freed from
bondage in their realms, I will appear as a gandharva to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are asuras who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as an asura to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are garuóas who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a garuóa to teach them
the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are kinnaras who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a kinnara to teach them
the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are mahoragas who wish to be freed from
bondage in their realms, I will appear as a mahoraga to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be reborn as
human beings, I will appear in human form to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are non-human beings with or without forms
and either thoughtful or thoughtless, who wish to be freed
from bondage in their realms, I will appear as one of them to
teach them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.These are my thirty-two transformation-bodies in
response to (the needs of) all countries in saüsàra,
achieved by means of the uncreated sovereign power of
Samàdhi realized in my practice of sublimating the faculty
of hearing.
.World Honoured One, I also use this uncreated sovereign
power of Diamond Samàdhi, derived from sublimating
hearing, to share with all living beings in the six realms in the
ten directions the same plea for compassion, and to bestow
upon them fourteen kinds of fearlessness which emanate
from my body and mind.
1. .Since I myself do not meditate on sound but on the
meditator, I cause all suffering beings to look into the sound
of their voices in order to obtain liberation.155
2. .By returning (discriminative) intellect to its (absolute)
source, I cause them to avoid being burned when they
find themselves in a great fire.
3. .By returning hearing to its source, I cause them to
avoid drowning when they are adrift on the sea.
4. .By stopping wrong thinking and thereby cleansing
their minds of harmfulness, I lead them to safety when they
wander in the realm of evil ghosts.
5. .By sublimating their (wrong) hearing to restore its
155. This is a very profound meditation which readers should not let pass without careful study if they
wish to know why Avalokite÷vara is so popular in Far Eastern countries where he is the merciful
patron saint. By discarding the sound to look into the meditator himself, that is into the nature of
hearing, he disengages himself from both organs and sense data and thereby realizes his allembracing
Buddha nature which contains all living beings. By developing their pure faith in him
and by calling his name, or concentrating on him, they achieve singleness of mind that mingles with
his Bodhi substance and become one with him; hence their liberation from sufferings which do not
exist in the absolute state.

absolute condition, thereby purifying all six organs and perfecting
their functions, I cause them, when in danger, to be
immune from sharp weapons which become blunt and useless
like water that cannot be cut and daylight that cannot be
blown away, because their (underlying) nature does not
6. .By perfecting the sublimation of their hearing, its
bright light pervades the whole Dharma realm to destroy the
darkness (of ignorance) thereby dazzling evil beings such as
yakùa, rakùa, kuübhàõóa, pisàcã, påtana, etc., who cannot
see them when meeting them.
7. .When hearing is reversed so that sound vanishes
completely, all illusory objects of sense disappear so that
(practisers) are freed from fetters which can no longer restrain
8: .The elimination of sound to perfect hearing results
in universal compassion so that they can pass through
regions infested with robbers and bandits who cannot plunder
9. .The sublimation of hearing disengages them from
the objects of sense and makes them immune from (attractive)
forms, thereby enabling lustful beings to get rid of desires
and cravings.
10. .The sublimation of sound eliminates all sense
data and results in the perfect mingling of each organ with
its objects and the total eradication of subject and object,
thereby enabling all vindictive beings to bury anger and
11. .After the elimination of sense data and the return to
the bright (Reality), both inner body and mind and outer phenomena
become crystal dear and free from all hindrances, so
that dull and ignorant unbelievers (icchantika) can get rid of
the darkness of ignorance.
12. .When their bodies are in harmony with the nature
of hearing, they can, from their immutable state of enlightenment
(bodhimaõóala), re-enter the world (to liberate others)
without harming the worldly, and can go anywhere to make
offerings to Buddhas countless as dust, serving every Tathà-
gata in the capacity of a son of the King of the Law and
having the power to give male heirs with blessed virtues and
wisdom to childless people who want boys.
13. .The perfecting of the six organs unifies their divided
functions so that they become all-embracing, thus revealing
the Great Mirror (Wisdom) and immaterial Tathàgata
womb compatible with all Dharma doors taught by Buddhas
as uncountable as dust. They can bestow upright, blessed,
gracious, and respect-inspiring girls on childless parents who
want daughters.
14. .In this great chiliocosm which contains a hundred
lacs of suns and moons, there are now Bodhisattvas countless
as sand grains in sixty-two156 Ganges rivers. They practise
the Dharma to set a good example to all living beings by
befriending, teaching and converting them; in their wisdom
their expedient methods differ. Because I used one penetrat-
156. The digit 6 stands for the sixth consciousness, or mad mind, which creates the duality of ego and
dharma, symbolized by the digit 2. The duty of every Bodhisattva is to liberate living beings
deceived by the illusions thus created.
ing organ which led to my realization through the faculty of
hearing, my body and mind embrace the whole Dharmarealm
in which I teach all living beings to concentrate their
minds on calling my name. The merits that follow are the
same as those derived from calling on the names of all these
Bodhisattvas. World Honoured One, my single name does
not differ from those uncountable ones, because of my practice
and training which led to my true enlightenment. These
are the fourteen fearless (powers) which I bestow upon living
.World Honoured One, because of my Perfect Understanding
which led to my attainment of the Supreme Path, I
acquired four inconceivable absolute virtues.
1. .When I first realized the hearing mind which was
most profound, the Essence of Mind (i.e. the Tathàgata store)
disengaged itself from hearing and could no longer be divided
by seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing, and so became
one pure and clean all-pervading precious Bodhi. This is why
I can take on different wonderful forms and master a countless
number of esoteric mantras. I can appear with one,
three, five, seven, nine, eleven and up to 108, 1,000, 10,000
and 84,000 sovereign (cakra) faces; with two, four, six, eight,
ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty, twenty-four
and up to 108, 1,000, 10,000 and 84,000 arms making various
gestures (mudràs); and with two, three, four, nine up to
108, 1,000, 10,000 and 84,000 clean and pure precious
eyes, either merciful or wrathful, and in a state either of still
imperturbability (dhyàna-samàdhi) or of absolute wisdom
(praj¤à) to save and protect living beings so that they can
enjoy great freedom.
2. .Because of my meditation by means of the (organ
of) hearing, which resulted in my disengagement from the six
sense data, like a sound going through a wall without hindrance,
I can, with each appearance and with the aid of each
mantra, bestow fearlessness upon (suffering) beings in countries
as countless as dust in the ten directions in which I am
regarded as the Giver of Dauntlessness.
3. .Because of the perfection which I won by sublimating
the appropriate organ, living beings in countries which I
visit (lay down their desires and attachments and) offer their
bodies and treasures to implore my compassion.
4. .As 1 have realized the Buddha mind and attained
Ultimate (Reality) I can make offerings to the Tathàgatas in
ten directions and satisfy living beings in the six worlds who
seek (virtuous) wives, (good) sons, samàdhi, long life and
even parinirvàõa.
.As the Buddha now asks about the best means of perfection,
my method which consists in regulating the organ of
hearing so as to quiet the mind for its entry into the stream of
meditation leading to the state of Samàdhi and attainment of
Enlightenment is the best.
.World Honoured One, that Buddha praised my excellent
method of perfection and gave me, in the presence of
the assembly, the-name of Avalokiteshvara. Because of my
all-embracing (absolute function of) hearing, my name is
known everywhere..
Thereupon, the Buddha, from His lion-seat, sent out
from the five members of His body, rays of light which reached
and shone on the heads of the Tathàgatas and Bodhisattvas
countless as dust in the ten directions. In return countless
Tathàgatas sent back rays of light which shone on the heads of
the Buddha, great Bodhisattvas and Arhats in the assembly,
causing the groves and streams to intone the Dharma and uncountable
rays of light to interlace in precious nets, a spectacle
never seen before. As, a result, all (the Bodhisattvas and
Arhats in the assembly) realized the Diamond Samàdhi. At the
same time showers of green, yellow, red and white lotus blossoms
turned the whole of space into a seven coloured expanse
and caused mountains, rivers and the great earth to disappear
and all the countless other realms to merge into one universe
filled with songs and recitations.157
Thereupon, the Tathàgata said to Ma¤jusrã: .Son of the
Dharma king, these twenty-five Bodhisattvas and Arhats
who no longer need to study and learn, have related the expedient
methods used by them at the start of their practice
for their realization of Bodhi. In reality each of these methods
does not differ from, and is neither superior nor inferior to the
others. Tell me which one of them is suitable to ânanda so
that he can awaken to it and which one is easy of achievement,
for the benefit of living beings who, after my nirvàõa,
wish to practise with the Bodhisattva vehicle in their search
for Supreme Bodhi..
157. This reveals the blissful realm of Avalokiteshvara.s reward-body (sambhogakàya) wherein all
dualities and contraries are replaced by a uniform state of Sublime Majesty.

about Karma,Rebirth and Right View – Bhikkhu Bodhi

“It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that for Early Buddhism an understanding and acceptance of this principal of kamma and its fruit is an essential component of right view. Right view has two aspects, the world-bound or mundane aspect, which pertains to life within the world, and the supramundane or world-transcending aspect which pertains to the path to liberation. The world-transcending right view includes an understanding of the Four Noble Truths, dependent origination, and the three marks of impermanence, suffering and nonself. For Early Buddhism this world-transcending right view cannot be taken up in isolation from mundane right view.  Rather, it presupposes and depends upon the sound support of mundane right view, which means a firm conviction in the validity of the law of kamma and its unfolding through the process of rebirths. “


Excerpt from In The Buddha’s Words, An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi

Noble Silence -Lama Surya Das

Noble Silence -Lama Surya Das
“Listening takes place not just through the ears, but with all the senses. Sometimes the best way to prepare ourselves to hear in a new and better way is to be still and silent. When we quiet our motor minds — and our motor mouths — we find that we are better able to open our hearts. The ancient practice of Noble Silence helps us begin the process of hearing in a new way; this is a timeless and wise practice that helps us be more sensitive and perceptive.” -Lama Surya Das

Layman P’ang // poem 1

The past is already past.
Don’t try to regain it.
The present does not stay.
Don’t try to touch it.

From moment to moment.
The future has not come;
Don’t think about it

Whatever comes to the eye,
Leave it be.
There are no commandments
To be kept;
There’s no filth to be cleansed.

With empty mind really
Penetrated, the dharmas
Have no life.

When you can be like this,
You’ve completed
The ultimate attainment.

Layman P’ang (740-808)

For Mr. HE Jingtian, a Layman of Great Compassion By Master Hsu Yun

For Mr. HE Jingtian, a Layman of Great Compassion By Master Hsu Yun

Once, he competed for reputation,
And struggled for advantage in the world
As the Chu and the Han chased each other through the Gates of Qin.

Yet, in a nap, no longer than it takes to cook millet,
In a brief dream, he entered that peerless realm of emptiness.

This hero who solved the riddle of the world!
This man who sleeps as well on featherbed or grass!
Who copes with all the world’s events
And doesn’t calculate priorities.
With empty hand does he command the yin and yang of time.

It’s so hard for the Buddha to save us!
We take a wrong turn a thousand times.
Those who truly crave liberation
Must quickly take advantage of their time.

The Buddha’s words will shine like the white moon,
Illuminating the path that’s otherwise unlit.
The Temple Bell will awaken the sincere but sleeping…
Dong… Dong… again, again, it calls.

Think about the chances! Born as human beings!
Intelligent and strong! But our minds are seared with troubles
And we’re desperate for refuge from ourselves.

I’ve learned the teachings of the Dharma
And store that knowledge in my heart.
Guarding it keeps me safely here at home.

