On Amidism, A Short Discourse


Buddha as Mind


One invocation to Buddha Amitabha, if uttered properly, will immediately cause the six sense organs to become clean and clear. For instance, now while in the period of Amidist practice, the organ of sight will be clean and pure as we always look at and see the Buddha. The organ of hearing will be clean and pure as we inhale the aroma of incense. The tongue will be clean and pure as we recite Buddha's name incessantly. The body will be clean and pure as we face and worship Buddha all day long in a clean and pure place. The mind will be clean and pure as we contemplate and think of Buddha.

When the six sense organs are clean and pure, the three karmas are so cleansed; the physical evils of killing, stealing, and lust will no longer exist, nor the oral evils of hypocritical, harsh, lying or suggestive speech. There will be no involvement in the mental evils of avarice, hatred, and delusion. The Ten Good Karmas will immediately be practiced. A follower of Buddha finds it most difficult to curb the evil karmas committed by the body, tongue and mind. However, with one invocation of Buddha Amitabha's name, these three evils will be checked. Eventually, perception and contemplation will be fully developed and preparation for entering the Pure Land will grow. One will surely be reborn in the Western Paradise when this present life comes to an end.

Ordinary people usually consider it difficult to become a Buddha. In fact, it is not so difficult. Both Buddhas and ordinary sentient beings are invariably molded Out of perception and contemplation. In one thought, Buddhas pervade the ten Dharma Worlds. Likewise, a sentient being also pervades ten Dharma Worlds in one thought. If avarice arises at one thought, he is, indeed, a hungry ghost. If hatred arises at one thought, he is a hell-dweller. If delusion arises at one thought, he is a beast. If doubt and arrogance arise at one thought, he is an asura, a malevolent spirit. If one's thoughts fall on the five virtues regarding human relationships, as well as the Five Precepts, he will enter the world of humans. If his thoughts fall on the ten Good Karmas, he will be reborn in heaven. If his ideas are centered on the Four Noble Truths, he equals the Buddha's immediate disciples. If his mind dwells on the doctrine of Twelve Links of Causation, he is a Pratyekabuddha. If his ideas center on the Six Paramitas, he is a Bodhisattva. If his thoughts dwell on altruism and equality, he is indeed a Buddha.

On the other hand, each person in the world has his own ideas—scholars, farmers, workmen, businessmen, soldiers, public officials, etc.—all have come to their present condition because of previous ideas. One becomes the embodiment of any fixed idea that is held in the mind.

This equally applies to the Amidist. Every day he looks at the Buddha, orally repeats the Buddha's name, physically bows and worships Buddha, mentally contemplates Buddha, and also hears Buddha's name proclaimed. At all times, his thoughts are on rebirth in the Western Paradise. In this way, he will surely be reborn in the Western Paradise, and will surely be able to realize Buddhahood.





 Three Dharma Seals



 Three Refuges

 Three Poisons

 Four Immeasurable


 Four Noble Truths



 Five Precepts




 Six Harmonies



 Ten Virtuous Deeds


 Six Paramitas

 Threefold Learning