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 “For Daily Reading and Reflection by Amitabha-Reciters”: A Brief Explanation

By Master Jingzong

  • Be reverential and trusting towards Amitabha Buddha, and compassionate and understanding to other people. In our deportment, we should be modest and amiable.

    We should respectfully believe in the compassionate deliverance of Amitabha Buddha and accept it.

    Having understood Amitabha’s great, compassionate love, we should show kindness and consideration towards other suffering beings. Like us, they are mired in the cycle of rebirth within the Three Realms.

    We should recognize that we ourselves are iniquitous ordinary beings, subject to endless rebirth. We ought to maintain a humble and agreeable attitude.

  • Be sincere and scrupulous in your relationships. Avoid evil and cherish good. Be an upstanding citizen by showing civic-mindedness and respecting the law.

    We should conduct our relationships ethically, discharge our duties, restrain unwholesome thoughts, and always be sincere. We need to uphold social morals, abide by the nation’s laws, and be good citizens.

    Human relationships, such as those between father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger siblings, and superiors and subordinates, are subject to specific ordering as well as their respective norms and requirements. These must be complied with. Otherwise, society would descend into chaos and people would not survive.

  • We should feel that our foolishness and capacity for wrongdoing exceed those of others, and that we aren’t qualified to argue with them.

    We should realize that our own ignorance, flaws and wrongdoing exceed those of others. We have not the slightest qualification to quibble over the affairs of others.

    • Do not speak gossip, listen to gossip, spread gossip or discuss gossip.

      We should keep quiet when we’re with other people, and refrain from gossip and small talk.

      If we encounter others gossiping, we should walk away silently without listening.

      If by chance gossip or rumor enters our ears, we should stop it and not pass it on.

      If we learn that others are gossiping about us, we should ignore the chatter, as though we never heard it.

    • Avoid finding fault with others, publicizing their transgressions or exposing their private matters. Do not quarrel with others over whether you or they are right.

      We should not pry into others’ mistakes.

      When we are aware of someone’s faults we shouldn’t disclose them, lest the person becomes embarrassed and loses the courage to rectify them. Instead, we should expediently cover the flaws so the person can have a chance to correct them. In fact, everyone makes mistakes.

      We shouldn’t expose others’ private affairs. Doing so drains our own virtue.

      We shouldn’t argue with others over who is right or superior and who is wrong or inferior. If we become involved in a dispute, we should think thus: “I am wrong, small, lower and inferior, and you are right, great, higher and superior.”

    • Do not neglect the law of cause and effect, or harbor ill will. Do not be false, or engage in flattery or misrepresentation.

      We should be cautious in all matters, and believe firmly that good will be rewarded and evil punished. Karmic consequences are real and substantive. Do not violate the great law of cause and effect.

      Even if we cannot always and everywhere be compassionate, gentle and kind, we should at least not harbor hatred in our hearts. Antipathy is toxic. Each moment it stays within us, it poisons us. It’s like a sharp blade that cuts our heart into pieces. Even the slightest hate that arises inside us must be resolved as quickly as possible so our hearts regain serenity, tenderness and virtuousness.

      Do not be false-hearted. We should remain honest, open and above board. Do not harbor selfish motives. Never please others with flattery or twisted intent.

  • Be respectful and caring towards your family and relatives to create harmonious ties. Hold virtue and benevolence in high regard, and cultivate propriety and accommodation.

    We should live in harmony and amity with family members, respecting and loving one another. When dealing with others, we esteem the cultivation of virtue, nurture kindheartedness, and prioritize propriety.

    • Maintain an agreeable countenance and pleasant speech, and smile from the bottom of your heart. Think compassionately of sentient beings and treat people generously.

      Our appearance should be friendly and pleasing, our speech warm and sympathetic. We should be sincere and modest, and wear a smile on our faces. Treating others with a loving heart, we put ourselves in their shoes and behave kindly and sincerely towards people.

    • Be humble and courteous, never prideful. Have a sense of shame and always be grateful for the Buddha’s kindness.

