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Welcome to Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre

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Welcome to the
Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre.
Located in Nanango, Australia,
the centre is dedicated to the practice and study of
Pure Land Buddhism.
Whether you are thinking of coming to visit us
for a retreat or a practice session,
or just dropping by online,
we hope you benefit from
the teachings as well as the practice.

Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre News press

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AMITABHA BUDDHIST RETREAT CENTRE

Venerable Wuling
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The Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre is a place to learn about and to practice Pure
Land Buddhism. The practice can also support and enhance other belief systems as it
calms the mind and fosters mindfulness and stability.

Etiquette
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On Sunday we have a group chanting meditation and either a recorded or live Dharma
talk, followed by a vegetarian lunch. This Sunday session begins at 9 AM so we request

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visitors to please arrive at least ten minutes before we begin. Lunch begins about
12.15 PM. Visitors are welcome to join us for all or part of the morning and to stay for
lunch. We do, however, ask that if you will be joining us for lunch, that you please let
us know by Friday noon for catering purposes.
Weekend retreats are held throughout the year. Please check the Retreats section for
the schedule and additional information.

History
Located deep in the heart of southeastern Queensland, the
serenity and beauty of the land provide a haven for those
who seek the inward path. Nature has provided the perfect
blending of songbirds, rolling hills, and brilliant blue skies as
the backdrop for Buddhist practice and study.
The centre was an unspoken dream of Celine and Charles
Richardson who both imagined a place where people could
come to learn more about themselves and their world. One
day, Charles voiced his dream to Celine who happily replied that she shared the dream.
Thus in 1994, Charles, at the age of 79, began the long and continuing work of
transforming a large open metal shed on their property into a warm, inviting centre for
spiritual awakening.
In 1994, Celine happened to come across the image of a Buddha at an auction. It was
only after she had bought it and hung it at the centre that she learned it was Amitabha
Buddha. Then in 2000, Charles and Celine "happened" to meet Venerable Wuling and
invited her to give a Dharma talk at their centre.
Over the next two years as Dharma talks were held more often at the centre, it
naturally transformed into a Buddhist centre. In 2002, it officially became the Amitabha
Buddhist Retreat Centre with Venerable Wuling as its Teacher. Later in that year, a
donated vintage Queenslander house was moved onto the property. Charles, who was
just putting the finishing touches on the centre, began the work of renovating the
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house.
In 2007, work was completed on the house, which now provides accommodation for
eleven women. Other accommodations are available for men.
The centre was officially opened on August 11, 2007.

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Venerable Wuling

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VENERABLE WULING

Venerable Wuling
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Born in 1946, our Teacher, Venerable Wuling grew up north


of New York City. Having previously studied Buddhism
when young, she learned of the Pure Land school through
the teachings of Venerable Master Chin Kung in 1994. She
went to the Dallas Buddhist Association for further study
and practice, and it was in Dallas that she became a nun.
She received ordination in Taiwan in 1997.

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Venerable Wuling went to Singapore in 1998 and remained


there for three years. During that time, she served as head of the translation group,
Silent Voices, and as a lecturer. She moved to Australia in 2001 and became the
Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centres Teacher.
In 2004, Venerable became Director of the Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre and
was appointed Vice President of the Pure Land Learning College Association Inc. in
Toowoomba, Australia.
Since becoming a lecturer in 1999, Venerable has spoken abroad in Canada,
Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. In 2001, she spoke at the
Premier of Queensland's Multi-faith Gathering to memorialize the 11th September
attacks and was a guest speaker at the Premier's Multi-faith Gathering on Australia
Day.
From 2004 to 2008, Venerable was based in both Australia and the United States,
and lectured in Australia, Asia, and North America.
Since mid-2008 she has resided in Australia where in addition to her work on behalf
of the centre, she also serves as the head of the Pure Land Translation Team,
conducts online classes, and continues to write.
Venerable Wulings books include How Will I Behave Today and the Rest of My Life?,
Everything We do Matters, In One Lifetime: Pure Land Buddhism, Awaken to the
Buddha Within, and path to peace. She also designed, edited, and contributed to
Heart of a Buddha.
For Venerable's blog, please click www.abuddhistperspective.

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VISITING THE CENTRE

Venerable Wuling
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It is our sincere hope that the following explanation of centre etiquette will help
foster a peaceful environment by minimizing distractions and promoting harmony
among all who come to the centre.
The precepts and centre etiquette help us to practice self-discipline and patience so
we can interact harmoniously with others. As we practice together harmoniously, the
concept of an individual ego will gradually begin to fall away and we will experience
the reality that we truly are all one. From a practical standpoint, by following centre
etiquette, we will be able to focus on the practice and not worry whether we are
doing the right thing.
At the Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre, we adhere to the Five Precepts. Thus, we
refrain from killing, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct, from
lying, and from taking intoxicants.
We request that visitors and members respect the precepts and centre etiquette.
1. Please refrain from practices other than those of the centre.
2. People come to the centre to practice and to learn. A quiet environment is
necessary for both pursuits. In order not to disturb others, please refrain from all
unnecessary talking. If talking is necessary, do so quietly. Please respect others
wishes if they indicate they do not want to talk.
3. Do not bring any of the following to the centre: tobacco, illegal drugs, chewing
gum, alcohol, meat, pets, plants, or books other than those approved by the centre
staff.
4. Low-heeled, easy to slip on and off shoes and neutral-colored, loose clothing
without any slogans is appropriate. Please be sure skirts and shorts come to below
the knees and tops cover the shoulders, chest area, and midriffs. Socks are to be
worn in the cultivation hall. Please do not wear any jewelry that makes noise or
perfume and scented toiletries as these can be distracting.
5. Our form of greeting is hezang (hands held together at chest level) and a slight
bow. This greeting fosters harmony and shows respect for the Buddha nature within
each of us.
6. If you are coming for the Sunday practice and will be joining us for lunch, please
let us know by Friday noon for catering purposes.

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7. Anyone wishing to attend a retreat needs to submit an application specifically for


that retreat. Applications must be received seven days before the retreat start date
to allow for consideration and notification of acceptance/decline.
8. Please be punctual and participate fully in each scheduled retreat activity.
However, it is understood that some people may not be able to follow the entire
schedule because of health conditions or age. We will do all we can to accommodate
anyone with a sincere desire to practice.

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Etiquette

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ETIQUETTE

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At the centre, we receive visitors and and retreatants who reflect the broad diversity
of Australian culture and the region as well as people who are new to Buddhism in
general and Pure Land Buddhism in particular.
To foster the harmonious practice and to enable everyone to focus on their practice
without worrying whether they are doing things correctly, we have gradually
developed centre etiquette.

Visiting the Centre


Please refrain from practices other than those of the centre.
People come to the centre to practice and to learn. A quiet environment is necessary
for both pursuits. In order not to disturb others, please refrain from all unnecessary
talking. If talking is necessary, do so quietly. Please respect others wishes if they
indicate they do not want to talk.
Do not bring any of the following to the centre: tobacco, illegal drugs, chewing gum,
alcohol, meat, pets, plants, or books other than those approved by the centre staff.
Low-heeled, easy to slip on and off shoes and neutral-colored, loose clothing without
any slogans is appropriate. Please be sure skirts and shorts come to below the knees
and tops cover the shoulders, chest area, and midriff. Socks are to be worn in the
cultivation hall. Please do not wear any jewelry that makes noise or perfume and
scented toiletries as these can be distracting.
Our form of greeting is hezang (hands held together at chest level) and a slight bow.
This greeting fosters harmony and shows respect for the Buddha nature within each
of us.
If you are coming for the Sunday practice and will be joining us for lunch, please let
us know by Friday noon for catering purposes.
Anyone wishing to attend a retreat needs to submit an application specifically for that
retreat. Applications must be received seven days before the retreat start date to
allow for consideration and notification of acceptance/decline.
Please be punctual and participate fully in each scheduled retreat activity. However, it
is understood that some people may not be able to follow the entire schedule
because of health conditions or age. We will do all we can to accommodate anyone

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Etiquette

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with a sincere desire to practice.

Lectures and Discussions


During the discussion sessions, please wait for whoever is speaking to finish before
speaking yourself. Do not interrupt or start talking to another person.

The Cultivation Hall


After arriving at the centre for the weekly Sunday cultivation session, greet others
with Amituofo, hezang and a slight bow, but do not converse with other members
and guests. Please go to the dining room to put on a haiching and then go to the
cultivation hall.
Before entering the hall, remove your shoes. Enter the hall, hezang and bow to the
Buddha. Go to your assigned cushion and do one bow, three prostrations, and one
bow. Then stand quietly and wait for the session to begin.
When leaving the hall at the end of a group practice session, exit in single file. Do not
bow before walking out the door. If leaving at other times, hezang and bow to the
Buddha before walking out the door.
It is considered disrespectful to point the soles of ones feet toward a Buddha image
or a monastic. Please be aware of your posture in the hall: do not stretch legs out
toward the Buddha images or lounge on the floor. Please do not cross your legs when
sitting in the chairs. Also, when moving around the hall, try not to walk in front of
those who are sitting in meditation or prostrating.
When at your cushion and finished with the practice book, close it and place it on the
upper right-hand corner of the cushion. If you are at your chair, hold the book until
you are back at your cushion. Then place the book on the upper right-hand corner.
Do not place the practice books on the floor or on a chair. Do not put eyeglasses on
top of the books, but rather to the side of your cushion away from the aisles
As a sign of respect for all our Buddhist teachersBuddhas, bodhisattvas, and
monasticsplace hands in hezang and face the middle aisle when Venerable Wuling
enters and leaves the hall. As Venerable, or visiting monastics, walk down the middle
aisle past you, please give a slight bow.
In walking meditation, Venerable Wuling leads. If she is not present, the lead is taken
by the Bell Master, who is second in charge of the hall.
Order for walking meditation: The first row to the right side of the room (facing the
Buddha) moves to the middle aisle followed by those on the front row on the lefthand side of the room. Next, those on the second row on the right hand side followed
by those on left hand side, etc.
Hands are held in hezang until the individual reaches the back corner and turns to
walk toward the Buddha. Move hands to pay homage to the Buddha and then move
them to waist level as instructed by the person in charge of the hall or centre staff.
At the conclusion of the walking meditation, as we enter the middle aisle, place hands
in hezang again as you return to your cushion.
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During sitting meditation, people may sit on either their assigned cushion or chair.
When the hand bell is rung once at the end of the session, those sitting on their
cushions should return to their chairs and sit down.
Centre staff members are assigned to duties during the cultivation and teaching
sessions. People who have not been asked to help with a specific task are requested
to remain at their chair or cushion.
If you need to leave to use the restroom, please remove your haiching and hang it in
the dining room first. If there is walking meditation when you return to the hall,
please wait in the designated area and from there return to your place in the line.
After leaving the cultivation hall at the end of the session, please return the centres
haichings to the dining room. Be sure you have removed all tissues, eyeglasses, etc.
from the pocket before hanging the haiching on a black hanger.

The Kitchen
Prior to each meal, two people will be assigned to work in the kitchen. Since the
centre kitchen is small, only these two individuals are allowed in the kitchen for that
mealtime.
Centre members will be assigned to a duty roster on Sundays. There will also be a
roster for participants during retreats.
While we appreciate that people like to bring dishes on Sundays and for retreats, we
must now request that this no longer be done. All meals are carefully planned and
prepared by the centre staff. When additional food is brought in, the arrival of this
unplanned for food usually results in food being wasted. Thank you for your
cooperation and understanding in this.

The Dining Room


Shoes are to be worn in the dining room. Remove them only in the cultivation hall
and in Jacaranda House.
Prior to and after all meals, we silently recite Amituofo together ten times.
During the regular Sunday lunch, there is no talking during mealtime. Pertinent
discussions are to be conducted afterwards over refreshments and fruit.
During weekend retreats, talking is allowed Friday night at dinner to enable
participants to get to know each other. On Saturday, there is no talking during meals,
but pertinent discussions are fine afterwards over refreshments and fruit. After the
last meditation session Saturday night, silence will be observed. On Sunday, silence
continues and there is no talking other than during the times indicated on the
schedule. This Noble Silence will help to deepen the benefits of retreat practice.
Food prepared by the centre staff is primarily vegan, entirely vegetarian. Please take
as much as you like but do not waste anything.

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Etiquette

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Jacaranda House
Do not enter others rooms without their permission. Leave valuables and cell phones
locked up in your car or ask the centre staff to place them in a safe place. The centre
is not responsible for any lost or missing property.
Talk quietly if necessary but please do not disturb others.
Lights are to be turned off by 10

PM.

Turn off lights, appliances, and water before leaving the house. In the evening, the
outside lights are to be left on until all female guests are in the house.
Due to the fire hazard, candles and incense are not to be lit by guests in the house or
anywhere on the centre grounds.
Remove the sheets from your bed and place them in the basket in the laundry. Other
bedding can be left at the head of the bed.
Be sure you have all your belongings when you leave the centre.

Centre Bell
The centre bell is rung to indicate the next activity will begin in five minutes. When
the centre bell is rung prior to a session in the cultivation hall, put on your haiching
and go to the cultivation hall. When the centre bell is rung prior to a meal, go to the
dining room and wait quietly to be seated.

Centre Grounds
Please refrain from planting anything on the grounds without first consulting the
centre staff.
Be sure to put away all tools after completing the community work sessions.
When leaving the grounds, kindly do not beep your horn.

Thank you for helping to foster harmony


and for respecting our Teacher and all who attend the centre.

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DONATIONS

Venerable Wuling
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The Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre Association, Inc. is a registered charitable


organization, ABN 64 335 416 792.
The centre does not charge a fee for attendance at any retreat or for any of our
Dharma materials. We like to foster the practice of dana, giving or generosity, for all
who attend retreats, visit our centre, or call asking for books and DVDs.
Over the centuries, a relationship of mutual support has evolved between the lay and
monastic members of the Sangha. This relationship has enabled Buddhism to survive
and grow. The lay person trains in the world and helps support the centre materially
because he or she is in a better position to do so than those training full-time in the
centre. The monastic trains in the centre, teaching and offering spiritual support and
encouragement through example.
The centre itself provides a physical focus where teaching and training can be given,
received, understood and carried into the world. Both the lay person and the
monastic mutually contribute to each others spiritual success.
We practice dana by offering the teachings without a price tag. You can practice dana
by making a donation of money, time and/or labor. Your donation allows us to
continue offering the teachings to others. This center was built and is maintained
solely by the generosity of all of you who value the teachings.

If you would like to make an online donation to the centre in support of our work,
please click the PayPal button.

If you would like to make donation via direct deposit, please see the following details:
Direct Deposit:
Bank Name: ANZ
BSB No: 014630
Branch Name: Kingaroy, Queensland 4610
Account No: 107470037
Account Name: Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre
Telegraphic Transfer - SWIFT
Bank Name: ANZ
BSB No: 014630
Branch Name: Kingaroy, Queensland 4610
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Donations

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ANZ Swift Code: ANZBAU3M


Account No: 107470037
Account Name: Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre
Thank you for your thoughtfulness and support.

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Gallery

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A TOUR OF THE CENTRE

Venerable Wuling
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What began as a three-sided corrugated-iron machinery shed has


gradually been transformed into a cultivation centre with attached
dining room and kitchen. With the completion of the renovation of our
donated Queenslander, Jacaranda House, the centre had its official
opening August 2007.

Donations
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Practice

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PURE LAND PRACTICE

Chanting
Symbolism and Use

Practice and study are complementary. We practice to calm the mind so our innate
wisdom will arise. We study to understand the principles, and to better understand
why we practice.

Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

While we may think of practice as simply chanting a Buddha's name or a sutra, it


actually has a much broader meaning: We are trying to reflect the Buddha's teaching
in everything we do, both in our Buddhist cultivation and in our daily lives. Not
allowing wandering or discriminatory thoughts to arise in our chanting and daily
activities is concentration, and concentration is crucial if we wish to help ourselves
and others eliminate suffering and attain happiness.
In our everyday activities, we endeavor to live a moral life in which we do not kill,
steal, or engage in sexual misconduct. We strive to not lie or use speech that is
harsh, divisive, or enticing. And we work to eliminate our greed, anger, and
ignorance.
In other words, we endeavor to practice the Ten Virtuous Karmas. Practice of these
calms the mind because the more closely our conduct follows the Ten Virtuous
Karmas, the fewer our worries, and the fewer afflictions we will have as a result.
As Pure Land Buddhists, we chant the Amitabha Sutra, in both English and Chinese,
and chant "Amituofo." These two are the heart of our formal practice.
How do we chant?
We concentrate solely on the sound of the sutra or of "Amituofo." As we concentrate
on Amituofo, all incorrect thoughts are replaced by thoughts of a Buddhaa being
who has awakened his perfect compassion and perfect wisdom. Even if we are
completely focused for only a moment, in that brief moment we are one with
perfection and goodness, one with the Buddha's teaching.
We obtain the same benefit from chanting the sutra. Our wandering thoughts are
replaced by pure thoughts and seeds for awakening are planted, not those for further
suffering in the cycle of rebirth.

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Chanting

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CHANTING

Chanting
Symbolism and Use
Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

The simplest way to practice Pure Land is by chanting "Amituofo." Amituofo is the
name of Amitabha Buddha in Chinese. In Sanskrit it is Amitabha Buddhaya. It does
not matter whether we chant in Chinese, Sanskrit, or any other language as long as
we do it properly. When we chant, the sound of "Amituofo" arises in our minds. And
as we utter "Amituofo," our minds concentrate on and embrace that sound.
While chanting, do so sincerely and continuously. In our chanting, we pronounce each
syllable clearly and distinctly so that we hear the chant whether it is voiced or silent.
Regardless of whether we chant when walking, sitting, or bowing, our focusing on the
Buddhas name will decrease our everyday worries. Eventually, they will be
eliminated.
As one keeps chanting and the mind focuses on the sound of "Amituofo," errant
thoughts are replaced with pure thoughts. In this way, we also create less negative
karma. After Amitabha has been in our mind continuously for a long time, our true
natureour Buddha-naturewill gradually be uncovered.
Amitabha Buddha is the wise and compassionate teacher who understands
everything, and who is always thinking of us, lifetime after lifetime after lifetime.
We are the students who are trying to learn and practice. Just as a good teacher
listens to the calls for help from a student looking for the right answers, if we have
unwavering belief, vow to be reborn in the Pure Land, and behave morally and
sincerely practice, Amitabha will respond. He is like the mother who always thinks of
her child. If the child does not in turn think of his mother, her thoughts will not help.
But if he also thinks of her, they will eventually be reunited. In such a way, Amitabha
is always thinking of us, waiting for our thoughts to turn to him, so that we may
come together.
When we chant to the point of single-mindedness with the sole thought of Amituofo,
we successfully form a connection with him, in fact, we become one with him. In that
instant we are in the Pure Landfar to the west and deep within us. As we breathe
our last breath in this world, if we can form this connectionthis oneness with
Amituofowe will attain our next rebirth in the Western Pure Land and leave
suffering behind. And once there, we will have all the time we need to continue our
practice and learning, for we will be in the company of Amitabha Buddha and all the
bodhisattvas. They will help us learn all the ways to wisely and compassionately help
other beings.

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Symbolism and Use

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SYMBOLISM AND USE

Chanting
Symbolism and Use
Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

The various objects traditionally placed on the gongzhuo each represent different
teachings related to our practice and study.
The image of the Buddha symbolizes our original true nature, the same nature as
that of all Buddhas. The images of the bodhisattvas symbolize understanding and
practice. Mahasthamaprapta, also known as Great Strength Bodhisattva, symbolizes
wisdom; Avalokitesvara, also known as Great Compassion Bodhisattva, symbolizes
compassion. Wisdom and compassion are complementarywe need both.
If using a statue you can place it on a stand to elevate it above the other objects.
The Buddha and bodhisattva images are placed at the back of the gongzhuo and are
the focal point.
Water represents purity and stillness. Our minds need to be just as pure and calm,
void of greed, anger, and ignorance. This will enable us to interact with others and in
various situations with a serene and nondiscriminatory mind, one that reflects
everything clearly but non-judgmentally, like a mirror.
When setting up your gongzhuo, use a new glass for the water. Then as you see the
water, it will remind you of what it symbolizes. Place the container at the front of the
gongzhuo and change the water regularly. The traditional time to change the water is
in the morning. If this does not fit into your morning routine, you can instead change
the water when you do your daily chanting.
Incense is akin to signaling other beings that we are about to begin our practice.
Place the incense holder behind the water.
Flowers represent causality. Every one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is a cause
that will bear results. If we wish to have good results we must first plant the seed to
create the cause. Also, flowers serve to remind us of impermanence, for as beautiful
as flowers are, their beauty is short-lived. Nothing lasts forever. Everything is
impermanent.
Flowers may be placed at the foot of the Buddha image or to the side. A potted plant
or silk flowers can be used instead of cut flowers.
Candles symbolize wisdom and brightness illuminating the darkness of ignorancea
single lit candle can illuminate a room that has been dark for a thousand years. The
candle also represents the act of giving as it gives of itself so that others may see.
A pair of candles may be placed on both sides of the gongzhuo arrangement. For

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Symbolism and Use

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safety, you may use lamps instead of candles. There are even small battery-operated
candles that are a safe, yet fitting, alternative to real candles.

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Home Gongzhuo

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HOME GONGZHUO

Chanting
Symbolism and Use
Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

Our chanting can be done anywhere, anytime. But if we wish to have a special place
for practice in our home, we first need to decide where we would like it to be. A
separate room is ideal, but when this is not possible a quiet and comfortable spot will
do just as well.
It is also advisable to choose a set time for our practice, perhaps early in the morning
when the mind is still relatively calm or at night as you are winding down from a long
day and wish to let go of anything that is troubling you.
Having chosen where to practice, we then set up a small table. Place only objects
that relate to your practice on it, not everyday objects. Apart from creating a
respectful atmosphere, this will help you in your concentration.
You can use a bookshelf if space is limited; however, it is best to not place objects
other than Dharma materials or books above this shelf. If the gongzhuo needs to be
placed in your bedroom, do not place it at the foot of the bed but rather to the side.
A simple arrangement would be to place a statue or any other image of Amitabha
Buddha on the gongzhuo with a clean container of water in front of him. You may
also use images or arrangements that have both Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and
Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva accompanying Amitabha Buddha.
Looking at the image of Amitabha, you would place Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva on the
right side and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva on the left side. If you have difficulty
in obtaining an image, you can contact an Amitabha Buddhist society to request a
picture.
If it is not possible to obtain a statue or other images, you may simply write
Amitabha Buddha on a piece of paper and place it behind and a bit higher than the
container of water.
If you are in a situation where even this is not possible, just focus quietly on your
practice. A sincere wish to chant, to improve oneself, and to help others, are the
necessary requirements for practice.

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Forms of Practice

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FORMS OF PRACTICE

Chanting
Symbolism and Use
Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

To begin our practice, we put our hands together, palm to palm in front of our heart.
Fingers are also placed together, without any space between them. Elbows are
slightly bent. Eyes are focused on the tips of the middle fingers and the head is tilted
slightly down. This position is used to express respect and is called hezang in
Chinese. Besides being used to symbolize a mind without wandering thoughts, it is
also used to express the oneness of the true nature.
It is traditional to begin practice with a simple ceremony that includes bowing to the
Buddha. Bowing, also called prostrating, is another way of showing respect and can
serve to purify the three karmas of body, speech, and mind when it is combined with
chanting. Since this practice can be physically difficult for people who are
unaccustomed to the movements, it is acceptable to do a bow instead of a
prostration.
When ready to begin a practice session, do one bow, three prostrations, and another
bow. With doing this, we pay respect to the Buddha and mentally prepare to begin
our chanting. Having done this, we may next light an incense stick if conditions allow,
and then take up our position.

Sitting
Assume a comfortable position on a meditation cushion or stool, or on a chair. When
sitting on the floor or on a chair, use a cushion that is slanted so the back of the
cushion is slightly higher than the front. Ergonomic chair cushions are ideal for this.
This will incline your pelvis forward and provide better support. When sitting on the
floor with a cushion, you may do so in a full or partial lotus position. If this is painful
or too difficult, you may cross your legs or use a meditation stool or higher cushion.
Sitting on the stool and placing ones legs under it in a simulated kneeling position is
the usual position.
If these positions are still too difficult, you may simply sit on a chair, preferably one
that has a straight back, and which provides good support. Place the soles of both
feet on the floor about a foot apart.
To sit in a lotus position, sit on the cushion and try to place the top of your left foot
on your right thigh. Next, place your right foot on your left thigh to form a stable
seat. The back and shoulders should be erect but relaxed. If this is too difficult, as it
is for many people, try the half lotus position, in which you raise only one foot onto a
thigh, and rest the other under the opposite thigh. Or, sit cross-legged. Please
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remember that it is not necessary to force yourself to sit in an unfamiliar position


that is too physically demanding. It is more important to focus on subduing our
pointless, wandering thoughts than on subduing bodies that are not used to sitting in
unfamiliar ways.
Put your hands on your lap with the back of the right hand resting on the palm of the
left hand, and with thumb tips slightly raised and lightly touching. Eyes may be
lightly closed or slightly open. If you feel drowsy when your eyes are closed, open
them slightly. Posture is very important, so sit upright comfortably without slumping
or leaning forward. Hold the head at a slight downward tilt with the chin pulled in just
a little. In this position, begin chanting "Amituofo" aloud or silently.
Breathe in through the nose, pulling the air down into the deepest part of the lungs
while distending the diaphragm and then slowly breathe out through the nose.
Breathing should be natural. Try to use your diaphragm to pull the air deeper into
your abdomen instead of breathing shallowly. In silent chanting, the tip of the tongue
lightly touches the back of the upper teeth, and teeth and lips are held as usual.
Shoulders are level and elbows are held slightly away from your sides.
If you are not yet accustomed to such practice and experience discomfort such as leg
cramps, slowly move your legs into a position in which you are more comfortable. It
is best to keep initial sessions short: ten to fifteen minutes. Sessions may be
gradually lengthened as you become more used to the practice. It is better to chant
for a short period than not chant at all. You may use walking or bowing to calm both
mind and body before you begin your sitting, but continue your chanting as you vary
the physical forms of practice.

Walking
We can practice chanting while walking indoors or outdoors. This form is excellent for
mindfulness as well as for calming down both mind and body. We are usually so
wrapped up in rushing from one place to another that before we can sit quietly we
need to gently slow ourselves down. Thus, it is often helpful to begin a longer
chanting session with walking because this helps to make the transition from hurried
everyday activities to our practice.
Unlike our usual walking as a means to get from one place to another, often quickly
and without any real sense of where we are, our practice of walking while chanting is
slow and deliberate. While we do not become absorbed in our surroundings, we do
remain aware of where we are and what is happening around us. Ideally, we remain
alert but are not distracted by activities around us.
If your area for walking is large enough, you can walk in a circle. While walking
slowly, be aware of lifting and placing your feet upon the floor or the earth. Instead
of the usual hurried impact on the surface we are walking on, the foot should gently
touch it. Keep body movements smooth and lithe, as with tai chi movements. During
this practice, hands are held at slightly lower than waist level in front of us, with the
back of the right hand resting on the palm of the left and with our thumb tips lightly
touching. Walk clockwise, as this has been the custom since the time of the Buddha.
There are two basic forms of practicing while walking. In the faster method, lift your
right foot off the floor, or ground, and move it forward, placing it on the floor as you
chant A (pronounced as ah). Then repeat the movement with your left foot as you
chant mi (pronounced as me). Step again on your right foot as you chant tuo
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(pronounced as toaw) and then on the left foot on fo (pronounced as faw).


In the slower method, place the right foot down on A and shift your weight forward
on mi. Then place your left foot down on tuo and shift your weight forward fo.
All movements should be deliberate and careful. While most people step with the
right foot first as described above, people at some centers might step on the left first,
so if you attend different centers you will need to see how they do their walking
meditation.
During the walking, our chanting may be done aloud or silently to ourselves. Whether
aloud or silent, listen to and focus on the sound of your chanting.
Walking may be used to break up longer periods of sitting or as the sole form of
practice. During retreats or regular chanting sessions, some centers use walking
meditation more often since it effectively counters the drowsiness and stiffness that
can arise from prolonged periods of sitting.
We can also do our walking in a relatively smaller flat path area of about twenty
yards or so. When you reach the end of the walking area, pause and then turn slowly
to your right. Stand for a few seconds and then resume walking. Whether walking on
the path or pausing before turning around, remain focused on your chanting.

Prostrating
We prostrate not to worship the Buddha but to pay our respects to him for teaching
us, to recognize the Buddha-nature that is in him and in all beings, and to practice
humility by touching the floor with our head.
If we are focused and sincere in what we are doing, we will be cleansing the three
karmas of body, speech, and mind. For example, as we prostrate, our body will be
moving as we chant, and with each one, we will purify some of our negative karma
we had created through our former actions. As we think "Amituofo," we will purify
some of our evil karma created by our past thoughts. As we chant "Amituofo," we will
purify some of our past harmful speech.
To begin, stand with your feet pointing slightly outward in a "V" and your heels a few
inches apart. Place your hands in the hezang position, look down at the tips of your
middle fingers, and slightly tilt your head down. Keeping your neck straight, slowly
bend forward until you have bent over about forty-five degrees. If you are doing a
bow, resume your original upright position with hands in the hezang position.
To continue into a prostration, bend at the knees as you have bent over about fortyfive degrees and, while holding your left hand in the same position at chest level,
move your right hand toward the floor so that it will support you as your bending
knees complete lowering you to the ground.
When your right hand touches the ground bring the left hand to the ground as well,
but about six inches ahead of the right. With this support of both hands on the
ground, continue bending your knees to the ground until your knees are on the floor.
Your right hand should be just in front and slightly outside the edge of the right knee,
and the left hand still ahead of the right. For those with problems in the wrist or
joints, or who feel unsteady due to physical conditions you may place both hands
down at the same time to form a better support.

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Next, flex your feet so that the tops of your feet are resting on the floor and your
toes are almost touching each other. Your lower legs and feet will now be resting on
the floor and your buttocks will be resting on your legs.
Move your right hand to a position level with your left and angle your hands towards
each other so your lower arms and hands form an inverted "V" without the hands
touching one another and with your palms down. Continue lowering your upper body
until your forehead touches the floor. At this point, slowly and supplely make a loose
fist with each hand and then turn your hands over so they are palms up with fingers
very gently curled. Position your hands as if offering to hold the Buddha with your
hands. This is the final position in the prostration. Your forehead, forearms, knees,
lower legs, and feet will now be resting on the floor. Keep your slightly curved back
parallel to the floor. Do not push your stomach down thereby pulling the middle of
your backbone down; keep the back gently curved.
To raise yourself, just repeat the entire prostration in reverse order. Slowly turn the
hands so they are palms down. Then pull your right hand towards your body a foot or
so and this will help to straighten and raise your trunk. If needed, pull your left hand
towards your body until it is more level with your right hand then using both hands
push yourself up. Change the position of your feet so your toes are on the ground
and your feet are ready to support you as you rise. Continue rising and straightening
up until you are again standing upright with palms together at chest level.
Begin with only a few prostrations, doing them slowly and gently while being mindful
of your movements, and gradually increase the number you do. If possible, do this
practice while a chanting CD is playing. You may remain on the floor for several
seconds until you begin to rise.

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Home Practice Session

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HOME PRACTICE SESSION

Chanting
Symbolism and Use
Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

In the following simple ceremony, which we follow sequentially, we first pay respects
to Sakyamuni Buddha for teaching us about the unsatisfactory reality of our existence
and then of the happiness and liberation of the Pure Land. We then pay our respects
to Amitabha Buddha for his compassionate vows to help all beings who request that
help. Next, we begin chanting "Amituofo," which is the main part of the session.
Continue this chanting for the time you have set aside for your practice.
After chanting, we pay our respects to the Bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and
Mahasthamaprapta for their exemplary teachings of compassion and wisdom
respectively, and then to all the Bodhisattvas in the Pure Land for having progressed
on the path of awakening.
Next is the Verse of Repentance to express our deep regret for having harmed
innumerable beings throughout our countless lifetimes. Then we make our vow to be
reborn in the Pure Land followed by the Dedication of Merit. This will pass on the
goodness that has resulted from our chanting to help all beings end suffering and
attain lasting happiness. We conclude with the Three Refuges.

Practice Session
One standing bow, three full bows, one standing bow
Place water container on gongzhuo and light incense
One standing bow

Homage to our original teacher Sakyamuni Buddha.


One standing bow

Homage to Amitabha Buddha.


One standing bow then be seated and chant:

Amituofo
Stand and resume hezang

Homage to Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva.


One standing bow

Homage to Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva.


One standing bow

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Homage to the great pure sea of bodhisattvas.


One standing bow

All evil actions committed by me since time immemorial,


stemming from greed, anger, and ignorance,
arising from body, speech, and mind,
I deeply repent having committed.
One standing bow

We wish to be born in the Western Pure Land


with lotus blossoms in four lands as our parents.
When the lotus opens, we shall see Amitabha Buddha,
be enlightened to the absolute truth,
and have Bodhisattvas who never regress on the path
as our companions.
One standing bow

May the merit and virtues accrued from this act


adorn the Buddhas Pure Land,
repay the Four Kindnesses above,
and relieve the suffering of those in the Three Paths below.
May those who see or hear of this
bring forth the heart of understanding and compassion
and, at the end of this life,
be born together in the land of Ultimate Bliss.
One standing bow

To the Buddha I return and rely,


wishing that all living beings profoundly understand the Great Way
and bring forth the heart of understanding.
One full bow

To the Dharma I return and rely,


wishing that all living beings deeply enter the Sutra treasury
and have wisdom like the sea.
One full bow

To the Sangha I return and rely,


wishing that all living beings form a great assembly
and live with one another in harmony.
One standing bow, three full bows, one standing bow

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Ten Recitation Method

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TEN RECITATION METHOD

Chanting
Symbolism and Use
Home Gongzhuo
Forms of Practice
Home Practice Session

Ten Recitation
Method

This simple, convenient, and effective way to practice Buddha name chanting is
especially suitable for those who find that they have little time for cultivation. The
chanting helps us to be mindful of Amitabha Buddha and, thus, even in the midst of a
busy day can bring us a few moments of calm.
We begin when we wake up. Sit up straight and clearly chant "Amituofo" ten times
with a calm and focused mind, aloud or silently. We repeat this eight more times
during the day, each time chanting "Amituofo" ten times. Throughout the day, our
chanting can be done at the following times:

Upon waking up,


before and after breakfast,
before work,
before and after lunch,
before and after dinner,
and before retiring.

If you find it takes the ten chants to just begin to focus, you can chant several more
times until you feel your last ten were done more mindfully.
The key is regularity; disruption of this practice will reduce its effectiveness. When
we recite consistently without interruption, we will soon feel an increase in our
wisdom, serenity, and purity of mind.
Diligent practice of this method together with unwavering belief, vow, and living a
moral life can ensure that we will be closer to fulfilling our wish to reach the Western
Pure Land.

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Retreats

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RETREATS

Weekend Retreats
Application
Map

The Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre offers weekend retreats, which are a
combination of learning with lectures and discussions, and practice with the chanting
of sutras and Amituofo.

Cost
We do not charge a fee for attendance at any retreat or for any of our Dharma
materials. We like to foster the practice of dana, which is giving, for all who attend
retreats, visit our centre, or call asking for books and other Dharma materials.
Over the centuries, a relationship of mutual support has evolved between the lay and
monastic members of the sangha. This relationship has enabled Buddhism to survive
and grow. The lay person trains in the world and helps support the centre materially
because he or she is in a better position to do so than those training full-time in the
centre. The monastic trains in the centre, teaching and offering spiritual support and
encouragement through example.
The centre itself provides a physical focus where teaching and training can be given,
received, understood and carried into the world. Both the lay person and the
monastic mutually contribute to each others spiritual success.
We practice dana by offering the teachings without a price tag. Your donation allows
us to continue offering the teachings to others. This center was built and is
maintained solely by the generosity of all of you who value the teachings.

Attending
Before applying to attend a retreat, please read the centre etiquette. To download
an application, click Application. Please be sure we receive your faxed, emailed, or
snail-mailed application at least seven days before the retreat begins. This allows us
time review it and notify you as well as to plan for the catering of the meals.

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Weekend Retreats

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WEEKEND RETREATS

Weekend Retreats

Weekend Retreats are held


the second weekend of every month.

Application
Map

Weekend retreats are designed to allow retreatants to gradually settle into the
practice as a gentle shift is made from the busy week-time schedule to a more
mindful Buddhist environment.
Friday afternoon and evening provide time to meet one another and become familiar
with the centres procedures and forms of practice. Thus, at dinner the conversation
is relaxed and comfortable.
On Saturday, as we settle into the practice and lecture schedule, the goal is to begin
to be more mindful of when we need to talk and when it is fine to remain quiet.
Talking during meals is allowed, but is focused on retreat topics. After the last
meditation Saturday night, there is no talking.
Sunday, other than during the discussion and meetings with Venerable Wuling when
she is with us, the day is largely silent. At dinner, after the retreat is over, the
conversation is again relaxed and comfortable.

Schedule for Weekend Retreats


FRIDAY
4:30-6:00
6:00-6:45
6:45-7:30
7:30-8:00
8:00-9:00
10:00 PM

PM
PM
PM
PM
PM

Registration
Dinner
Free Time
Welcome to the centre
Walking meditation
Lights out

SATURDAY
7:00-7:45 AM
7:45-9:00 AM
9:00-10:00 AM
10:00-11:00 AM
11:00-12:00 PM

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Breakfast and clean-up


Community work
Sutra and meditation
Dharma talk
Walking and sitting meditation

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12:15-1:00 PM
1:00-1:30 PM
1:30-3:00 PM
3:00-4:30 PM
4:30-5:30 PM
5:45-6:30 PM
6:30-7:00 PM
7:00-8:00 PM
8:00-9:00 PM
10:00 PM

Lunch and clean-up


Free time/Meetings with Venerable Wuling
Individual study and practice
Dharma talk and discussion
Walking and sitting meditation
Dinner and clean-up
Free time
Sutra and meditation
Meditation
Lights out

SUNDAY
7:00-7:45 AM
7:45-9:00 AM
9:00-10:00 AM
10:00-11:00 AM
11:00-12:00 PM
12:15-1:00 PM
1:00-1:30 PM
1:30-2:30 PM
2:30-4:00 PM
3:30-5:00 PM
5:15-6:00 PM

Breakfast and clean-up


Community work
Sutra and meditation
Dharma talk
Walking and sitting meditation
Lunch and clean-up
Free time/Meetings with Venerable Wuling
Individual study and practice
Dharma talk and discussion
Meditation and Dedication of Merits
Dinner and clean-up

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Pgina 2 de 2

AMITABHA BUDDHIST RETREAT CENTRE


160 Greenwood Creek Road
P.O. Box 216, Nanango Qld. 4615
Tel: 07 4171 0421 Fax: 07 4171 0413
Email: abrc.information(at)gmail(dot)com

Retreat Registration Form


Retreat dates:

to

Name:

/
Gender: M F

Date of birth:

Postal address:

Tel:

Fax:

Mobile:

Email:

Reference:
Name:

Tel:

Address:
Relationship:
Arrival day and time: ___________________ Departure day and time:_____________________
I desire accommodation: Friday night_____ Saturday night_____ Sunday night _____
During retreats, participants are assigned to help in the upkeep of the centre. Please check which of
the areas, you would prefer to volunteer for.
Garden
Building maintenance
Kitchen
Housekeeping
Health condition: Please list any physical disabilities, medication, or special considerations:

In case of emergency, please notify:


Name:

Tel:

Mobile phone:

Relationship:

If you become ill and require medical assistance, we will try to see that you receive it. However, all
resultant expenses will be your responsibility.
I hereby declare that all the information provided herein is correct and complete, and shall bear the
responsibility for this information. I also bear complete responsibility for myself while on the
Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre grounds and participating in retreat activities, and waive all rights
to seek redress in event of accident, etc.
Signature

Date

For office use.


President

Date

Centre Manager

Date

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AMITABHA BUDDHIST RETREAT CENTRE

Venerable Wuling

Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre


PO Box 216
160 Greenwood Creek Road
Nanango, Qld 4615

Visiting
Etiquette

T: 07 4171 0421
Donations
Gallery

F: 07 4171 0413

abrc.information(at)gmail(dot)com
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Email Address
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Teachings

30/6/16 22:42

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TEACHINGS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

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

Three Refuges

suited to our capabilities and conditionsthe method that "feels right" for uswe will
squander this precious lifetime if we give in to the temptation to study and practice

Threefold Learning

other paths in addition to our chosen method.

Four Immeasurable
Minds

Our most important goal as Pure Land Buddhists should be to attain liberation from

Four Noble Truths

others. Once we have accomplished this by attaining rebirth in the Pure Land, we can

the cycle of rebirth for only when we have accomplished this can we truly help
study other methods and practices without fear of falling back on the path to

Five Precepts

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.

Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

The Five Guidelines


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

Ten Virtuous Deeds

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

Wisdom of the Masters

progress from there.

Glossary

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:
the Infinite Life Sutra
the Amitabha Sutra
the Visualization sutra
the Chapter on the Vows and Practices of Samantabhadra from the
Avatamsaka Sutra

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Teachings

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the Chapter on the Perfect and Complete Realization of


Mahasthamaprapta from the Surangama Sutra
the Rebirth Treatise

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Karma

30/6/16 22:43

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KARMA

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

Karma is an action or a combination of actions performed by us and which invariably


produces results. These actions may be good, bad, or pure. Good karma leads to
favorable results and rebirth in the higher realms of samsara. Bad karma leads to bad
results and rebirth in the lower realms of samsara. Pure karma leads to
enlightenment and enables one to transcend samsara.
Karmic actions can be created by an individual or jointly by a group. The consequent
results can be good or bad and help to determine the future of the individual or
individuals who created them. While the cause will always produce a result, when
that result will occur cannot be predicted. If the right conditions do not manifest for a
while, the result will lie dormant for as long as it takes those conditions to mature.
Regardless of the time frame involved, the causal link is clear. Thoughts of greed,
animosity, closed-mindedness, and of pleasing ourselves at the expense of others will
result in adverse consequences. Thoughts of selflessness, consideration for others,
and understanding will lead to good results. Our goal is to eliminate the selfish and
negative actions, and to increase the positive ones. At every instant in our lives, we
can decide what we will think, say, or do in the next moment. But unfortunately,
most of the time we do not consciously make such decisions, either because we
remain unaware that we can or are not used to doing so, or, all too often, we are
simply too lazy.
Our every action is preceded by a thought, but we are so preoccupied with ourselves
and so distracted by the ceaseless bombardment of our thoughts that it would seem
that we act without thinking. Too late we realize that, once again, we have acted
automatically out of negative habits and, consequently, planted another harmful
seed.
Everything we do plants a seed in our most subtle consciousness. All the seeds lie
dormant, waiting for the proper conditions to mature. If we, as gardeners, plant a
seed in rich soil where it will receive lots of sunlight, water it properly, and take care
of it, that seed will grow. If we place the seed in a bag and store it in a cellar, nothing
will happen. Likewise, all of the seeds in our consciousness are waiting for the right
conditionskarmic versions of the soil, sunlight, and waterto mature. When the
seed matures, the cause brings forth a result. But it does not end there.
Cause and effect is a continuous cycle. A cause triggers a result. That result then
becomes a new cause, which will trigger another result, and on and on it goes. This
chain not only affects us but others as well. We do something and it affects someone
around us. In their response to our action, they affect someone else. This creates a

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wave-like response of cause and effect that moves outwards in an ever-widening


circle, just like what results when a single drop of water splashes in the ocean: The
ripple effect results in all the other drops of water in the ocean moving.
Each of us has planted a combination of good seeds and bad seeds. Thus, within each
of us lies the seeds for both loving-kindness and treachery, for both goodness and
unwholesomeness, and for both tolerance and animosity. Which ones mature today
will depend on our individual conditions. It would be helpful to remember when we
are tempted to criticize another for her disloyalty that it could have just as easily
been us in her place. We have all planted the seeds for deception and aggression. If
we had encountered similar conditions, we probably would have acted like those we
were about to criticize. So while we do not condone or dismiss their behavior, we
must realize the need to have wisdom, to practice compassion, and to keep
everything in a proper perspective.
This can also help us to value our "good karma," that which makes us intelligent,
skillful, and wholesome, and to not deplete it. If we keep enjoying the
wholesomeness we created without accumulating any more, we will eventually use it
all up. Since goodness brings goodness, it becomes even more logical to practice
what we learned of discipline, concentration, and wisdom. This is where we can use
the standard of what is correct, honest, and beneficial.

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Rebirth

30/6/16 22:43

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REBIRTH

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

Rebirth is the causal link from one lifetime to the next, as the most subtle level of
consciousness passes from one life to the next, like a river flowing from one place to
another.
The Buddha experienced the reality of causality and rebirth on his night of
enlightenment. He not only saw his own lives but the lives of countless others as
well. He later explained that on our long journey of life, as we wander aimlessly from
birth to birth, there have been more tears shed for us than there is water in the
oceans.
You may not believe in causality and rebirth, but regardless, like gravity, they will still
be there and can provide answers as to why good people may undergo endless
difficulties, while others who are selfish and uncaring enjoy great wealth and power.
Causality and rebirth can also explain the existence of geniuses; for example, Mozart
and Rembrandt, or why one child is loving and filial, while his sibling is deceitful and
ungrateful. Mozart and Rembrandt may have been creative geniuses who had strong
passions for their art and who found themselves again being pulled by that karma
into a later lifetime where that talent resurfaced. And siblings are more a product of
their own individual past karma than of their current environment.
Those who are undergoing difficulties, despite their current goodness, had created
the causes for those difficulties in their past lives and, on rare occasions, earlier on in
this lifetime. Now, the conditions for that person to undergo difficult consequences
have matured. They are reaping what they sowed in the past.
Those who selfishly enjoy great wealth without practicing generosity in this current
lifetime are coasting along on their positive karma that they had created in the past.
But their current self-centered behavior will cause them to quickly run through that
karma, like a person who keeps writing checks without depositing more money into
the bank. At some point, because there are not additional causes that create wealth
and good fortune, their current store of positive karma will be depleted, and suddenly
they will begin to experience many problems.
We do not need to know what the exact circumstances are or what the precise cause
and effect is. It is the proper understanding of the general concept of the law of
causality that can help us to become better people, and this is what we need to focus
on.
Upon seeing those who are experiencing difficulties, we are wrong to simply dismiss
them by thinking that their current adversities are the result of their own past
actions, and thus the hardships are essentially their own fault. With right
understanding, we will do the opposite. We will feel compassion for them and have

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the wisdom to know how to better help them.


What they did in another lifetime or even earlier in this lifetime has long passed from
their conscious mind, or has been forgotten, just as our former actions are likewise
long forgotten by us. This should hardly be surprising considering how little we
remember of what we did only yesterday! Here and now, in this lifetime, people who
are undergoing great difficulties feel that they are helpless victims, pulled this way
and that by circumstances they seem unable to change or control.
We cannot just say that this is their karma and use this as an excuse to do nothing.
For us to blame and dismiss them is to act out of ignorance and arrogance. Instead,
knowing about the existence of suffering and causality, we can choose to be
nonjudgmental and use compassion as we try to understand and help them.
We can think about what they are undergoing and remind ourselves that if we do not
wish to find ourselves in similar circumstances, we need to practice generosity,
loving-kindness, and compassion.

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Three Dharma Seals

30/6/16 22:43

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IMPERMANENCE AND NONSELF

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons

Our thoughts and feelings, our bodies, our worldall are impermanent and subject to
constant change, an unremitting state of flux. One moment we are happily laughing
with friends and in the next miserable as something that is said deeply hurts us.
Our bodies are also constantly changing as our cells age and are replaced. We can
see the results of this when we look in a mirror. What we see in the mirror is not
what we saw a year ago. It is very similar, but not exactly the same.

Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

Knowing that a sunrise will not be around forever or that the person we love will no
longer be with us one day will remind us to cherish them and not take them for
granted. Realizing that a wonderful moment will soon be gone will motivate us to
appreciate it now. We do not want to regret later that we missed an opportunity
because we thought that there would be another chance to enjoy it later.
Understanding that nothing is permanent will help us to accept the fact that people
and the things we love will not be with us forever. We will thus value them even
more. Also, knowing that everything changes, including unhappiness, reassures us
that unpleasant circumstances will at some point improve for the better and that
negative conditions will eventually be replaced with those that are positive.
Additionally, we do not have an independent, permanent self here in the cycle of
rebirth. When we look in that mirror, we perceive what we think of as self. We look
a little different than we did a year ago, but we perceive ourselves as being the same
person. But once we think of me, it becomes natural to think of you and others.
That is how discrimination, with all its inherent ills, begins. Eventually, we discriminate against everyone and everything. But I is composed of minerals and elements
that used to be someone or something else. One hundred years ago, I did not exist.
One hundred years from now, I will no longer be here, at least not in this form. Part
of the physical I may be in a cloud, another part in a flower, or another part in a
new bookno more I.
At some time, each of us will die. If we understand that throughout the universe
there is only one being and that we are therefore all part of one another, that we are
not individuals, that our component parts will separate and re-form, and that our
loved ones are already one with us, then we will not be overwhelmed with sadness
when the physical separation occurs.
Hearing that nothing has an individual self can be very difficult to grasp. Perhaps we
can appreciate this concept more if we look at an example that demonstrates
interconnectivity, such as pollution. To pollute one part of the environment is, in

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actuality, to pollute all of the environment.


Similarly, when one organ in our body is polluted, our whole body will likely be
affected. No part of the environment, no part of our body, is separate and
independent from the other parts.
Understanding that there is no independent self and that we are all interrelated and
part of one another will bring us a sense of togetherness and peace, while viewing
ourselves as individuals can lead to feelings of isolation or superiority.
If we feel we are separate from everything and everyone, we might be unable to
connect with others and become caught up in self-pity. Or we might begin to think
that we know the best way to do things and that others are not as bright as we are.
Feeling superior can lead to the justification that it is right to impose our views on
others and that controlling others is justifiable.
On the other hand, understanding that we are all connected and that what affects
one has the potential to affect all will help us to let go of ideas of self and other, birth
and death, gain and loss. Understanding we are all one will help to eliminate thinking
that I can attain happiness even though others have not or that the distress of others
is their concern, not mine.

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Three Poisons

30/6/16 22:43

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THREE POISONS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds

As human beings, we are subject to many negative habits.


The most serious and detrimental being craving and anger, which stem from our
emotional attachments to the concept of having an individual and permanent self,
and to our lack of understanding our true place in the universe and our relationships
with all those who inhabit the universe with us.
This lack of understanding is ignorancehaving wrong views and knowledge, and
lacking correct knowledge
These threegreed, anger, and ignoranceare called the three poisons.
Greed, or craving, arises from the mistaken idea that we can obtain and hold on to
possessions, to ideas, and even to other people. Greed arises from selfishness, from
the misconception that our bodies are who we are. Our greed and attachments tie us
to unhappiness and lead us to much harmful behavior.

Four Noble Truths


Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

Because of greed, we become angry as others have or take something we want.


Anger so often arises when our greed is unrestrained. Or when we do not get what
we want, because others reject our ideas or obtain what we had wanted for
ourselves. Or when what we have is taken from us, or those we love are lost to us.
The ways that greed and attachments can overwhelm us and, then, lead us to anger
are endless. And the pain generated, as a consequence, is infinite.
Anger in all it's forms, ranging from frustration to resentment, animosity, and even
cruelty, is one of our greatest problems. It arises before we even realize what is
happening. Somebody says something and, in a flash, we are angry.
Why do we so easily become angry? We do so because we are do not understand, we
are ignorant of reality. We are attached to self-importance, our view of who we are,
to the concept of "I." When my concept of "I" is threatened, "I" very often strikes out
in anger.
How can we eliminate our three poisons?
Letting go and giving offset greed. Patience and loving-kindness counteracts hatred.
Wisdom, which already lies within our true nature, counter ignorance.

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Three Conditions

30/6/16 22:43

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THREE CONDITIONS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies

The first of the Five Guidelines is the Three Conditions, which were related by the
Buddha in the Visualization Sutra. He explained that the Three Conditions were the
true causes of pure karma for all Buddhas of the past, present, and future.
In the Amitabha Sutra, the Buddha further explained that to be reborn in the Western
Pure Land, we have to be "good men and good women." The standard for this is the
Three Conditions; thus, they are a crucial part of our practice, an integral component
of rebirth in the Pure Land.
To achieve this rebirth, we need belief, vows, and practiceleading a moral life and
chanting Amituofo mindfully.
The First Condition:
Be filial and care and provide for parents
Be respectful to and serve teachers
Be compassionate and do not kill
Cultivate the Ten Virtuous Deeds
The Second Condition:
Take the Three Refuges
Abide by all precepts
Behave in a dignified and appropriate manner

Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds

The Third Condition:


Generate the Bodhi mind
Believe deeply in the law of cause and effect
Recite and uphold the Mahayana sutras
Encourage others to advance on the path to enlightenment

Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

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Three Refuges

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THREE REFUGES

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths

At some point in our learning and practice, we will likely wish to formally commit
ourselves to the Buddhist path. To do this, we take refuge in the Three Jewels of the
Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. When we do so, we are not taking refuge in someone
or something outside of ourselves. The Three Jewels represent virtues that are
already within each of us; thus, taking refuge in the Three Jewels is to return to the
sanctuary of our own true nature, to our own innate virtues and goodness.
When we take refuge in the Buddha, we are leaving blind faith and delusion behind
us as we seek to awaken and uncover the true nature within us. The Buddha was an
ordinary man who attained supreme enlightenment. He wisely understood the causes
of pain and unhappiness, and compassionately showed us the path he had taken so
that we too might break free from suffering.
Each of us has the same true nature as the Buddha. Each of us has the potential to
look within and return to that true nature. The choice to do so is entirely up to us. To
take refuge in the Buddha is to make a commitment to ourselves, to our inner
Buddha-nature. That commitment says that we will do everything we can to awaken
and to uncover the inner goodness, compassion, and wisdom that lie deep within us.

Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

When we take refuge in the Dharma, we are returning from incorrect views to right
views and correct understanding. Our present lack of awareness and proper
comprehension have obstructed us from seeing the reality of life and caused us to
look at everything in a distorted way, as if we were looking at things through a tiny
blurred window. When our minds become pure and our misconceptions are replaced
with right understanding, we will give rise to wisdom and be able to see everything
clearly. Since sutras are records of the Buddhas teachings and describe the truth of
the universe, we can use the sutras as guidelines. If our thinking coincides with what
is in the sutras, then our comprehension is correct.
Only when we clearly see the whole can our viewpoints and understanding be wise.
The teachings of all Buddhas flow from their true natures. They teach us how to let
go of benefiting solely ourselves, to attain purity of mind, to see life clearly, and to
become enlightened. Upon hearing the teachings, we should be respectful and
remind ourselves to cultivate right understanding and proper views.
When we take refuge in the Sangha, the community of those who practice the
teachings, we are returning from pollution and dissension to purity of mind and
harmony. As we associate with those who practice understanding and lovingkindness, and who feel and practice as we do, we will begin to learn from them.

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Currently, our minds, spirits, and bodies are impure. The Buddha taught us that
everything is a reflection of the mind. Everything therefore arises from the mind; in
other words, from our thoughts and feelings. When our minds begin to clear, allowing
us to see and understand why things happen, we will stop judging others and cease
wanting them to meet our expectations. We will gradually find contentment with what
we have. As we interact with others and handle situations more harmoniously, we will
begin to be content with who we are.
Sincerely taking refuge in the Three Jewels will help us restore the perfect wisdom
and virtues of our true nature so that we can attain clarity, freedom, and genuine
happiness.
It is best to take the Three Refuges with a monastic who you think will be a good
mentor to you: someone whom you can learn from, seek assistance from, and be
associated with. If, however, you have no access to a monk or a nun, you can take
the refuges yourself as an alternative. When you take the refuges with a monk or
nun, remember that he or she is simply passing on the vow to you and serving as a
witness. You are not taking refuge in that individual.

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Threefold Learning

30/6/16 22:43

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THREEFOLD LEARNING

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds

The third of the Five Guidelines is the Threefold Learning. To counteract the major
illnesses of the people in our world and time, the Buddha taught:
Moral self-discipline
Meditative concentration
Innate wisdom
Moral self-discipline counteracts our habits for wrongdoing. Meditative concentration
counteracts the tendency of our minds to wander and have scattered thoughts.
Wisdom counteracts ignorance, our wrong views and knowledge, and our lack of
correct knowledge.
We begin with moral self-discipline, with training. On a basic level, we abstain from
killing; from stealing; from sexual, or sensual, misconduct; from lying; and from the
taking of intoxicants. On a broader basis, we behave in a moral and ethical way in
everything we do.

Four Noble Truths


Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas

By not killing, we will revere all life, and have compassion and respect not just for
other people but also for animals, insects, plants, and the earth which supports us.
By our very existence, we are taking lives. As we walk, we step on insects. To
produce the food we eat and the water we drink, millions of other animal and
microbiological lives are destroyed. We cannot stop eating or drinking water, but we
can make certain we do not waste anything. Understanding our impact on others, we
can use what we need, but no more than that.

Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

Not killing also has a more subtle aspect: We should not kill the seeds of goodness in
others or harm another emotionally. While our thoughts and actions can be damaging
to others, it is our speech that all too easily commits this offense. Our careless,
sarcastic, or angry words can deeply wound a child, a loved one, a friend. We need to
use our speech wisely and speak from the heart that wishes to help others.
By not stealing, we will respect the property of others and do not take or use
anything without permission of the owner. This seems simple enough, but this
training also means that we do not take that book which is lying unclaimed in a
restaurant. Neither do we keep the extra dollar that the clerk mistakenly gave to us
nor do we take things from where we work for personal use.
By not committing sexual, or sensual, misconduct, we do not indulge in sensual
pleasures, understanding that to do so not only increases our attachments and
cravings, but our suffering as well.

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By not lying, we speak truthfully, understanding the power that our words can have.
We choose our words wisely realizing that great harm can result from ill-considered,
untruthful speech.
By not taking intoxicants, we do not take substances that affect our ability to think
and behave clearly at all times, and that harm our bodies. Remaining clear-headed
helps us to not harm others or ourselves.
Next is meditative concentration. In meditative concentration, we focus our attention
on whatever we choose. There are no distractions or worries, no doubts or
drowsiness, no discriminations or attachments: We remain unaffected by our
environment and maintain a calm, undisturbed mind. Initially, this state will bring joy
and a sense of ease. Eventually, it will enable us to see things as they truly are.
In everyday life, we can concentrate on whatever we are doing. We will be aware of
what is happening around us but we will not be distracted or disturbed by it. In daily
life, we can practice meditative concentration in everything we do: whether we are
working, watering the garden, or driving our car. We choose the object or activity of
our attention and then remain focused on it.
We also strive to attain meditative concentration in our Buddhist practice. Some
methods require the guidance of a teacher, while others can be practiced on our own.
On our own, we can concentrate on impermanence. This will enable us to understand
that nothing remains the same, and that craving and ignorance keep pulling us back
into suffering. In the practice of concentrating on no self, we will experience that
everything is inter-related. The practice of concentrating on Nirvana will help us to
find this ultimate reality. No longer will we feel that there is more to life than what we
are experiencing at any moment, and that we are missing something more
meaningful out there.
The practice of concentrating on a Buddhas name will help us to become one with
perfect compassion, perfect happiness, and perfect peace. No longer will we feel that
we need to attain perfection on our own as we realize that we are already one with
that which is perfect.
Third is intuitive wisdom. Intuitive wisdom is not an intellectual pursuit nor is it a
measure of academic intelligence. It insightful knowing and understanding, and it
arises from within us when our minds are clear and calm.

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Four Immeasurable Minds

30/6/16 22:44

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FOUR IMMEASURABLE MINDS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths

How can we help others to find happiness? One way is through the practice of the
Four Immeasurable Minds.
The first mind is that of loving-kindness, which is offering happiness to others.
Second is the mind of compassion, which is the intention and wish to relieve the
suffering of others. Third is joy, which is felt when beings experience happiness. And
fourth is equanimity, being neither averse to nor attached to anything. We
understand that we cannot cause others to transcend suffering or to feel happiness or
joy, but we still have the wish that all beings will be able to accomplish such freedom
and joyfulness.
We start this practice with those who are closest to us: our family and friends. We
then extend it to those we know and like, and gradually keep on expanding this
practice outwards until we feel loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity for
all beings in our world, and eventually for all beings throughout the universe.
Ultimately, the capacity of our mind to care for all beings becomes immeasurable.
Then the mind embraces the expanse of space, and encompasses the vastness of the
universe.

Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

The first mind is loving-kindness, which is the practice of selflessness, of constantly


seeking to benefit others, of helping others to find happiness. When we wish to hurt
another, we are experiencing anger. If we then wait for an opportunity to inflict harm
on that person, we are experiencing animosity. When animosity continues for a long
time it becomes hostility. When we act upon these thoughts through speech or
actions, the hostility becomes cruelty. Loving-kindness is the way to counter these
destructive emotions.
To offer happiness to others, we need to know what they want, and for this we need
to listen and understand. If someone tells us that they do not need or want
something but we insist on giving it to them, we are only offering frustration and
irritation, not happiness. If they wish for nothing, then giving them nothing is the
offering of happiness. We should try to give others what they wish for as long as it is
not harmful; even if what they like is something we do not. Our personal desires or
opinions should not enter into it.
So often in our wish to make others happy, we project what we like onto them and
then we act accordingly. Our intentions may be good, but without wisdom the best of
intentions can backfire, exasperating others and disappointing ourselves. To offer
happiness, we need to set aside the thinking that others wish for what we wish for
and, instead, provide other people with what they truly wish for.

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Second, compassion is the wish and intention to alleviate the suffering of others. It
counters sorrow and anxiety. It is the unconditional care and concern for all living
beings, the ability to realize that all beings suffer, not just ourselves or those we care
for. All too often we find ourselves trying to ease the suffering of those we love and
care for, but for other people whom we do not care for or even dislike, it is an entirely
different matter. Ideally, our compassion should be held equally to all.
The third mind is that of joy, which is wanting all beings to be free from unhappiness
and being sincerely happy, without any trace of jealousy, when they accomplish this.
Joy counters sadness. It is the state of great contentment and ease.
The fourth mind is equanimity which is letting go. It counters attachment and
aversion. It is to stop clinging and to no longer judge or discriminate. It does not
mean that we do not love. It means that we love equally and impartially: like a
mother who loves all her children. Loving every one of her children, a mothers love
for one child is not lessened. Loving all her children with equanimity does not mean
she is indifferent to what her children feel or do. She simply loves them
unconditionally and without expectations.
Equanimity in love is non-possessive. It is like the sun shining on all beings equally.
The sun does not differentiate, deciding to shine more on this person and less on that
person. Neither does the sun cling to those it shines on. It shines on all it sees with
warmth and brightnessequally.
When we can view everyone with equanimity, we will understand that people are who
they are. If we expect them to conform to our ideals, we will smother them and
destroy the very person we care for. How much better it would be to just accept
people as they are, without any of our pre-conceived views and personal judgments.
Our only wish should be for them to be free from suffering, and to be happy and filled
with joy.
Developing the four immeasurable minds requires much time, enthusiasm, and
dedication. Although our four minds today may seem to be very small and narrowly
focused, their gradual expansion to encompass the whole universe will bring us
immeasurable joy.

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Four Noble Truths

30/6/16 22:44

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FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons

In life there is suffering. Suffering is caused. Suffering can end. The way to its end is
through the practice of discipline, concentration, and wisdom. It might seem
pessimistic for the Buddha to say that in life there is suffering. But he did not leave it
at that for like a good doctor, he diagnosed the fundamental problem of life and
declared it: Life involves suffering. As a caring doctor, he optimistically determined
that a cure exists, and prescribed the requisite treatment: proper practice and right
understanding.

Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies

Upon hearing that in life there is suffering, people often say they do not suffer. We
might understand better if we think of life as never being completely satisfactory. We
very often feel some degree of physical or mental discomfort. At other times in our
lives, we all undergo genuine suffering. Initially, we undergo the trauma of birth;
later, we experience disease and illness. Many of us will undergo aging, and none of
us will escape death.
Regardless of whether we say suffering or non-satisfaction, all beings are subject to
distress. Simply put, things usually do not go as we wish. Suffering is inherent in
everything within our existence. Thus, this is the first truth: in life there is suffering.
What causes suffering? Ignorance and greed. Ignorance is the lack of understanding
that all conditioned things are impermanent and void of an everlasting individual
identity. Greed is the craving and attachment for material things or pleasant
experiences and much more.

Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

All of us have greed, desires, and attachments for things, people, life, and more.
Why? We are deluded, and in our unawareness we do not see things as they really
are. We do not understand that life is suffering, that suffering is caused by craving,
that suffering can end, and that there is a way to its end.
When we do not get what we want, we become annoyed. When we lose what we
have, we feel resentful. When we are unable to be with people we like, we become
irritated. These are all forms of anger. Anger has its roots in the discriminatory and
mistaken idea that I am an individual and, consequently, that I need to protect my
ideas and possessions; that I need to protect who I am individually. Ignorance leads
us to think in terms of gain or loss, plus and minus: that I need to protect what is
mine, whether it is a thing, an idea, or a person.
This concept of mine leads to selfishness, which in turn results in our wanting,
either of what we do not have or more of what we already have. Greed and anger
arise because we are ignorant and do not know that craving leads to more craving.
This, the Buddha said is the second truth: Suffering is caused.

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The Buddha did not just tell us what the problem wasthat life is suffering, that our
lives are filled with dissatisfaction, that we are unhappy much of the timeand then
leave it at that. He went on and explained that this suffering is caused by our own
greed which comes from our ignorance. And then he told us unequivocally that there
is a way to end this suffering.
We can do this by eliminating our selfishness. When our greed and attachments no
longer exist, suffering ceases, and the state of Nirvana is attained. Nirvana is the
state in which we are permanently liberated from our suffering. In this state, there is
no thought of me or mine, and there is no more greed, anger, and ignorance.
There is peace, love, wisdom, and a level of complete happiness that we cannot
imagine or begin to describe.
The Buddha did not tell us about suffering to take the joy out of our lives. He did not
intend that we should feel that life was depressing or unbearable or hopeless. He
wanted to shake us out of our complacency. He hoped that we would awaken and
replace our current state of ignorance with one of understanding. To deny that
suffering exists is pointless. But to become immersed in feelings of hopelessness is
equally futile. We need to follow the middle path and find an inner balance, to neither
drown in nor ignore suffering, but to strive to overcome our unsatisfactory existence.
Thus, we now realize the third truth: Suffering can end.
The way to its end is the fourth truth: practice. Different traditions and teachers may
explain the practice in slightly different ways, but the essence of practice is the
threefold learning of discipline, concentration, and wisdom.

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Five Precepts

30/6/16 22:44

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FIVE PRECEPTS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

Most people want to live a safe, healthy, and happy life. How do we proceed toward
this ideal? The Buddha provided us with five precepts to guide us on our way to
individual liberation. We are to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct,
lying, and taking intoxicants. Not just for Buddhists, these precepts are basic to the
major spiritual traditions and ethical teachings in our world today.
Precepts are not to be adhered to merely on a literal basis. We need to understand
their logic, so as to better judge how to wisely follow them. If we understand the
intention behind a precept, we will be better able to adhere to its inherent meaning
when encountering new or difficult situations.
The first precept is to refrain from from killing. This precept In Buddhism, not killing
is the reverence for all life and is founded on compassion. All animals fear death and
experience pain when hurt. Understanding this, we can try to be mindful of
everything that we are doing.
We will find this easier to do if we understand that we are not superior to animals.
Within every being is a true nature identical to that of all Buddhas. They, like us,
have the ability to awaken one day and uncover their true nature.
The objective as we progress in our practice of compassion and no killing, is to not
even give rise to a single thought of irritation, much less to anger. Compassion must
be experienced and felt, not just understood on an intellectual level. Only when
compassion and gentleness are an active part of our being will we stop reacting out
of anger and hatred. Left unchecked, anger and hatred will eventually result in
killing. Only when loving-kindness is a functioning part of us will we end the wars
within and between each of us and attain peace for all.
The second precept is to refrain from taking what is not given. By not taking anything
without permission, we will be free of nagging thoughts of having done something
wrong. Even if an object appears not to belong to anyone, taking it will break this
precept. Just as the deeper meaning of abstaining from killing is compassion, the
deeper meaning of not stealing is giving.
The third precept is usually interpreted as refraining from sexual misconduct.
However, this precept is actually addressing any sensual indulgence, craving for food,
sensations, and much morenot just sexual misconduct. Sensual indulgence
distracts us from our inward search to find lasting happiness and freedom. It wastes
our energy and leaves us with escalating wishes. It is detrimental to be controlled by
our senses; instead, we need to refrain from indulging our senses. This will help us to

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feel more in control of our lives, to be more self-confident.


The fourth precept is to refrain from telling lies. We are to do nothing to deceive
others for our benefit or for the benefit of those close to us. Instead of separating
people with careless speech, we can use speech to bring others together, creating
understanding and harmony.
Not lying also means that we speak at the right time and in accordance with the
facts. We are logical and say what is useful. We do not gossip or boast. This will stop
us from creating negative consequences for ourselves. Because we are honest and
thoughtful, we will have the trust and respect of others. And by not offending others
or causing dissension, we will get along well with people.
While the first four precepts are widely held, the fifth precept of refraining from
taking intoxicants is not universal. Understanding the underlying meaning behind a
precept will help us to better follow it. For example, the precept enjoining the
abstention from intoxicants is really telling us not to take anything that would impair
our judgment or that might harm others or ourselves. By refraining from consuming
intoxicants, we will stay healthier as well as not have to regret any harm our actions
might cause.
We also need to be wary of the consumption of toxins in what we see and hear. The
toxins of violence, hatred, and fear in television programs, movies, books, and the
Internet are just as influential and damaging. We do not need to go to extremes on
this. We just need to be careful in what we consume through each of our senses, and
to make wise choices in what we read and view.
Bottom line, precepts are not designed to prevent us from having a good time. They
help us to find and develop the inner strength to think and conduct ourselves
correctly. Actually, by knowing how to be more mindful in our thoughts, speech and
conduct, we will feel freer and less worried about behaving improperly or
inadvertently hurting others.

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Six Harmonies

30/6/16 22:44

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SIX HARMONIES

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

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The second of the Five Guidelines, the Six Harmonies tell us how to get along in
groups, especially in a sangha, which is a group of four or more people who practice
together. As the Six Harmonies are the basic rules for group cultivation, a sangha,
whether lay or monastic, needs to strive to follow them. The Six Harmonies are:
Harmony
Harmony
Harmony
Harmony
Harmony
Harmony

in
in
in
in
in
in

having the same viewpoints


observing the same precepts
living together
speaking without conflict
experiencing Dharma bliss
sharing benefits

First is harmony in having the same viewpoints, which means establishing


consensuses in a group. The group members must hold the same opinions of the
principles and methods that they are studying and practicing to form the basis for
harmonious group cultivation. If we want our society to be stable, the prerequisite is
that everyone can get along with one another. Only harmony can gradually draw
together and eventually minimize the differences in our opinions, ideas, and ways of
life. Then equality can be achieved, and finally, happiness.
Second is harmony in observing the same precepts. When we live and practice
together, we need to have rules, or else there will be disorder. The rules should
include the fundamental precepts set by the Buddha, which vary depending on
whether it is a lay or a monastic sangha. The fundamental precepts are the five
precepts for a lay sangha, and the monk or nun precepts for a monastic sangha. In
addition to the Buddhist precepts, laws and local customs are also to be observed.
Third is harmony in living together as a group. The purpose of establishing a
cultivation center is to help every participant in group practice make achievements.
Living together in a group, practitioners can support each other in their practice.
Fourth is harmony in speaking without conflict. All the group members who live
together should not dispute in order to truly concentrate their efforts on cultivation.
When people are together, negative karma from speech is the easiest to incur. One,
who talks too much, easily gets into trouble. Sometimes misunderstandings arise
because the listener takes to heart a careless remark of the speaker. Thus, a careless
speaker unknowingly incurs many enmities, which give rise to future retaliation. This
is why ancient sages advised us, "Talk less; chant the Buddhas name more." The less
we speak, the better it is, for we will have less trouble. It is best that we speak only
when necessary.
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Fifth is harmony in experiencing the Dharma bliss. This is what we call "experiencing
joy in the Dharma." When we learn and practice a Dharma Door, the basic
achievement that we should attain is happiness. If we feel unhappy in our practice,
then we have encountered a serious problem, which does not lie in the Buddhas
teachings but in the way we practice. We may either have done something that goes
against the principles of the teachings or have applied the principles in the wrong
way. Otherwise, the results should be evidentending delusions and attaining
enlightenment, and ending suffering and attaining happiness. With each passing day,
we should have fewer afflictions while enjoying greater happiness and freedom. This
is the evidence of success in our practice. If we are not achieving this, we need to
examine carefully and seriously, find our mistakes, root causes, and then eliminate
them. We can then thus truly benefit from our practice.
Sixth is harmony in sharing benefits. This harmony means that everyone living in a
cultivation center shares the material goods equally.
The keeping of all these six rules ensures that harmony will prevail.

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Six Paramitas

30/6/16 22:44

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SIX PARAMITAS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

To interact successfully with others, the Buddha taught us the Six Paramitas. The
fourth of the Five Guidelines, the paramitas are the practices of bodhisattvas,
awakened beings who are dedicated to helping all other beings. The Six Paramitas
are:
Giving (dana)
Precept observation (shila)
Patience (kshanti)
Diligence (virya)
Meditative concentration (dhyana)
Wisdom (prajna)
The first paramita is giving. Giving counters greed, and ensures that in the future we
will have ample resources to continue helping others. The underlying meaning of
giving is letting go.
There are three major kinds of giving. The first is the giving of wealth, be it material
resources or our time and energy. When our giving becomes increasingly
unconditional, we will begin to feel more liberated spiritually. The more we give away,
the fewer possessions we have to worry about. Soon we will realize that we need
very little to be truly content.
Second is the giving of teaching. By teaching others, we are helping them to learn
how to rely more on themselves. We give material resources to try to solve
immediate needs. But, if we want to solve needs that are more far-reaching, we
teach. It is not necessary to have exceptional skills. Simply teach whatever we are
good at and what others are not. The highest form of teaching is the Dharma, which
can help people find lasting happiness and liberation.
And third is the giving of fearlessness. It is to remove the insecurities, worries, and
fears of others, whether the "other" is human or non-human. This giving can be the
sharing of a kind word, the giving of our strength and stability, or our understanding.
When we relieve the worries and fears of others, and help them to feel more secure,
they will be able to find peace and self-respect.
The second paramita is moral discipline, which counters worries and unhappiness,
and enables us to continue on our way to awakening. In a more literal sense, it
means abiding by the precepts. In a broader sense, the second perfection means
ethical behavior, as we follow the customs and laws of wherever we are. Initially, as
we begin our practice of discipline, we can focus on refraining from harming others.

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Gradually, we begin to develop and increase our virtue. The ultimate form of this
practice is to benefit others.
The third paramita is patience, which counters anger and hatred, and helps us to
avoid arguments and to achieve our goals. We need patience in almost everything we
do. If we are in school, we need patience to persevere in our study. At work, patience
helps us to properly accomplish our tasks. At home, patience is the foundation for
interacting well with family members. Patience enables us to get along more
harmoniously with those around us. For ourselves, patience allows us to recognize
our bad habits and to improve ourselves by changing those habits.
The fourth paramita is diligence, or enthusiastic effort. It is the joy that we bring to
our practice and to all that is worthwhile in our lives. It is the true delight that arises
from deep within us when we are doing what is wholesome. It enables us to keep
going when we feel tired or overwhelmed. It is refreshing and inspiring. Cultivating
enthusiastic effort counters laziness, and brings joy to our lives as we feel a sense of
accomplishment in finishing what we have started.
The fifth perfection is meditative concentration. Our practice and training in discipline
and not harming others will reduce and gradually eliminate our harmful verbal and
physical behaviors. Our minds will become calmer and less agitated. When our minds
are thus settled, we will be better able to concentrate. Our concentration will initially
reduce and, then, gradually eliminate our disturbing thoughts and emotional
behavior. We will then gain meditative concentration, which will enable us to uncover
our innate wisdom. Thus, discipline, meditative concentration, and wisdom work
together, and are complementary.
The sixth paramita is wisdom. Wisdom counters ignorance, and enables us to know
how best to help others and to improve ourselves, including our ability to get along
well with others. This wisdom is not that which is gained through intense study and
analysis of many diverse subjects. That would be seeking wisdom from external
sources. It is our innate, all-knowing wisdom.
If we begin to practice these six perfections in even just some small measure every
day, starting with today, gradually, we will begin to look in the right direction, and
gradually we will awaken to the perfect goodness, perfect contentment, and perfect
joy that are already within our true nature, our Buddha-nature.

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Ten Great Vows

30/6/16 22:45

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TEN GREAT VOWS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

The fifth of the Five Guidelines is the Ten Great Vows of Samantabhadra in the
Avatamsaka Sutra. These vows lead to the attainment of Buddhahood and are the
practice of the highest-level bodhisattvas who have freed themselves from delusion.
The Ten Great Vows are to:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Respect all Buddhas


Praise Tathagata
Make offerings extensively
Repent karmic obstacles
Rejoice at others meritorious deeds
Request the turning of the Dharma wheel
Request the Buddha to remain in this world
Constantly follow the Buddhas teachings
Accommodate all sentient beings
Dedicate all merits universally

Only when we apply the Three Conditions, the Six Harmonies, the Threefold
Learning, and the Six Paramitas in our daily lives are we truly learning Buddhism,
emulating bodhisattvas, and beginning to resemble a bodhisattva.
Bodhisattvas cannot attain Buddhahood only by practicing the Six Paramitas. They
also need to practice nianfo and to seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land. In the
practice of nianfo, we can achieve either Constant Mindfulness of Amitabha Buddha
or One Mind Undisturbed in Mindfulness (One Mind Undisturbed at the phenomenal
level) but we cannot achieve One Mind Undisturbed in Enlightenment (One Mind
Undisturbed at the level of noumenon).
In other words, we have to move beyond the foundation of the Six Paramitas and
progress to the next level of practice: the Ten Great Vows of Samantabhadra taught
in the Avatamsaka Sutra.
This Dharma door leads to attainment of One Mind Undisturbed in Enlightenment and
attainment of Buddhahood. It is practiced by Dharmakaya Mahasattvas. Therefore, it
is the last step of our cultivation and cannot be reached by skipping the previous
steps. Venerable Master Chin Kung has said that if we do not succeed in our practice
of the Six Paramitas, we are not even close to practicing the Ten Great Vows.
The distinctive feature of the practice of Samantabhadra is that this bodhisattva has
a mind as broad as the universe. As a result, each of his ten vows is ultimate and
perfect in itself.

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Ten Virtuous Deeds

30/6/16 22:45

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TEN VIRTUOUS KARMAS

Karma
Rebirth

The Ten Virtuous Karmas are divided into three major categories: physical, verbal,
and mental.

Impermanence &
Nonself

Physically, we are prohibited from killing, stealing, and engaging in sexual


misconduct.

Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds

Verbally, we are prohibited from using false speech, harsh speech, divisive speech, or
enticing speech.
Mentally, we are prohibited from giving rise to thoughts of greed, anger, and
ignorance.
We can phrase this positively by saying:
I resolve not to kill.
Instead, I will revere all life.

Four Noble Truths


Five Precepts

I resolve not to steal.


Instead, I will understand that to take anything
without the permission of the owner is wrong.

Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

I resolve not to engage in sexual misconduct, or any sensory indulgence.


Instead, I will develop the mind of self-restraint and purity.
I resolve not to use false speech.
Instead, I will speak the truth in a wise way and at the right time.
I resolve not to use harsh speech.
Instead, I will speak words that benefit others and foster peace.
I resolve not to use divisive speech.
Instead, I will speak words that foster harmony.
I resolve not to use enticing speech.
Instead, I will speak sincerely and truthfully.
I resolve to refrain from greed.
Instead, I will open my heart and practice giving.
I resolve to refrain from anger.

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Instead, I will see the unhappiness of others and practice patience.


I resolve to refrain from ignorance.
Instead, I will calm my mind to uncover my wisdom.

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Wisdom of the Masters

30/6/16 22:45

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WISDOM OF THE MASTERS

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself

Great Master Yin Guang


13th Patriarch of the Pure Land School

Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges

Grand Master T'an Hsu


On Amidism, A Short Discourse

Threefold Learning

Venerable Master Chin Kung


Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts

Master Kuang-Ch'in
From the Analects of Master Kuang-Ch'in

Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

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Great Master Yin Guang

30/6/16 22:46

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GREAT MASTER YIN GUANG

Karma
Rebirth
Three Dharma Seals
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds

Thirteenth Patriarch of the Pure Land school


Whether a layperson or a monastic, we need to respect those who are older than we
are and to exist harmoniously with those around us. We are to endure what others
cannot and practice what others cannot achieve. We should do all we can on behalf of
others and help them to be good. When sitting quietly, we would do well to reflect on
our own faults. When talking with friends do not discuss the rights and wrongs of
others.
In our every action, from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, mindfully chant the
Buddhas name. When chanting, whether aloud or silently, do not give rise to
wandering thoughts. If wandering thoughts arise, immediately dismiss them.
Constantly maintain a modest and regretful heart. Even if we have upheld true
cultivation, we still need to feel that our practice is shallow and never boast. We
should mind our own business and not the business of others. We should see only the
good examples of others instead of their shortcomings. We would do well to see
ourselves as ordinary and everyone else as bodhisattvas.

Four Noble Truths


Five Precepts

If we can cultivate according to these teachings, we are sure to reach the Western
Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Six Harmonies

Being Attached to Set Forms of Practice


Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

You may recite the Buddha's name sitting, standing, kneeling, or circumambulating
the altar, etc. but you should not be attached to any set ways.
If you become attached to a fixed position, your body may tire easily and your mind
may find it difficult to merge with the Mind of the Buddhas. To reap benefits, you
should make allowances for your health or habits and skillfully select the practice that
fits your circumstances.
Traditionally, Pure Land practitioners circumambulate the altar at the beginning of a
Buddha Recitation session. then sit down, and, finally, kneel. However, if you feel
tired when circumambulation or kneeling, you should sit down and recite. If you
become drowsy while seated, you can circumambulate the altar or recite standing up,
waiting for the drowsiness to go away before sitting down again. When reciting, it is
better to determine the length of the session with a clock, rather than fingering a
rosary, as doing so may make it difficult to focus the mind and keep it empty and
pure.

Mistaking a Thief for a Son


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Greed, anger, and delusion are afflictions common to everyone. However, if you are
aware that they are diseases, their power should not be overwhelming. They are like
thieves who have broken into the house. If the owner mistakes them for members of
the household, all the valuables in the house will be stolen. If, on the other hand, he
recognizes the thieves as such and immediately chases them away, his valuables will
be safeguarded and he will be at peace. In this connection, the ancients have said:
Fear not the early arising of thoughts [greed, anger, delusion, etc.]; fear only
the late awareness of them as such.
When greed, anger, and delusion arise, as long as you recognize them for what they
are, these thoughts will immediately be destroyed. However, if you take them for the
true master of your household, it is no different from mistaking a thief for your son.
How can your riches not be squandered and lost.

If You Want Melons, You Need to Plant Melon Seeds


When ordinary beings meet with disaster, if they do not resent the heavens, they
blame their fellow beings. Very few think of repaying their karma and developing a
mind of repentance and reform. You should know that if you plant melons, you reap
melons; if you plant beans, you reap beans. This is the natural course of events.
Having sown thorns, do not expect, when the harvest comes, to have wheat and rice.
If those who create evil still enjoy blessings, it is because in previous lifetimes they
amassed great blessings; if not for their transgressions, their blessings would have
been much greater.
It is as if a scion of a wealthy family were to lead a dissipated life, lusting and
gambling, squandering money like so much dirt without suffering hunger and cold
immediately because of his great fortune. Yet, if he were to continue in this manner
day in and day out, even with a family estate in the millions, one day he would surely
lose all his property and suffer a premature death.
If those who perform wholesome deeds customarily meet with misfortune, it is
because they planted the seeds of transgression deeply in past lifetimes. If not for
their good deeds, their misfortunes would have been much worse.

Effective Buddha-name Chanting Method


When one feels it is difficult to concentrate while chanting, one should first collect
ones wandering thoughts and chant sincerely with serious effort. Then ones mind
will be unified. To unify ones mind, one must first be sincere and serious. If sincerity
and seriousness are lacking, it is not possible for one to collect ones wandering
thoughts. If one is sincere and serious, but the wandering thoughts persist, one
should attentively listen to ones own chanting.
Whether the chants are silent or voiced, every chant must arise from ones mind. The
voice exits ones mouth and enters ones ears.
Giving rise to the Buddha-name clearly with ones mind, chanting it clearly with ones
mouth, and hearing it clearly with ones ears will help unify ones mind and the
wandering thoughts will naturally stop. If ones mind is still flooded with wandering
thoughts, then one should use the ten-chant-and-count method, and devote all ones
energy to chanting the Buddha-name. Even if the wandering thoughts still exist, they
will not be able to function.
This is the ultimate method to unify ones mind and ones chant.
Those who expounded the Pure Land school in the past did not mention this method
because their faculties were considered sharp enough and they were able to unify

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their minds without it.


I had problems collecting and controlling my wandering thoughts and then realized
the effectiveness of this method. I have used it many times and never failed. I am
not sharing this information lightly or by imagination. I want to share this method
with everyone as well as those in future generations so that anyone who practices
this method can successfully attain rebirth in the Pure Land.
What is the ten-chant-and-count method?
When chanting, one chants ten times in a single breath. Every chant must be clear,
and one must count and remember where one is and stop at the tenth chant. One
then repeats the process, but never counts to the twentieth or the thirtieth chant.
One must count and remember while chanting, and not rely on moving the chanting
beads. Counting and remembering must be in ones mind.
If it is difficult to complete ten chants in one breath, one can chant for two breaths.
The first breath is for the first five chants, the second breath for the remaining five
chants. If two-breath chanting is still difficult, one can break the ten chants into three
breaths. The first through the third, the fourth through the sixth, and the seventh
through the tenth chants complete in three breaths.
If one can chant clearly, count and remember the chants clearly, and hear ones own
chants clearly, wandering thoughts will have no place to step in. Over time, the state
of one-mind undisturbed can be attained naturally.

Belief and Vow


If one wants to quickly be free of the suffering in samsara, there is no method better
than mindfully chanting the Buddha-name and seeking rebirth in the Land of Ultimate
Bliss.
f one wants to be absolutely certain of attaining rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss,
it is best for one to be led by belief and compelled forward by vow.
When ones belief is firm and vow is earnest, even if one chants the Buddha-name
with a scattered mind, one will surely be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. When
ones belief is not sincere and vow is not resolute, even if one chants with One Mind
Undisturbed, one still will not be able to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.
What is belief? First, one believes in the power of the vows of Amitabha Buddha.
Second, one believes in the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha. Third, one believes in
the extolment by all the Buddhas in the six directions.
When people of integrity in this world do not speak any untruthful words, how would
Amitabha Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, and all the Buddhas in the six directions do
so? If one does not believe these Buddhas words, one truly cannot be saved.
What is vow? At all times, one feels aversion to the suffering of the cycle of birth and
death in the Saha world and believes and yearns for the Bodhi bliss in the Western
Pure Land.
When one does a deed, if it is a good one, then one dedicates the merit to rebirth in
the Western Pure Land; if it is a bad one, then one repents and vows to be reborn in
the Western Pure Land. One has no other aspirations. This is vow.
When one has both belief and vow, mindfully chanting the Buddha-name to attain
rebirth [in the Western Pure Land] is the main practice, and correcting wrongdoings
and cultivating good deeds is the auxiliary practice.

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Grand Master Tan Hsu

30/6/16 22:46

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GRAND MASTER TAN HSU

Karma
Rebirth
Three Dharma Seals
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

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 ideasscholars, 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.

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Grand Master Tan Hsu

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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.

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Pgina 2 de 2

Venerable Master Chin Kung

30/6/16 22:47

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VENERABLE MASTER CHIN KUNG

Karma
Rebirth
Three Dharma Seals

Ordinary people see everyone as ordinary.


Arhats see everyone as arhats.
Bodhisattvas see everyone as bodhisattvas.
Buddhas see everyone as Buddhas.
Wise people see everyone as teachers.

Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges

Pure Land practitioners should see everyone as Amitabha Buddha.


So if we look down on anyone,
we look down on Amitabha Buddha.
If we have conflict with anyone,
we have conflict with Amitabha Buddha.

Threefold Learning

How Does One Adjust Ones Mindset?


Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths

Even if we suffer many wrongs in this world, we should maintain a calm mind and
accord with conditions. Why? Because whatever we encounter daily in this lifetime,
whether favorable or unfavorable, is destined and brought about by our deeds from
past lifetimes.

Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

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It is clearly stated in the sutras that there are two kinds of karmic retributions for all
beings. The first kind is leading karma, which leads us to be born in a certain path
[e.g., as a human or animal]. The second kind is fruition karma, the karmic force
from our good and bad deeds done in past lifetimes that brings about all that we
undergo in this lifetime, whether we are rich or poor and have a high or low social
status.
Now that we understand that what we undergo in this lifetime is the karmic
retribution of our deeds done in past lifetimes, how could we not endure and accept
it? While we are enduring the karmic retributions, we should not be attached to
favorable conditions or become angry with those that are adverse. This way, we will
be able to eliminate our negative karmas.
We should know that we must eliminate the negative karma created in past lifetimes;
otherwise we cannot transcend the Three Realms. Although learning and practicing
the Buddha-name chanting method allows us to attain rebirth in the Western Pure
Land while bringing along our residual karma, we still hope to bring along as little
residual karma as possible. Therefore, when we encounter adverse conditions, we
have a good opportunity to eliminate our negative karma. This is a good thing, not a
bad thing. The harder things are to tolerate and the more we are able to tolerate
them, the more negative karma we will be able to eliminate, and faster too.

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No matter what humiliation or torment we undergo, this will eliminate our negative
karma. When we encounter this situation, we should let go of everything and all
thoughts, and instead, single-mindedly chant Amituofo and seek rebirth in the
Western Pure Land.

The Health Effects of Losing One's Temper


When I speak to people about Buddhism and mention the three poisons of greed,
anger, and ignorance, it is that mention of anger that gets people's heads nodding in
agreement. Ideally, we want to control our own tempers for the sake of all beings. An
angry person cannot help others.
But what if we're not at that point? What if we have enough trouble just trying to do
what is right for ourselves? If the only person we can think of helping at this moment
is ourselves, we still need to realize the harm becoming angry does.
Losing ones temper hurts both oneself and others. It is particularly harmful to ones
physical health. When one loses ones temper, even for only a minute, it takes three
days for all the cells in the body to return to normal. Imagine how much worse it is to
lose ones temper every day. Clearly, losing ones temper is the same as gradually
committing suicide.
Now that we know this, we should not lose our temper no matter what provocation
we encounter. Why? Because we must protect our bodies and minds from being
affected by the external environment. We should gradually reduce emotional
afflictions for they are harmful to our bodies and minds. This way, we will be able to
maintain mental and physical well-being. With the reduction of afflictions our wisdom
will naturally increase. We should know that the true way of maintaining good health
is nurturing a loving heart. We should never dislike anyone or anything. Doing this is
the fulfillment of the paramita of patience. We will be living in gratitude and enjoying
a life of the utmost happiness.

Good Dharmas
The Buddha said in the Ten Virtuous Karmas Sutra that bodhisattvas have a method
that can help them end all sufferings in the Three Evil Paths. The method is being
often mindful of and contemplating wholesome thoughts, and observing wholesome
behavior and speech night and day, not having even the slightest non-virtuous
thought. This way, one will end all evils forever and perfectly accomplish good
dharmaswholesome thoughts, behavior and speech.
When one is often mindful of good dharmas, ones mind will be virtuous. When one
often contemplates good dharmas, ones thoughts will be virtuous. When one often
observes good dharmas, ones conduct will be virtuous. The criterion for virtuousness
is to permanently end the Ten Evil Deeds: killing, stealing, committing sexual
misconduct, false speech, divisive speech, harsh speech, enticing speech, greed,
anger, and ignorance.
When ones every thought, every word, and every action accords with the Ten
Virtuous Deeds and the virtues innate in the true nature, one will be free from all
sufferings in the evil paths.

Untempted and Undisturbed


What is meditation? What is concentration?

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Simply put, meditation means not to be affected by the external environment. And
concentration means to maintain an undisturbed mind. The mind must remain pure,
with no discriminations, no worries, and no attachments: This is concentration.
The Buddha said in the Diamond Sutra: Do not cling to [illusory] phenomena;
maintain an undisturbed mind. The first part is meditation, and the second part is
concentration.
We can clearly see that practicing meditative concentration does not mean meditating
facing the wall every day. This is only one of the many forms of practice. In actuality,
in your everyday activities, you are practicing meditative concentration when you
remain undisturbed and unattached.
In the Avatamsaka Sutra, where did the Bodhisattvas practice meditative
concentration? At the market! The sutra mentions sichan, which means a bustling
bazaar. The Bodhisattvas went window-shopping to practice meditative
concentration. You should understand that when they were window-shopping, they
saw everything clearly. That is wisdom. They saw and understood everything clearly,
and none of these things could tempt them.
To remain untempted is meditation.
To maintain an undisturbed mind is concentration.
What did the bodhisattvas cultivate when they went window-shopping? They
cultivated meditative concentration and wisdom, unlike ordinary people who,
attracted by everything they see, desire everything. When one is affected, there is no
meditative concentration.
We should know that meditative concentration is true enjoyment. Meditative
concentration and wisdom are the utmost enjoyments in life.

Deep Concentration
Ordinary beings have an illusory mind, the mind that arises and ceases. In other
words, ordinary beings have wandering thoughts. Enlightened beings have true
minds that constantly dwell on truth. They do not have wandering thoughts, only
deep concentration. Deep concentration is the state without discriminatory wandering
thoughts or attachments.
However, this does not mean that we are idle all the time; we continue to do our job
with a pure and completely aware mind. When the external environment no longer
hinders or affects us, we have attained deep concentration.
Understanding this principle, we will know how to correct our improper behavior.
When our six senses encounter the external environment, our thoughts, words, and
deeds are improper because our senses follow the external conditions and we allow
afflictions to take hold. We have been wrong for countless eons and this is the root of
our improper behavior. We have buried our true nature and have allowed afflictions,
especially those of views and thoughts, to be dominant. Thus, we have transformed
the One True Dharma Realm into the Six Realms of Reincarnation. How are the Six
Realms formed? They are formed by our attachments.
The first mistake from the view or thought affliction is our attachment to our bodies
as we think that this body is I. This is why the Buddha told us there is no self and
therefore our attachment to self is wrong. With the initial attachment to self, we have
a mistake that is hard to undo. This body is not I. This body is something that we
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possess just like the clothes that we own.


If we understand this, we will realize that humans do not have births or deaths.
Death is just like taking off our soiled clothes and birth is like putting on a new set of
clothing. In the cycle of reincarnation, our birth and death is like changing clothes.
What then is self? In India, some religions believe that the spiritual self is I. In
China, we call it the soul. In Buddhism, we call it the spirit. This state of believing
that the spiritual self is I is higher than that which views the body as I. Why is it
such an improvement? Because when one believes that when revolving in the cycle of
reincarnation the spiritual self takes on a body just like someone takes on a piece of
clothing, there is no fear of death. Rather, death is regarded as something quite
normal.
If we have accumulated only good karma in this lifetime, then we will be reborn into
the Three Good Realmschanging from a human into a heavenly being and having a
much more beautiful and dignified appearance, a longer lifespan and greater good
fortune. This is to sow a good cause and reap a good result. However, if we were to
do bad deeds, then our body will change for the worse.

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Pgina 4 de 4

Master Kuang-Ch'in

30/6/16 22:47

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MASTER KUANG-CH'IN

Karma

Analects of Master Kuang-Ch'in

Rebirth
Three Dharma Seals
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Criticism
Before criticizing others, consult your mind first.
When somebody tries to harm us, we should think: It must be because I have done
him harm in previous lives. I should stop this vicious cycle of bad karmic affinity and

Three Refuges

try to liberate him as well. Everything that happens, no matter how insignificant, has
a cause.

Threefold Learning

From the perspective of practice, the major problem of criticizing others is not
Four Immeasurable
Minds

whether he is in fact wrong and I am right, but the fact that our ears and eyes are

Four Noble Truths

perceptions. Further, we are creating negative karma through the incipience of our

already making judgments and our minds are closed to everything but our own
ideas and depriving ourselves of merits. Therefore, our six sensual organs are like six

Five Precepts

thieves, and the purpose of practice is to prevent them from wildly pursuing the
sense objects so that we can close the door to vexation. We should train our ears not

Six Harmonies

to crave for pleasant melodies; eyes, agreeable surroundings; nose, fragrance;


mouth, tasty food; and train our minds to be free of discrimination. Then we can

Six Paramitas

concentrate on reciting the Buddhas name and the sutras, performing prostration,
sitting meditation, and other practices that will liberate us from the cycle of birth and

Ten Great Vows

death. If we keep up these practices, how could we have the time and the mood to
pursue external distractions, or to comment on how others behave?

Ten Virtuous Deeds

If you criticize others and your mind is disturbed or vexed by it, you would have no
Wisdom of the Masters

one but yourself to blame. Do not be judgmental of what others do: be tolerant.
Then, not only will you enjoy peace of mind but will avoid creating negative karma

Glossary

through your words. This is the first and utmost important principle in practice.
Remember: Act according to (rather than against) circumstances, forbear
everything, then enjoy peace of mind. This is the best antidote for a troubled mind.
Dont say that there are good people and evil ones. All judgments are but distinctions
made by our minds. To those who really know how to practice, all sentient beings are
helpful mentors.

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Gossip
Those who like to gossip are bound to create negative karma through their words.
They are also troublemakers.
Avert words so as to shun misdeeds. When you do speak, make it to the point and
cut all unnecessary remarks.
Do not gossip. Gossip leads to failure; gossip makes people feel restless.

Practice
The path of practice can never be free of obstacles. Where there are people, there
are disputes, annoyances, conflicts and all sorts of disagreeable circumstances.
Rather than expecting a smooth path, you ought to strengthen your will power when
confronting difficulties. Remember, when your attention does not focus on
adversities, you will neither cling to them nor be vexed by them. Then, you will be
able to practice with an unfettered mind.
All methods of practice as taught by the Buddha focus on the mind; when we practice
we are also learning how to discipline our minds.
A well-composed mind resembles clear and placid water that truthfully reflects
whatever appears above it. Likewise, when our minds attain absolute tranquility, we
will be able to grasp the essence of everything.
The purpose of reciting the name of the Buddha is to help still our minds so that they
may be as pure and tranquil as placid water. A restless and scattered mind resembles
muddy water from which evil and discriminatory ideas easily arise.
When our minds are in such a state, we are prone to make distinctions of what we
see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and think, thereby, indulge in the pursuit of sensual
passions. Therefore, we must recite the name of the Buddha to the extent that our
minds become absolutely clear and pure, neither defiled by nor attached to sense
objects.
When we reach that stage, naturally we will not cling to the five skandhas (form,
sensation, perception, volition, and consciousness). With our six organs untainted by
the six causes of impurity, we can truly realize the emptiness of the five skandhas
[and] thus be free of all vexations.
Then we can naturally help to relieve all sentient beings from their misery. And with
the essence of our minds enlightened and our wisdom unfolded, we can easily
comprehend even the most abtruse buddhadharma.

Reciting the Name of the Buddha


Practice reciting the name of the Buddha to the extent that "flowers flourish and the
Buddha comes into view."

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We all have a Buddha immanent in our minds. When we practice recitation to the
extent that our minds are pure and free of vexations, we will meet the buddha within
ourselves. Therefore, only by the extinction of all vexations can we attain the stage
where "flowers flourish and the Buddha comes into view."
We should practice compassion and forbearance in our daily lives while avoiding
impulsiveness and petulance and controlling our temper. Be adroit and harmonious
when dealing with people and handle everything with the help of reason.
Seek not the faults of others and do not be vexed by the rights or wrongs we
perceive. Be gentle and kind to others, though not for the sake of building up
connections. Treat everyone, be he/she moral or immoral, with equality and
impartiality.
Do not turn others away with an icy face. With every move intended for the benefit of
others and done with sympathetic compassion, not only will we foster good affinity
with others but our minds will be purified and ourselves free of all vexations.
We are thereby attaining the stage where "flowers flourish and the Buddha comes
into view."

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Glossary

30/6/16 22:47

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GLOSSARY

Karma
Rebirth
Impermanence &
Nonself
Three Poisons
Three Conditions

Three Refuges
Threefold Learning
Four Immeasurable
Minds
Four Noble Truths
Five Precepts
Six Harmonies
Six Paramitas
Ten Great Vows

Ten Virtuous Deeds


Wisdom of the Masters

Glossary

afflictions. Condition or cause of pain, distress, and suffering which disturbs


the body and mind. They can be thoughts of gain or loss, of wanting to control
others, of criticism or slander. They might be worries, doubts, regrets, and so
much more.
Amitabha. The name of the Buddha of the Western Pure Land, primarily
meaning "Infinite Life and Infinite Light." To help all beings attain Buddhahood,
Amitabha Buddha created the Western Pure Land, an ideal place of cultivation.
attachments. These are desires, the emotional cravings for family, friends,
possessions, sensuous pleasures, erroneous views, life, the idea of the self as
an individual, and more.
bodhisattva. One who has vowed to attain Supreme, Perfect Enlightenment
for themselves as well as for all beings. While Buddhas symbolize our virtuous
nature, bodhisattvas represent the virtue of practice, without which, the innate
virtuous nature cannot be revealed.
Buddha. Buddha is a Sanskrit word, meaning "wisdom and enlightenment." A
Buddha is one who has reached supreme perfection both in self-realization and
in helping others to attain realization. The innumerable Buddhas are not gods
to be worshipped but compassionate and wise beings to be respected and
emulated.
causality, or cause and effect. Everything that happens to us is the result of
what we have thought, said, or done. In this lifetime, we are undergoing the
consequences of what we had done primarily in our previous lifetimes and
sometimes earlier in our current lifetime. What we do now will determine what
we will undergo in our future lifetimes.
Dharma. When capitalized, Dharma means the teachings of the Buddhas.
When lowercased, dharmas can either mean laws and doctrines, or things in
general, phenomena, and events.
enlightenment. Generally means Supreme, Perfect Enlightenment, the
enlightenment of the Buddhas. It is to see ones true nature and to
comprehend reality perfectly.
Five Practice Guidelines. (1) The Three Conditions, (2) the Six Harmonies,
(3) the Threefold Learning, (4) the Six Paramitas, and (5) Samantabhadra
Bodhisattvas Ten Great Vows.
Five Precepts. The Five Precepts are abstentions from (1) killing; (2) stealing;
(3) committing sexual, or sensual, misconduct; (4) lying; and (5) taking
intoxicants.
five Pure Land sutras and one treatise. (1) Buddha Speaks of the Infinite
Life Sutra of Adornment, Purity, Equality, and Enlightenment of the Mahayana

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Glossary

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School (Infinite Life Sutra); ( 2) Amitabha Sutra; (3) Visualization Sutra; (4)
the Chapter on the Vows and Practices of Samantabhadra from the
Avatamsaka Sutra; (5) the Chapter on the Perfect and Complete Realization of
Mahasthamaprapta from the Surangama Sutra; and (6) the Rebirth
Treatise.
forty-eight vows. Different Bodhisattvas make different vows. Dharmakara
Bodhisattva made forty-eight vows before he became Amitabha Buddha. He
wished to create an ideal land for all those who wished to transcend rebirth
within samsara. These beings would be born in the Pure Land as Bodhisattvas
who would never regress in their practice. They would learn all the ways to
help other beings transcend birth and death, and to attain Buddhahood.
Four Kindnesses. The Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), parents,
teachers, all sentient-beings.
good fortune. All the goodness in ones life. It may manifest as happiness,
friends, family, health, longevity, intelligence, prosperity, position, and more.
Good fortune is the benefit of the human and heaven realms, and can be
carried with us from one life to another but it cannot help us to transcend
rebirth within samsara.
ignorance or delusion. In the Mahayana tradition, this term comprises two
aspects: the first is wrong views and knowledge; the second is lack of correct
knowledge. To eradicate ignorance of delusion, we need to eliminate our
incorrect views and to uncover our innate, all-knowing wisdom.
Infinite Life Sutra. One of the three primary sutras of the Pure Land school,
the Infinite Life Sutra is often called the longer Amitabha Sutra. The shorter
version is called the Amitabha Sutra. The Amitabha sutras are unusual in that
they were self-spoken. Shakyamuni Buddha, knowing that the time was right
for this teaching, initiated the teaching himself. This was unusual because
almost all of the teachings by the Buddha were the result of a question being
raised by one of his students.
karma. A deed. Karma is divided into three types: good, bad, or purethat
which is neither good nor bad. Good karma leads to favorable results and rebirth
in the higher realms of samsara. Bad karma leads to bad results and rebirth in
the lower realms of samsara. Pure karma leads to enlightenment and enables
one to transcend samsara.
Mahayana. One of the two major branches of Buddhism, it is the bodhisattva
path of aspiring to help all sentient beings to attain enlightenment.
merits and virtues. Merits are accumulated by selflessly doing good deeds
without wandering thoughts, discriminations, or attachments, as well as
through the correction of our erroneous thoughts and behavior. Virtues arise
from deep concentration and wisdom.
phenomena. Things, events, happenings: everything in the universe.
Noumenon is the principle or essence and is perceived through intuition or
thought while phenomena is the event or form and is perceived through the
senses. Noumenon is the theory: Phenomena is the reality.
precepts. In Buddhism, precepts are rules that were laid down by the Buddha
to guide his students from erroneous thoughts, speech, and behavior. However,
one need not be a Buddhist to uphold these precepts. In the more general
sense, precepts are rules or principles that prescribe a particular course of
action or conduct.
pure mind. The mind without wandering thoughts, discriminations, or
attachments. The pure mind has no thoughts of like or dislike, favorable or
unfavorable. It has no greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt, or wrong
views. It is the calm mind that is no longer affected by the environment. It is
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the serene and natural state of all beings.


root of goodness. Good qualities or seeds sown in a good life to be reaped
later. The ultimate benefit of deep roots of goodness for Pure Land practitioners
is rebirth in the Western Pure Land.
samsara. The relentless cycle of rebirth in which ordinary beings are deeply
entangled. The three upper realms are heavens, demi-gods, and humans. The
three lower realms are animals, hungry ghosts, and hells.
Sangha. A group of four or more people who properly practice the Buddhas
teaching together, especially the Six Harmonies.
Sanskrit. A language of ancient India.
sentient-being. A living being that is self-aware and that can experience
feeling or sensation.
Six Harmonies. The Six Harmonies, the second of our five practice guidelines,
are the basis for harmonious interaction in the family, the Sangha, and in
groups. Especially for practitioners, they harmony in (1) having the same
viewpoints, (2) observing the same precepts, (3) living together, (4) speaking
without conflict, (5) experiencing the Dharma bliss, and (6) sharing benefits.
Six Paramitas. The fourth of our Practice Guidelines. Bodhisattvas abide by
six guidelines that are called the Six Paramitas, or Perfections. These teach us
how to remedy our major afflictions. The six are (1) giving, (2) precept
observation (moral self-discipline), (3) patience, (4) diligence, (5) meditative
concentration, and (6) wisdom.
sutra. Teachings by the Buddha, initially given verbally, later compiled, and
written down by the Buddhas students; as well as teachings by bodhisattvas.
Ten Great Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Samantabhadra
Bodhisattva personifies the vows and conduct of the Buddhas. He is usually
depicted seated on an elephant with six tusks that represent the Six Paramitas,
which are the fifth of our practice guidelines. The ten vows are to (1) Respect
all Buddhas, (2) Praise Tathagata, (3) Make offerings extensively, (4) Repent
karmic obstacles, (5) Rejoice at others meritorious deeds, (6) Request the
turning of the Dharma wheel, (7) Request the Buddha to remain in this world,
(8) Constantly follow the Buddhas teachings, and (10) Accommodate all
sentient beings.
Ten Virtuous Conducts. The Ten virtuous Conducts are basic to our practice
of Buddhism. The ten can be categorized as physical, verbal, and mental
conducts to protect the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind. Physically, we
are prohibited from (1) killing, (2) stealing, and (3) engaging in sexual, or
sensual, misconduct. Verbally, we are prohibited from (4) using false speech,
(5) using harsh speech, (6) using divisive speech, or (7) using enticing speech.
Mentally, we are prohibited from giving rise to thoughts of (8) greed, (9) anger,
and (10) ignorance.
Three Conditions. The first of our Five Practice Guidelines.
The First Condition is be filial and care and provide for parents, be respectful to
and serve teachers, be compassionate and do not kill, and cultivate the Ten
Virtuous Karmas. The Second Condition is take the Three Refuges, abide by all
precepts, and behave in a dignified and appropriate manner. The Third
Condition is generate the Bodhi mind, believe deeply in the law of cause and
effect, recite and uphold the Mahayana sutras, and encourage others to
advance on the path to enlightenment
three karmas. Created by our body, mouth, and mind, they are our actions,
speech, and thoughts.
Threefold Learning. The third of our Practice Guidelines. Moral self-discipline,
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or precepts keeping, leads to meditative concentration that gives rise to innate


wisdom. The Threefold Learning is the fourth of our five practice guidelines. To
practice according to the teachings is self-discipline. When our minds are
settled and focused on one method of cultivation, we will have meditative
concentration. With meditative concentration, we will uncover our innate
wisdom.
true nature. Our original, true self that we still have, but is which is currently
covered by deluded thoughts and evil karma. In essence, since we have the
same true nature as Buddhas have, we are equal in nature to the Buddhas.
Once we eliminate our delusion, we will uncover this true nature and attain
Supreme Enlightenment.
virtues. See merits.
Visualization Sutra. The third of the primary sutras of the Pure Land School.
In the Visualization Sutra, we learn that when Queen Vaidehi suffered from
overwhelming family misfortune, she bitterly said to Shakyamuni
Buddha: "Life is filled with suffering. Is there not a place without it? I wish to
live in such a world." Shakyamuni Buddha displayed for her all the Buddha
lands in the universe. After seeing all the worlds, she herself chose the Western
Pure Land and vowed to be reborn into that world. Concerned about those who
would come after her and, consequently, be unable to learn directly from the
Buddha, she asked on their behalf how to achieve rebirth into the Pure Land.
wandering thoughts. Afflictions that cloud our true nature. To have no
wandering thoughts means to have absolute proper and virtuous thoughts, not
that our minds are empty of all thoughts. As ordinary beings, we use an
illusory mind, the mind that arises and ceases, and that has innumerable
wandering thoughts. Enlightened beings use the true mind that constantly
dwells on truth. They do not have wandering thoughts but meditative
concentration, the state without discriminatory, wandering thoughts or
attachments.
Western Pure Land. The world created by Amitabha Buddha. It is an ideal
place of cultivation, for those who are born there are no longer subject to
rebirth.

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ELIBRARY

Ven. Master Chin Kung


Venerable Wuling
General Collection

Welcome to our eBook library. We currently have several books based on the talks of
Ven. Master Chin Kung as well as books by Venerable Wuling. We also have
translations of additional Pure Land books by the Sutra Translation Committee as well
as other books in our General Collection section. Click on the title or book cover
image to access the book.
To listen to some of Venerable Wulings recorded talks, please visit the Amitabha
Gallery.
Heart of a Buddha

This small book contains teachings by the Buddha,


Venerable Master Chin Kung, and Venerable Wuling.
The link to this title will take you to the Amitabha Pureland web site
where you can access flash movies of this book and
download Heart of a Buddha screensavers.
All eBooks are viewable by using Adobe Reader 5 or later. If you have an earlier
version or do not yet have the reader please click here to download a free copy.

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Venerable Master Chin Kung

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VENERABLE MASTER CHIN KUNG

Ven. Master Chin Kung


Venerable Wuling
General Collection

Buddhism: The Awakening of Compassion and Wisdom


This is an excellent book on Mahayana Buddhism, with a focus on the
Pure Land school. After explaining that Buddhism is an education, it
discusses the goal of practice as well as the symbolism of Buddhist
images and offerings. Covered in depth are the Five Guidelines of the
Three Conditions, Six Harmonies, Threefold Learning, Six Paramitas, and
Ten Great Vows. ( 553 KB PDF)
Changing Destiny
A commentary on Liaofan's Four Lessons, this book tells how Yuan
Liaofan, destined to be heirless and to die young, learned from a Zen
master how to change destiny. Following the masters advice, Mr. Yuan
attained all that he sought, and more. The life-changing principles in his
book are as important today as they were 500 years ago. ( 1,438 KB PDF)

The Awakening of Loving-kindness


This book is a collection of several of Master Chin Kung's talks which
have a connecting theme of personal growth and interfaith harmony.
Included are "Everyone Can be a Buddha" and "The Foundation of all
Religions: Loving-kindness and Compassion." (PDF 306 KB)

Taking the Three Refuges


In this compilation of two talks, Master Chin Kung explained the meaning of taking
the three refuges: Taking refuge in the Buddhaawakening without delusion; taking
refuge in the Dharmaproper understanding without deviation; taking refuge in the
Sanghapurity without pollution. (PDF 188 KB)
The Benevolent Person Has No Enemies
Master Chin Kung discussed what to do in the face of adversity and criticism,
described some of the qualities of a Bodhisattva, and briefly explained the Ten
Attainments, his list of the essential qualities of a Bodhisattva. (PDF 129 KB)

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Venerable Wuling

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VENERABLE WULING

Ven. Master Chin Kung


Venerable Wuling
General Collection

How Will I Behave Today and the Rest of My Life?


A commentary-cum-storybook based on Guidelines for Being a Good
Person. Themes of love and respect for parents and elders, siblings and
friends, and, indeed, all beings as well as of trustworthiness and
honesty run throughout the stories in a mixture of humor, poignancy,
and old-fashioned fables. (To download pdf please click here.)

Everything We Do Matters
This book explores how by learning to maintain a calm, clear mind, we
will gradually transform our greed, anger, and ignorance into
compassion and equanimity. It is so important that we do this because
our current thoughts are leading to consequences that are affecting not
only ourselves but our environment and even our world and all the
beings in it. (PDF 919 KB)
Awaken to the Buddha Within
Beginning with Buddha's life, this book explores what he experienced:
causality and impermanence, compassion and altruism. Understanding
his teachings of morality, concentration, and wisdom can help us to find
within ourselves the answers we seeking. Whether our goal is to find
current happiness or to walk the path to awakening, the teachings will
help us to progress as he didone step at a time. (PDF 542 KB)

path to peace
This book provides daily thoughts to help us be the kind of person we
wish to be: someone who is considerate of others, who on
understanding him- or herself and others, lets go of anger and finds
peace. The link to this title will take you to the Amitabha Pureland web
site where you can access the book on a daily basis. Also, there are
some movies of path to peace at the Amitabha Gallery.

In One Lifetime: Pure Land Buddhism


For those who would like to learn how to practice Pure Land Buddhism,
this book explains some of the basic principles as well as how to set up
ones meditation area, and how to do sitting, walking, and bowing
practice. It contains a chanting session that can be used for individual
practice. A section on the Five Guidelines provides a list and brief
explanations of the guidelines we use in our daily practice. (PDF 259 KB)
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General Collection

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GENERAL COLLECTION

Ven. Master Chin Kung

Pure Land Buddhism

Venerable Wuling
General Collection

A Spiritual Goal For This Lifetime


Li Bingnan, Translated by Dr. C. Y. Koh,

(PDF 83 KB)

Buddhism of Wisdom and 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 US and Canada
Foundations of Ethics and Practice in Chinese Pure Land Buddhism
Charles B. Jones, Department of Religion and Religious Education, The Catholic
University of America
Mind-Seal of the Buddhas
Grand Master Ou-I, Translated by J.C. Cleary, Foreword, Notes and Glossary by
Van Hien Study Group, Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada, 1996
Pure Land Buddhism: Dialogues with Ancient Masters
Patriarch Chih I and Master T'ien Ju, Translated by Master Thich Thien Tam, Sutra
Translation Committee of the US and Canada, 1992 (PDF 2,210 KB)
Pure Land of the Patriarchs
Master Han-Shan, Translated by Dharma Master Lok To, Edited by Minh Thanh and
P.D. Leigh, Van Hien Study Group (PDF 205 KB)
Pure-Land Zen, Zen Pure-Land
Master Yin Guang, Translated by Master Thich Thien Tam, et al, Sutra Translation
Committee of the US and Canada, 2005 (PDF 794 KB)
Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung
From Pure Land Pure Mind, Translated by J.C. Cleary, Edited by Van Hien Study
Group, Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada, 1994
Taming the Monkey Mind: Guide to Pure Land Practice
Cheng Wei-an, Translated and commentary by Dharma Master Suddhisukka, Van
Hien Study Group, Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada, 2000 (PDF
276 KB)

The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism

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Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada, Second edition, 1998,

(PDF 4,767

KB)

General Buddhism
Dhammapada
Translated by Ven. Thanissaro, Bhikkhu, 1998

(PDF 587 KB)

Mayflower II: On the Buddhist Voyage to Liberation


Dr. C.T. Shen, Institute for Advanced Studies of Religion, 1983

(PDF 805 KB)

The Tree of Enlightenment, An Introduction to the Major Traditions of


Buddhism
Dr. Peter Della Santina, Chico Dharma Study Foundation, 1997 (PDF 2,233 KB)
Thus Have I Heard: Buddhist Parables and Stories
Edited by Minh Thanh and P.D. Leigh, Sutra Translation Committee of the US &
Canada

Children

How Will I Behave Today and the Rest of My Life? Venerable Wuling, Pure Land
College Press, 2009. This online version is a flipping book. (To download pdf please
click here.)
Guidelines for Being a Good Person, Translated by the Pure Land Translation
Team, 2009. This online version is a flipping book. (To download pdf please click
here.)
Buddhist Tales for Young and Old (Vol.1) Prince Goodspeaker
Interpreted by Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa, Maha Thera, told by Todd
Anderson (PDF 1,541 KB)
Buddhist Tales for Young and Old (Vol.2) King Fruitful
Interpreted by Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa, Maha Thera, told by Todd
Anderson (PDF 2,803 KB)
Rahula Leads the Way
Venerable S. Dhammika & Susan Harmer, Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society, 1992
(PDF 1,881 KB)

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