I know that what seems to exist came out of nowhere.
And what seems to disappear, never went away.
Appearing and vanishing – the illusions of coming and going.
Another illusion, a sadder one, is that we two human beings
Can ever stay together long.

The practice of no-thought

“What is meant by ‘no-thought?’ No-thought means to view all dharmas with a mind undefiled by attachment. The function pervades all places but is nowhere attached. Merely purify your original mind and cause the six consciousnesses to go out the six gates, to be undefiled and unmixed among the six objects, to come and go freely and penetrate without obstruction. That is the Prajna Samadhi and freedom and liberation, it is called the practi9ce of no-thought.” ~Sixth Patriarch, Hui Neng

Commentary : No-thought means to view all dharmas with a mind undefiled by attachment. When the mind is undefiled by attachment, dharmas are empty. If dharmas are empty, then why must you get attached to your bad habits and weaknesses? – Master Hsuan Hua



Master Hsuan Hua ,Right View on non-attachment

“Good Knowing Advisors, the ability to cultivate the conduct of not dwelling inwardly or outwardly, of coming and going freely, of casting away the grasping mind, and of unobstructed penetration, is basicaly no different from The Prajna Sutra.”

~ Sixth Patriarch, Hui Neng
Continue reading Master Hsuan Hua ,Right View on non-attachment

Venerable Master Jen Chun’s Teachings QUICK LINKS

“If the fearful mind does not come easily, the sincere mind cannot spring forth easily”

Recitation according to the Buddhas’ Intentions

As was said earlier, in those countries which follow Mahayana Buddhism, Pure Land practitioners are in the majority. Not only do many monks and laymen practice Buddha Recitation, even followers of various cults invoke the name of the Lord of the Western Paradise. Nevertheless, though many recite the Buddha’s name, very few truly understand the goal of recitation. Thus, their recitation is not in accordance with the true intention of the Buddhas.

There are those who, visiting Buddhist temples and monasteries and seeing people engaged in Buddhas Recitation, also join in, without a specific goal. This action, while garnering merits and virtues for the future, is not in accordance with the Buddhas’ true intention.

There are those who practice Buddha Recitation seeking escape from danger and calamities as well as health, happiness and tranquillity for their families and ever-growing success in their careers and business dealings. Such goals, although worthy, are not consonant with the Buddhas’ true intention.

There are those who, faced with hardships and the frustration of their wishes, become despondent. They recite Amitabha Buddha’s name, praying that they will be spared such adversity in their present and future lives, that they will be endowed with beauty and honor, and that everything will turn to their advantage and accord with their wishes. Such goals are of course worthy, but they are not consonant with the Buddhas’ true intention.

There are those who realize that life on earth does not bring any lasting happiness; even the noble, rich powerful and influential are beset by worry and suffering. They hope that through the merits and virtues of Buddha Recitation, they will be reborn in the celestial realms, endowed with longevity and leisure, joy and freedom. Such a goal, although worthy, is not consonant with the Buddhas’ true intention. There are those who, having committed many transgressions, think that they cannot easily be saved in this life. They therefore recite the Buddha’s name, praying that in their next life they will be reborn as a male, leave home to be a high-ranking monk, and become awakened to the Way. Such a goal, while exemplary, is still lacking in wisdom and faith, and is not consonant with the Buddhas’ true intention.

What, then, is the true intention of the Buddhas?

Buddha Sakyamuni clearly recognized that all conditioned dharmas are impermanent, and that all sentient beings have always possessed in full the virtues and wisdom of the Tathagatas (Buddhas). However, because of delusion about their Original Nature, they create evil karma and afflictions and revolve forever in the cycle of Birth and Death. Even if they were to be reborn in the Heavens, once their merits were exhausted, they would descend into the lower realms. For this reason, the real intention of Sakyamuni Buddha is that through the Pure Land method, sentient beings may realize an early escape from the sufferings of Birth and Death.

Throughout countless eons, all Buddhas have accumulated merits and wisdom. Anyone who recites their names will engender immeasurable virtues. Moreover, Buddha Amitabha has made this Vow: Any sentient being who singlemindedly recites His name and seeks rebirth in His Land will, at the final moment, be welcomed and guided to the Pure land, and attain non-retrogression.[7]To exchange the immeasurable virtues accumulated through Buddha Recitation for the small merits and blessings of the realm of gods and men — forfeiting liberation and rebirth in the Pure Land — would be no different from an innocent child bartering an invaluable diamond for a piece of candy. That would be a great waste indeed!

Moreover, the power of Amitabha Buddha’s Vows is so immense that no matter how heavy our karma may be, by reciting His name in all earnestness, we can, in this very lifetime, achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. To seek rebirth, for instance, as an enlightened, high-ranking monk is to lack wisdom and faith. It cannot ensure rebirth in the Pure Land in this very life or attainment of Bodhisattvahood at the stage of non-retrogression. Therefore, the real intention of the Buddhas is for sentient beings to practice Pure Land so that they can be liberated from Birth and Death — and this liberation is to be achieved in one lifetime.

But why do we need to escape the cycle of Birth and Death? It is because, in the wasteland of Birth and Death, we truly undergo immense pain and suffering. If students of Buddhism do not sincerely meditate on this truth of suffering, they cannot achieve results despite all their scholarship, as they do not experience fear and seek liberation. The sutras say:

If the fearful mind does not come easily, the sincere mind cannot spring forth easily.

This is the reason why Sakyamuni Buddha, when preaching the Four Noble Truths to the five monks led by Kaundinya, taught them first the Truth of Suffering. According to this truth, if we meditate on the suffering of the human condition, we will have a clearer idea as to why we must swiftly escape the cycle of Birth and Death.