      We should position ourselves humbly and respect others as being above us, so as to overcome our arrogance. We should monitor our egos constantly: My thoughts are impure and my behavior error-prone. I am ashamed to face people. With such thoughts and deeds, I will inevitably fall into the Three Wretched Realms. Thanks to Amitabha Buddha’s compassion, I am still a human in this world and will be reborn in the Pure Land upon death. This is indeed unsurpassed grace and virtue.

  • Give peace of mind, happiness, hope and benefit to others.

    In our relationships, we should make others feel at ease and free from fear. We bring them delight, not vexations. And we give them hope, not disappointment, benefits and not harm.

    Everyone needs peace of mind, happiness, hope and benefits. Sometimes we can provide these with a single kind thought, or a sole utterance of goodwill and tenderness.

    • Do everything sincerely and lovingly. Be thankful and respectful under all circumstances.

      We should be genuine and loving towards all people, and handle situations in the same spirit. Whatever we do or encounter, positive or negative, expeditious or difficult, we should feel grateful. Matters big or small, people of high or humble status, should be treated earnestly and respectfully.

    • Pay attention to the interests of the whole, and maintain a sense of propriety.

      When going about our daily business, we should hold fast to basic principles and be aware of what should be done or said and what should not. We should also have a sense of propriety, avoiding both excess and shortfall.

    • Always be considerate of others.

      We should consider everything from the perspectives of others and be thoroughly considerate of them.

    • Always be willing to suffer disadvantage. Do not be calculating.

      When interacting with others, we should willingly sacrifice a little and not be too calculating about personal gains and losses. That way we can greatly increase our karmic blessings and reduce our afflictions. The more calculating we are, the more vexed we become. A person who wants to gain everything and lose nothing will surely suffer the greatest loss in the end.

  • Learn from Amitabha Buddha’s great compassion: Treat others the way Amitabha treats you.

    We should learn from Amitabha Buddha’s great compassion, and be generous and compassionate to others the way Amitabha has been to us.

  • Livelihood – plain and simple.

    Speech – sincere and harmonious.

    Bearing – calm and measured.

    Buddhists should lead a plain and simple life, avoiding complexity and extravagance. We should speak sincerely and gently, not ostentatiously or harshly. Our manner should be calm and measured, and we should refrain from impulsive, ill-considered action.

  • Scoundrels shift blame and snatch credit.

    Scoundrels thrust their faults on others and take their credit.

    • Ordinary people cover up mistakes and flaunt their achievements.

      Ordinary people gloss over their wrongdoings and overstate their meager attainments.

    • Superior persons decline acclaim and reward for their accomplishments.

      Superior persons do not enjoy good fortune alone, or keep all the benefits of success to themselves. They always give away some of the advantages to others.

    • Those of surpassing virtue share the bitterness and blame from others’ errors.

      Those of surpassing virtue voluntarily assume some of the opprobrium from negative deeds and reputations, even though they had nothing to do with them. They thus lighten the pressure on others.

  • The way of heaven diminishes the prideful and augments the modest. The way of earth undermines the prideful and replenishes the modest. Spirits and deities inflict calamity on the prideful and bring fortune to the modest. The way of men despises the prideful and favors the modest.

    The operational rules of heaven and earth highlight the natural law of cause and effect. Prideful and complacent people will suffer loss and depletion. Modest and virtuous persons will gain benefits and replenishment. Spirits and deities bring misfortune upon the former and bestow good luck on the latter. Everyone finds the former repugnant and the latter agreeable.

    A prideful and complacent person is disdained by heaven, earth, spirits, deities and other people. How can he enjoy long-term fortune without incurring a calamity? A modest and virtuous person is acclaimed by heaven, earth, spirits, deities and other people. How can she not flourish and be blessed?

  • Every time I meet a lowly person on the verge of success, he displays the radiance of humility, as if I could hold it in my hands. Humility affords opportunities to learn from others, opening to us boundless benefits.

    Someone of low standing who is about to rise and succeed, always impresses others with a modesty whose radiance is almost palpable. A humble and virtuous person is able to accept wholesome teachings, obtaining immeasurable benefit.

Master Huijing

Master Huijing

Master Jingzong

Master Jingzong

Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings