If we are to progress on the path, we need to be focused in both our study and practice. This is true of any endeavor we might wish to accomplish. For example, there are many different ways to get to New York City from Sydney, Australia. If we do not already know a good route, we can consider the alternatives and select the way that seems best suited for us. But once the route is chosen, we will waste a great deal of time and energy if we keep changing our itinerary and chosen means of transportation along the way.

 

Likewise in our practice of Buddhism, once we have found the method that is best suited to our capabilities and conditions—the method that "feels right" for us—we will squander this precious lifetime if we give in to the temptation to study and practice other paths in addition to our chosen method.

 

Our most important goal as Pure Land Buddhists should be to attain liberation from the cycle of rebirth for only when we have accomplished this can we truly help others. Once we have accomplished this by attaining rebirth in the Pure Land, we can study other methods and practices without fear of falling back on the path to awakening. Knowing all these methods will enable us to skillfully help all those we have vowed to help so they too can end suffering and attain lasting happiness.

 

 

The Five Guidelines form the foundation and are the way we progress in our practice. They are first, the Three Conditions; second, the Six Harmonies; third, the Threefold Learning; fourth, the Six Paramitas; and fifth, the Ten Great Vows. We begin our practice with the first guideline of the Three Conditions and gradually progress from there.

 

The guidelines were extracted by Master Chin Kung from the five Pure Land sutras, which consist of three sutras, two chapters from sutras, and one treatise. The Pure Land sutras and treatise are:

 

Mahasthamaprapta” from the Surangama Sutra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachings

 Karma

 

 Rebirth

Impermanence &

Nonself

 

 

 Three Refuges

 Three Poisons

 Four Immeasurable

  Minds

 Four Noble Truths

 

 

 Five Precepts

 

 

 

 Six Harmonies

 

 

 Ten Virtuous Deeds

 

 Six Paramitas

 Threefold Learning

Glossary