From the book:

Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith: Pure Land Principles and Practice

Dharma Master Thich Thien Tam
Translated and edited by the Van Hien Study Group
Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada  

…. every belief represents a vision of the truth

“….According to the Hua-yen [Avatamasaka school] analysis, every belief represents a vision of the truth, as seen from a particular standpoint. Therefore it cannot contradict, or be contradicted by, any other belief—for that too is a vision of the truth, only seen from a different standpoint. Nor can a given standpoint be right or wrong in itself, since, on the one hand ( from the conventional point of view), being partial and limited by definition, it cannot be the whole truth; while on the other hand ( from the ultimate pint of view), it simultaneously includes all other standpoints, and so cannot be less than the whole truth. Beliefs are mistaken as long as they are supposed to be absolutely true, in contrast to other beliefs which are then considered false. They actually become absolutely true only when their relative nature is fully realized and there is no longer any question of true vs. false . ”
-A.J. Prince, “The World of Hua-yen Buddhism”

Buddhist Global Relief « BGR’s WORDPRESS BLOG

Buddhist Global Relief

“Buddhist Global Relief now has a blog, just started last week. Please check it out, bookmark it, and subscribe to the feeds. We’ll be dealing with issues related to social and economic justice, food security, poverty relief, as well as reports on our projects. I’ll be blogging, along with other members of our board.”-Bhikkhu Bodhi

SUBSCRIBE AT http://buddhistglobalrelief.wordpress.com/




The mission of Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) is to provide relief to the poor and needy throughout the world regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religion. Bearing in mind the Buddha’s statements that “hunger is the worst kind of illness” and “the gift of food is the gift of life,” BGR especially focuses on providing food aid to those afflicted by hunger and lack of food security. Its long-range goal, however, is to combat all the manifestations of poverty that detract from the inherent dignity of human life.

Buddhist Global Relief « Buddhist Causes.

Pure Land Links English and Chinese

Larger Amitābha Sutra (English)

Translation by Hisao Inagaki:


Translation by F. Max Mueller:


Shorter Amitābha Sutra (English)

Translation from Chinese into English by J.C. Cleary


The Sutra on the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Lifespan (English)

Translation by J. Takakusu; edited by Richard St. Clair:


Translation by Charles Patton:


Translation by Hisao Inagaki:


Larger Amitābha Sutra (Chinese)



Shorter Amitābha Sutra (Chinese)



The Sutra on the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Lifespan (Chinese)




Selected Mahayana Buddhist Sutras (in both Chinese and English)



Shurangama Sutra (Chinese and English)

楞嚴經 – 大佛頂首楞嚴經 – 大勢至菩薩念佛圓通章

– 唐天竺沙門般剌密帝譯 – 

Complete Shurangama Sutra in Chinese On-line (大佛頂首楞嚴經)


Full English Text (Text only)

English translation by Dharma Realm Buddhist Association:


English translation by Charles Luk (mantra omitted):


Full English Text with translated English Commentaries by Master Hsuan Hua:


Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons for Changing Destiny (English)

By Liao-Fan Yuan

Liao-Fan Yuan originally wrote Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons in the sixteenth century in China. The book was intended to teach his son, Tian-Chi Yuan, how to recognize the true face of destiny, tell good from bad, correct one’s faults and practice kind deeds. It also provided living proof of the rewards and outcomes of people who practiced kind deeds and cultivated virtue and humility. Relating from his own experience at changing destiny, Mr. Yuan himself was a living embodiment of his teachings.



Pureland Learning College (Chinese)


Online talks and archives/collection of Master Chin Kung’s sharing
on Pureland Buddhism (Chinese)


24-Hr Telecast of Teachings on Buddhism and Confucianism (Chinese)



Amitabha Pureland (English)

Introduction to Pureland Buddhism & Daily Quotes


Animation Videos: Legend of Buddha Amitābha (English version)

on Google videos:


on YouTube Videos (4 Parts)

Part 1:

(Part 2-4, please click the “Video Responses” by YouTube member “terrycomic”)

10 Doubts about Pureland (English version)


Pure Land, Pure Mind (English) 

by Master Chu-Hung
Translated by J.C. Cleary
Edited by Van Hien Study Group


Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith (English)
Pure Land Principles and Practice

by Dharma Master Thich Thien Tam
Translated and edited by the Van Hien Study Group
Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada


Mind-Seal of the Buddha (English)
Patriarch Ou-i’s Commentary on the Amitabha Sutra

Translated by J.C. Cleary
Foreword, Notes and Glossary by Van Hien Study Group



Pure Land of the Patriarchs – (English)
Excerpts From Master Han-Shan Te-Ch’ing’s Dream Roamings

Translated by Dharma Master Lok To


Basic Concepts in Buddhism (English)

(karma, death and rebirth, etc.)


Five Sūtras of the Pure Land School (淨土五經) include (English)

(1) the Sūtra of Amitābha Buddha (Text 366),
(2) the Sūtra of Infinite Life Buddha (Text 360),
(3) the Sūtra of Visualization of Infinite Life Buddha (Text 365),
(4) the Actions and Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Fascicle 40 of the 40-fascicle Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (Text 293),
(5) Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva’s Thinking-of-Buddhas as the Perfect Passage (a subsection in the Śūraṅgama Sūtra (Text 945).


* * *



菩提树下 – 情回中国




一 花 一 世 界 一 佛 一 如 来 – 卍 红太阳 卍


一心念佛(净土 佛号 圣号 佛七)mp3下载










* * *

Some Pure Land videos and links:




Source : “Like”on Facebook “Buddha Amitabha ( Amitayus / Amituofo / 阿彌陀佛 ) & Western Paradise Pure Land”

The Elephant (Travel on alone ) – from the Dhammapada



Travel on alone -If the traveler can find A virtuous and wise companion Let him go with him joyfully And overcome the dangers of the way. But if you cannot find Friend or master to go with you, Travel on alone -

I shall endure harsh words

As the elephant endures the shafts of battle.

For many people speak wildly.

The tamed elephant goes to battle.

The king rides him.

The tamed man is the master.

He can endure hard words in peace.

