Carry the Buddha with You Wherever You Go
By Master Zhisui
The venerable Master Honen once said, "The practice has no fixed form." This means that there is no specific method for reciting Amitabha's name; any approach is suitable. Whether you are a monastic or a lay practitioner, you recite Amitabha's name according to your role. If you have a job, you can recite Amitabha's name while at work. If you are taking care of your family, you can recite Amitabha's name while attending to your household duties.
Practicing the Pure Land teachings means integrating Amitabha-recitation into our daily lives. It doesn't require us to separate ourselves from life or seek distant places like mountains or retreats to recite Amitabha's name. While occasional retreats are acceptable during periods of rest, most of our time and energy should be devoted to reciting Amitabha's name within the context of our daily lives. Amitabha's name becomes intertwined with our lives and our very existence. It is our lifeline, our constant companion.
Wherever we go, we should carry the Buddha with us. When engaging in business discussions, before stepping into the marketplace or commercial spaces, let's not forget Amitabha's name. Wherever we are, we should always keep Amitabha close to our hearts. Before entering business negotiations, why not take a moment to recite Amitabha's name, seeking blessings and hoping for a smooth and productive day, efficiently resolving any issues that may come up? And similarly, before starting our workday, let's recite Amitabha's name, seeking blessings and allowing for a day of ease and smooth handling of tasks.
Make sure to incorporate the Buddha into your everyday life. Having the Buddha by your side can significantly reduce stress and troubles, allowing you to handle life's challenges more smoothly. We all desire the support of an efficient helper. Just as leaders rely on secretaries, and bosses need capable assistants, those who recite Amitabha's name are fortunate to have Amitabha Buddha as their reliable secretary and assistant. Keep Amitabha with you wherever you go by reciting his name. Actually, it's not that we bring the Buddha with us, but rather that he naturally accompanies us. As we recite Amitabha's name, he resides above our heads, enveloping us in his radiant light. This will greatly aid us in facing the ups and downs of life.
Amitabha-reciters need not get caught up in disputes about who's right or wrong. Instead, embrace and accept whatever comes your way. For example, if you have limited blessings and face significant karmic obstacles, accept your circumstances and lead a simpler life. On the other hand, if you enjoy abundant blessings and possess great wisdom, embrace your situation and make the most of your abilities. Each of us should recite the Buddha's name according to our own unique karma and circumstances. So, no matter where you find yourself, recite Amitabha Buddha's name with a sense of ease, tranquility, and joy.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)
- Recitation of Amitabha’s name, relying on his Fundamental Vow (the 18th)
- Rebirth of ordinary beings in the Pure Land’s Realm of Rewards
- Rebirth assured in the present lifetime
- Non-retrogression achieved in this lifetime
The 18th Vow of Amitabha Buddha
If, when I achieve Buddhahood, sentient beings of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, wish to be reborn in my land and recite my name, even ten times, should fail to be born there, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who commit the five gravest transgressions or slander the correct Dharma.
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