Better than a mule

Or the fine horses of Sindh

Or mighty elephants of war

Is the man who had mastered himself.

Not on their backs

Can he reach the untrodden country.

But only on his own.

The mighty elephant Dhanapalaka

Is wild when he is in rut,

And when bound he will not eat,

Remembering the elephant grove.

The fool is idle.

He eats and he rolls in his sleep

Like a hog in a sty.

And he has to live life over again.

“My own mind used to wander

Wherever pleasure or desire or lust led it.

But now I have it tamed,

I guide it,

As the keeper guides the wild elephant.”


Be the witness of your thoughts.

The elephant hauls himself from the mud.

In the same way drag yourself out of your sloth.

If the traveler can find

A virtuous and wise companion

Let him go with him joyfully

And overcome the dangers of the way.

But if you cannot find

Friend or master to go with you,

Travel on alone –

Like a king who has given away his kingdom,

Like an elephant in the forest.

Travel on alone,

Rather than with a fool for company.

Do not carry with you your mistakes.

Do not carry your cares.

Travel on alone.

Like an elephant in the forest.

To have friends in need is sweet

And to share happiness.

And to have done something good

Before leaving this life is sweet,

And to let go of sorrow.

To be a mother is sweet,

And a father.

It is sweet to live arduously,

And to master yourself.

O how sweet it is to enjoy life,

Living in honesty and strength!

And wisdom is sweet,

And freedom.

Thirty-Three Manifestations of Kuan Yin // Chinese and English

Thirty-Three Manifestations of Kuan Yin
Om Mani Peme Hum (5x)

In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground
before beloved Kuan Yin in all her manifestations.
Give prayers to Kuan Yin for intercession in personal and
planetary matters.

~May all beings benefit _/\_
Namo Da Bei Guan Shi Yin

01 楊柳觀音. 大悲楊柳觀世音 哀愍淪溺拔苦疾普入諸趣恆示現 令脫流轉超出塵右手持楊柳枝,以楊柳枝替人消弭病災,誓言拔濟眾生病苦,故亦稱「藥王觀音」,為三十三觀音菩薩的首尊.1. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who holds a willow branch. (This image represents Kuan Yin’s ability to dispel illness with her healing powers. It teaches us of healing and compassion gained through inner flexibility and non-judgment.) Wo Xiang Yang Liu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YANG LEE-OH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

02 龍頭觀音 聖德龍頭觀世音 照現光華澤物種開眾蒙悋啟慧光 普願有情悟覺明乘雲中之龍,以龍譬喻觀音之威德,是三十三身觀音中的天、龍身。2. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Dragon-Head Kuan Yin. (This image speaks of Kuan Yin’s unlimited powers to free us from lack and unnecessary suffering. It also teaches us how abundance and good fortune can be gained through gratitude.) Wo Xiang Long Tou Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LOHNG TOE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

03持經觀音聲聞持經觀世音 覺照內明光嚴飾最勝境界微妙智 不循根塵歸元真坐於岩石上,右手持經卷,是三十三身觀音中的聲聞身. 3. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who holds the sutras. (This image represents the deeper insights of spiritual teachings. It teaches understanding of both the impermanence and eternity of this world and practical application of true spiritual wisdom.) Wo Xiang Chi Jing Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG TCHE JING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

04 圓光觀音. 無垢圓光觀世音 性淨明露常寂光能伏眾生災風火 普明圓照遍十方. 身放光明,合掌而坐。「圓光」表觀世音菩薩的福德圓滿無缺。4. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of complete light. (This image speaks of light dispelling all perceived darkness and misfortune. It teaches us to increase the light in our chakras and how intense fire can purge our lives and consciousness.) Wo Xiang Yuan Guang Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YU-EN GWANG GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

05 遊戲觀音. 神通遊戲觀世音 自在幻化徧知海 千手千眼救倒懸 三十二應普現身 安坐雲端之上,表觀世音菩薩的教化圓通無礙,不拘時處,示現遊戲自在 5. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of enjoyment. (This image of the playful, lighthearted KuanYin speaks of her assistance of those on the path of enlightenment. It teaches us to be compassionate toward both our shortcomings and victories.) Wo Xiang You Xi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YO SHIH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

06白衣觀音. 大慈白衣觀世音 隨緣赴感應群機 三昧辯才善誘誨 妙德圓成證菩提 身穿白衣,左手持蓮花,右手作與願印。 白色意指純淨,象徵菩提心,表示觀音胸懷菩提之心, 是三十三身觀音中的比丘、比丘尼身.6. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before White-Robed Kuan Yin. (This image represents the virtuous Kuan Yin, a perfect embodiment of purity. It teaches us fearlessness and helps us to see each other as Kuan Yin sees us.) Wo Xiang Bai Yi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG BUY YEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

07 臥蓮觀音 合掌蓮臥觀世音 寂湛生光寶華開 悟心無際性常凝 圓明清淨大覺海 合掌坐在池中蓮花之上, 是三十三身觀音中的小王身。7. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who sits on a lotus leaf. (This image shows Kuan Yin as having complete dominion over any perceived darkness. It teaches us what is real and what is not and how to rise above all suffering.) Wo Xiang Lian Wo Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LEE-EN WHAO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

08 瀧見觀音 莊嚴瀧見觀世音 妙香芬馥悅意常 般若真智施無畏 進趣真淨妙吉祥 倚於山崖,眺望瀑布。《普門品》云:「假使興害意,推落大火坑, 念彼觀音力,火坑變成池。」為其由來。8. In humble adoration, I bow and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who views waterfalls. (This image protects us against fires and intense emotions. It teaches us to stay calm, not react to energies flung our way and to stay focused on the desired outcome.) Wo Xiang Long Jian Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LOHNG JEN GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

09 施藥觀音 寂靜施藥觀世音 尋聲救苦難思議 諦觀圓照三千界 楊枝淨水洗凡塵 坐於池邊,右手托頰,倚於膝上,凝視著面前的蓮花。 施藥觀音因能施予良藥,除治眾生身心病苦而得名。9. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who gives medicine. (This image helps to dispel disease and all other difficult circumstances. It teaches us about compassion and how to be free from anger.) Wo Xiang Shi Yao Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG SHUH YAO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

10 魚籃觀音. 除障魚籃觀世音 慈無能勝演圓音 精真洞然眾業海 六道群迷蒙慈恩 乘於大魚背上,或一手提盛有大魚之籃。 表示排除羅剎、毒龍、惡鬼等障礙。 10. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of the fish basket. (This image speaks of saving lives and souls. It teaches us to be kind to all forms of life and when to sacrifice for the benefit of others.) Wo Xiang Yu Lan Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YU LAHN GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

11德王觀音赴感德王觀世音 性淨妙常香光嚴慧啟群萌觀自在 梵王身相應現來趺坐於岩上,右手持綠葉一枝。是三十三身觀音中的梵王身。梵王為色界之王,因德性高超故名「德王」11. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin as King of Merit. (This image is about accomplishments and a sense of spiritual worthiness. It teaches us of true virtues and how to become a person of integrity and spiritual refinement.) Wo Xiang De Wang Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG DUH WAHNG GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

12 水月觀音吉祥水月觀世音 寶光常寂照三途解結怨瞋八難苦 周徧寂湛大悲母月下乘蓮瓣,飄蕩海面觀看映照水上之月。是三十三身觀音中的辟支佛身。12. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of moon and water. (This image speaks of cause and effect. It teaches us about reality, unreality and how our outer life is a reflection of some aspect of our own consciousness.) Wo Xiang Shui Yue Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG SHUE YEH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

13 一葉觀音. 乘蓮一葉觀世音 解縈眾生煩惱結 法音常轉廣長舌 定慧等持契果覺13. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before One-Leaf Kuan Yin. (Floating upon a single leaf, Kuan Yin protects us from perishing in the astral sea. It teaches us to remain centered and how to master our subconscious energies.) Wo Xiang Yi Ye Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEE YEH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

14青頸觀音 勇健青頸觀世音 大悲示現威猛相 晦闇長夜為燈燭 苦海波翻作舟航 坐於斷崖上,右膝立起,右手置於膝上, 左手扶著岩壁,旁置一有柳枝之瓶, 是三十三身觀音中的佛身。14. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Blue-Throat Kuan Yin. (This image protects us from various poisons. It teaches us to be mindful of our speech and to always be in a vibration of loving-kindness.) Wo Xiang Qing Jing Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG CHIN JING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

15 威德觀音 攝眾威德觀世音 摧破邪妖鎮魍魎 天大將軍度滄海 普門示現降吉祥 岩上觀水,左手持蓮花,右手著地。 是三十三身觀音中的天大將軍身。15. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of power and virtue. (This image protects us from perceived oppressive authorities. It teaches us to focus our energies on expanding the good and pouring creative light into our goals.) Wo Xiang Wei De Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG WAY DUH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

16 延命觀音 息災延命觀世音 滅諸咒詛毒怨害 懸示留礙輪迴種 紫金光照覺滄海 倚水邊岩上,悠然觀賞景物。 此尊能消除咒詛及毒藥,令眾生延命長壽故稱「延命」。 乘一葉蓮瓣浮於水面漂行。 是三十三身觀音中的宰官身。16. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who extends life. (This image protects us from the fear of curses and poisons. It teaches us that light is our protection and that, by the law of attraction, harm always returns to its source.) Wo Xiang Yan Ming Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEN MING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

17 眾寶觀音 妙嚴眾寶觀世音 般若光宣示真際 寂靜明心覺觀照 長者身相度群迷 坐在地上,右手向地,左手放在彎起的膝上, 是三十三身觀音中的長者身.17. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of various treasures. (This image offers spiritual seekers inner fortification and protection. It teaches us to seek help when we have gone off course and that one person’s prayer can make a difference for the many.)Wo Xiang Zhong Bao Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG DJUHNG BAO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

18 岩戶觀音 寂然岩戶觀世音 淨眼普觀周沙界 息滅三毒貪愛苦 蚖蛇蝮蝎出窟穴 端坐於岩窟內。 《普門品》云:「蚖蛇及蝮蠍,氣毒煙火燃,念彼觀音力,尋聲自迴去。」 因這些毒蟲多盤踞洞穴內,為免其出洞危害眾生,觀音因此坐鎮岩窟中保護眾生。18. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of the rock cave. (This image offers protection from negative vibrations and negative perceptions. It teaches us how to properly care for our bodies and to guard the gate of consciousness.) Wo Xiang Yan Hu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEN WHO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

19 能靜觀音 安穩能靜觀世音 開示法藏戒定慧 三無漏學善護念 悲智雙運登覺岸 坐水邊岩上,雙手安置石上作靜寂相。 能靜觀音因能救護遭難者,使得平靜安穩而得名,為海路守護神。19. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who calms. (This image helps us to be centered. It teaches us how to overcome anger and ignorance and not to be moved by any appearance or experience.) Wo Xiang Neng Jing Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG NUNG JING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

20 阿耨觀音. 觀海阿耨觀世音 妙善圓明不思議 銷塵龍魚諸鬼難 度脫有情出淪溺立右膝坐於岩上,雙手抱膝觀望大海。20. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Anu Kuan Yin. (This image represents the sacred mountain lake Anu. The rivers flowing from the lake pour out heavenly blessings in every direction. It teaches us about the path of the Bodhisattva and bids us to spread the message of Kuan Yin’s transmuting powers of mercy and compassion to the world.) Wo Xiang Anu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG AH-NOO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

21阿摩提觀音 無畏觀音阿摩提 毘沙門天威神力 顧盼微塵目雄毅 智慧照見離苦際 雙手置膝上,遍身有光焰坐在岩上, 是三十三身觀音中的毘沙門身。21. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of fearlessness. (This image bestows fearlessness when in challenging circumstances. It teaches us to be filled with love and guard against judging reality by what is perceived through the five senses.) Wo Xiang A Mo Ti Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG AH-MO-TEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

22葉衣觀音 圓明葉衣觀世音 三千威儀妙慈容 神光內凝覺真澄 心光發宣帝釋身 坐於敷草的岩上,是三十三身觀音中的帝釋身22. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Leaves-Robe Kuan Yin. (This image protects against disease and ensures longevity. It teaches us how to work with the forces of nature and to gain wisdom through observing the manifestations of cosmic law.) Wo Xiang Ye Yi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEH YEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

23 琉璃觀音. 淨妙琉璃觀世音 旋湛清瑩熙怡相 息諸災厄成虛淨 銷滅三毒證菩提 觀音雙手捧琉璃香爐(或缽),乘蓮瓣浮於水面, 是三十三身觀音中的自在天身。23. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Vaidurya Kuan Yin. (This image is for healing. It teaches us to use lapis lazuli for healing and to bless and pray for all suffering life.) Wo Xiang Liu Li Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LEE-OH LEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

24 多羅觀音 救苦多羅觀世音 與樂拔苦現剎塵 甘露徧灑十方界 遍應六趣普現身 直立乘雲,合掌,手持青蓮花。 梵名「多羅」亦為救度,故又名「救度母觀音」。 《普門品》云:「或值怨賊繞,各執刀加害, 念彼觀音力,咸即起慈心。」為此尊由來。24. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Tara Kuan Yin. (This image is of the Mother of Salvation. It teaches us about the feminine aspect of God and how to always view others with healing compassion.) Wo Xiang Duo Luo Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG DOH LOE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

25 蛤蜊觀音 啟悟蛤蜊觀世音 慈誨愛語殷玄示 無礙神變覺有情 歷劫熏修應微塵 自蛤蜊貝殼中示現,是三十三身觀音中的菩薩身 25. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of the clam. (This image protects us from perceived harm. It teaches us how to overcome certain states of consciousness and how to open closed, unmoving hearts and situations.) Wo Xiang Ge Li Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG GUH LEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

26 六時觀音. 淨光六時觀世音 晝夜開敷慈音揚 普願輪迴諸眾生 咸令安樂超出相 右手持梵篋的立像,此篋是六字章句陀羅尼, 誦之得脫六道苦果得六妙門,證六根相應。 為三十三身觀音中的居士身。 26. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of six hours. (This image reminds us of Kuan Yin’s omnipresence and omniscience. It teaches us mastery over time and about being present in the Now.)Wo Xiang Liu Shi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LEE-OH SHIH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

27 普悲觀音. 寶光普悲觀世音 妙相慈顏淨端嚴 圓明照徹三有海 大自在天聖威神 雙手披衣,立於山嶽之上。 「普慈」意即普遍施給眾生慈悲。 是三十三身觀音中的大自在天身。27. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of universal compassion. (This image brings promises of an end to all suffering. It teaches us about compassion as the nexus between heaven and earth, and how to attain enlightenment by actively practicing compassion.) Wo Xiang Pu Bei Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG POO BAY GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

28 馬郎觀音. 善德觀音馬郎婦 寂妙湛然淨明露 夢幻泡影示出離 光照癡闇煩惱除 民間婦女形象。 即在「魚籃觀音」故事中化身為少女嫁給馬郎的觀音。 是三十三身觀音中的婦女身。28. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin, called the wife of Ma-Lang. (This image bids us to demonstrate the path to higher consciousness. It teaches discernment of spirits and prepares us to share our insights with others.) Wo Xiang Ma Lang Fu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG MA LANG FOO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

29 合掌觀音. 禮敬合掌觀世音 耳根圓通法門開 清淨寶覺徧含容 普令解脫越苦海 合掌立於蓮華臺上,乃三十三身觀音中的婆羅門身。29. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of prayer. (This image represents dedication of one’s life to a spiritual path. It teaches us about devotion and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.) Wo Xiang He Zhang Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG HERH JAHNG GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

30 一如觀音. 法性一如觀世音 大悲如海性圓澄 慈音無遮開沉惑 直趣覺海不二門 觀音坐在雲中蓮華座上立左膝,現征伏雷電之姿, 為《普門品》云:「雲雷鼓掣電,降雹澍大雨, 念彼觀音力,應時得消散。」之表徵。30. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of oneness. (This image represents harmony. It teaches us to rise above the vibrations of this world and to remain centered when experiencing the appearance of negative energy.) Wo Xiang Yi Ru Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEE ROO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

31 不二觀音 圓融不二觀世音 普救眾生施無畏 金剛教化覺岸回 無上妙淨蓮池會 兩手低垂,乘一片蓮葉浮於水面, 是三十三身觀音中的執金剛神身。31. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of non-duality. (This image promises protection from perceived negative energies. It teaches us how to suspend judgment and conquer our belief in any internal or external division.) Wo Xiang Bu Er Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG BOO-AHR GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

32 持蓮觀音. 妙哉持蓮觀世音 缽頭摩華淨妙香 十四無畏功德藏 六道眾生同悲仰 雙手執持一莖蓮華,是三十三身觀音中的童男童女身。32. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin holding a lotus. (This image represents the vow of the bodhisattva. It teaches us to correctly perceive the requirement of the hour and how to consciously work with the energies of our chakras.) Wo Xiang Chi Lian Hua Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG TCHE LEE-EN HWA GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

33 灑水觀音. 清淨灑水觀世音 妙湛慈母化閻浮 如海印現悉平等 普濟含識出三途 又名滴水觀音,左手持缽,右手執楊枝作灑水狀。33. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who sprinkles pure water. (This image represents the many blessings of Kuan Yin. It teaches us about the healing, transforming powers of forgiveness, mercy and compassion.) Wo Xiang Sa Shui Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG SAH SHUE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

Quietly give thanks to Kuan Yin for always hearing our prayers



English Translation source



The Myth of Metaphysics

Ven. David Xi-Ken Astor

As a Buddhist monk from a Ch’an and Soto Zen teaching linage, I would like to express how Zen Buddhism addresses the issue of metaphysics in a pragmatic Buddhist practice.  The question comes up often enough that it deserves a post of its own.  Not only do we confront the question today, the Buddha was ask multiple times too. READ MORE AT Metaphysics.

Writing a Chant Poem on Fu Guo Dreaming of the Ocean By Grand Master Hsu Yun

Poems express a person’s feelings
And this can cause both profit or loss.
A teacher uses allegory to convey meaning.
And metaphor makes it easier to speak his truth.

So this moldy old man uses pen and ink for his explanations.
All my life I’ve been foolish and dull.

Sometimes I look at something and I think it’s so wonderful.
And then I realize I was pointing out a fact
That was as obvious as the moon.

“That which understands error is not itself in error”

“Doing the best we can always entails seeing where

we can do better.

This is what is meant by “always being disturbed by the Truth.” As we view the imperfections of our actions, we are allowed to see with the eyes of the Buddha:  “That which understands error is not itself in error”  So one of the merits of our training is to be aware of the places where we need to purify our heart, and if we view this with the eyes of compassion, we will also see that what we have done in the past was the best that we could have done for that time. And now in the present moment, we may be able to do a bit better by acting with greater compassion, love and wisdom.”

-Rev. Jisho Perry

The “poise of a dying man”, teachings of Master Hsu-Yun

The “poise of a dying man”

teachings of Master Hsu-Yun

“Beyond meditation practice, there is attitude. A beginner must learn to cultivate what is called, “the poise of a dying man”. What is this poise? It is the poise of knowing what is important and what is not, and of being accepting and forgiving. Anyone who has ever been at the bedside of a dying man will understand this poise. What would the dying man do if someone were to insult him? Nothing. What would the dying man do if someone were to strike him? Nothing. As he lay there, would he scheme to become famous or wealthy? No. If someone who had once offended him were to ask him for his forgiveness would he not give it? Of course he would. A dying man knows the pointlessness of enmity. Hatred is always such a wretched feeling. Who wishes to die feeling hatred in his heart? No one. The dying seek love and peace.”

Master Chinul Poem 1

Do not cling to the letter, just comprehend the meaning, referring each point to your own self, so as to merge with the original source. Then the knowledge that has no teacher will spontaneously appear, the pattern of natural reality will be perfectly clear, and you will attain the body of wisdom, attaining enlightenment without depending on anyone else.
~ Master Chinul (1158-1210)

Zen (2009) Part 1 Dogen Zenji

This is the story of Dogen Zenji who lived during the Kamakura period (750 years ago) . He trained in China in the great Ch’an monasteries to become a renowned Ch’an Buddhist monk and teacher. He subsequently returned to Japan founded the Japanese school of Zen Buddhism..

Directed by: Banmei Takahashi
Produced by and Copyright: Kadokawa Pictures

Recent photos and update on The Arogya Foundation for the Disabled

Recent photos and update on The Arogya Foundation for the Disabled.

(L to R ) Venerable Bhiksuni Chueh Men, Venerable Yushi Shimada , Venerable Unapana Ariyadhamma TheroAssistive devices were donated among disabled people on 24th September 2011 at NalandaRama Viharaya, Pathiragoda, Maharagama, Sri lanka. Most Venerable Yushi Shimada Of Japan were present as chief gusset and Most Venerable Bhiksuni Chueh Men of Taiwan were present as the guest of honor of the occasion. Venerable Unapana Ariyadhamma Thero, Director General of the Arogya Foundation for the Disabled: Unapana Ariyadhamma Thero, Mr. Honjo Japan, President of the Arogya Foundation for the Disabled : Prof Ariyapala Perera, Assistant Secretary Mr. P. A. Gunawardena, Treasurer Mr. Gamini Dahanayaka, Assistant Secretary Mr. Upali Jayarathna, Member of Maharagama Urban Council: Mr. Pradeep Liyanage , Mr. Mahida Weerasighe: Managing director of the Sri Lankan granite And Marble (private) ltd. were present at the occasion. ( source: Venerable Unapana Ariyadhamma Thero’s fb page)

Please see The Arogya Foundation for the Disabled’s blog for more inspiring photos, information on supporting  their good works and stories of those who already have made a gift !


Read more on  at Buddhist Causes on WordPress

Full Moon Festival by Thich Nhat Hanh

What will happen when form collides with emptiness,
and what will happen when perception enters non-perception?
Come here with me, friend.
Let’s watch together.
Do you see the two clowns, life and death
setting up a play on a stage?
Here comes Autumn.
The leaves are ripe.
Let the leaves fly.
A festival of colors, yellow, red.
The branches have held on to the leaves
during Spring and Summer.
This morning they let them go.
Flags and lanterns are displayed.
Everyone is here at the Full Moon Festival.

Friend, what are you waiting for?
The bright moon shines above us.
There are no clouds tonight.
Why bother to ask about lamps and fire?
Why talk about cooking dinner?
Who is searching and who is finding?
Let us just enjoy the moon, all night.

Buddhist Conviction

“Practicing wholesome deeds is not difficult.
Rather, the difficulty lies in the cultivation of
a mindset to make and uphold solemn vows.”

-Ven  Xian Zhong Shi

AN 9:20

Even though generosity bears fruit, still to go in faith for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha and determine the five moral precepts bears a greater fruit- Even though that bears fruit, to maintain kindness for the period of time that it takes to milk a cow bears a greater fruit- Even though that bears fruit, it is fruitful to maintain awareness of impermanence for only as long as a finger-snap bears greater fruit-
AN 9:20

No-self, Impermanence, Nirvana

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